My vacation is almost over, I will be leaving London tomorrow leaving behind the most interesting and memorable days of my life. I never expected that I would enjoy this birthday vacation my father planned for me. Aside from the occasional afternoon tea parties and opera nights that I obediently attended with the les vieux (old folks), my nightly Tango escapades at The Crypt gave birth to the new “Valerie”, the Blue Rose of Tango. I will be leaving with a heavy heart, I will miss The Crypt, dancing Tango, the tea parties I got used to, and most especially I’ll miss my best friend – Claudette. “Penny for your thoughts cheri.” It was Alec with Claudette in tow. “We were looking everywhere for you, and to think of the least place you’d go. I thought you hate bars? Why are you sitting here alone cheri? ” Oh, you two love birds should not worry, I’m a big girl, in a month’s time I’d be of legal age. Come!, let’s celebrate, I don’t want my last day here at London be gloomy.” I stood up and took my glass of champagne and ushered the two at a vacant table. glancing briefly to the bartender, “une bouteille de champagne s’il vous plaît monsieur .” I poured them as graceful as I can, and declared a toast. “To you two lovebirds, may you both live happily every after and to my last day here at London.” We all held our glasses up. “santé!” “cheers!”. Okay drink up guys, we are off to The Crypt for my last Tango.
We spent all our energy dancing and drinking at The Crypt and went back to my hotel suite by midnight and stayed up till 4am recounting our days together and the adventure we three shared. By noon my bags were all packed and Claudette’s too, she will be living with Alec from now on. We had lunch in my suite and continued our stories like every minute is precious that we need to make the best of our time together. I was holding back my tears, for 10 year I spent every waking hour with my best friend, my sister, my confidante, my Claudette, now she will leave my side and be with Alec, but I am happy for her. One last afternoon tea for us, when I’m back in France this will no longer be included in my daily routine. I went straight to the airport where a private jet awaits me, when the limousine fetched me at the hotel by 6pm,leaving Alec and Claudette at the lobby. I don’t want farewells, I’m not good at it. I hate to see Claudette cry and let her see me cry, I know she will just worry. As the jet took off I remembered how happy Claudette was when Alec proposed to her the night we won the contest. Claudette just came in from The Crypt with Alec’s friends, Alec and I were talking at my sitting room. He was so passionate on proposing to Claudette that night that he bought a diamond ring the day before the contest and was intensely asking me things about Claudette. I knew from the first day we started practicing that Alec had a thing for Claudette and that she too was very attracted to this guy, though I know both were just thinking of me. Claudette immediately said YES to Alec and shared a very passionate kiss forgetting that I was still there. I know they will love my surprise engagement gift.
“I’m so happy Alec, I can’t believe this is real.” Claudette was unpacking her clothes when she discovered and envelope with both their names in my handwriting. When she opened it she cried instantly as she held my favorite locket, in it was a photo of us two and an inscription that says “ma sœur bien-aimée” – my beloved sister, also enclosed in that envelope was a round trip ticket to a Caribbean cruise and a note that states: “To the two most important people in my life and for a new beginning. I love you both. till then! Valerie” Alec embraced me warmly as the tears ran down my cheeks. “Alec, I miss her already, she is the only family I ever had since I was 7 years old and now she will be alone. I feel so guilty.” Alec dried my tears and said, “Don’t cry my love, I understand, but you also now have me as your family and it was also thanks to her that we met. We will soon see her again, we’ll visit her at her birthday, in France I promise!” Then the two shared a passionate kiss.
“I’m glad I took the evening fight, tomorrow when I wake up I’d be the old dutiful heiress once again, always in Monsieur Blanc‘s tow, showcased as a priceless commodity ready for exchanged if the price is right. But I bet all I’ll see are the old folks’ arrogant, snobbish, irritating, money-loving businessmen sons that will just treat me as a bond, a living currency that ties them to my father’s empire… oh well, I guess my nightmare will now start…better brace myself…but before that it’s au revoir London, au revoir Blue Rose…till we all meet again – soon.”