TITLE: French Impression
"Allo? Allo? Who is this, please?"
Miriam Roche thought the voice on the phone sounded vaguely
familiar. She glanced around
the ornately decorated hotel room.
The man lying asleep next to her was the suave
Frenchman she'd met last night.
Miriam didn't recognize the black
cell phone in her hand, nor did she remember
reaching across Raoul's sleeping body to answer it. Over two decades
of working for a global company, twenty-four years of motherhood, and
five agonizing years of late-night phone calls about her husband's
condition meant she wasn't capable of letting any phone go
"Allo? Where is my husband?"
Miriam stared at the cell phone with horror, as she recognized the
voice as her new French boss. She felt a
brief impulse to say the five words that were
supposed to be useful in every situation, "Excuse me for disturbing
you." She didn't think they would help.
She fought her growing panic, hitting
the end call button to stop any further words.
As a flood
of memories from last night returned to her sleep-befuddled brain, she
tried to piece together the
events since she'd arrived in Paris.
Her ability to think
wasn't helped by the wave of guilt
for having betrayed Jay. Her husband had only been dead a year and a
half. She was supposed
to be starting a grand adventure, not waking up after having sex
with a married man.