Its sundown, the day’s been reduced to a crack of lavender and fiery pinks along the Massif des Maures mountains. This evening we’re sipping cocktails at “Les Toits,” the Hôtel de Paris’ rooftop restaurant. The French would call this a lounge.
Les toits translates as ‘the roofs’ and its stunning view overlooks the provincial rooftops that ***** down the foothills to the gulf of Saint-Tropez and it’s world-famous beaches. The well lit boats are settling down and dropping anchor for the night as we complete our orders and get our second round of drinks.
This has been the best vacation. I think we’ve all reclaimed our calm after a tense freshman year. We’ve been at the beach for 10 days. Leong and Sunny are actually tan, Lisa and my hair are half a tone lighter and Bili’s black skin has taken on gorgeous, purple-ish highlights.
I’ve known Lisa now for ten months, but we share a deep connection that seems older. Lisa’s lovely, brazen, and naturally flashy, without trying. Unfortunately, though, Lisa draws men like a keig-light draws moths - whether she’s looking for them or not - I don’t envy her that. Young men, middle aged men, old men.
Lisa said it started when she was 13. She’d be in a store or restaurant with her mom or dad and a lady would introduce herself, “Hi, I’m with the Ford, or Elite, or IMG, or DNA modeling agency, has your daughter done any modeling?” And another business card would be wasted. Her mom nodded as she recalled this sordid past.
Attention just shifts to her, the party comes to her, she can’t seem to avoid it. About every 30 minutes some man comes over and introduces himself to us (to her). This man owns a local night club, would we (she) be his guest? (He’s looking at her like desert) This guy owns a yacht - “that one, there,” he points it out, in his Russian oligarch voice - he clicks a fob on his keychain and the lights blink. Oh, sure, join a strange foreign man on his yacht, what could go wrong?
There are 8 of us girls at the table with Charles, our escort and confidant. He’s a 50-ish, red headed ex-NYC-cop who just sits there quietly and sips his drink like James Bond. He seldom says anything. I lean in to him and say, “Maybe they think you're her ****?!” Leong coughs in her drink and Charles gives me the same, serious, “behave yourself” look I’ve gotten since I was 9.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: confidant: someone to whom secrets are entrusted.