The VIP invites me for drinks at a secluded section of the hotel. We talk at length. He seems quite relaxed, smoking a cigar and having a cognac. I’m having vodka tonight, feeling in need of something stronger than my usual glass of wine.
“Is your wife still upset with me?” I ask.
“Yes. She did some research on the subject and is devastated that her diamond is worthless,” he responds, a slight smile dancing on his lips.
“I’m curious as to how people keep purchasing this so-called ‘precious’ stone. We must be idiots,” he says.
“No, it’s simply great marketing,” I respond. “Besides, who is to really say the value of something, if not oneself?”
I swat off a mosquito and continue. “A scribbled drawing done by your five-year-old child who passed away may mean more to you than a Van Gogh.”
He shakes his head.
“You cannot argue about the value of a Van Gogh. But diamonds are The Big Lie, so it’s not the same argument,” he says.
I concede with a smile and cover my arms with a shawl.
“Are the mosquitoes bothering you?” he asks.
I nod as yet another one buzzes close to me. I don’t want to get malaria — ain’t nobody got time for that!
He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small bottle of mosquito repellant. I take it gratefully and spray it liberally over my arms and legs.
How will this evening pan out? As much as I appreciate the whole seduction scene, he must be aware that I’m a sure thing or else I wouldn’t have made the trip with him. We are wasting time; we should be in his hotel room right now. I don’t want to put him off by being too forward, so I go with the flow.
A text message comes in. It’s him. The man I love to hate and hate to love.
Mr N: How is it going?
Me: We’re having drinks.
Mr N: How boring.
Mr N: Flirt.
Me: If I need your advice on how to get a man into bed, I’ll ask for it.
Mr N: I’m just saying. It’s 2 am and you’re still having drinks?
“Who is texting you so late?” the VIP asks as I contemplate the last message.
“My younger sister,” I respond. “She is in Boston. The time difference means it’s early evening over there.”
I quickly reply to the text message.
Me: He is asking questions, stop texting!
Mr N: Are you wearing any underwear?
I look up to find the VIP watching me curiously. “What is she studying over there?”
“She’s a vocalist,” I say, thinking quickly. “She’s at the Berklee College of Music.”
Me: No underwear.
Mr N: You naughty girl…
“She must be quite good,” the VIP says.
“Not really. But with those credentials people take you seriously, even though, for the life of them, you sound ordinary enough,” I respond.
He bursts out laughing. “I have never met someone as honest as you,” he says.
Me: Remember when we first did it in your car?
Mr. N: How can I forget? You put that awful underwear in your purse and it fell out!
Texting and speaking at the same time is turning out to be something I’m quite good at. Thank heavens for the multi-tasking gene given to all females.
“I exaggerate, of course. Yes, she can sing. But with all the amazing voices over there, I would like to manage expectations of her.”
Me: Crap!!! Don’t remind me!! I was mortified.
Mr N: It was hilarious. I hope you left them behind this time.
Me: I threw away that particular pair of panties. Bad memories!