He parked in front of a small restaurant and opened the door. We stepped out and a man in suit walked up to us
“welcome sire” he said and bowed. He had a French accent and he had this moustache that French men usually keep
“come here” Wilbur motioned to me and I moved to his side. He held my hand and I got an electric shock for about five seconds.
The restaurant was fenced round and had beautiful flower bushes around it both inward and outward the fence.
Wilbur took me through the back and we went through a door that led to a staircase. There was another door behind the stairs but he took me up the stairs instead
“where are you taking me?” I asked with a little feeling of insecurity
“I told you before. Somewhere you could have lunch” he replied
“aren’t we supposed to enter into the restaurant?” I asked
“yeah” he simply replied
I rolled my eyes and breathed out. I felt like I should just trust him but that stubborn part of me wanted me to just yank my hand away from him and run out shouting ‘kidnap!’
But I just chuckled quietly to that thought
We got to the end of the stairs and he opened a door. We entered a room that was a little large.
There were tables and chairs. The table’s were covered with red tablecloth and had little white napkins on the table.
“the restaurant is up here?” I asked him
‘‘this is VIP” he replied as he walked me to a table
“VIP? Really? Is VIP always this small” I asked with eyes that scanned the room with excitement in them
“it’s not always this small. But this restaurant isn’t really popular so people don’t come in here much. Plus, it’s a French restaurant and…”
“…the food is expensive” I butted in
“yeah” he replied as he drew out a seat for me. I smiled and sat down while he sat opposite me
“you look excited” he said and looked at me
“I am excited. I’ve never been to a VIP section before” I said and rubbed my arms.
I looked around again. We were the only ones in the room. Also, the air conditioning made the room too cold for me though I’m still wearing my jacket.
A waiter or Butler or whatever he is walked to our table and began to speak French. I didn’t hear a thing and it sounded really funny to me. The man left after giving a bow
“what were you guys saying?” I asked
“I was placing an order. Do you like French food?” he asked as he dropped his car key on the table
“well, I haven’t eaten anything like that before so I don’t know” I replied and covered my hair
“you are feeling cold?” he asked and I nodded and covered my mouth and nose with my palms because I was gonna sneeze but it went back
The man came back with two other men wearing white trousers and shirts. They were carrying trays that were covered. The man was holding a bowl of ice with a bottle of wine inside.
They dropped it, uncovered them and uncorked the wine. The butler removed the napkins from the inside of two glasses and poured in the wine to the middle and the two men left with the trays and the covers. The butler who Wilbur was speaking with left after a minute
I looked over the table and I couldn’t contain my excitement. I wanted to just taste them all and see what’s inside a French food.
Will sat up and stretched his arms
“I told them to turn off the air conditioning and turn on the thermostat. It will be warm soon so you might wanna remove your jacket” he said and took a sip from his glass.
I nodded and removed the jacket then placed it over my chair
“so how do you eat a French food?” I asked
“it’s easy. Pick the fork and knife and dip it into the food. Take it to your mouth, open it and take it in. Then chew it and swallow it”
I was going to have lunch at my favorite restaurant. A small restaurant in a secluded area. I often come there alone and the workers there know me well.
I’m a French food freak. My favorite delicacies are French food. Maybe it is because I partially grew up in France
I decided to see Jay before going there so I passed through the University to her work place in the library. After speaking with her, I drove through the quarters to come out at the other side of the university. The restaurant wasn’t far from there anymore.
As I drove, I saw a familiar walking step. And a familiar jacket. I needed no soothsayer to tell me it was her
After I decided to just ignore her existence, I saw her only once. About four months ago at a place I came. She was part of the janitors and I only glanced at her. After I left that place, I couldn’t concentrate. I kept seeing her in her uniform and it was tiring. I even had to allow Kate stay in my house just to help me stop seeing her.
During those months I had totally disliked her. I saw her as proud and haughty.
But when I saw her today, I just had the urge to talk to her. At first I wanted to reject that urge but then I looked through the rearview mirror and I suddenly reversed.
She was so surprised to see me. I could tell with the look in her eyes.
And when she apologized, I guess she learnt Her lesson.
There was a time I found myself staring at her while driving. To be honest I didn’t know why I was looking at her. I wasn’t even admiring her but I was staring.
“wow, this taste good” she mumbled, bringing me to the present
I must say, she has changed. She now laughs, genuinely smiles, and no longer seems to dislike me.
“what’s the name?” she asked
“coq au vin” i replied
“that’s the one you’re eating. And this other one is coquilles St Jacques” i added
“I wish I could remember that” she mumbled and lifted the half filled fork to her mouth. I noticed she hasn’t drank her wine, not even once
“you don’t want to drink that?” I asked pointing to it
“well, it’s not my type of… I..” she stammered and paused
“you’re not a fan of wine” I said and she nodded. I laughed and sipped my drink
“why did you laugh?” she asked staring at me
“you’re eating coq au vin right? Well, that’s chicken cooked in red wine” I told her and her eyes widened
“what?” she exclaimed and I laughed
“why didn’t you tell me?” she asked and I shrugged
“it’s not going to intoxicate me right?” she asked
“it won’t. Neither will the wine. It’s nonalcoholic so drink up”
She heaved a sigh of relief and I chuckled and cut a piece of chicken with my knife. I picked it with the fork and brought it to my mouth but then my breathing seized.
I quickly dropped the fork but then my chest was already rising and I struggled to fight back involuntary tears that always gush out.
I reached for my inhaler, bent down and inhaled deeply. My breath normalized and I breathed out deeply
“are you okay?” Marigold asked with questioning eyes. I nodded and placed a hand on my chest.
I’ve been asthmatic for years and my type of asthma attack doesn’t hit me always. Just once in a week or maybe once in two weeks. But when it hooks me, it strangles my whole system and I feel a gush of extreme pain in my chest, my head, throat and my stomach. Tears just rush out by themselves and if I don’t get my inhaler in the next five minutes, I’m a cold corpse.
“I’m… I’m fine” I mumbled and sat up
“are you asthmatic?” she asked, looking at the inhaler in my hand
“yeah. I’m sorry for the distraction” I apologized
“you need water” she suggested. She gave me a tumbler of water and I gulped it down. When I dropped it I found her smiling
“is my method of drinking water funny?” I asked with a humorous tone
“haha, no. It’s just your fingers. They’re attractive” she said shyly and looked down to her plate
“thanks” I mumbled. Not knowing what else to say, I decided to talk about the food
“we’re just on one plate of food Gold. When are we gonna finish up?” I asked and she looked up
“I’m already filled actually” she said
“well I’m not” I stated
“and you’re going to eat till the end” I added and began to eat. She shrugged and began to eat
“the second plate is scallops cooked with white wine and mushrooms” I said
“what’s with you and wine food?” she asked and I chuckled
“I’m obsessed” I said with a grin
“same way I’m obsessed with seafood” she stated and finally drank the wine
“you are? Just like Wini. That girl loves fish and all those stuff. She can trade me for a can of sardines” I said and that made her laugh so hard. I even began to laugh myself
After we finished lunch, I decided to drive her home. I was glad she didn’t object and I was even more glad that she was free with me now. I don’t know why I care about how she sees me. I know lots of people love me but I felt guilty somehow when she disliked me.
While we were in the car driving to the place she said I should drop her, I decided to ask if she still hated me
“so, Goldilocks, do you still hate me?”
“Goldilocks?” she asked, staring at me
‘‘Marigold, Gold, Goldfish, Goldie, Goldilocks. Anyone I call you” I answered and she chuckled
“so do you still hate me?” I asked again
“not really. My best friend will kill me if I hate you again” she replied
“your best friend” I said not as a question but a statement
“her name is Eliza. She loves you so so much. She is a huge fan of yours and when I told her about you, she almost killed me for getting you angry” she replied and looked out the window
“so you actually have a friend who’s interested in entertainment? And it seems you’re not really into it”
“well, I… Didn’t have a television. And well.. I’d rather not talk about it”
“my regards to your friend. Eliza” I said and pulled over by the streetside where I had picked her up
“thanks for the lunch Will” she appreciated and I nodded. I pulled out one of my complimentary cards but I pushed it back in. If I give it to her it will seem to official or formal. I don’t want a formal friendship.
So I even want a friendship with her?
Well, it’s worth a try
“do you have a number? Or a phone?”
She shook her head
“but there’s a telephone in my house. Why’d you ask?”
I pulled out a marker pen and took her hand. She shuddered
“hey, I’m not going to bite” I said with a laugh
I wrote my personal number on her palm.
“call me with the telephone anytime you’re free” I said and she nodded and opened the door and stepped out
“bye” she waved
“bye” I repeated and she closed the door. I watched her walk into the quarters neighbourhood and I remembered that I forgot to ask her if she’s now living here.
I reversed my car and saw her entering a particular house. With the way she just arranged some things and opened the door it was obvious she lived there.
I drove away, heading to Wini’s house. There’s a movie that’s coming up and I don’t know why Wini wants us to tax the producers. It seems she has an issue with one of them.
I arrived at her house and went straight up. She lives in a large bungalow mostly made of glass walls. Her vicinity is purely nature. Trees and flowers and all that.
Her security is a little tight, because lots of celebrities dislike her and she says she can’t risk her life.
I entered inside and asked for her, her servants said she was in the yard. I went there and met her painting her nails under a tree.
I sat on the chair opposite her on the table
“hey, you scared me” she yelled
“I wish I did.” I replied sarcastically
“whatever” she said while rolling her eyes
“should I get you something?” she asked with her eyes fixed on her nails
“just got back from a date” I answered
“who? Kate? Elene? Carly? Juliet? Selena? Lois?…”
“hey…” I yelled
“what? I’m just calling the name of ladies you’d likely go on a date with” she said glaring at me
“I met with my janitor again” I said and her eyes widened
“what?? That girl again? I thought you forgot about her already? Wait, don’t tell me you’ve been seeing her all these time” she blurted out and I laughed till she got angry and almost threw me her nail varnish
‘‘you have such a temper! Ah!” I said after controlling my laughter
‘‘Wilbur why are you hanging out with a janitor? This is unlike you! You don’t talk to strangers or people you aren’t close to. What is wrong with you?”
“do you have a problem with me hanging out with her?”
“I’m just concerned about your safety. You don’t know who is who Wilbur” she stated and blew air on her nails
“I know. But I hope she’s not dangerous because I want her to be my friend. I like her” I stated and looked at her to see her reaction
“well I don’t like her even if she helped me to be twice as rich as I was before” she said and I shook my head
“she is obsessed with seafood” I said out and Wini immediately looked up at me
“she loves seafood? Are you serious?” she asked and I nodded
“wow. Finally someone who loves seafood like I do. What’s her favorite dish?” she asked and I laughed
“I don’t know. But I can ask her” I replied
“please ask her. And ask her if she can cook any seafood delicacy and if she can come to buffet?” she stood up with her kit of nails whatsoever
“imagine” I mumbled as she made way towards the house
Wini’s memory is that of a chicken. Once something comes in, another thing gets out
To Be Continued