Young Americans in Paris Part IV
Young Americans in Paris Part IV
I woke up the late in the morning with quite a headache and I looked around the room and I remembered the horrors of the night before. I looked for Carol who I was certain had a jolt of common sense at dawn and returned to the hotel. Her bed had not been touched. I only had the clothes on my back and they were rather ripe. I checked my pockets I had all of Carol’s traveler’s checks and passport. I also had taken the torn pieces of paper which contained Stephan’s number. I tried to reassemble them. But it is difficult as they were in many pieces. It was like a 500 piece jiggle saw puzzle. So I sat and worked on it a bit. And prayed Stephan gave me a Paris number.
I called down to the front desk and asked if I can have my clothes washed and returned. They told me it is a one day service. I explain in French that I only have one set of clothes but they insist it is a one day service. I have to say I was rather reluctant to give up my last set of clothes especially with my friend missing in Paris. I called the airline to see if they located my luggage and they have not. I took a shower and tried to figure out what to do. I did have the card to someone from the American Embassy. But a drunk teenager who is exploring her sexual freedom was hardly a state department matter. And my friend was of no significant class in which someone would worry. If she was gone no one would make much of a fuss.
I thought I had assembled the torn pieces of paper correctly and it looked like a Paris number but I wasn’t prepared to talk to Stephan yet. I was still pretty upset he had brought us to such a impure place. I was even younger than the girl he is with. I went for a walk in my three day old clothes and went into a restaurant and ordered what I though to be lamb. I was certain I had said it right but not everyone loves the American or perhaps the Parisian thought the Americans needed new experiences. I was served mutton. Not wanting to be impolite I ate what I could. Alcohol was the last thing I would partake in.. Somehow, someway I had to get Carol back from Stephan and he wasn’t going to let go of her easily. I had rejected him and in public.
So I sat and thought about the evenings frivolities and what I knew about Stephan. He spoke American and not English which meant he was more then likely not from Saudi Arabia but his French carried a slight Arabic dialect so he must be from the Middle East but not originally. He carried a lot of cash and was not afraid to associate himself with the under belly of society. But he had preferred me to my friend who would have easily give him every desire he lusted for. So I knew he was a masochist. That was going to be useful. He also knew how to lose people hence our good English lasses would have been along for the ride and he was exceptionally manipulative. He also had a cruelty streak or he would have never taken up with Carol. She was in no condition to make rationale decisions.
The mutton was coming back on me. But I was grateful I had dodged the horse on the menu. Better to eat a really old dead sheep then and old horse was my theory.
I remembered the words of Stephan, “Let nature take it’s course.” And I agreed. Stephan and I were at war and all was fair. The course of my nature was about to take over. I should mention I was still a bit peeved at Carol as I thought her blossoming alcoholism was killing my good time in Paris. But as an American we clean up so I would have to end it without the Embassy or any back up. But as one American against another tourist who spoke better French, had more then onset of clothes and had more money then I could have ever imagined. I would have to even the playing field and I was prepared to work on wit alone.
As I walked to my room I asked the clerk at the front desk what was the biggest and most expensive hotel chains in Paris. He explained he didn’t know the most expensive but the biggest was the Britannique. I thought like the encyclopedia. That would be easy to remember. I smilied as I walked to my room. I picked up the telephone and called Stephan.
When he answered I asked immediately about Carol in English. Stephan pretended he did not understand my English and requested I ask in French. I did as he requested. Then he pretended he could not understand my French. I was flush with anger. Finally I calmed myself and in my best French I asked about Carol. He responded that she was fine and that she was in the bathroom and couldn’t speak. Again in my best French I asked were they where and Stephan declined to tell me. He said he didn’t trust me not to call the French authorities on him. I then suggested we met at Notre Dame so I could get Carol back and Stephan refused again and asked for the name of our hotel. Now at this point I wasn’t certain if Carol was even alive. And the last thing I wanted to do was have Stephan come clean me up too. And I needed to stall to think up a plan and make it so hard on him to keep Carol that he would let her go. So I told him Britannique. He agreed to put Carol in a cab and send her straight away.
I agree but before we concluded our conversation Stephan told me, “You should have never torn up my number.”. And I knew the war was not even close to being over.
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