Boston was the city of childhood summers: of killing time in the Commons, of watching the SOX play at Fenway, of sailing on the Charles River and roaming the Museum of Fine Arts and like childhood, it was a placed you lived and then forgot about. It was the perfect place to start over, almost like going back into the womb. It would be almost exactly as I had left it. It was just like Grams to look out for me from beyond the grave.
I climbed up the steps to the impressive building carved out of brownstone. As I opened the brass doors, a cool breeze kissed my neck. I turned to see a dark grey Phantom speeding by. I squinted for a closer look knowing that I would never see into its tinted windows. Well, it wasn’t Gram’s car that’s for sure.
I entered the large ornate lobby and then up the elevators and the narrow hallway leading to Gram’s apartment…my apartment. This was my place now. I unlocked the door and walked into an expansive foyer. Tasha, you’re not in Paris anymore, I wanted to say…nearly said, but I froze as I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. As ridiculous as it sounds for a second I thought it was Grams staring back at me, ridiculous because our appearances couldn’t be more different.
Thanks to a heritage that was part French and part Middle Eastern my complexion is just short of a tan. It is what the sellers of tanning lotion might refer to as sun kissed. I always look like I’m on my way to a great tan but it never gets any better than this. My hair thanks to my Middle Eastern roots was not only black but pitch black. I had unpinned it during my flight to Boston and it languished past my shoulders in large tangled waves. Altogether I could not look more different from my grandmother (Cornelia Valois) who was a petite French woman, whose rich brown hair fell just short of auburn.
I had lived and gone to school all over the world but Boston was the one constant in my life. Soon my life in Paris would be a distant memory, along with my marriage. It was such a cliché that it almost made you laugh – finding your husband in bed with another woman. The only thing funnier was thinking someone like Jacque could be faithful. Later Jacque had said, he couldn’t help himself; “she was like a sex goddess in the body of a secretary,” whatever that meant, likely that his secretary was a nymphomaniac.
- Of course the apartment was dark, where were all the light switches. I sat down on a nearby chaise and fingered the pendant hanging loosely at my throat the diamond felt smooth almost steely. The place didn’t feel abandoned. It was hard to believe Grams was gone. The last thing I wanted was to be inheriting grandmother’s home; her art, her jewelry, some options, even her clothes… maybe.
I yawned despite having flown first class and kicked off my shoes. Fortunately, the flight from Paris had been uneventful, still the long journey and jet lag was starting to take its toll. I had hunger pangs, from only picking at the lobster tails and jumbo shrimp cocktails, turning down the champagne entirely. It would be pretty safe to assume there would be nothing in her fridge. It likely wouldn’t even be plugged in and yet there was that gentle hum. I strolled into the kitchen, the sleek granite floor feeling cool floor against my feet; the large Sub Zero fridge was still plugged in. I opened the fridge door. The appliance was indeed on and working away cooling of all things a pizza.
There were a couple of slices left and a piece of garlic bread. There was also a six-pack of Coke in the back. This resulted in two simultaneous thoughts. First, there had been someone camping out in grandmother’s apartment which was now my apartment and second… I wonder if the pizza is still good!
Next post: Sep.30