Waiting for the call to go through, I examined my fingernails—chewed to the stump, painted red with a black, crackle top. I pulled the phone from my ear and stared at the slow connecting screen. Geez. What the hell was taking so long? Impatient, my foot tapped in the little foot spa thingy that Willem bought me over the honeymoon. Mmh, this thing felt good.
Changing my mood almost immediately, my mom's voice rang through the receiver with that obnoxious, Brooklyn accent. "Randy? Sweetie? Is that you? You know I've been waiting for you to—"
"No, mom, it's me."
Pause, "Emmy? You're calling me? Where've you been? I expected you to call me for my birthday, which was a month ago, in case you forgot. I'm waiting for my gift. And Marty's chewin' up the furniture again. I yelled at him and didn't feed him for a day after he pooped on the carpet, then he came and ate my futon. I bought that futon when I was in college! Since it's your dog, you owe me a new futon."
My gum popped. "Yeah, yeah. Mom. I'll buy you a new futon. I just wanted to tell you that I got married."
"Is he rich?"
I didn't hear her over my chewing, "He was tall, like 6'4, and he had sandy blond hair and black eyes. Quite the looker too."
"Is he rich?"
I sighed, "He was a prince."
"So he is rich."
"Why would I call you if he's rich? I know you'd find me and try to marry his father so you'd get a cut of the money! And no, he's not rich anymore." I snickered, and my little secret joke. I had Willem's money now.
Splat. My gum fell out of my mouth and into the foot spa. Eyes rolling, I picked it off, dried it off on my bikini bottoms, and stuck it back into my mouth. Gross, it had gotten hard.
I cleared my throat, "Anyway, that's not why called. I just wanted to tell you that I'm moving back home."
Snort. "Fuck no. I was gonna ask Randy to move in."
"Too bad. I'll be flying back in three days."
"I don't have room, I'm short a bed. Your dog ate my effing futon. Doesn't your prince want a palace? 'Cause this dump sure as hell doesn't compare."
Some paint from my nails chipped off and fluttered into the water. "About that prince, mom. He's dead."
"You didn't kill him, did you?" Her voice raised two octaves.
"Not this one." I said dryly. "Listen. I'm in Monaco. I went ahead and bought an apartment here, and I'll visit a lot so I don't have to pay income tax. I just can't speak whatever the hell they speak here, so I'll be boarding with you." I motioned the butler standing in the corner of the room to come and fill my glass, "And mom. I'm a billionaire."
"Why are you bunking with me?"
I smiled at the butler when my glass was full, "Mom. I. Don't. Want. Income tax. So work with me here."
"No. I don't see how this is right. I'm a poor woman, working at a hair salon, minus one futon. You're some street freak, who happened to pick up a few millions. Why the fuck do you need my place?"
I tipped my glass above my mouth and let the rich liquid pour onto my tongue. Champagne. Mmh. The tingle on my tongue. This was the real stuff… of course it tasted just like all of the other wines. Bitter and aged.
"Listen ma. If I can't move in, you're not getting a new futon. And I'll be there to take care of Marty."
The other line was silent, things were looking up for me.
"Alright, deal. But Randy's still moving in."
"Fine. He can't have my room." I said, shutting the phone closed.
Now most people wouldn't understand why a girl like me would want to go back to New York from a place like Monaco. With Prince Willem, I'd wasted the days getting wasted and going crazy on the nude beaches. In all honesty, it was the life. We'd wake up, have a quickie, go on a boat secluded form the rest of the world, have monkey sex, come back and shop around, prank a few idiots, party, get home late, and have more sex.
Despite the language barrier, we got along quite well with a few words. Willem knew a little bit of English—the easy words including food, sex, and elephant. I learned my French from the songs that played on the radio, and it sure as hell came in handy.
I met Willem at a party in New York. I may or may not have been dancing in one of the cages, grinding up against the wire when I realized that a man was behind me. We took it to the corner, made out a bit, and it was true lust at first sight.
Willem looked at me, his hand cupping my butt, and said in his awful English accent, "I am un prince et I am very good because tu est la."
My two days of high school French suddenly became handy, and the word Prince was a clear indicator that I should stick around. I grinned and told him the first French words that came to my mind, "Voulez vous couchez avec moi? Ce soir?
Three days later we were married and honeymooning in Paris. Three months later he took me to his home in Monaco
The next day, he was dead, and I was rich.
Now for the record, he'd never written me into his will. Actually, the will said that all of his everything went to his beloved wife. If I'd known this beforehand, I wouldn't have waited so long to marry him. Since the guy didn't have any brothers or sisters, I got it all. I also got his body in a cremated vase. I felt bad for Willem's father, but they hadn't been speaking until the father showed up at the funeral and the reading.
The worst part was the funeral, it was televised, and I had to cry on TV for publicity and pray that Mom's television was dysfunctional—and her computer. It was on all of the front pages.
Prince of Monaco, Dead: Wife of three months WIDOWED.
Ember Sparks: Une royale étrange!
Who is this new woman? Who is Ember Sparks? Qui? Nous ne savons pas!
One of the local newspapers got a picture of me when I walked out of the morgue with Willem's remains the vase. Firstly, they caught me at a bad time of the month. My period might have caused me to curse at the photographer, hopefully, he didn't understand me. Secondly, the vase was a boring old shade of beige. It was just beige. That's it. Beige. What would I use a beige vase for? I promised myself that once I get to dump the ashes, I'll have to paint the vase silver or black.
In addition to my growing relationship with the press, there were many other factors to why I was leaving the Monaco. None of the reasons was because I wanted to leave. Let me tell you, I was loving the food and the view and the nude beaches. Plus the guys had these sexy accents and good style. The only thing I really hated about the place was the excessive body hair. I got an eyeful on the beaches.
The reason I was leaving was Willem's father. I wasn't too happy when the prince's father approached me after the funeral. The man was short and stout though he looked nothing like a teacup. He had short spiky grey hair that stood straight up on his head as if he'd been hanging out with a light socket. He wore a blue suit with tassels on the shoulder, something you'd only see on a tiny toy soldier. All eyes followed the older prince, and when he came to me, I was suddenly in the center of attention.
His crooked, stubby finger pointed at me. "C'est vraiment de ta faute! Vous avez toute gâche!" The words spilled out of the little man's mouth like butter. Everyone was staring, but I understood nothing. "Willem avait pour aller épouser une pute! Mais je sais." He bent down to my level in the chair… which wasn't really too far down for him. "Je sais que vous êtes une menteuse. Une menteuse et une tricheuse. Vous êtes très mal. Une pute!"
With the old man's face so close to mine, I grasped my purse, ready to hit him if he dares to spit in my face again. Everybody in the room waited for my reaction, for my response, and I felt obligated to say something that they would understand.
A cheeky grin appeared on my face, and I tucked my hair behind both ears carefully before meeting the patriarch's black eyes, "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi, ce soir?"
A collective gasp surrounded around me and the old man's face turned tomato red before he straightened his arms and tightened his fists. This time, he was yelling. "Vous êtes une abomination et une grand déception. Sortez-vous putain!"
So on that note (that I didn't quite understand), I took the hint and I decided that maybe, I'd be more welcome at home… of course, knowing my mother, that is a lot to ask for. But I was willing to bet on it.
Today was the last day, and I had to suck up as much sun and rest as I could before I went back home, right into the arms of my hurricane of a mother. I had to see the good sides of this. I had a shitload of money, I would be going back to a country where I understand the language, and I would see Marty, my Airedale Terrier. Definitely an upside.
Let's see. Downsides.
There were a lot of them.
Firstly, I would be in constant risk of running into high school acquaintances, I would just have to pray that none of them read the news—they were all stupid and ignorant anyway. Also, what the hell would I do in Brooklyn? My twenty-fifth birthday was in a week and instead of spending it Willem, as we'd planned, I would be going back home, a few billions richer, and one boy-toy short.
The biggest and most pressing problem was Ma, because that woman is a mess in a pink wig and stilettos. It's like putting lipstick on a pig.
So guys, new story. It's gonna have some Greek Mythology in it and it's on the raunchier side of my writing spectrum.