shark food / by IKB

The following is an event that occurred. The names are altered as well as other bits that may hurt sensiblities.

“Can you believe the nerve of that Mme. X- to show her face here!” I heard M. Sunnington say to Mlle. Chiara. And try as I may, he saw me as I made my way across the room. He took hold of my arm, his hand firmly clenched and refusing to let go, he pulled me into their conclave.

M. Sunnington introduced me to Mlle. Chiara who said that “It is such a delightful pleasure to see you again,” with the tone a mother takes with a child or worse, an animal which one believes to possess no reason. This, in itself was shocking for I had never set eyes upon her prior to this encounter. I simply nodded solemnly. “I was just remarking to Mlle. Chiara the audacity of Mme. X- who has decided to make an appearance. One would think that after everything, that her going into society would be the last thing on the poor dear’s mind,” he continued. “She’s just too precious! To precious!” and he stopped his vituperation as soon as Mme. X-, noticing that she was the topic of conversation of our little group, had rapidly made her way across the room, hopeful to decipher what was being said at her expense and now hovered past us. I bowed to her and she responded by nodding her head. Instantly my accomplices turned to me. “Please tell me, and I being your friend, I hope you realise this to be so (and he said this as if there were no doubt in it, as his friendship for me were predicated and factitious as the setting of the sun), only care for your well being, what is your relation to Mme. X-?” asked M. Sunnington, in his tone I could detect, no so much curiosity but malice. Mlle. Chiara was also anxious to know, adding “She’s too much. And to think, that I almost associated with her, that I almost brought myself to accepting one of her invitations! How I would now regret such a foolish decision, had I accepted, not that there was ever any doubt in my acquiescing!” and her eyes, burning with fury followed Mme. X- as she proceeded with her peregrination across the room.

I knew quite well the rumours circulating à propos Mme. X-, a woman that had at one point being and up and coming socialite. Instantly, upon her arrival in our town, she had commenced a stir but her light now seemed to be fading as allegations against her morality spread. I had wanted to make her acquaintance, but for some reason or other, had always been unable to do so. Perhaps it was too late now.

Mlle. Chiara excused herself, once again adding that fictitious lie that she had met me before by saying “and it’s always a pleasure to see you M. Ç-....” As soon as she was gone, making her way to join another group, M. Sunnington confided that “She’s a delightful girl, but she can be such a stiff some times!” And I wondered what opinion he held of me when I was not around. But before I could follow this line of thought, my attention turned to Mme. X- who seemed to be in a hurry to leave the room. “She’s simply over the top! I can only imagine what the reason for her scandalous behaviour is. What inconceivable rudeness, not only to Mme. Clark, but to the people gathered here!” and before he could finish, I apologised to M. Sunnington, for he having become interested in the commotion, which affecting to deplore he actually enjoyed for he had never liked Mme. Clark and knew that this little ‘scene’ would reflect negatively upon her, had let go of my arm and I was now free to escape. And I made my way after Mme. X-, for I must admit that I was curious to see her reason for such a rapid exit.