Another good week to all and sundry. Where did I stop last week? Ah yes! Our Sarah. Oh did I also forget to mention that that while we were standing admiring the place we also noticed a few couples seated and talking with one another. Occasionally the lady companions would beckon to the liveried waiters over and make their orders. We thought it rather strange that the men would sit back aloof while the ladies apparently bought the drinks. They also seemed to know one another as they exchanged momentary pleasantries with each other on their way to or from the conveniences. They were all elegantly dressed in evening wear as if en route to some glamourous formal evening cocktail party. All were slim, pretty and groomed. Sarah floated up to us.
She wore a pale coloured figure length evening gown that looked oriental; it covered her shoulders and her neck giving her that understated sexiness that at the same time awoke every nerve in me that is usually reserved for the fairer sex. It was perfectly seamless, having none of those irritating telltale jutting of lurking underwear beneath. She had the perfect poise: shoulders unaffectedly straight, her undulating provocative hips swaying almost imperceptibly as their mistress glided towards us with short but graceful strides, sidestepping this way and that, owing to the economy of space in the bar, offering courteous pacifying smiles to the male customers around her who seemed to want her immediate attention. She came up to our table at last and perched on the edge of a couch beside ours – mine actually, and introduced herself in flawless French – not that I could tell one way or the other, I was more interested in the movement of her lips – as Sarah, pronounced “Sar – harh” with the typical French guttural “r” rolling ever so gently at the back of her lovely throat. Begging her pardon, I leaned towards her to catch her name again, and to attach the voice to the vision beside me. She breathed it again, in a light tinkling note buttressed by the deep womanly resonance that comes with the full awareness of one’s femininity. She arched her eyebrows appreciatively when I pronounced it correctly, making me wonder if I’d get a kiss on the cheek for my efforts. I, in the broken French I could muster, asked her if she spoke any English at all as my French was very bad. She shook her head smiling apologetically but assured us that we would be well looked after, I believe that’s what she said. At that moment I wasn’t sure if I wanted to understand what she was saying; it just sounded so wonderful more so in its mystery. There is a sexiness in listening to a beautiful woman with a lovely voice speaking or singing in an unintelligible tongue. There was no limit to my listening to her but alas the reason for our presence there had to be attended to and so after a lengthy enquiry into what drinks they had, we finally settled on a bottle of Jack Daniels and its accompanying coke. She beckoned to one of the waiters standing alert unobtrusively in the corners who immediately came forward. She gave him our orders and when he left, turned back to us.
She had a small round face, with smiling cheeks one could playfully pinch or kiss. Her eyes were large, liquid and intelligent yet unfathomable apart from the smile she allowed to pass through, giving me the impression that her private life was to be kept just that. Her nose was pert and perched at the right spot allowing other features on her face to be admired. Her lips were full and looked soft with an ever ready smile lurking in the corners of her mouth. One got the impression that they rarely said anything out of turn. She was still perched on the edge of her couch, elegant long legs crossed at the ankles. The slit that ran down her gown, or is it dress, from her mid thigh, revealed smooth flawless skin and a perfectly shaped leg that was accentuated by a slender silvery anklet just above her heeled slippers. She tried to answer our questions as best as she could and from it all we gathered that she was a third year student at the local university. She augmented her income needed for her studies with her job as a hostess at the bar. Each one of the hostess’ job was to be companions to the customers, the apparent implication being to encourage them to buy as many drinks as possible. She must have caught the questioning looks on our faces because she hastily added that soliciting was strictly forbidden on the premises and her job and that of the other hostesses present was just that and nothing else.
The waiter came back with our drinks and a bucket of ice. He opened them and made to pour them for us when she stopped him. She meticulously poured and mixed our drinks for us and asked if we cared to smoke. JB said yes and she got up to get them. We weren’t sure which one to appreciate more, her approaching or retreating figure; both were sublime. She came back with the cigarettes, one of which she lit for him before lighting one for herself, and smoking it with the aid of a slender bone cigarette holder. I don’t know how long we were inside there chatting in the wonderfully relaxing atmosphere, in the company of our wonderful hostess, the stresses of the day melted from our system, but I do know we finished our bottle – Sarah allowed herself only a drink. We paid for our drinks, thanked Sarah for a wonderful evening and plastered two big ones on each of her cheeks after she saw us to the door and left happy.
I never saw her again after that night. I sometimes wondered what lay underneath that elegant inscrutable façade Sarah presented the world with. She possibly could very different in the stark daylight and could well be a slovenly cantankerous nag constantly fighting neighbours over the communal clothes line in her ‘face me, I face you’ tenancy quarters in her private life but I will always remember her as that elegant lady with wonderful poise and a very gifted panache for handling men; making them feel like kings and yet not giving anything away and not making them feel cheated or manipulated in the process. This one’s for you Sarah and for the rest of you, well, have a wonderful week ahead.