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The Diplomat's Daughter
She never had a permanent place of
residence. "I can only live nomadically," she would say, "it's in my
veins." Her friends agreed. "After all," they reasoned, "She's a
diplomat's daughter, all she's ever known is moving every few years."
So she lived nomadically. And in whichever
city she inhabited, the diplomat's daughter made sure to stay in the
swankiest neighborhoods. In Paris, she sublet a walk-up on Avenue Foch,
in London, she occupied a studio in Kensington, and in New York, she
had access to a townhouse on the upper East Side. Constantly on the
lookout for decor, she scoured flea markets for antique mirrors and
whimsical bric-à-brac. "I like objects with soul" she would say.
Whenever she moved house, which was often, she would give away most of
her furnishings, or chuck them.
One winter when she was in Petrograd, living
in an apartment on upper Nevsky Prospect, and perfecting her Russian,
her father the diplomat paid her a visit. His be-furred second wife was
in tow. Their first day in, the dutiful daughter organized an afternoon
stroll along the canals, a trip to the Church of the Spilled Blood, and
then a lavish dinner at the Orient Express. In a precise and lightly
accented Russian, she ordered blinis and caviar, sturgeon, stroganoff,
and a bottle of vodka.
At the end of the meal, her father took her
in: slender, well-dressed, and worldly. He cleared his throat, and
leaned across the table: "You know darling, you would have made a
wonderful diplomat's wife."
"I know, Dad, I know" she said earnestly,
tears running down her face.
(USA – France)
Samantha Fields grew up in
California and lives in Paris, France, where she works in
communications. She is currently working on a collection of short
stories. This is her first publication.
front page image is copyright ©
by Anthony Kitterick, 2012