Theresa was scrunched as far down into her seat as she could go when the older couple (really, elderly, she thought), finally unlocked their lips. Then the woman promptly turned around and started kissing Jin on the cheeks—one, two, three, four times! Theresa added all the kissing to her list of reasons why the French never got started early in the morning.
The older woman turned to Theresa and smiled at her. “Bon soir!” she said to Theresa. Claude fired off something in French and the woman nodded in understanding. “Ahh” she said, “L’Americaine.” She pointed to herself and said, “Marie-Anne” and Theresa nodded back and said, “Theresa.” “Bon soir, Terese,” Marie-Anne said, and Theresa thought, what the hell, at least she didn’t say anything about New York.
Marie-Anne turned to Jin and started speaking rapidly in French. Jin nodded and nodded and nodded and then turned to Theresa and said, “She would like to know why you are going to Angers” and Theresa said, “That’s all she asked? It seemed more like a page of questions” and Jinn shrugged. Theresa said, “I’m going to Angers to meet with owners of a vineyard that my company is interested in buying.” Jinn rapidly translated and again he and Marie-Anne spoke for several minutes in French. Theresa wondered why it took them five minutes to say one sentence. All this talk. Jin turned back to Theresa. “And which vineyard?” “It is Le Roman, known for its rose.” Jin nodded back, “Yes, the Loire is well known for its rose.”
“Anything else?” Theresa asked and Jin was amused. “Why?” he asked, “Are you finished talking?” and Theresa said she had work to do. Marie-Anne was watching their dialogue from the front seat. She pointed to Theresa’s Blackberry and spoke to Jin. He said, “She wants to know why you need to work at midnight.” Theresa said, “I’m updating my Twitter account and sending messages to my colleagues in the States—it’s still early evening there.”
Marie-Anne listened to the translation and then laughed. She pointed to the Blackberry and said, “Personne n’est pas la. Nous sommes ici” and laughed again. Jin said, “What Marie-Anne was trying to say is that you cannot be sure that anyone hears what you say on that thing, but here in this car, we are all listening.”
Theresa said sharply, “Thanks for the lecture” and pointedly picked up her Blackberry and began texting. Marie-Anne, Jin, and even Claude all shrugged, though how Claude managed to do that and drive, Theresa wasn’t sure.
Claude punched on the radio .
The other three listened to the music for awhile as Theresa worked. Then the opening bars of a lovely song came on and the three breathed a long, “ahhh” and began singing along. Claude picked one hand off the wheel and reached for his wife’s as they sang. Despite herself, Theresa began to listen. Jin had a lovely voice. She asked, “What is this song?” and he said, “J’ai Deux Amours. It is tres fameux, very famous. Your Josephine Baker sang it.” Marie-Anne turned around. “Eat is … zee love” she faltered and then fired off something to Jin, who turned to Theresa.
“It is about having two loves,” he explained. “The chanteuse says she loves Paris, but she also loves her own country. It is about being torn between two loves.” He looked at her. “Do you have a love?” Theresa was uncomfortable with the change in conversation. She said shortly, “I used to.” He grinned at her. He said, “You should have another. I could be your love.” Theresa was annoyed. She said, “I could be your mother.” Jin was not offended. He shrugged. “Age does not matter—you are a beautiful woman.” She said, “What is it with you people and love?”
To be continued …