Francine tottered out of the party behind Juan Carlos, who had stormed out after the encounter with a tray of champagne. Her heels were not the most appropriate attire to follow an angry Argentinian but at least the car was right outside.
“Juan Carlos. Don’t leave like that.” Francine implored, positioning herself alongside the driver’s side so he couldn’t open the door. “I’m sure the waiter didn’t mean it.”
“The insult was not just to my honour, Madame. It was to my nation.”
Francine was generally good with men, and that included angry ones. Despite initial appearances that this was a hurricane in a champagne flute, or some other strange English saying, this was turning into a tsunami in a thermos flask.
Juan Carlos had apologised graciously after backing into the waiter, but somehow, it had made things worse. The waiter had been huffy towards Esmerelda when she asked him to tidy things up, and then lost it with Juan Carlos.
To give Juan Carlos his due, he had remained polite throughout, and calm up to the point where the waiter had goaded him into action, calling him a tax-dodging polo player.
“Polo is far too noble a pursuit ever to be used in the same sentence as … tax.” Juan Carlos fumed, seizing a giant vase of white roses, and jettisoning the lot over the waiter.
The waiter had retaliated, flinging the soaking wet blooms and multiple profanities over anyone in the vicinity. It was like Faulty Towers in the Bay.
“I don’t know what came into him.” Francine said, picking a flower out of her hair. “Normally the catering staff are all charming. Although come to think of it, I’ve never seen that one before. Or heard anyone swear in such a strange accent. I’m not sure what language it was. Perhaps he was a last-minute stand in.”
“He called me an ‘eeegypt.’” Juan Carlos said, sounding confused. “Do I look like a pyramid?”
Francine continued to cajole and soothe Juan Carlos until he had unhuffed himself sufficiently to go apologise to Esmerelda.
By the time they had returned through the house and found their way out onto the terrace, the waiter was nowhere to be seen. Francine spotted Esmerelda at the railing and went to join her. Following Esmerelda’s gaze down onto the beach, she noticed a figure in black and white, receding quickly into the distance.
“Well, that waiter didn’t hang around.” Esmerelda said. “If indeed he was even a waiter. I called the catering company to complain about his attitude and they couldn’t understand who I was talking about. Apparently, they had two girls on the roster.”
“How bizarre.” Francine said. “Why would someone pretend to be a waiter?”
“Yes, generally if one is a model/actress/waiter the last part is usually the one glossed over.” With several children, Esmerelda had come across the ‘slasher’ career many times in multiple versions. Her youngest son was currently flirting between being a photographer/craft brewer/blogger, while her second boy had a penchant for dating influencers/philanthropists/fashionistas.
Esmerelda didn’t particularly care – it just meant it was safest to stick with socks for Christmas presents.
“Anyway, they are trying to contact the girls and find out what happened. How is Juan Carlos? He looked so upset earlier.”
“No wonder. The waiter called him an ‘eeegypt’, whatever that means.”
“Oh, an ‘eejit’? Yes, I thought I detected a Scottish accent. That means a … a bit of a plonker.”
Francine continued to look blank.
“An idiot.” Esmerelda clarified.
“Oh no.” Francine said. “Far better leave that one unexplained. I’d quite like a lift home.”
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, or actual events is purely coincidental.