That’s how they see her.
No one would ever imagine.
The trips to Sydney to see her brother, always included a visit.
A salacious secret.
Would it ruin her if they all found out?
She didn’t know.
Right now, she doesn’t care.
She never cares while she’s here.
She inhales the air, laden with perfume and silk.
A faint hint of tobacco from those days, when people smoked.
She sits down and waves away the offer of a menu.
She knows exactly what is on offer.
Her coat, flung around her chair in careful caress, while her eyes devour those around her.
She waits for the appetiser.
And there it is, not served up on a platter but paraded before her in a continual line of sublimeness.
She whets her lips.
So lucky to have discovered this place.
This place that understands her.
A snap of fingers and an ice bucket appears without sound.
A bottle, chilled, wrapped, accompanied by a single glass. He pours for her, the gentle embrace of the champagne sliding into the glass silently.
So she invites.
The appetiser appears, then a line of mains, naturally she feels she’s reached her limit at dessert, but like always she is tempted and leaves completely sated.
Her appetite put to bed.
Her desires replete.
Until next time.
The only guilty secret she carries with her as she leaves.
Wrapped in gold and black tissue.
The smallest box imaginable, that holds wisps of silk, lace, sateen.
She wears these under the tweed as she frowns over the overdue books.
Under the heavy wool as she chairs the latest meeting.
It’s back of mind as she remonstrates the upheaval of the latest committee.
It’s ever present as she shops for washing powder, vitamins and toothpaste.
It will never make an appearance on her clothes line, and no one should ever know.
But that careless day, when she forgets to hide it close.
Someone finds out.
And her secret is let lose.
No one believes it.
But she knows.