Domenica Sonntag ran her fingers though her hair and peered closely into the mirror. She wondered who that old lady was; staring back at her from the looking glass. She tapped the nail of her middle finger against the hard surface.
“Fichue chose doit être brisé,” she muttered. “Or maybe, just maybe it was showing her the future.” She hoped that was not the case. That crone was old, grey haired, toothless. Her pallid skin sagged and her face was lined.
Domenica was beautiful and she knew it. Her curves, her eyes, her smile, and her fiery red hair made her the darling of the cinema, the diva of the box office; in high demand with casting directors and leading men. Chevalier always asked to work with her and they had made three films together. Why, just the other day he had phoned and proposed a day trip – a picnic and boating on the Seine. She had agreed of course and expected him to come collect her in his motor car this morning. He was a handsome man and a considerate lover. She always enjoyed the time that they spent together.
She shook off the memory of the image she had seen in the mirror and wheeled her chair to the closet. She chose flats, a white linen blouse and matching slacks of cotton gabardine. Perhaps they would go dancing later. Maurice loved to dance. A green silk foulard tied loosely around her neck would complete the ensemble with a dash of color. She needed help with her hair though, and she called for the girl, “Elise, venez ici s’il vous plaît.” Where was that girl when you needed her? She stuck her head out of the bedroom door and called, again, down the hallway, “Elise?” From two doors down Elise emerged and looked down the hall.
“Oui, Mme. Sonntag?”
“Elise, I need some help with my hair. M. Chevalier will be here soon to pick me up and I fear I won’t be ready.”
“Of course,” Elise said and she came down the hall to assist. “You look lovely this morning, Mme. Sonntag,” she said. “Do you want me to just put it up; or would you like a braid today?” They agreed on a braid and as Elise worked Domenica questioned the young woman about her wardrobe.
“Elise, you look like a nurse. Always wearing hospital clothes.”
“You can be much prettier if you pay attention to fashion, dear.”
When she finished, Elise spun Domenica around and gave her the hand mirror to inspect her hair.
“Très bien, Elise, très bien. I think I’d like to wait on the verandah.”
“Yes Mme.” Elise helped her out to the porch and took her leave. She still had a lot of work to do.
Domenica sat expectantly waiting for her date. He seemed to be running a little late. Never mind, she thought and she began to doze. The next thing she knew Elise was back.
“Lunch time, Mme Sonntag,” she said. “Let me take you to the dining hall. They are serving a special meal today – canard. ”
“But I don’t want to miss Maurice.”
“I believe M. Chevalier will come tomorrow Mme.”
“Of course he will, Elise. Of course he will. We will have our picnic tomorrow.”
Elise released the brake on the chair; dabbed the aging starlet’s chin with a small towel, and wheeled her past the nursing station, in the direction of the dining hall.”