Chapter Two

I sat in the car hoping the figure I saw was him. By now I was really getting concerned. Several minutes passed; I forget how long I sat there and waited. To keep myself occupied, I began to think about our first encounter. I was not exactly what he had expected -- I was a little older than most of his FSMs, and possessed a habit of speaking my mind he found most endearing. I'll never forget his expression as I walked across the square towards the Palace of Justice. I was sashaying in a colorful dress that didn't exactly hide my curves, my dark wavy hair tied with a kente scarf, letting my hips sway to an old rhythm-n-blues tune playing in my head which was held high and proud. I remembered sitting just within eyeshot of the colonnade showing my big legs and Claude Frollo said he felt a blast of tropical heat hitting him in the face that very moment I raised my big brown eyes to the tall slender man standing on the balcony. All those young Paris bucks tried to make small talk with this proud American princess. I answered one such little man, playfully mind you, and in my best old-Negro dialect, "Ah belongs to no man, 'cept Mins'ter Frollo." (Of course, he and I weren't an item as of yet)
Claude was so sweet, so attentive that summer.
We read poetry to each other, I cooked some good old soul food, taught him to like old Motown, told him stories and jokes that made him laugh. He called me his "sweet brown sugared lady" and said he would always look forward to my sweet, wild-honey kisses. I started to cry at that memory, but fought back tears just in time to hear a pounding on the rear window. I got out of the car, walked around towards the trunk, and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Claude!" I embraced him, kissed his cold but still-inviting mouth. "I got here as fast as I could."
Claude looked at me with relief and gratitude, "I thought you'd never come. Oh, my dear love...I went...swim...blasted soldier...couldn't get clothes...took my horse...I'm so cold...Danisha...darling..."
This was not the Claude Frollo I was used to seeing. This man, shivering-cold, tears streaming down his face, his otherwise neat gray hair all windblown, allowed himself to show a little vulnerability, something he never displays in public. He told me of the late afternoon swim, how some soldier he had discharged earlier today had lifted his clothes and stolen Snowball, how he was chased through the streets by adoring FSMs. I embraced him again.
"I had a feeling something like this would happen. It's all right, honey. I understand."
He held me tightly and kissed me tenderly.
"I had managed to escape with only this." He revealed a sterling silver pager, studded with amethysts. "I was desperate, Nisha. You were the only one I could turn to."
I opened the back door, reached inside, handed him the pile of clothes, then waited as Claude sat in the backseat, dressing hurriedly. "We don't have much time", I said, "anyone could come along and..."
"I am aware of that", he replied with a haughty edge to his voice. It was a good sign. He'd quickly regained his usual commanding demeanor.

On to Part Three...

Copyright©Sept 1997 by FrolloFreak

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