Fox Maison and Ephemera Tornado were drinking artisanal cocktails that cost more than your first car. “There’s nothing like empty calories to make a day feel special” remarked Ephemera, who did not have to watch her weight because of her incredible genetics but was cognisant of her privilege.
“Amen” agreed Fox, who as a child had once been instructed to put double cream on her cereal instead of milk, because it was so horribly difficult for her to gain weight.
“These taste so good” observed Ephemera “It’s almost a shame that they are limited edition.” It was true. Only two hundred of them would ever be made, upon which the recipe would be burned and the ashes scattered to the Four Seasons. In the penthouse suite, to be precise.
“It is like drinking a moment in time that can never be repeated.” Sighed Fox “these mason jars are metaphors for our incredible privilege and beauty”
“You’re deep, Fox” observed Ephemera again. Ephemera was really knocking it out of the park today in terms of observations, for though her incredible looks sometimes led to people underestimating her, she was wildly intelligent and could do really hard sums and chilling insights as easily as she could enthrall the fashion world with her intensity and raw beauty.
“And you resemble an uncut diamond, Ephemera” sad Fox. Fox was really good at compliments. It was part of what made her such a good friend.
“Can I get that on a cuff?” laughed Ephemera, her billion dollar face crinkling up in the laughter people had seen on so many billboards, in so many campaigns. Fox got to see it for real though. Because this was her normal, everyday life. So glamourous and exciting and different from that of a lowly primary school teacher who would like to get some health insurance please and thank you.
“So… Jackman DuVall.” Stated Fox. She did not have to ask if Ephemera knew him. But she wanted more information. Compelling insights into the man who had so fascinated her with his potent aura of business and sexual promise.
“Ah.” Said Ephemera. “Jackman DuVall.”
“Jackman Duvall” said Fox again, rolling his name on her tongue like it was a limited edition artisanal cocktail.
“Jackman DuVall” said Ephemera Tornado. “Is a singular individual. He has bedded every superlative woman in America, and left them all too sated to care when he inevitably abandons them. He is like a sex-midas, Fox. Tread carefully.”
Fox knew Ephemera spoke the truth. Jackman DuVall was like a sex-midas, the mythical king who turned all to gold with the subtlest of touches. What would his hands feel like on my body she wondered? Would I turn to liquid gold beneath his businessman’s palms?
“You’re thinking about taking him as a lover, aren’t you?” asked Ephemera who was astute. But not that astute in this case, because it was Jackman DuVall. So, like, duh.
“Have you and he…?” Fox could not bring herself to finish this sentence, for, though she had had suitors aplenty, something about Jackman was different. Regal. Male.
“Twice.” Said Ephemera. “Once, on a sultan’s boat and once in this, like, big private fountain thing at an Academy Awards afterparty.”
Ephemera had tried acting a while ago. She’d played a transgender supermodel so ably that she had won Best Actor, Best Actress, Best supporting actor and Best supporting actress. And the director, greying and with tears in his eyes, had given her his Oscar as well because he felt she deserved it more. It was true.
“He was an exceptional lover, Fox.” confided Ephemera. “But to tie him down to just one woman would be unfair. And also, he called me Deborah for most of it, which made me a little bit sad. Dude is properly emotionally unavailable, but in this intensely vulnerable way. If he was to meet the right woman, I got the sense that his passion would burn so hard the world would be as ash. Forever changed.”
Fox was intrigued by the allusions to Jackman’s prowess, and emotional unavailability. She had always been nurturing as well as incredibly beautiful and talented. It was why she had so many friends and got so much free stuff and was not a racist or anything. She was about to ask Ephemera to spill more intoxicating details of the exhilarating puzzlebox that was DuVall.
But then the phone rang. It was her father, Carlow. His voice was thick with emotion.
“There’s been…an accident, Foxy” he said. “The ship. The cruise ship. It’s gone down.”
The last thing Fox remembered before blacking out was the sound of her own voice, high-pitched, desperate, panicked. A little girl. Crying for her Mom.