Monday, May 23, 2011

Rebecca and the Prince of Egypt

Last summer I flew my second cousin’s 13 year old daughter, Rebecca, here to be our ‘fille au pair.’ Basically her job entailed taking the girls out to the park for few hours each day. She had every afternoon off to explore the city, although not speaking a word of French my husband wondered how she’d get along all alone in a foreign capital. He need not have worried. Rebecca, who is not only bright but also very beautiful, already had a friend in the City of Lights. His name was Raphael. She met him at the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy Prep School in early June where they both were taking an accelerated math class. Raphael was three years older than Rebecca and thus, I was constantly quizzing her on where they went and what they did while hanging out with his friends. She would regale me with stories of eating at fancy restaurants all over Paris and going to see American movies in French. All of which was paid for by the very wealthy, Raphael. Then one day she said something very interesting. She informed me that Raphael had told her he was the grandson of the last King of Egypt, thus making him, the last Prince of Egypt. I found this more than a bit amusing since she had also told me that Raphael’s family was Jewish and I’m pretty sure there had never been a Jewish King of Egypt. It was shortly thereafter that I had to put the brakes on Rebecca’s relationship with the Prince of Egypt. Raphael had asked her to fly with him to his family’s house in Cannes for the weekend.
“Can I go?” she asked anxiously
“Are you serious? Of course not!”
“Why not?”
“Why won’t I let you accompany a 16 year old stranger of the opposite sex to his family’s home 600 miles away?” I asked her sarcastically. “Come on, Rebecca, you know why you can’t go.”
“That sucks!” she said and stormed off to her room.
Luckily, Raphael’s request came at the end of July and just a week later his family left Paris for the month of August, like all Parisians do. By the time they returned in September, Rebecca was safely back in the US. Nearly a year later, his ardor for her clearly hasn’t waned one bit. I know this because I got a call on my cell phone the other day from Raphael. He had my number because I had given my phone to Rebecca while she was here so I could always get in touch with her.
“Bonjour! This is Raphael.”
“Who?” I asked.
“Raphael, Madame,” he said all politesse. “Rebecca’s friend.”
“Ah, oui,” I said. “What can I do for you, Raphael?”
“Please, Madame, will Rebecca be returning to you this summer.”
Unbelieveable! The little horn dog was calling to see if his escaped conquest would be back!
“Non!” I said forcefully and hung up.
And that was the last I ever heard from the Prince of Egypt.

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