A taxi cruised along the shoreline of France. In the distance ahead lay its destination. Two women sat in the back, sharing a pair of earbuds and listening to the same song. One of the women was a ginger with tattoos on her wrists and long fingernails. Her friend was a short, skin-and-bones architect who recently graduated from architecture school who exposed no tattoos.
Recently the young woman was kidnapped by her abusive ex who beat her to a point where she couldn't move. Fortunately, she was saved on time and taken care of by doctors. It's been three months since the incident and all she wanted to do was forget. That meant she had to go on a vacation.
"You think Jayne will be mean?" Jules, the redhead asked.
"Maybe. She looks mean." Her friend Ariadne commented. "But she's marrying a prince at the same time so he must see something in her."
"I'm excited to meet her but nervous, you know?"
"I know you are." Ariadne replied. "Just keep in mind that she's a human like you and you should treat her the way you treat other people you meet. Celebrities hate it when you scream in their faces."
"Were on a ship for a long time going almost everywhere."
"It sounds too good to be true, don't you think?" Ariadne asked. "I mean, what if something happens?"
"I doubt it."
"Not like that. What if we're not going on so many excursions? What if it's more celebrities and gossip than adventures?"
"I wouldn't care." Said Jules. "I get to hang with Jayne Alvers before her wedding."
"You better not replace me." Ariadne warned. Jules laughed.
"I know, you'd body slam me into a wall."
"That's a possibility." Ariadne guaranteed. Jules's body slam remark got her thinking. "Jules, do you miss derby?"
"Do I miss derby?" Jules repeated. "Hell yeah, I miss being called Ginger Barbie! You know what I'd do to play again?"
"I really want to get back." Ariadne sighed. "I know we retired for school but that's over now. We have time to join the league in Paris and get jobs too."
"I don't know about that." Said Jules uneasily.
"You just said you wanted to play again!"
"I know, but who has time?" she sighed. "I can't go from kitchen to arena everyday."
"You don't have to work everyday." Said Ariadne. "Easy as that."
"Whatever you say Eiffel Spider."
Ariadne laughed as Jules said her derby name out loud. The taxi came to a stop. Jules paid the driver as Ariadne pulled their luggage out of the trunk.
"I don't see why you have to pack so many clothes!" Ariadne hauled the last rolling bag out and shut the trunk.
In front of them were many people sitting around and waiting to board. Standing in the water by the edge stood Calypso, their cruise ship. She had twenty decks, forty lifeboats, was solid white and had a picture of the goddess Calypso painted on her.
"They should make an Ariadne." Said Jules. Her friend laughed.
"No one even knows who that is."
"So? They should know."
"Yeah, I'm named after the goddess who's married to the fat guy…" said Ariadne as they waited in line.
When their taxi drove away, a white limousine pulled over. The first thing that stepped out of the door was a young man in a vest and long pants. His hair was smoothed down.
"Careful now." He took the woman's hand and assisted her as she stepped out of the vehicle. She was a tall blonde with tan skin and bright blue eyes wearing nice clothes and high-heeled shoes. Looking the ship up and down, she nodded.
"I'm impressed Rodger." She gushed.
"It's the least I could do." The young man replied. "The line is quite long so we better get in it before it gets worse."
"I like that." She said. "Winston! My bags!" The blonde called for the driver to bring out her Louis Vitton luggage. The young man brought out his own luggage. So many bags were piled on the ground that Winston had to grab a cart.
"Anything else Ms. Johanna?"
"No. We're all set." She told him.
"Drive safe." The young man told him, handing the chauffer a roll of bills. Winston raised his hat.
"Bon voyage!" He wished before stepping back into the limo and driving off.
"Oh my God Rodger!" Joe stopped her boyfriend before he could go to the line. "It's Jayne Alvers and that Greek Prince!"
"I believe his name is Stefano." He corrected. "They're getting married after the cruise."
Joe watched as Jayne and her fiancée went to the back of the line instead of cutting the smaller people.
"Doesn't first class get to go in first?" Joe asked.
"Nope." Her boyfriend replied. "Whoever gets there first goes in first. Let's go." He took Joes hand and used his other hand to pull the luggage cart.
"I can't believe you won first class tickets." Said Ariadne. "Don't those contests usually involve getting your own restaurant?"
"As much as I would like that, no."
Ariadne and Jules were walking through the narrow hallway of the first class suites. "Room 1783." Ariadne read on her ID card.
"Were in the seven-teen seventies." Said Jules observing every door. They stopped finally stopped at the end of the hall. "Here we are. Shall we see our temporary lap of luxury?"
"Just open it, I'm tired."
Jules rolled her eyes and put her card through the slot. The moment they stepped into the room, the girls were in awe. This wasn't a crammed cabin with closets and drawers for walls. This was the kind of suite the royal couple themselves would stay in.
"Two big beds in separate rooms…" Jules looked at the queen-sized beds with curtains and white sheets. "Nice." She opened the door to the bathroom. "Yes! We have a hot tub!"
"Seriously?" Ariadne stepped into the bathroom. There were two fancy sinks instead of one with two mirrors and four storage cabinets. "I can't wait to sweat then."
"The beds are big enough for if we brought guys in here." Jules joked. Ariadne shook her head.
"I'll be scarred for life if I see you having sex with some random guy." She told her strictly.
"It's not like we'll find guys anyway. All the men on this boat are either taken or gay." Jules complained as she began to unpack her clothes.
Ariadne turned around and smirked. "Welcome to reality."