Chapter Two Thousand Forty-Four
12th February 1971
Looking at her friends, Kiki realized that Zella looked entirely too smug. For years she had said that Kiki was destined to end up like this and that she needed to have a life before it was too late.
The fact that this had snuck up on her must be icing on the cake for Zella, Kiki thought to herself sourly.
There was also the detail that there were conditions on her returning home. Kiki was basically under house arrest until… She didn’t even want to think about that. But she was stuck here with Nora Berg watching her every move like a hawk and a large contingent of the First Foot patrolling the grounds who were not inclined to be kindly disposed towards her at the moment. All of this was at the request of Freddy and Suga. Not only was this not how she wanted to live her life, but her cottage was supposed to be a refuge for her, not a comfortable prison cell. She had tried to call up Freddy to convince him to do something about what had become intolerable, but he wasn’t taking her calls. Freddy’s Personal Secretary had told Kiki that if she left a message then he would get back to her, eventually.
For Kiki, it felt as if she had smashed into a wall comprised of everything she had worked against her entire life. How many times had she been warned that few people were impressed by her antics? That she was working herself to death to impress people who would always see her as a selfish, immature princess no matter what she did. She had managed to give her detractors a vast amount of ammunition this time because people had died and had escalated a war. Everywhere Kiki looked there were people who simply did not believe that she had been unaware of her condition, she couldn’t help but noticing the accusing looks everywhere she looked.
“Why do you look so sad?” Aurora asked.
Kiki didn’t respond, Aurora had said that things were going well for her. Earlier that night, Aurora had spoken at length about how things were going. She had met a guy at the annual vacation to the Prora in Benz on Rügen Island and apparently it was serious this time. She said it was odd to be dating someone her grandparents would have approved of, but there she was. Zella’s only thought had been to ask when they would get to meet this mystery man and Aurora had said that she would invite Moishe around if Zella promised to play nice. To this Zella blew a raspberry back at Aurora. There was no way that Zella would make such a promise, especially if one of her best friends was involved. Aurora had no idea how much Kiki envied her. As a Jewish girl whose parents were among Berlin’s Artistic Community, Aurora had grown up with basically no expectations towards what she would become and had been completely out of the public eye. She had no idea of how lucky she was.
The Government was actually pleased that he had deposited Kiki at the German Embassy in La Paz and then found his way back to Buenos Aires. They saw it as resolving a set of thorny problems for them. They had liked the result of her vanishing in the face of the Chilean advance in that it had brought a greater commitment towards the survival of the Argentinian Republic by the old powers of Europe, particularly Germany and France. They clearly had not wanted anything bad to happen to the Princess though, so Che getting her to safety solved that problem. In his opinion that sold Kiki short. She had played an active role in getting herself out and had walked for several days without complaint from Estancia María to Coyhaique. There had also been the bus ride from there to Santiago. Che couldn’t recall the name of the American movie, but there was a gag about something unlikely happening that revolved around it being the same as a socialite being seen on the New York Subway. Well, the Princess Royal of Germany had ridden on a crowded bus for several days while surrounded by some of the poorest people in Chile who were trying to escape what they thought might soon become a warzone.
As a reward, Che had been granted a month’s leave from the Navy. Coming back to Rosario wasn’t exactly a reward though. His wife was never thrilled at first when he came back, filling his ears with complaints about everything that had happened in his absence. This time, there was the well-publicized months long trip with a younger woman involved. At least his children were happy to see him, and they had been amazed that he was driving a new car. Thought Celia, his oldest daughter had asked him where the rest of it was or if it had shrunk in the wash? He had not wanted to hear that. The little Honda had provided tireless service crossing deserts and mountain ranges without a hiccup.
In the days since he had come home, Che had seen what the tabloids in the market had to say about Kiki and they were full of speculation about what had happened. From what he could see, they were trying their hardest to find fault in her conduct. In his opinion that was a farce, and someone needed to set the record straight. When he got home, he got out his typewriter and started putting down on paper everything that had happened to the best of his memory.