Authors: Kevin Kwan
“How is she doing, by the way?” Araminta asked Kitty. Everyone knew that Colette had been the victim of a horrendous freak accident at her Save the Orangutans Proust Ball last year at the historic Goodwood Park Hotel. Colette had insisted on re-creating the space to look exactly like the French chÃ¢teau where the original Proust Ball took place in 1971, complete with authentic 1971 lighting. In the middle of her speech, the electrical wiring on the 1970s lamp at her podium had short-circuited, and it would have been fine if Colette hadn't been wearing her multimillion-dollar Giambattista Valli gown plated with eight hundred eighteen-carat rose gold disks.
“From what her father tells me, she's getting better every day. She's still in that wonderful facility in England, and she can speak without dribbling now, but it will be some time before she can make it to Sumatra again,” Kitty said sweetly.
Harvard tugged at her sleeve. “Mother, I'm getting hungry.”
“Okay honey,” Kitty said. She walked with him to a quiet corner of the woods, undid the specially designed bodice on her strapless black Raf Simons jumpsuit, and took out her left breast. Kitty had become a staunch believer in attachment parenting, and as her son sucked happily on her nipple, she admired all the hauntingly lit ancient Buddha heads staring back at her, feeling extremely pleased with her one decorating suggestion. All these Buddhas would surely bring this place good karma.
On the other side of the garden, Nick and Rachel were taking a walk to see how the new development was coming along. “It's unbelievable how fast they've worked,” Nick remarked as he peeked into one of the bungalows.
“Yeah, when we were back last Christmas, this was all one giant construction site, and now these beautiful little villas have appeared, looking like they've been here forever!” Rachel said admiringly as she fondled the ivy creeping along one of the reclaimed stone walls.
“You know, none of this would have happened without you. You're the one who came up with the idea of putting Peik Lin, Alistair, Colin, and Araminta together to create this dream team, and look what they've achieved. In one year, they've created this whole eco-village
Araminta even had time to have a baby! Isn't Auberon a cutie?”
“He's adorable.” Rachel paused for a moment, as if deciding whether to say something. “I'm so happy she had her baby nowâ¦because he's going to be the perfect playmate for ours.”
Nick looked at his wife with eyes huge as saucers. “Are you saying what I think you're saying?”
Rachel nodded, with a smile.
Nick hugged her excitedly. “When? Why didn't you tell me?”
“I was waiting for the right moment. I took the test a couple of days agoâI'm about six weeks along.”
“Six weeks!” Nick sank down on a carved stone bench outside the villa. “Jesus, my head is spinning!”
“Are you going to be okay?” Rachel asked.
“Totally! I'm just overwhelmed with joy!” Nick said. Suddenly he looked up at Rachel with a jolt. “Listen, we
mention this to my mother.”
“Oh, hell no!”
Nick got up and took Rachel by the hand as they strolled down the pathway back to the wedding festivities. “Maybe if Mum behaves herself, she can meet our baby at age eighteen.”
Rachel thought about it for a moment. “We should probably wait till twenty-one.”
Nick escorted Rachel onto the dance floor just as the band struck up a ballad. As he held her body tight against his, he closed his eyes for a moment, thinking he could almost feel the heartbeat of his child. He opened his eyes again, gazing at his beautiful wife, gazing across the dance floor at Astrid and Charlie in their blissful embrace, and gazing at last toward the great house with all the lights in its windows ablaze, alive, reborn.
I am deeply grateful to the following guardian angels for so graciously sharing their expertise, talent, advice, inspiration, and support during the writing of this book:
Doris Magsaysay Ho
Wah Guan Lim
Anton San Diego
Jeannette Watson Sanger
Kevin Kwan is the author of the international bestsellers
Crazy Rich Asians,
soon to be a major motion picture, and
China Rich Girlfriend.
Born in Singapore, he has called New York's West Village home since 1995.
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