6am, Cocooned inside Adam Tan's old Rolls.
Anything told to Ritchie can be considered public news in three blow-dries flat.
Before Dana Lee’s pedicure had dried, the entire industry had begun to buzz and embellish on the bare facts of Dior Lee’s sudden ‘decision’ to leave Glossy. Many a supper was made more delicious, and many a cocktail made more refreshing, by dishing over the facts and fictions of Dana Lee’s career. Well, the fashion world is built on scandals real and imagined, and if there was a beautiful woman in the center of it, and great wealth and a bitch fight, let’s not hang up! Manicured fingers got very busy tapping out the story in myriad versions on mobiles; Earrings fairly rattled with the pace of gossip unspooling; Lipsticked lips smacked and pronounced Dana Lee’s fall from grace. And by the time Dana Lee dropped exhausted into her own sofa at home, Adam Tan wasn’t the only one hounding her on the phone.
The whole world, or at least Dana’s whole world, was.
Dana Lee was under siege. All the glow and calm from her sabbatical was wiped out in one dramatic afternoon.
So it was that at the crack of dawn, Dana Lee found herself bundled into Adam’s midnight blue 1978 Rolls and headed for his new Sentosa Cove villa. Her ex beauty queen mother, Mrs Tina Lee, sent her poor daughter to the drive. “Mommy, please don’t discuss this with anyone, and I mean anyone at all, and come to the villa when I send the car for you. I know the paint has hardly dried at the villa, but I need you Mommy,” said Dana.
And then the midnight blue Rolls rolled away to the safe haven of Adam’s unoccupied villa. She will be safe there for the two weeks: “Not even my drycleaner would know I’m there, and the two weeks of silence would hopefully allow the heat of the story to die down. Some new gossip would surely have emerged by then. I could always invent something and tell Ritchie. Then I can start afresh at Flair. Thank god for good old Adam Tan,” thought Dana, behind her signature black shades. “And thank god for Louis Vuitton bags – they make even running away seem chic.”
Even the papers had tried to call Dana for a comment. Needless to say, little Bella made sure that her side of the story was heard loud and clear, by all and sundry, and on all platforms (tech-savvy is the new black after all). In her version, Bella played the brave little soldier to the hilt, hinting that Dana had abandoned her, betrayed Glossy, betrayed Mr Chan and all the good people who had supported her. “We were such a happy family here at Glossy,” was Bella’s line, “but Dana decided to leave us – I shall try my best to improve on what Dana has left behind .” In some stories Bella said ‘mess’, and in others she was said to have shed a tear. Poor little Bella, devious little Bella. Who’s to know which was which? Even Dana couldn’t tell and Dana had Bella under her nose (and thumb) for years! Another thing that Bella never failed to emphasise was how Dana was her mentor and a mother to her, taking the chance to stress how much older Dana was, and by implication how out of touch she really was with what was fashion right now.
“Really,” said Bella, “She’s from another generation.”
“Truly,” thought Dana as she opened the fridge to see if there was anything for breakfast and finding only champagne. “This pad needs a woman’s touch.” Adam had bought this villa as an investment, and it was decorated as such. Adam himself lives in a duplex off the Botanical Gardens and this was a villa that he used to host out-of-town partners and guests. As such, there were no personal touches at all, and though expensively furnished and designed by the renown Ross & Browns, had no beauty. Unless you thought a hotel lobby beautiful – because that was what the entire three floor villa looked like – one extended hotel lobby of the international school.
But in a sense, this anonymity was what Dana needed right now – she needed to be away from all that she knew so that she could reflect on the drama that was unfolding in her life. Central to it was the betrayal of Bella Teo. Idly, Dana wondered if Adam ever entertained women friends here. He was young, handsome and rich, and surely these houses were purpose-built to impress. “I’m sure those women would be impressed,” she thought. “There’s nothing so attractive as a man who stands on such a vast pile of cash. Still, couldn’t he have bought better carpets?”