Once upon a time there as a woman named Dawn. She was in her late twenties. She was studying abroad in Rural France – despite not being enrolled in any university program stateside. She revealed many weeks into our time in France that she had two children she had left at home, I’m not sure who cared for them in her 3-month absence.
She arrived with a passport but no cash, one card she claimed was empty of funds, and no contacts. She claimed to have just sold a historical play to the Smithsonian and was awaiting the payment. But that she’d been robbed of her wallet just before leaving for France.
This is how she convinced her roommates to pay for every. single. expense. for the first two months we spent in France. She took a weekend trip to Paris once and upon returning claimed that she’d finally been paid, it was deposited on the debit card she had brought with her but she’d been robbed at the Paris train station. This is how she convinced her roommates to continue paying until we returned to the States.
It turned out, true story, that Dawn was a former cult member who had fled to France in an attempt to escape the cult. She had left her children there, but hoped to use her time in France to clear her head and get back and mom better. What she ended up doing instead was drinking wine all day every day, fucking every stranger in our village – I’m not exaggerating, taking advantage of everyone who tried to be kind to her, and then blowing them off when they all got home.