My eyes wander over the vast supply of things and bits – coming in all shapes and colours. It’s one of my unwritten laws not to miss at least one street market while in London. And after all it’s a very good therapy to deal with all those impressions and thoughts that overwhelmed me the last three days.
Fletch’s porridge was really good, by the way. With cinnamon sugar and organic milk.
ARGH – again! Well, it was just yesterday. And still – I smell the minced oat mixing with the cinnamon – how the warmth tickles my nose and then my tongue and throat. And then there’s Dave’s cologne again. Damn it! I better close that chapter in my brain very quickly now! Otherwise I only will get hurt again. Things with JK are sorted and there are no more reasons why he should go after me any longer. The book’s read and „tasted“ – that’s it. And it’s more than I even could have expected!
I try to yank me back into that buzzing mass of people, colours and stuff. Don’t be silly, Siv!
The sound of my mobile really shakes me, hits me unexpected.
„Hey, Siv! It’s Andy speaking. Just wanted to know if you’re feeling better. You seemed to be a bit in a hurry to get back to your hotel bed.“
„Oh, hi! Yeah, much better – thanx to your infamous porridge. I slept like the dead.“
„That’s good to hear – though I told you it hadn’t be a problem at all to take the guest room. Anyway – what are your plans for the rest of the day, dear? Already had lunch?“
I have to smile. It’s near 3pm. „Haha, sure – it’s more tea time, don’t you think?“
His laughter is vibrating in my ear. „More 5pm – but I know what you mean. Would you fancy a real good one? I know a fabulous Italian café. The cakes there are a knock out. Come on, let’s meet. Where are you right now?“
„Excellent – it’s not that far away. Can I pick you up at the Museum?“
He laughs again. „Ok, then that’s settled. See you in 10 minutes! Cheers!“
„God, never do that again! I’ll die of a heart attack next time!“ I try to shake free. Andy surprised me covering my eyes from behind. His blue eyes are glistening behind his glaces.
„Are you somewhat linked with Elton John?! This is another pair I didn’t recognize so far!“ Can’t resist to pay back. He smirks. „Not that I know of – but yes, I have a few.“
„Well, the idea is not that far off – does he still own Watford?“
„Geez, yes, I think so. And no – I have no options in Chelsea!“ Now I have to giggle.
The café comes into sight. It’s packed with people, but Fletch seems to know what he’s doing and heads on. The barista waves at him and points to a nice, cosy corner near a window. Appears to be reserved. Andy recognizes my skeptic view. „I’m a regular here and it’s one of the nice advantages to be a celebrity these days – though I could easily live without all the other travesties.“ He offers me a chair before he sits down himself.
Two extremely delicious Capuccini and a huge Tiramisou later I lean back. „OK, whatever you say – but I won’t move for the next hour or so. Geeez, I could die for the recipe of it – but it definitely was too much!“
„See, I told you it’s lovely – but nothing for a dietetic frenzy.“ He caresses his tummy and winks at me.
„Argh, Andy – you are soo mean!“ I try to play the funny bone, but deep inside I feel the familiar pinch.
He reaches for my hands and holds them firmly but gently in his own ones on the table.
„I saw it.“ I’m a bit off track.
„I saw your smile fade away – and I’m sure I know why.“ His whole expression is soft and - I can’t describe it properly. The way he looks at me now lets my knees go weak.
„Sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable right now.“ He nods.
„But you’re not feeling that for a long, long time.“
My mouth turns dry.
„Sorry, I don’t want to be intrusive. It’s just...I’m pretty sure I know what’s going on inside of you. And no, I don’t know you – I just met you yesterday.“ He brushes his left eyebrow. „Why didn’t you finish my chapter?“
My jaw must drop under the table this very moment. He squeezes my fingers slightly.
„Yes, I read it as well – but Dave doesn’t know. I got a copy from Jen’s friend cause I begged her till she just wanted to get rid off me.“
„I’m sorry, Andy! Must have been pretty weird to read of one’s own wife’s death and stuff like that. JK is right in the end – what was I thinking to publish that bleeding thing on the web! I should have known it would just hurt other people!“ I’m ready to jump up but Fletch holds me back.
„I didn’t say I was hurt. And yes, it was bloody weird in the beginning – but then it touched me deep inside, you know. And I was so much waiting for some relief – yet it didn’t come.“
„What did you expect? A love scene at Grainne’s tomb at the grave yard?! I’m not that tasteless and corny!“ I feel my anger rising like a heat wave.
„Come, let’s go, Siv. It’s not the right place to talk.“ He gets up and pays at the bar. I still have the impression I’m in sorta nightmare and this all can’t be real – please, it’s not! Andy’s arm pushing me slightly to the door assures me though it’s bleeding real.
During the way back to his mansion neither of us speaks a word. I’d appreciate to be miles away from him and London at the moment, but that’s what I usually do – run away. Looks this is finally going to be a reality check I can’t escape that easily.
When he opens the huge front door, Basil already awaits us barking and tail wiggling. Entering the living room I move over to the large window facing the garden. God, like in those movies – desperate girl wanders to the window and peers out desperately while her lover finally approaches her from behind. Kiss scene. Romance! Yuck!! I better get back to the couch...in this moment Fletch grabs me from behind and pulls me into his strong arms. No kiss – he just holds me tight for a moment, not saying anything. I just can hear his soft breath and his steady heart beat. Then he sighs and searches my eyes.
„It’s not the first time I have to comfort a girl that Dave dropped after he got what he was after. And before you complain – I know this time it was slightly different – though he gained more from it than yourself. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice guy. But he’s excessive which makes him dangerous for the sort of you – and be assured – you’ll always pull the short straw with him. The more you’re telling yourself it’s fine to have had him at all the more it is nagging at you.“
„Could you please stop for a moment, Dr. Fletcher?“ I try to get away with it again – destroying the mood of the situation. Should have known Fletch better. He looks at me knowingly.
„I know it hurts and you’d do anything to disappear as fast as possible – but life is as such. You made your bed – now lie in it.“
„Very well – so it’s Fletchi picks up the girl time now and next stop will be your bedroom? You can call my story tasteless - but look at yourself now!“
„You’re completely on the wrong track, dear. If I just had wanted to fuck you I’d done it already yesterday. Dave holding your quivering body and me getting my share – wouldn’t that be a nice twist for your novel?“
This time I really hate his dry sarcasm! And I thought I was bad!
„Sorry, I got lost, Siv!“ He caresses my cheeks. „I don’t know exactly what to say and think – and what to feel.“