The window stood open and all I had to do was jump, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The dazzling street was far below me, hazy in the summer heat and packed with tourists. A mingle of voices and traffic rose upwards, blending into the other city background noises.
I was balanced on the bottom rail, the cold metal biting into my bare feet and my toes curled around the edge. My hands pressed into the top rail, my fingers tightly wrapped around. It was if my body was refusing to move from this spot and rebelling against the wanting of my brain.
My lungs started to burn with the breath I had been holding. I tried not to think about it but instinct kicked in and I opened my mouth breathed. This city smelt both familiar and foreign; sweat, pollution, car fumes, spices, warm food and dust. It was hard to separate all those different scents.
I stayed tense and looked out over the city. I had been here a few times now, but it had been awhile since I’d last been. The narrow, twisty cobblestone streets and tiny back alleyways looked like a rats’ maze. The multi-colored two or three store houses were so close together that neighbors could lean out of their windows and have a chat.
Looking beyond, it was easy to mistake the line of pale blue sky for the sea. The coast was about forty minutes away and I had walked across the deep sand beach a few times. I remember thinking I was in paradise. There was a scattering of sitting people drinking out of coconuts or pineapple halves whilst couples hand in hand walked through the lapping waves.
There was too much pain in my body to remain on the railings. I got down, my limbs stiff and went inside to the small sofa. I sank down, my attention draw to the dark screen of the TV. It was stuffy in here, too much heat had gotten in. I put the ceiling fan on and it spun lazily. Watching the fan, I let my thoughts tumble.
It had been my plan to come here and die. I wasn’t sure why but for some reason this city and this room had stuck in my head. I had wanted to be far from home so I wouldn’t have the chance to back out again but I didn’t have the will to do it. Trying to think about the whys added to my tiredness.
I got up and went to lay on the bed. I put the fan on in here too though it was already cool because I had kept the windows and curtains closed this morning. Face down, I stretched out on the sheets, frustrated with myself.
Finally, she had broken through all her fears and now she had arrived at her holiday destination. Taking in deep breaths of clean air and feeling the hot sun on her face, she stepped into the hotel. After checking in and abandoning her things in the room, she hurried to the pool, ready to relax.
It was that time of year again and as she looked out of her office window, she long to be away. Some place quiet and warm. Where it was always sunny and not raining. Where blue ocean meet white sands and the sky went on forever. Turning back to her computer, she did a quick search on a travel site and a few clicks later, she had booked a week’s holiday on a beach.
It had been a last minute decision that changed our lives forever. Getting into my car, I watched from the rear view mirror as my wife checked our ten year old twins were strapped into the back of her car. Then she walked around and got behind the wheel.
Starting my car’s engine, I glanced at my fourteen year old son, sat now in the passenger seat on his phone. He had been the trouble of all this and the reason why we now had to take two cars on holiday instead of one.
Sighing and partly blaming myself, I drove off. For years, my wife had been trying to get us to buy a bigger car but we couldn’t offered it, unless we got rid of both smaller cars and that would have meant one of us taking the train to work. Getting those thoughts out of my head as I reached the motorway, I tried to think of everything we had to look forward to.
The six hour journey to Cornwall always felt like forever. I found my driving quieter though as the twins weren’t bugging me and my son was too busy on his phone or playing games. I put the radio on and let the rhythm of the music mix with the steady engine.
After stopping at a services and having a quick meet up, we carried on the last leg of the drive. It was a few miles before the turn off, that I checked my mirrors and saw a lorry swerve lanes and plough side on into the car behind me. My heart stopped and I couldn’t breath but then I had to focus. I slowed and pulled over, praying that car hadn’t been my wife’s.
Yelling at my son to stay, I dashed out and ran to the scene of the wreckage. The car had spun off the hard shoulder and was laying in a tangle remains of trees and undergrowth. I didn’t even look at the lorry as I pulled open the driver’s door. And even though I knew, I was still fighting for it not to be true.
Surfing isn’t for the fair hearted! I thought it was so easy whilst we were practising on the none moving sand, but the minute we got in the sea and tried to balance on small waves, everyone kept falling in! It took a another two lessons to get over that!
Yesterday, just Bo and I went out. We did pretty well and it was easier without all those people. But a big wave came out of nowhere and swept us both away. Luckily, we both made it back to the beach, surf boards intact.
Bo didn’t want to go out again, she was too shook up, so we headed back to the cottage. She was much better at our early morning lesson today, but it’s going to still take awhile till we’ve really got the hang of it!
To keep the kids quiet during the six hour drive down to Cornwall, I put together activity bags for them. Of all the things to pick from first, they selected car bingo. So there was a lot of shouting as we all spotted things on the list.
That was until my husband yelled out, ‘dead rabbit!’
Silence fell. I shot him a look and turned to the kids. They were upset.
‘Who want’s a sweet?’ I asked loudly and grabbed a packet.
That quickly helped everyone to forget about dead things.
There was something satisfying about dozing in the hot sun by the side of the swimming pool. All my troubles seemed to melt and not want to resurface. I was carried away by the cool water gently lapping, the palm trees waving and the pleasant sounds of children playing. It was going to be hard to leave this all behind and return back home to work. Maybe, I could just hide out here forever and become part of the hotel furniture.
Summer is here but it doesn’t feel like it. Though that suits me just great. I love the wind and the cold. I’m getting tried hearing people complaining about the weather now through. I wonder what the weather will be like in London next week when I go? Probably hotter. It always has been when I’ve been the three times before. I still haven’t planned what I’m going to do, must sort all that out soon.
And then if my passport stuff goes okay, I’ll be off to Germany, which is still a terrifying thought. Andy will be there though and at the moment being with him is like so awesome that nothing can go wrong.
It’s a weird feeling to realise after being with so many wrong and bad boys that I’ve found a really good one now and luckily he’s been right by my side all along! Perhaps, I’m meet my Prince for real this time?
Oh, it’s too soon to tell! But last time I thought 5 years was long enough and look what happened there….
Anyway, plans to be made and things to do. Here’s hoping this month is good.
I was too tried to do anything. It had been a long week and the only thing I wanted to do was curl up in bed and go to sleep. However, I couldn’t. There were too many things still left to do. I had to pack for my holiday in Greece, I had to find my passport, print all the tickets and information etc. I stared at the computer screen willing myself to stay awake, but it didn’t happen and I fell sleep.
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your husband was always kind to me and I have lovely memories of us all playing on the beach. It’s been such a long time since we last saw everyone but our move to France was the best decision. We couldn’t be more happy here. The small B&B is working well and though money is short, we make do. If ever you fancy coming out here to escape everything here’s my number. Just let us know.