July 13th, 1990
Flight from LHR – LAX
At David’s, Manhattan Beach
I’ll start at the beginning and try not to get distracted!
Mum made me laugh this morning as she waved me off shouting; “Live it up!” Great advice, as always.
Nice crew on a ten-hour plus flight that transported us to the land of the beautiful people. The place where the light looks different to anywhere else in the world. The place where David lives.
Couldn’t wait to get to the hotel and take a shower, which, after a long flight is most welcome. Went down to the bar to meet my crew while I waited for David. Everyone was in good spirits, taking full advantage of the free drink chits the hotel provides. I promptly ordered a Long Island Iced Tea and when, a short while later, I spotted David through the glass partition, coming into the lobby, my heart did the flippy floppy thing I’ve so missed.
I could barely contain myself when he kissed me hello and hugged me tight before I introduced him to my crew, all of whom, at some point, gave me a thumbs-up or in Michelle’s case, a resounding; “Cor blimey, get a load a you!” Thanks for that Michelle!
We held hands while we drank (my second, David’s first) Long Island Iced Teas then without speaking we agreed to leave. We were just about done with saying bye to everyone when Michelle piped up; “Ooh, look. The Virgin Atlantic crew just arrived.”
I turned to take a look, just as Ben came walking into the lobby!
The word gobsmacked doesn’t begin to cut it and judging by the look on Ben’s face, he had the same reaction. David and I made our way towards the exit but there was no way to avoid Ben.
“Hey you,” he smiled, kissing my cheek. “Long time no see.”
Yeah, I thought, it’s been over three months.
The all too familiar scent of him caught me off guard and I felt myself sway a little, hoping David, who was still holding my hand, wouldn’t notice. I introduced David to Ben (argh!!!) and watched them shake hands; my two worlds colliding.
“What’re you lovebirds up to?” Ben asked.
“I’m showing Karen the sights,” David said, squeezing my hand.
“Oh, ehm, yeah, we need to get going, so eh, Happy Birthday for tomorrow,” I stuttered.
“Yeah, thanks,” Ben said, not looking at me.
“Later, man,” David drawled.
“You ok?” David asked the second we were outside.
“Eh yeah, I’m fine thanks,” I said, forcing a smile.
“So that’s him, huh? That was Ben?”
“Uh-huh, that’s him,” I said, trying desperately to sound calm, hoping my voice wouldn’t give me away.
He held the car door open. “You sure you’re ok? You look a little pale.”
“Just hot,” I uttered, using the time it took for David to walk round the car to take the deepest breath ever.
“You wanna get outta here?” he said, putting on his seatbelt.
“Yes please,” I said, willing myself not to peer into the lobby when we drove past.
Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for me to meld back into David’s world, where on a balmy Friday night everything looked and smelled amazing.
Our first stop was at the Bel-Air Hotel, a place I’ve only ever read about. It certainly lived up to its name and we had some fun walking through the lobby, quickly scanning the well clad guests. From there we went to a sushi place that just opened, the name of which I’ve already forgotten.
“You doing ok?” David asked.
“Yes, this is amazing, thank you.”
He put his chopsticks down and looked at me. “I didn’t mean the food.”
“I know. I’m sorry about what happened at the hotel, I had no idea the Virgin crew stay at the same place.”
“You seemed pretty surprised.”
“You really loved him, huh?”
“I did, yes.”
“Are you still in love with him?”
I shook my head. “No, no I’m not,” I said, meeting his kiss.
We took a drive along Rodeo Drive, where affluence and pretension screamed from every corner and as much as I don’t thrive on any of that, it was still quite a sight to see. David said I needed to experience LA in its entirety, so from there, we went to a really dodgy bar in Hollywood that smashed all my preconceived notions of glamour and lavishness.
By the time we got back here, it was really late and I felt exhausted. Up on the rooftop terrace, under the stars, with the sound of the ocean, it didn’t take us long to find our way deep into the folds of the very comfy couch, the scene of many magical moments I remember as blissful and heavenly.
That was just a few short hours ago but thanks to the eight-hour time change, I’m back up on the roof, feeling wide awake and hey ho whaddya know, David just appeared, wearing only shorts, mumbling something about making Mimosas and watching the sun come up.
I wonder if mum and dad will miss me when I move here!