October 6th, 1990
A flat in Cologne, Germany
In bed last night, David was breathing so heavily, I thought he might be crying.
“Are you ok?” I whispered.
He pulled me closer and squeezed me so tight, I had to catch my breath.
“I love this,” he murmured, into my hair. “I love it so much.”
“Me too,” I breathed, suddenly feeling so overcome with emotion, I thought I might cry. David didn’t let go, so I fell back asleep with much of my body draped over his, the rise and fall of his chest offering a sense of comfort I haven’t felt in a long, long time.
“You look really pretty,” David said this morning, while we were enjoying breakfast on the tiny balcony.
“Thanks,” I smiled, feeling my cheeks flush. “You don’t look too shabby either!”
He laughed. “Your hair looks great, too.”
“Ditto,” I smiled, motioning to the busy street below. “It’s cool here but it’s not quite Manhattan Beach, is it?”
“You just reminded me,” he groaned. “I have so much to do when I go home.”
“With the move?”
“Yeah,” he nodded. “That emergency trip to Delhi kinda messed things up.”
“You’ll get it all sorted,” I said, as he came towards me.
He kissed my ear and whispered. “Another trip to London.”
Several hours later, the phone woke us up. I lay in bed, listening, as David chatted effortlessly, in German, roughly four words of which I understood.
“That was Urdo,” he said, hanging up.
“My boss, he’s cool, you’ll like him.”
“Will I get to meet him?”
“There’s a jazz festival in town tonight, supposed to be pretty good. Urdo and his girlfriend are going, he was calling to ask if we’re interested in meeting them there.”
“Uh-huh,” I said, getting out of bed. “You need to make a good impression.”
He gave me a questioning look.
“If there’s a chance you can come and work here for, what did you tell me earlier?”
“Six months,” he said. “Maybe more.”
“In that case yeah, we’re going! I want him to tell your boss in LA that you’re the best thing since sliced bread and that the company simply cannot afford not to have you here!”
He laughed. “But you love LA.”
“Yes, but Germany is soooo much closer to England.” My voice rose at the thought of such a possibility. “Besides, it’s only twenty quid for me to fly here!”
“That’s all I’m worth to you?” His attempt at not laughing failed miserably.
“Maybe twenty-five,” I teased, perching on the edge of the bed. “But definitely no more than that.”
“You drive a hard bargain, lady,” he said with a little chuckle. “Hey, I just had an idea.”
“If it involves anything to do with London, the answer is no!”
He cracked up laughing. “No, that’s not at all where I was going.”
“In that case, I’m all ears.”
“If I get sent here,” he spoke slowly. “You know, with work, if they send me here, maybe you could spend time, kind of like a lot of time here. With me.”
I felt the smile spread across my face as he continued. “Would you like that?”
I shook my head no. He looked crestfallen. “You wouldn’t?”
“No,” I said, leaning in closer. “I wouldn’t like it. I’d love it!”