January 30th, 1991

January 30th, 1991

Anchorage, Alaska

Met Emilio later than planned (my head felt a tad tender) and trudged our way through the snow to the café with the Formica tabletops and rusty metal chairs, saved only by the smell and consequent taste of the delicious sourdough bread they bake every hour on the hour.

“D’ye know the men outnumber the women eight to one here?”
“Fascinating,” I yawned, glancing around at the sea of heavy bearded men, all clad in flannel shirts.

“See anything that catches your eye?”

“Eh, no. I don’t think so!”

“So, it’s still Ben then, eh?” he asked.

“No. It can’t be Ben. We’re bad for each other.”

Emilio shook his head. “That’s not what you were saying the other night in The Truck.”

“That was a mistake,” I uttered. “I got swept up in the moment.”

“And the tequila,” he laughed. “But you love him, that much is obvious.”

I sighed. “Yes, but I know we can’t be together.”

He gave me a questioning look.

“There’s been too much hurt,” I continued. “Besides, it’s time for a change, which is what I always say, ‘til I see him again, then I’m back at square one.”

“It’s never easy, is it?”

“Nope,” I said, tearing off a hunk of bread.

“Imagine how many marriage proposals you’d get if you lived here.”

“Are you saying I need to move to Alaska, just because the statistics are in my favour?”

Emilio laughed. “I don’t think Alaska is any place for a Glasgow lassie.”

Back at the hotel, we went to the pool, which I don’t typically do on trips (I still hate wearing a swimsuit) but with Emilio I didn’t think twice about it. Emilio was wearing speedos and he made me laugh as he paraded his way around the pool as though he was in a bodybuilding contest, making me realize you can be at ease with your body but uncomfortable in your own skin.

The front desk guy at the hotel told us the tanning beds at the place next door are free, so from the pool, we went straight there (sadly we had to get dressed, only to get undressed again!) I know the electric beach isn’t exactly healthy but it felt so nice being warm, if only for a short time.

Tonight, we met up with our crew and I had to laugh when I heard Samantha telling Emilio she thinks we make, “A perfect couple.” Emilio winked at me and when I smiled in acknowledgement, I thought about David, then felt sad for Emilio, because I’m quite sure he’s hiding who he truly is.


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