May 28th, 1991

May 28th, 1991

Night flight from PIT – IAD – LHR

Feeling the effect of four transatlantic sectors in five days, which, with the stop in Washington, makes tonight feel like it’ll never end. Fortunately, our purser allocated each of us an hour of crew rest, giving me just enough time to dunk biscuits in tea and recall some of last night’s onslaught of questions in the hotel bar (we were all too knackered to venture out.)

“Oh, what a beautiful ring, I didn’t even notice it on the flight, what stone is that?”

“Oh, your fiancé is American?”

“Where did you meet him?”

“How long have you known him?”

“What does he do?”

“Where does he live?”

“When are you getting married?”

“Where are you getting married?”

“Where are you going to live after you get married?”

“So, you’ll be giving up flying?”
“How long have you been flying?”

“If you move to the States, do you think you’ll like it?”

“Do you really see yourself living there?”

“Won’t you miss your family and friends?”

 

I’m astounded that the presence of a ring can generate so many questions!

 

May 26th, 1991

May 26th, 1991

Excelsior Hotel, Heathrow Airport

Had to dash home from the night flight to meet Sarah for bridesmaid dress shopping, which was a bit of a joke as Sarah had already pretty much decided what Suzanna and I will wear. The dress looks like robin egg blue met pale pink, got drunk and threw up all over each other. Yes, delightful! As if that isn’t bad enough, it hugs me in all the wrong places which is another way of saying I feel really fat in it.

Came back to the hotel, feeling pretty depressed at the thought of being seen in something so hideous and couldn’t wait to sleep. There were a bunch of people checking in ahead of me and I thought I might fall asleep standing up, ‘til I heard Annabel’s distinctive dulcet tones wafting in my direction.

She clocked my ring right away. “David isn’t gay after all?”

It took me a second to figure out what she was talking about before realizing she thought my ring was from David! Last November, on that dreaded day, I bumped into Annabel in the hotel lobby in Santa Monica and she really helped me get through the rest of the day. I told her there was too much to explain so we decided to go for a drink and ended up in Windsor, where Annabel wasted no time ordering a bottle of champagne. “My treat, my treat” she gushed. “So much to talk about!”

Annabel appreciated the antique aspect of my ring and asked if it had been passed down.
“Nope! I have no idea who it belonged to before, I just know I love it.”

She went on to ask more questions that mum does, about pretty much everything, which kept the conversation lively. I never get bored with Annabel and her rapid tongue, she really is great company and bumping into her was a lovely surprise.

 

 

May 25th, 1991

May 25th, 1991

Night flight from JFK – LHR

Met Christopher for lunch in Central Park, something he now does regularly, after, as he jokingly put it, “A Brit introduced me to it!”

“So good to see you again,” he smiled, halfway through his Ruben sandwich.

“And you. How’s Laurie?”

“Good. She’s good.”

“Seriously Christopher? You must know by now that I need way more than that!”

He laughed. “She’s busy making plans for the…our wedding.”

“Do you have any say in it?”

“Not really,” he said with a little chuckle.

“Seems to be the way.”

“Do you think William will be involved in your wedding plans?”

“Whoa! Did I say I’m getting married?”

“You’re engaged. Isn’t marriage the next step?”

“Actually, we’re not technicallyengaged.”

He burst out laughing. “You’re gonna have to explain that.”

“William expressed a deep interest in buying me a ring, that I just happen to wear on the finger that gets all the attention.”
His expression was questioning. “So, you’re not getting married?”

“I think we will at some point but-”

Another quizzical look. “You sound hesitant.”

I let out a deep sigh. “While I was on the island, everything felt surreal but now we’re apart it’s different. It’s difficult being so far away from each other. To be honest, I feel lonelier than ever.”

Giving my hand a little squeeze, he said, “They say true love always finds a way.”

“I s’pose that’s true but I just don’t want to get ahead of myself. Does that make sense?”

Never daring to speak with his mouth full, Christopher nodded enthusiastically, while I took a bite of my sandwich and motioned for him to continue.

“I Iove Laurie, I really do. She’s amazing but…well.” He looked away and I wanted to prompt him but I managed to keep my mouth shut. “Sometimes,” he continued, “I think family pressure played a role. You know, an almost thirty-year old unmarried man raises questions in the family circle and I know you’re younger than me, but haven’t you felt any pressure from your family?”

“Not at all. I mean, my mum has always been obsessed with weddings and anything of a romantic nature but no pressure as such about actually getting married, although when I told her William wanted to buy me a ring, she wasted no time in marching me to the antique jewelry shop.”

He cracked up laughing. “See what I mean?”

“Hmmm, I never really thought of it as pressure but now you mention it, I suppose there’s a, what would you call it? Expectation. There’s an unspoken expectation.”

“Exactly!”

“But you’re still getting married next October, right?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “In Connecticut. The guest list is currently hovering around two twenty but Laurie’s thinking it’ll end up being more like two fifty.”

“Phew,” I whistled. “That’s a lotta people!”

“Yes, it is,” he said, looking more unsure than I’ve ever seen him.

 

May 24th, 1991

May 24th, 1991

Flight from LHR – JFK

Lexington Hotel, New York

Los Angeles was my favourite place in the world, until David showed up at the hotel and smashed my heart into smithereens. So now I’m back in love with the big apple, where I stayed out late with my fantastic crew and drank perhaps a tad too much. The only reason I know that is because I ordered two helpings of chocolate mousse from room service that I doubt I’ll be awake long enough to eat.

 

May 23rd, 1991

May 23rd, 1991

At home, England

I honestly don’t know how people can put in a full day of work, after sitting in traffic for hours on end, only to be faced with the same at the end of the day. That life is definitely not for me. I get really tired from flying and the time changes we constantly experience, but even that seems like nothing, compared to the dreaded commute.

As planned, I got to class early, even before the instructor showed up! I positioned myself in the middle of the back row, which ended up being a terrible idea as it meant I was last to get out!

Millie arrived late, looking utterly frazzled. I actually felt sorry for her, thereby confirming what a sap I am. She sat close to the front and looked very distracted for the remainder of the morning. At lunchtime, I avoided her by sitting in my car (ridiculous, I know) but at the end of the day she made her way to the back of the room.

“I’m glad that’s over, aren’t you?” Her smile looked genuine but I knew to keep my guard up.

“Definitely,” I muttered, feigning distraction, packing my stuff away as she casually plopped herself on the desk.

“Do you think there’s a chance we could be friends again?”

Not looking at her, I shook my head no.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, her voice cracking. “I really am sorry for everything that happened.”

“You should be,” I said, surprising myself. That all too familiar look of rage flashed across her face but quickly changed to another sweet smile, reminding me how calculated she can be. There was nothing left on the desk, so I picked up my bag.

“You’re not going home now, are you? It’s rush hour. Maybe we could go for a drink and let the traffic die down.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Fine, suit yourself,” she hissed. “And by the way, I hate your ring.”

I cried much of the way home, which sounds ridiculous but I know for sure we’ll never be friends again and that makes me sad. Instead of packing for tomorrow, I’ve been drowning my sorrows in tea and biscuits but it’s only a New York trip, so I won’t need much.

 

May 22nd, 1991

May 22nd, 1991

At home, England

Feeling more knackered than I do after a fourteen-hour flight, all thanks to the alarm going off at five so I could get to Heathrow on time for yearly SEP (Safety & Emergency Procedures) course.

I sat in the front row and almost keeled over when Millie walked in! I mumbled a “hello,” but she just glared at me and made her way to the seat directly behind me.

All morning, I felt her eyes boring into the back of my head and could barely concentrate. At break, she smiled sweetly then halfway through asking how the rest of my time in Antigua was, she spotted my ring, quickly putting an end to any pleasantries.

“You’re engaged?” Her screech was loud enough to garner attention.

I nodded but failed to explain my ring isn’t an engagement ring, even although William insisted on paying for it, which is amusing considering I bought it in England and he’s yet to see it!

“You’re so stupid,” she hissed, before storming out of the room.

Sadie, the girl I’d been sitting next to, came over and asked if I was ok. I muttered that I was but I really didn’t feel that way. I felt like finding Millie and calling her out for all of the horrible ways she treated me and for the pity filled letter she sent, as well as the appalling way she treated not only William but also Scott, who had been nothing but kind to her.

“Jealous old cow,” Sadie said, lightening the moment.

When class ended, my stomach was churning, thinking Millie might have another go at me but she left without saying a word.

“Good riddance,” Sadie said, echoing my sentiments exactly.

I have the alarm set for four tomorrow so I can get a seat in the back row!

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 20th, 1991

May 20th, 1991

At home, England

The mere sight of my, “new ring,” seems to have knocked everyone into a bit of a frenzy, leading to all sorts of questions about where William and I might get married, how many guests there’ll be, number of bridesmaids etc. Pretty much all the stuff I haven’t given any thought to!

It would appear, the train has left the station and not only am I on it, I’m driving it!

 

 

May 13th, 1991

May 13th, 1991
At home, England

Received a letter from Millie. Whew! Pages and pages of how awful it was for her in Antigua, seeing me with William and how she felt ill and sad and lonely and is sorry and blah, blah, blah. I took the letter over to let mum read it, which she did a couple of times.
“What do you think, mum?”
“I think Millie had feelings for your that went beyond that of a friend.”
“That makes it even worse,” I groaned.
“Aye it does,” mum nodded. “Poor lassie. I think she’s a wee bit lost.”
“I can’t be friends with her anymore, not after the way she acted.”
“I agree, but I still feel sorry for her. She was probably jealous of William.”
“Looking back, I think she was jealous of everyone I was close to.”
“Shame, she was a nice lassie.”
“Are you serious, mum? She was absolutely vile to me!”
“Aye and there are reasons why people act like that. You never know what somebody’s going through.”

I wish I could be more like my sweet mum!
 

May 9th, 1991

 

May 9th, 1991

At home, England

Busy day on the phone;

Carl – “Did you hear that? It’s the sound of all those hearts breaking, now you’ve been snapped up!”

Florence – “Ooooh, Karen love, this is so exciting! I had a feeling this one was different. Pop round later, we need to celebrate!”

Sebastian – “I want to go ring shopping with you! I’ll pretend to be your flamboyant fiancé and we’ll find the biggest cock, I mean rock, we can find!”

Emilio – “I can’t wait to meet William, and set him straight about you!”

Lorna – “Well it’s about bloody time. No more messing about! That wanker Ben will be devastated. Serves him right!”

Frankie – “Oh crumbs, really? Really, really, really? I knew it! Soooo happy for you Madison!”

William– “I love you.”

 

May 7th, 1991

May 7th, 1991

VC Bird Airport, Antigua

When I arrived on the island I had no idea how things would play out with William but three weeks later, I’m leaving, with the promise of a life together.