January 26th, 1992
At home, England
Had I written this a few hours ago, I’d be crying, commenting on the huge pit in my stomach and how conflicted I feel but now the tears have subsided and my stomach is free of the flock of birds I felt sure were flying around, but the conflict, ah, the conflict remains.
It poured all day, which only seemed to compound the sense of loneliness I’ve been feeling knowing I can’t talk to William since he’s somewhere out at sea. By late afternoon, Mum had clearly had enough of my moping.
“Fancy going out for a wee drive?” She said, her perky tone matching her expression.
“Not really,” I pouted.
“C’mon,” she said, slapping my leg. “Dad’s watching some war film on the telly and I could do with getting out for a wee while.”
“Where would we go in this weather?”
The thought of eating and not talking was more than appealing. “Yeah, ok,” I responded. “I think Frankie and Johnny is still playing.”
“Is that the one with Al Pacino?”
I nodded, adding, “And Michelle Pfeiffer.”
“Och, don’t tell Dad that,” Mum chuckled. “Otherwise he’ll want to come with us!”
The film was great and like the sap I am, I cried at the end, then we followed the throng of moviegoers out, in the direction of the lobby, which is when I spotted Ben and Mandy heading in our direction. Mum was in full animation mode, cooing over Al Pacino, her hands moving in time with her speech as I locked eyes with Ben, whose pleading expression mirrored my sentiment.
Stopping abruptly, Mandy thrust the giant tub of popcorn into Bens hands and disappeared into the loo. I knew I should sail past him and ignore him but with his back to the wall, one foot resting against it, he grinned and literally stopped me in my tracks.
Mum, still clearly caught up in her off-screen romance with Al, continued walking and talking.
“Hey you,” Ben uttered once Mum was out of earshot.
“Hello,” I croaked. “What’re you seeing?”
He held my gaze and spoke slowly. “A love story.”
“Oh, I haven’t heard of-” I stopped, quickly catching his drift. “I think you’ll like it.”
“Uh-huh. The music’s beautiful.”
He tilted his head back in a way I remembered all too well. “What’s this I hear about you getting hitched?”
A nervous sounding laugh escaped me and I felt my cheeks flush. “Yep! Five more weeks!”
That grin again. “Here?”
“No. America. Very excited,” I gushed, glancing nervously at the loo door for any sign of Mandy.
He leaned in so close our cheeks brushed. A sensation of pleasure and guilt shot through me and my pulse began to race. “I miss you,” he whispered. “A lot can change in five weeks.”
My stomach somersaulted and I felt hot and cold, all at the same time. Mandy’s imminent return and Mums wrath combined to make me step back but all I really wanted to do was fall into him and allow nature take its course.
“I..I have to go,” I stuttered.
“Ok,” he smirked. “I’ll ring you tomorrow night. We need to talk.”
I didn’t tell him I’ll be in Argentina.