September 1st, 1991

September 1st, 1991

At home, England

It’s hard to believe that this time next week, Sarah will be married and the pastel, puke inspired dress, she’s insisting I wear will be rolled into a ball and stuffed in the back of my wardrobe.

She caught me off guard when she asked who I’m bringing to the wedding, something I hadn’t given any thought to.

“You can bring anyone you want,” she said. “Just not Ben!”

“Like I’d invite him!” I said, much too defensively.

“You should invite Jon.”

“Nah.”

“Why not? He’s really nice to you and-”

“He is…was, but he’s heavily involved with someone.”

“I bet he’d come if you asked him.”

“I just told you he has a girlfriend!”
“I still think you should invite him.”

“No, absolutely not. I guess I’ll be coming alone.”

“Well in that case I’ll get my husband to be on it and he can fix you up with one of his friends.”

“Ehm, thanks, but no thanks,” I stuttered remembering several occasions where Sarah thought it’d be a good idea for me to meet “someone they already know.”

“You say that now,” she smiled, “but you know after you see me getting married you’ll feel all romantic and want to snog somebody. That’s what happens at weddings!”

All I could do was roll my eyes as she continued. “Where is it you’re going tomorrow?”

“Delhi.”

“And when are you coming back?”

“Friday morning.”

“That’s cutting it a bit close, don’t you think? What if you get delayed or something?”

“I won’t,” I said, inwardly chuckling at the thought of not having to wear “the dress,” but knowing she’ll kill me if I miss her wedding.

 

 

August 25th, 1991

August 25th, 1991

Somewhere over America

Oh, the irony! Got called out on standby for a four day Los Angeles, which, this time last year would’ve sent me straight to cloud nine. But now, I’m not really sure how I feel about returning. The last time I was there was with mum, back in April, when I surprised myself by ringing David. He, in turn, shocked me by suggesting lunch and came to the hotel to pick us up. That afternoon, talking freely with him, definitely gave me a sense of closure but knowing we’re only a few hours away from landing where he lives, has me feeling a little out of sorts.

Crew seem nice and for several of them, it’ll be their first time in the city of angels, so I might end up playing tour guide, so who knows where that may take us!

 

August 24th, 1991

August 24th, 1991

At home, England

My four day Seattle trip was cancelled (no idea why) and now I’m on standby. With a maximum of only four hours’ notice, I could get called to fly pretty much anywhere in the world. As cool as that sounds, the reality of it means I won’t be able to go to Spain with mum. After everything mum does for me, I hate to disappoint her but I know she’ll understand. Still, I was really looking forward to a nice little getaway that doesn’t revolve around the needs of hundreds of passengers!

 

August 19th, 1991

August 19th, 1991

At home, England

One of the best things about having my own place is the luxury of spending as much time as I want on the phone without anyone (mum, for example) hovering, pretending to “dust this wee table,” just as the conversation’s about to move into juicy territory. So, with that said, I spent most of this rainy day on the phone;

“I’m sorry, who?” Sebastian teased.

“Very funny, you know what trolley dolly life’s like.”

“Oh, don’t I just,” he hollered. “My feet are still killing me, having just walked from L A to London. How’s the sparkler?”

The mention of LA made my mind wander. “How’s the what?”

“Your ring! Do you still get chatted up?”

“Actually, I’m not wearing it.”

“Oh my bridal gowns! That must be the fastest engagement ever!”

“Well…firstly, we didn’t actually get engaged and secondly-”

“You shagged Ben then felt guilty?”

“Something like that.”

“Ah, don’t worry, just blame it on a severe bout of jetlag and get the ring back on!”

 

Carl was next.

“I heard a rumour you’re no longer engaged.”

“Who told you that?”

“Somebody.”

“Somebody who?”

“Somebody we trained with. Maybe.”

“Her name wouldn’t happen to start with L by any chance now, would it?”

He chuckled. “Might do.”

“Argh, Lorna. I told her that in confidence and just so you know, William and I didn’t actually get engaged, we-”

“Wait, let me get this straight, when a bloke buys a girl a ring it’s not an engagement?”

“There’s much more to it than that,” I huffed.

“Good to know. So, I take it Ben managed to inch his way back in?”

“Did you seriously just say that?”

Carl cracked up laughing.

“And no, Ben is notback in the picture.”

“Let me guess, he came round, smelled great, there was wine, there was music, it got late and-”

“Wow Carl, sounds like you were there.”

“Basic moves darling, basic moves.”

 

August 17th, 1991

August 17th, 1991

At home, England

It’s not often we get two nights in New York so I made the most of it by doing some sightseeing (Empire State with Deidre, who’d never been) window shopping at Saks and Bloomingdales, eating and lots of walking, but the best part was seeing Christopher.

He met me at the Lex (crew hotel) the first night, then we headed out into the crowd. For some reason, we always seem to land in some dodgy bar, which, considering his breeding I find amusing. We talked nonstop about life and love, the usual. He and Laurie are getting married next year and he said he wishes they could “just head down to the islands somewhere and make it official.” Christopher isn’t one for crowds, another aspect of him I find interesting, considering where he lives!

“What’s happening with you?” he said, peering over a hearty pint of Guinness.

“Where to begin?” I laughed.

“David?”

“Done and dusted.”

“Ben?”

“Ongoing. Not in a good way.”

“Uh-oh,” he uttered, licking froth from his top lip. “You still got it bad for him, huh?”

“I’m trying hard to shake him off.”

He raised an eyebrow. “By sleeping with him?”

“I know, I know,” I said, throwing my hands up. “What can I say? I get lonely!”

“Understood. And William?”

“You might need another pint for that.”

“That crazy, huh?”

“It’s not so much him, it’s just, I…I don’t see myself living where he’s stationed.”

“Massachusetts?”

I nodded. “You know I went, right? Did you get my postcard?”
“I did, yeah. Mass is awesome, I think you’d be good there-”

“I’d be better here.”

He shook his head. “The city isn’t great for raising kids.”

“Who said anything about kids?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Anyway, it feels like a barrier. A huge one.”

“When are you seeing him again?”

“Probably not for a while. I’m going to Spain with my mum, then I’m a bridesmaid at my friend Sarah’s wedding.”

He lowered his voice. “Ugly dress?”

“The worst.”

We cracked up laughing.

“How many bridesmaids is Laurie having?”

Christopher took a long draw of his pint before placing it on the table. “Ten.”

“Seriously?”

“Yup, which means I gotta come up with ten guys to kinda even it all out.”

“Phew, that’s a lot.”

“Sure is. I only got a few close buddies and you’re one of ‘em. How do you look in a suit?” “Probably better than I do in a frumpy frock.”

He laughed. “More wine? Or..” He tilted his head and grinned. “You ready for some tequila?”

“Ahhhh,” I smirked. “You know me so well.”

 

August 14th, 1991

August 14th, 1991

Halfway across the Atlantic

Heading to the big apple with a plane full of obnoxious passengers! The New York flights are hit or miss and this one is without doubt, the latter. Due, in part I imagine to the two-hour delay on the ground, which really makes the day feel so much longer.

Regardless, I’m sticking to my plan and meeting Christopher tonight for a long overdue catch up. Perhaps, now that he’s engaged, he’ll have some words of wisdom about my love life.

Fingers crossed!

July 18th, 1991

July 18th, 1991

Night flight from DTW – LHR

I’ve heard it said how important it is to know what you want but that it’s more important to know what you don’t and I can say, without a doubt, that I don’t want to live in America. In the big scheme of things, I probably shouldn’t proclaim such after only a short stay in Massachusetts and less than twenty-four hours in Detroit, but that’s really how I feel right now.

I debated over ringing William but after too much wine with my crew, I caved in and found myself dialing the number that (for whatever reason) I can’t seem to commit to memory. After a few minutes, I blurted, “I can’t see myself living there!” which I expected to throw him for a loop but all he said was, “We can figure it out.”

What I failed to tell him is that I spent the most incredible weekend with Ben but I did tell him the ring he (William, not Ben!) bought me is back in its box, stuffed in my dresser drawer. He actually laughed, which I found quite confusing. After that, we talked easily about all sorts then all of a sudden, he said he needed to go to bed.

“Oh, ehm, ok,” I stuttered.

“I love you,” he said, leaving me feeling more confused than ever.

 

July 15th 1991

July 15th, 1991

At home, England

Since Ben left this afternoon, I’ve been replaying the weekend in my mind:

“Thanks for everything,” he said, tossing the last of his things into his bag. “I really don’t want to leave.”

“I don’t want you to, either but I believe Hong Kong is calling.”

“This time tomorrow,” he sighed, “I’ll be in Honkers and you’ll be halfway to Detroit.”

“Don’t remind me,” I laughed, as he moved towards me. Cupping my face in his hands he said, “Thank you for making my twenty-fifth birthday so spectacular. I loved every second with you.”

“No problem,” I croaked. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

“Did you?”

“I think you know the answer to that,” I said, pulling away, if only to stop the tears in their tracks.

I need to ring Pamsy. Hopefully she’ll forgive me for being a day late.

 

July 13th, 1991

July 13th, 1991

At home, England

 

I picked up the phone to Pamsy. “Soooo, was it great? How’s the flat? Fill me in!”

“It was nice.”

Nice? You don’t sound very enthusiastic, are you just tired?”

“No. I’m a little sad.”

“To be home?”

“To be, shit, I don’t know-”

“What happened?”

“Nothing really, I mean, it was pleasant and we spent a lot of time together and the place is really sweet-”

“But?”

“I just can’t see myself living there.”

“But what about William? Did you enjoy being with him?”

“I don’t think we’re compatible.”

“At all? You said he was quiet, maybe he’s just shy?”

“I think so but aside from that, he doesn’t like going out much.”

“That’s odd.”

“I don’t know if he just gets stressed from his job, you know how some people are really into their work and take it home with them?”

“Unlike us,” she laughed. “You have to keep in mind how unusual our jobs are, I mean who else do you know who gets paid to fly around the world? Perhaps the normalcy of what you just experienced was all too much at once?”

“I didn’t think of it that way but you could be right. Maybe that’s why I was bored.”

“It doesn’t mean the two of you can’t find somewhere livelier to live, right?”

I sighed a deep sigh. “I really don’t know, Pamsy. I just don’t see myself living a life like that.”

“Did you tell William?”

“No, not yet.”

“Sounds like you have a lot to think about, I’m so sorry. I imagine it’ll be a quiet night for you?”

“Actually no, “I said, wondering if I should continue.

“Oh, are you going out?”

“I might be. Ehm, Ben is coming over.”

“Noooooooooooo-”

“Yeeeeesss,” I said, glancing at the clock for the umpteenth time.

“What am I going to do with you! I thought he was still with Mandy Pandy.”

“I don’t know, we didn’t get that far on the phone.”

“You better ring me first thing tomorrow with every and I mean every detail but do it before half nine, that’s when I have to leave.”

“That’s a bit early.”

“Well, tonight, after you don your long, flowing, flannel nightie, you know, the one with the ruffled neckline and long sleeves, brush and floss your teeth, climb into bed and before you shut off the light, reach over and set the alarm, then crawl under the duvet for a long-”

“A long what?” I managed, through giggles.

“You know,” she chuckled. “A long, deep, satisfying…sleep!”

 

July 12th, 1991

July 12th, 1991

Flight from BOS – LHR, as a passenger

Heading home after spending ten days with William, which meant I was in America over “the fourth,” as they refer to Independence Day. Having never celebrated such, I was more than keen to go all out and do whatever it is they do but William had a migraine and said he didn’t feel like “fighting the traffic.”

The flat William rented is quite lovely. There’s a little balcony off the living room that overlooks the harbour, the whimsical view of which inspired me to write a couple of short stories about the sea and such. On the days William was at work, I strolled down to the pier and watched the fishing boats pull up, surprised by the amount of work it took to offload the huge containers.

There’s a twice daily boat cruise that sails through the Cape Cod Canal, which, according to the little pamphlet, was built in 1914 (first I’d heard of it!) I spoke to several people on the pier who said the trip was worth doing but I never got around to it.

The town itself is quaint, with nothing more than a pizza joint, a “convenience store,” (more like inconvenience as they had nothing I was looking for!) and a post office. Oh, there’s also a wooden shack type of place that sells fried seafood but apparently, it’s only open during “the season,” which William said is between, “Memorial Day and Labor Day.” Seriously, it’s like another language! Memorial Day is in May, which is when the tourists start showing up and Labor Day, “when they leave,” is, I think he said the first week of September. I’m not sure what happens after “the tourists” leave, it didn’t exactly seem busy to me but William insisted the place was “overrun with New Yorkers this time of year.”

As picturesque as it is, I shan’t be returning.