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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 4th, 1991

May 4th, 1991

Scott’s House, Antigua

Being the great friend he is, Scott went to stay with a co-worker to allow William and I some privacy to, “talk.”
And oh, what a lot of, “talking,” we’re doing!

 

May 2nd, 1991

May 2nd, 1991

Scott’s House, Antigua

I’ve never been the type of girl who envisioned her wedding day or dreamt of being proposed to, but had I given a thought to any of it, I doubt I’d have come up with a scenario that took place in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, with a guy who, fresh from pissing me off, suggested we get married!

With my head reeling, I stared at William and asked him to repeat what he just said.

“I think we should get married.”

“That’s absolutely mental!”

“I love you, you love me.”

“Have you forgotten that we live in different countries?”

“You can move.”

“Whoa! Why do I have to be the one to move? What about you?”

“Maybe I will,” he said his tone matter of fact.

“Don’t be so ridiculous, you’ve never even been to the UK!”

“I’m sure I’d visit first,” he said, sounding much calmer than me.

“And if you don’t like it then you’d expect me to give up my entire life and move to an island?”

“I’ll be moving back to the States soon.”

“You’re missing the point!”

“No, Karen, you’re missing the point.”

I rolled my eyes and took a deep breath. “Remind me, please.”

“I want to marry you.”

I felt the smile spread across my face. “Point taken.”

 

May 1st, 1991

May 1st, 1991

St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

The expression, “Lovers’ tiff,” sounds almost endearing but the reality is harsh, as I discovered yesterday.

William (eventually) came back to the room, looking and acting as though nothing had happened. I tried being indifferent but within a few minutes, I was in tears.

“What’s up?” His tone wasn’t exactly sympathetic, which made me even angrier.

“Absolutely nothing,” I said, sounding like a stroppy teenager.

He settled himself on the bed and motioned for me to join him.

“No way,” I hissed, his reaction to which was a look of confusion that I found baffling. “Where the hell have you been?”

“Watching the boats.” He had the audacity to smile which made me even more furious.

“You cannot be serious,” I yelled, grabbing my bag with the intention of packing.

“What are you doing?” That quizzical look again.

“I’m leaving!”

“You can’t leave,” he laughed. “We’re on an island!”

I glared at him. “Do you understand why I’m upset with you?”

He shook his head and I thought, either he’s playing me, or he’s wired in a very, and I mean very, different way to me.

“Well whether you get it or not,” I huffed, “you should know that you pissed me off. Royally!”

“Ok,” he uttered, patting the bed. “Now will you come over here?”

“Why?”

“Because I want to talk to you.”

He’s about to dump me, I thought. Here. On an island. Where the only person I know is him.

“What do you want to talk about?”

“Something I’ve been thinking about.”

“Go on,” I urged, my mind swirling with ideas on how I’d get back to London, while William grinned and said, “I think we should get married.”

 

 

April 30th, 1991

 

April 30th, 1991

St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

The water is crystal clear and there’s not a cloud in the sky, but all I want is to go home.

Over lunch, I told William how sad I am about how things ended with Millie and how much I’m dreading picking my car up from hers for fear she’ll confront me.

“Just get over it!” he stated, continuing to tuck into a heap of conch fritters.

Attempting to sound as calm as possible, which given how annoyed I felt, wasn’t easy, I asked what he meant. Without looking up, he said, “What I said.”

Hoping he’d say something that made sense or at least gave me the impression he got it, I motioned for him to continue but his focus remained on eating so I got up from the table (stormed off would be more accurate!) without saying another word.

I fully expected him to follow me back to the room but that was well over an hour ago and there’s still no sign of him.