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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

April 29th, 1991

April 29th, 1991

Scott’s House, Antigua

I was supposed to fly home yesterday but William made it quite clear he wanted me to stay so I went to the airport and rang in sick! Needless to say, the connection was awful, with the time delay a dead giveaway, well that plus the flight announcements! It was pretty obvious from the questions Tom on the crewing desk asked that he knew exactly what I was up to.

“What seems to be the matter?”

I’m following my heart, is what I really wanted to say but I made up some nonsense about a stomach problem.

So, tomorrow, instead of going to Delhi, I’m going to the island of St. Croix with William!

 

April 17th, 1991

April 17th, 1991

Dominica

The first words out of William’s mouth, in the tiny terminal in Antigua, almost a year after seeing him last, were; “Do you want to go to Dominica tomorrow?” Needless to say, I said yes because I’m sunning myself on a tropical beach, while William spends the day at work,  in some remote location!

The tiny plane we took here was bobbing about so much, I thought I might throw up but fortunately with such a short flight time, I managed to keep it together.

William rented a Jeep that tore its way through rugged, makeshift roads, kicking up dust while the sun beat down on us, before the road suddenly opened to the expansive beach, with not a soul around.

“Is that where we’re staying?” I asked, pointing to a small bright yellow building, only a few feet from the surf. William nodded yes and I expected him to tell me something about it but he just kept driving. I get the impression he’s one of those people who can only do one thing at a time.

That might be a problem!

 

 

April 12th, 1991

April 12th, 1991

Pacific Shore Hotel, Santa Monica, California

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start (sorry, high on LA!)

Thanks to the eight-hour time change, mum and I were up before the crack of dawn, so we walked to the Santa Monica Pier, then popped into Café Boulangerie and devoured pancakes doused in syrup (oh my!)

On the way back to the hotel, I chuckled when mum said, “I’ve yet to see an ugly person!”

“It’s illegal here,” I joked (kind of!) “And I doubt they eat what we just had.”

“Och well,” mum said. “You only live once.”

I was surprised to see a few fellow crew waiting for the tour bus, the first stop of which was the hotel where the Virgin Atlantic crew stay. I was so hoping Ben wouldn’t be one of them. Any sign of him would have completely ruined mum’s day!

Mum was beside herself with excitement as we drove through Beverly Hills and said she couldn’t believe she was so close to so many of her, “Favourite Hollywood stars.” The tour guide was (wait for it!) an aspiring actor, who, upon request, did impressions of pretty much everyone, which was highly entertaining (and garnered plenty of tips!)

Spent the day at Disney, under the brilliant California sun that I doubt I’d ever tire of. Mum mentioned umpteen times how much she was enjoying herself and even though I’ve done all the touristy stuff before, it was nice to enjoy it through fresh eyes.

Back to the hotel for showers and a change of clothes, followed by a quick drink with a bunch of crew who didn’t appear fit for much other than holding up the bar! With such a huge time difference, I usually feel the same but with mum in tow, resting was not an option!

Being mum’s birthday dinner, I didn’t want to chance a new restaurant, so I took her to the cool Italian place I used to frequent with David. I quickly scanned the room, half hoping he’d be there, the other half relieved he wasn’t!

Mum loved watching the sunset from the roof terrace and declared, “Life begins at fifty!”

 

 

 

April 7th, 1991

April 7th, 1991

At home, England

Millie rang to apologize for her ridiculous ranting last night about Antigua and how she felt, “put out,” by the fact I’m going sooner than I thought.

“If you’re so upset,” I said, in a newfound bold tone, “Then don’t bother coming. I’m not forcing you to.”

“I’ll get there a few days after you arrive. Will that be ok?”

Only if you lose your deplorable attitude, I wanted to say. “Yes, that’ll be fine.”

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.

I resisted the urge to respond with the standard, “Me too,” and changed the subject.

We stayed on the phone for about an hour, mostly talking about my upcoming trip to Los Angeles.

“Is your mum excited?”

“She’s beside herself!”

“I can just imagine,” Millie laughed, sounding more like herself again. “You two will have a great time. Right?”

“I believe so.”

“It won’t upset you, you know, being there again?”

“I hope not,” I sighed. “I just want to show my mum around and celebrate her birthday.”

“So you don’t plan on seeing David?”

“Absolutely not!” I blurted, my words not quite matching how I felt.

“What would you do if you bumped into him?”

“Millie! I’m not going to be bump into him, he doesn’t live anywhere near where we’re going.”

“I thought you didn’t know where he moved to?”

“I might have done some, eh, some snooping.”

“You mean stalking?”
“No, I mean investigating,” I said, trying not to laugh.

“And what did Miss Marple discover?”
“Where he lives, as well as a phone number.”

Millie made a sound of disapproval but it wasn’t very convincing. “Well,” she continued, “Tell your mum to have a lovely time and I guess I’ll see you in Antigua.”

“You’ll see me before I leave. I’m leaving my car at yours, remember?”

“Oh yeah, I forgot. Ok, great, so I’ll see you then. Have fun in LA and don’t be sad.”

“I won’t,” I uttered, not quite believing it.

 

March 25th, 1991

 

March 25th, 1991

Hilton Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

Autumn stroll through the park with Andy that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s always great having a friend on the trip who encourages you to get out and do stuff, not that we’ve done anything major but we’ve been out…a lot!

“Just think,” Andy said, motioning to the woman in front of us, pushing a pram.

.“That could be you in a few years.”

I laughed. “I don’t even have a boyfriend!”
“Yeah but that can change at the drop of a hat.”

“True, but as it stands right now I’m single with, I’d say, ah, zero prospects.”

“What about the bloke in Antigua?”

“William? Nah, I don’t think he’s really my type.”

“I thought you were going to see him soon?”

“Not ‘til May, but nothing’s set in stone yet so it might not happen.”

“Don’t do that!”
“What?”
“Don’t change your plans. You should keep your options open.”

I stopped walking and gave him, “a look.”

“We should all,” he said, emphasizing the all. “We should all keep our options open.”

“That’s better,” I said, taking his arm again.

“How many kids do you want?”

“You’re really asking me that?”
“What’s wrong with that? You must have some idea. Don’t all girls know stuff like that?”

I laughed. “I don’t know!”

“I’ve thought about it.” He paused. “I’d like three but I don’t suppose that’ll ever happen.”

“Don’t say that,” I said, nudging him. “You don’t know that.”

“They’d all have to be adopted.” He sounded pensive.

“It’s not out of the question.”

“Not easy though, is it? I mean, in this job. It’s hard enough to find a partner, let alone someone who’s willing to stay home while we’re…we’re-”

“Strolling through a park in Australia on a Monday afternoon?”

“Yeah,” he sighed. “Something like that.”

I squeezed his arm. “I think you’d make a great Father.”

He gave my cheek a gentle peck. “And I think you’ll make a lovely mum.”

“Thank you,” I mouthed. “Lunch?”

“Yeah,” he smiled. “Lygon street’s right around the corner.”

 

 

March 23rd, 1991

March 23rd, 1991

Hilton Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

Saturday night in Melbourne started with a scrumptious crew dinner that swiftly erased any memory of tedious swims (all two of them!) and dull, limp salads.

On the walk back to the hotel, Andy and I sang songs from Mary Poppins (he insisted on being Julie Andrews) and talked about all sorts.

“Ooooh, look, look,” he cooed, pointing to the shuttle bus pulling up outside the entrance to the hotel. “I wonder if we’ll know anybody.”

“You will,” I laughed. “You know everybody.”

“Let’s sit here and watch them go in.”

I sat next to him on the bench, feeling the first of the Autumn chill. “Do you think they’ll see us?”

“Nah, they’ll be too knackered to be paying attention.”

First off the bus was a woman I’ve flown with, whose name escaped me.

“Shelia”, Andy said. “Lovely old bird. She’s been flying since its discovery,  oh and here come the glamour girls, aw bless, look at them, teetering on them heels. Bet their feet are killin ‘em.”

I stifled a giggle, followed by, “Shit!”

“You know him?”

“Oh yes, quite well actually.”

“Tut, tut, tut,” Andy clucked, teasingly. “What’s his name?”

“Graeme.”

“Don’t know ‘im but he’s nice looking. You want to go and say hello to him?”

“Nah.”

He gave me a questioning look. “You sure?”

“Uh-huh.”

“There’s a story there, I know it.”

“There’s always a story. The fact is, I’m just not in the mood for pleasantries, you know?”

“Ooooh, get you, being all ballsy,” he chuckled, pressing his shoulder against mine. “I know those two,” he said, motioning to two handsome looking men.

“And?”

“Not in the mood either.”

I laughed. “So, I guess we’ll stay here ‘til they check in.”

“Definitely. And then I think it’s time for a night cap? Yeah?”

I nodded in agreement. “What goes with nightcap?”

He licked his lips lasciviously, making me laugh, then breathed, “Chocolate mousse!”

 

March 22nd, 1991

March 22nd, 1991

Flight from BKK – SYD – MEL

Hilton Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

After feeling like a zombie on the flight, surrounded by vile passengers, I came to the conclusion that I probably shouldn’t have stayed up half the night with Andy C, discussing “love stuff,” over several helpings of chocolate mousse. And club sandwiches. And wine.

“From the sound of it, you still seem pretty cut up about David.”

Feeling the lump forming in my throat, I uttered, “Hmmmm.”

“It’s ok to cry, you know.” His voice and expression combining to bring on the tears.

“Ugh,” I sniffed. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

“I’m just sad there was no-”

“Warning?”

I nodded. “It all happened so fast. One minute I was getting ready to meet his family, the next, he was gone. I just hope he’s ok and that he..you know…he-”

“Came out?”

“Uh-huh,” I said, wiping my eyes. “Was it difficult for you?”

“What, coming out?”

I nodded, unsure whether he’d be willing to discuss such a personal experience and for a moment I thought I’d crossed the line but then he started pacing around the room, talking rapidly.

“It’s something I always knew. Always. For as long as I can remember but it wasn’t ‘til I was nineteen that I felt I had the confidence to, you know, tell my mum and dad.”

“And how did they react?”

“Me mam cried but said she had always known and that she loved me no matter what, which, as you can imagine was a huge relief.”

“And your dad?”

A little laugh escaped him. “Me dad slapped me hard on the back and asked if we’d still be able to go down the pub and have a pint!”

I couldn’t help but smile. “So, it was fine?”

“I don’t think it could’ve gone any better but I wish I hadn’t had all them sleepless nights worrying about it for years beforehand.”

I got up and gave him a hug.

“What’s that for?”

“Just saying thanks.”

He smiled widely. “So, no need for anymore chocolate mousse?”

“No, but we should at least finish the wine.”

 

 

March 21st, 1991

March 21st, 1991

Dusit Thani Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Back to the pool this morning, joined this time, by Barry, a guy I know through Emilio. Barry’s speedos could not have been any smaller or tighter and the reason he can wear such is because he swims every morning, I mean, every morning, whether he’s at home in snowy Scotland or here in sultry Bangkok.

Watching all one hundred and thirty pounds of Barry glide through the pool was enough to make me give up and head back to my room where, amazingly, I resisted the urge to pick up the phone and order eggs benedict (yum!)

Tonight, a bunch of us went to the Telephone Bar, where the phone on our table was very busy with incoming calls, all for Barry (on each table is a phone that connects to the other tables.) Andy C rolled his eyes when, after hearing Barry talk incessantly about his adventures as “A Space Waitress,” he gave me a look that said, “Let’s go.”

Once outside, Andy (who’s camp factor far outweighs Barry’s) cracked me up with his perfect impression of, as he calls him, “Bootiful Baza!”

In the lobby, Andy asked if I was tired.

“No. Just hungry.”

“Me too, let’s grab something at the bar.”

“Sorry, I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I’m not eating. Or drinking.”

“What, ever again?” he chuckled.

“I’m really trying to be good,” I pleaded.

“Good is overrated,” he winked. “I’m thinking chocolate mousse.”

“Ah,” I sighed. “My weakness.”

“I remembered that,” he said, linking his arm through mine. “So, your room or mine?”