October 14th, 1990

October 14th, 1990

At home, England

In the time that it took for mum and I to walk Tini around Willen Lake and devour baked potatoes slathered in beans and coleslaw, dad painted my kitchen!

David rang tonight but the eight-hour time change certainly didn’t appear to work in our favour.

“How’s the move going?”

“To quote you, swimmingly.”

I laughed. “Glad to hear it.”

“Yeah, we got everything out yesterday.”

“So where did you sleep last night?” I asked.

“What?”

“Did you sleep at your new place?”

“Oh, eh, yeah, first night. Very cool.”

“How was it waking up?”

“Waking up?” His tone indicated he didn’t understand the question.

“With the new view, how was it?”

“Awesome, yeah, pretty cool.”

“Are you ok? You sound a bit distracted.”

I heard him yawn and couldn’t help but wonder if he was also stretching. Concentrate.

“It’s still early,” he said. “And all I can see are boxes that need to be unpacked. Preferably before the start of another crazy work week.”

When did unpacking become more important than talking to me!

“Then I should probably let you go.” I snipped, hoping my tone would alert him to how unsatisfied I was with the boxes excuse!

“Cool,” he replied. “I guess I’ll talk to you, when?”

“Not for a while,” I sighed, hoping that would rouse him. “This trip is a really long one.”

“How long?”

“Twelve days.”

“That’s not so bad.”

Maybe not for you with all that unpacking to keep you busy!

“Ok so I guess have a good trip and let me know when you’re back.”

“Will do,” I stated.

“I love you honey.”

“I love you too,” I croaked, hanging up just in time for the tears to start.

I’m blaming the paint fumes!

 

October 13th, 1990

October 13th, 1990

At home, England

Another wild Saturday night for me, wait, no, I’m at home, just off the phone with David!

“How was your day?”

“Really nice, actually. Felt like a proper Saturday, out shopping, you know, the sort of thing normal people do on the weekend.”

David let out a little laugh. “You don’t get much of an opportunity for that sort of normalcy.”

“Neither do you when you think of it, you’ve been travelling as much as I have recently.”

“I guess,” he said with what sounded like a slight sigh.

“How have things been since you got home?”

“I’m surrounded by boxes!”

“So, you’re moving today?”

“I’m hoping to have everything out of here by tomorrow at the latest.”

My mind drifted to the rooftop terrace and some of the amazing times David and I shared there. Feeling wistful, I said, “I’ll really miss being on the roof with you.”

“When you see the new view, you’ll forget all about it.”

“Oh ok, then,” I laughed. “I’ll take your word for it. Is somebody helping you to move?”

“Eh, uh-huh, yeah, it’s all good.”

Something about his hesitancy made me a little uncomfortable so I blurted. “Who? Who’s helping you?”

“My buddy Marcus.”

Phew, not Claudette the lawyer/bikini model who exists merely in my imagination and surfaces whenever I feel insecure!

“Oh, I haven’t heard you mention him before, is he a friend from work?”

“No, he’s eh, I met him surfing.”

“I don’t suppose you’ll have much time for surfing this weekend.”

“You never know,” he laughed. “Hey, you know what?”

“What?”

“I miss you.”

“I really miss you too, so much so that I hope I dream about us swimming with dolphins and…”
“Hey,” he said, interrupting me. “I gotta get groovin but why don’t I call you again tomorrow?”

I was taken aback by his abrupt tone but I reminded myself how stressful moving is. “Ok, good luck with everything today.”

“Thanks.”

“I love you,” I uttered, but he was already gone.

 

October 12th, 1990

October 12th, 1990

Flight from CAI – LGW

At home, England

Call time was three thirty this morning which can only be described as hideous, but on the plus side, with a flight time just under five hours, I was home early. Waiting on the door mat to greet me was the phone bill, the amount of which I responded to with a slew of expletives, all before I’d even removed my uniform jacket!

Driven by my new level of poverty, I went to mum and dads for dinner, over which, the conversation turned to the weather.

“Was it scorching in Cairo?” Mum asked.

“It was on the way to and from the hotel but other than that, I didn’t set foot outside the hotel.”

“Uff, I’d be at the pool day and night.”

“That’s because you’re a sun worshipper.”

“I’m dreading the winter,” she sighed as a look of concern flashed across dad’s face.

“Why don’t the two of you go away for a wee break?” he suggested.

I shook my head. “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“My phone bill is eh, pretty hefty, to say the least.”

“Och, well that’s understandable,” mum chirped. “Given how much time you spend on the phone with David.”

“The price of love,” dad said with a little chuckle.

“And worth every penny, right Tommy?”

“Honestly, you two, behave!” I said, trying not to laugh. “What’re you like!”

“Anyway”, mum continued. “Where should we go for a wee bit of winter sun?”

I looked at dad. “Don’t worry about the money,” he said, waving his hand.

“Thanks dad. How about I buy staff travel tickets to say, somewhere in Spain and you and mum pay for, well, pretty much everything else.”

Dad laughed and mum looked eager. “When can we go?”

“I have leave the first week of November, we could go then.”

“What about David?” Mum asked.

“He’ll be in Japan that week. I probably won’t see him now ‘til Thanksgiving.” Just saying it made me sad.

“Spain it is!” Mum said, jumping up off the couch. “C’mon upstairs Karen and help me sort my clothes out for Espana.”

I didn’t have the heart to point out the obvious, like the fact we’re not going for at least another three weeks!

 

October 11th, 1990

October 11th, 1990

Cairo, Egypt

Planned on meeting the crew for breakfast but when the alarm went off, I chose to ignore it and go back to sleep.

It’s been a lovely, relaxing day reading and writing, fueled by Greek salad and a double helping of chocolate mousse from room service.

Ah, the glamorous life of a hostie!

 

October 10th, 1990

October 10th, 1990

Flight from LGW – CAI

Cairo, Egypt

 

I felt so sad when I dropped David off at terminal four this morning.

“Til we meet again,” he said, grabbing his suitcase out of the boot.

“I hate this,” I groaned.

“Me too honey but I’ll see you soon.”

“Maybe not ‘til next month.”

“We’ll figure something out before then,” he smiled. “We always do.”

“I’m so looking forward to seeing your new place.”

“I should be in by next week, I’ll send pictures.”

“No, don’t, I want it to be a surprise.”

“Deal,” he said, giving me a peck on the cheek. (No kissing whilst in uniform!)

“Have a good flight,” I sighed.

“You too, honey. I’ll call you this weekend, ok?”

“Ok.”

And now Cairo, where it’s hot, humid and seven and a half thousand miles away from Los Angeles.

 

October 9th, 1990

October 9th, 1990

Penta Hotel, Heathrow Airport, England

Just when I thought David couldn’t be more perfect, he rang first thing (like six this morning first thing!) to say he’d changed his flight from Germany to LA so he could spend the night in the UK.

“I’ll be in class all day, did you forget?”

“No, what time will it be over?”

“I should be done by five at the latest, which unfortunately won’t give us much time at my house.”

“I took the liberty of booking a room at the hotel.”

“Wow, what time did you get up?” I laughed. “So, is it safe for me to assume I’ll be spending the night?”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Ah, be still my beating heart.

“Sounds great, I should be at the hotel by about five thirty.”

“Tell me where you’ll be, I’ll come pick you up.”

“Are you sure? Will you have a car?”

“I already reserved a rental car.”

Oh my!

 

I couldn’t wait for class (annual certification for Safety, Emergency Procedures on the Boeing 747) to be over but when the instructor said we were done at four thirty I inwardly groaned, thinking of the wait I’d have ‘til David arrived. Of course I should’ve known he’d already be outside, waiting.

“Didn’t I just see you in Germany?” he grinned, holding the car door open.

I laughed. “Hurry up and get in, I can’t be seen kissing you in uniform.”

 

A few seconds later, he leaned over and kissed me. “Better?”

“You tell me.”

“Much, much better,” he smiled. “Hey, you wanna go to London for dinner?”

“Yeah, that sounds fab but I need to change first. My car’s on the other side,” I said, pointing.

“Cool,” he smiled. “Show me the way.”

 

Amazing night. Amazing guy.

In every way.

 

October 8th, 1990

October 8th, 1990

At home, England

Spent most of tonight on the phone with David where we each said, “I miss you,” about a hundred times! When I told him the story of my journey home, he said it was, “Epic,” and urged me to write it all down.

Like I haven’t already!

 

October 7th, 1990

October 7th, 1990

Flight from DUS – LHR as a passenger

At home, England

 

I don’t quite know where to begin so I guess I’ll start by saying how much I’m missing David after such an incredible time in Germany.

It was raining this morning, so we had breakfast inside, but with the balcony doors open.

“I had the best sleep I’ve had in a long, long time,” David said, stretching enough that his t-shirt rose, revealing parts of him I find irresistible.

“Glad to hear that,” I smirked. “Can you just do that again?”

“Do what?” he asked. Such innocence!

“That stretch thing,” I said, waving my hand. “Only this time reach higher and slow it down a bit.”

“You’re bad,” he said, leaning over to kiss me.

“Did you have the dolphin dream?”

He looked surprised. “No, did you?”

“I did, actually,” I said in a cocky voice.

“And?”

“There were seven dolphins swimming around us.”

He cracked up laughing and I loved that he got it without me having to explain. “Seven, huh?”

“Actually,” I continued, in the same vein. “It might have been nine.”

“Hmmmmm,” he said, rubbing his chin, in an exaggerated way.

I glanced at the clock and sighed.

“I wish you could stay”, he said, echoing my thoughts.

“As much as I want to ring in sick for the Paris flight tonight, if I do, it’ll mess everything up and I’ll lose the trip I requested to spend Thanksgiving with you.”

“That’s not an option.”

All too soon, we were on our way to the airport.

“You don’t have to come in, just drop me off.”

“No way,” David said. “I’m coming inside with you.”

The desk agent had a stern look to her that didn’t exactly scream Customer Service and with a well- practiced eye roll, she uttered the words one never wants to hear whilst travelling on a staff travel ticket; “The flight is full.”

“Are you sure?”

“Very,” she stated, her tone falling somewhere between stern and evil. “You vil not be travelling to London today.”

“Shit!” I exclaimed, followed with a quick apology as she practically tossed the ticket at me. I looked at David. “I can’t ring in sick, I really can’t.”

“Can you take a flight out of another airport?”

“I, I don’t know,” I stuttered.

He gave me a look that said, “Allow me?”

I nodded yes and stepped to the side as he cleared his throat. He leaned slightly over the counter and said something in German to battle axe lady that actually made her laugh, which in turn made him laugh but I could tell he was faking it. All I understood from the quick exchange was “Dusseldorf.”

Battle axe turned sex kitten hit the computer keys in a frantic fashion, all the while making sounds confirming the reason why German isn’t considered a Romance language.

“Ja,” she breathed seductively, gazing at David as though I had vanished into thin air.

“Danke,” he smiled, followed by words that made her cheeks flush slightly.

“What exactly is happening?” I snipped.

“I’ll tell you in the car,” David said, looking at his watch. “We gotta move it!”

Fortunately, due to the fact David flew into Dusseldorf just the other day, he remembered the way.

“Don’t worry honey,” he kept saying as he bombed down the autobahn. “We’ll get you home in time for work tonight.”

For a myriad of reasons, my insides were churning as we neared the terminal so I told David just to drop me off.

“You sure?”

“Uh-huh,” I nodded, fearing I might cry. “There’s no time to linger.”

He grabbed my bag out of the boot, we kissed and I ignored the immense sadness welling up inside as I quickly made my way towards the entrance. Just as I was about to step inside, David called out. “Nine dolphins, huh?”

I spun around to see him standing with his elbow resting on the car door.

“Actually,” I yelled. “I think it was ten.”

He smiled and blew me a kiss.

Inside, the terminal was packed and I fought my way to the Lufthansa check-in area and joined the long queue. When I finally got to the counter, the desk agent typed in all my information, all the while making small talk (I think!) with the man working next to her.

“Are there many people on standby?” I asked.

“About twenty too many,” she replied in a Northern English accent. I refrained from asking where she was from, but just knowing she spoke the same language was enough to make me continue. “The woman in Cologne said there was space on this flight.”

“There was, until about ten minutes ago. We had a huge group of VIP’s check in, now we’re juggling everybody about to accommodate them.”

“Ugh, so there’s no way I’m getting on this flight.”

She gave me a sympathetic look. “Sorry. The best I can do is put your name on the list for the Air Europe flight. To Gatwick.”

“That’s the only other one today?”

“There’s one to Manchester later.”

“My car is at Heathrow,” I said, feigning a smile.

“Sorry, I wish there was something else I could do.”

The thought of losing the request trip to LA was enough to make me come up with Plan B, so with a freshly paid for phone card, I rang mum and asked her to ring crewing. “Tell them my car broke down but make sure whoever you speak to knows I’m not ringing in sick. I can’t let David down at Thanksgiving.” I knew the mere mention of anything David related would be enough to guarantee mum’s utmost attention!

The prospect of waiting for the flight to Gatwick was depressing so I concocted a fantasy (what else can you do in the airport with three hours to kill when you’re too distracted to read?) in which I made my way back to Cologne. David opened the door. Stretched! Took one look at me, fell to his knees, told me he couldn’t live without me and asked me to marry him! Of course, I said yes and we lived happily ever after (in LA!)

Fine tuning the fantasy details took up a lot of time and before I knew it, I was on the flight, vowing never again to rely on staff travel to get me home in a timely fashion!

I got a crappy middle seat but I knew two of the girls on the crew from my days working with Air Europe so I moseyed to the back galley, where I enjoyed several glasses of Champagne, all whilst giving Ally and Emma the condensed version of why I was in Germany.

Reality once again set in when we touched down at Gatwick and I had to leg it to catch the Gatwick Express to Victoria train station. From there it was two tube rides to Heathrow then finally to the crew car park, where I sighed a deep sigh of relief. Even the thought of a two-hour drive home felt like nothing compared to the eight hours prior.

Rang mum to let her know I made it. She said the woman she spoke to on the crew desk was really helpful, and assured mum that none of my other trips will be affected. I do have to ring crewing in the morning though, so hopefully I won’t be in too much trouble.

I put on some music, made hot chocolate and pondered whether I should unpack or wait ‘til tomorrow but I felt too wired to sleep, so the bag won. At the bottom of it, was a postcard of Cologne Cathedral, attached to a small box, tied with white ribbon. On the back of the card, David had written; “Here’s the first of many. Thank you for the best time ever. I absolutely love you x”

And inside the box, was a Swarovski crystal baby dolphin.

 

October 6th, 1990

October 6th, 1990

A flat in Cologne, Germany

 

In bed last night, David was breathing so heavily, I thought he might be crying.

“Are you ok?” I whispered.

He pulled me closer and squeezed me so tight, I had to catch my breath.

“I love this,” he murmured, into my hair. “I love it so much.”

“Me too,” I breathed, suddenly feeling so overcome with emotion, I thought I might cry. David didn’t let go, so I fell back asleep with much of my body draped over his, the rise and fall of his chest offering a sense of comfort I haven’t felt in a long, long time.

 

“You look really pretty,” David said this morning, while we were enjoying breakfast on the tiny balcony.

“Thanks,” I smiled, feeling my cheeks flush. “You don’t look too shabby either!”

He laughed. “Your hair looks great, too.”

“Ditto,” I smiled, motioning to the busy street below. “It’s cool here but it’s not quite Manhattan Beach, is it?”

“You just reminded me,” he groaned. “I have so much to do when I go home.”

“With the move?”

“Yeah,” he nodded. “That emergency trip to Delhi kinda messed things up.”

“You’ll get it all sorted,” I said, as he came towards me.

“You ready?”

“For what?”

He kissed my ear and whispered. “Another trip to London.”

Several hours later, the phone woke us up. I lay in bed, listening, as David chatted effortlessly, in German, roughly four words of which I understood.

“That was Urdo,” he said, hanging up.

“Who’s that?”

“My boss, he’s cool, you’ll like him.”

“Will I get to meet him?”

“There’s a jazz festival in town tonight, supposed to be pretty good. Urdo and his girlfriend are going, he was calling to ask if we’re interested in meeting them there.”

“Absolutely!”

“Really?”

“Uh-huh,” I said, getting out of bed. “You need to make a good impression.”

He gave me a questioning look.

“If there’s a chance you can come and work here for, what did you tell me earlier?”

“Six months,” he said. “Maybe more.”

“In that case yeah, we’re going! I want him to tell your boss in LA that you’re the best thing since sliced bread and that the company simply cannot afford not to have you here!”

He laughed. “But you love LA.”
“Yes, but Germany is soooo much closer to England.” My voice rose at the thought of such a possibility. “Besides, it’s only twenty quid for me to fly here!”

“That’s all I’m worth to you?” His attempt at not laughing failed miserably.

“Maybe twenty-five,” I teased, perching on the edge of the bed. “But definitely no more than that.”

“You drive a hard bargain, lady,” he said with a little chuckle. “Hey, I just had an idea.”

“If it involves anything to do with London, the answer is no!”

He cracked up laughing. “No, that’s not at all where I was going.”

“In that case, I’m all ears.”
“If I get sent here,” he spoke slowly. “You know, with work, if they send me here, maybe you could spend time, kind of like a lot of time here. With me.”

I felt the smile spread across my face as he continued. “Would you like that?”

I shook my head no. He looked crestfallen. “You wouldn’t?”

“No,” I said, leaning in closer. “I wouldn’t like it. I’d love it!”

 

October 5th, 1990

October 5th, 1990

Flight from LHR – CGN, as a passenger

A flat in Cologne, Germany

I’m at one end of the couch, David on the other, enjoying the last of a bottle of Champagne, going down a treat. I expected to skip tonight’s entry but David insisted I write and offered to give me a foot rub until the page is filled, which I suspect will take a reaalllyyyyy loooonnngg tiiiimmme. I just read that out to him and he’s cracking up laughing.

No problems getting on the flight (staff travel is great but it’s on a standby basis so you never know.) Can’t stress enough how elated I felt when we touched down in Cologne, knowing David was waiting for me.

I spotted him right away and did my best to contain the excitement I felt as we made our way towards each other. We kissed, he grabbed my bag, slung his arm across my shoulder then we made our way outside.

“Is this your flash rental car?”

“Pretty cool, huh?”

“Mmmmm,” I said, kissing him before easing into the plush leather seat.

It felt weird driving on the other side of the road but of course for David, it’s the same as it is in Los Angeles.

“You’re a speed demon,” I yelled, over the sound of the wind as he tore down the autobahn.

“Isn’t it awesome?”

Oh yeah.

 

We came to the flat and after what we jokingly referred to as, “Going to London in Germany!” we headed out in search of food and ended up in a Thai restaurant.

“I’m so happy you made it,” David said, reaching across the table to stroke my hand.

“Me too,” I smiled, experiencing that lovely, giddy feeling I get at the mere sight of him and intensifies whenever his skin touches mine.

“I missed you,” he said wistfully, his foot finding mine under the table. “What do you think of Cologne so far?”

The couple sitting next to us were in silent mode so I didn’t think it appropriate to respond with some cheeky remark about how enjoyable the sex had been so far.

“I’m looking forward to exploring more tomorrow,” I said, causing David to give me, “a look.”

“What?” I mouthed.
“Nothing,” he smirked.

The couple next to us started discussing the menu (not that I could understand what they were saying but I figured with all the pointing and head nodding that’s what they were doing.)

“You can’t make a face like that and not explain yourself,” I said, trying not to laugh.

“I’m thinking we’ll go out and explore after we explore.”

No longer feeling subconscious, I replied in my cocky voice. “Oh, it’s like that, is it? Is that why I’m here?”
“Pretty much, yeah,” he replied, prompting me to playfully smack his hand, which garnered a scornful scowl from the woman next to us.

“Looks to me like somebody needs a trip to London,” David chuckled, peering up from the menu.

After dinner, we popped into a couple of bars, one with live music where a  German singer crooned Beatles songs, in an American accent!

“You ready to go home?” David asked.

Home. Yes. Yes. Yes.

“Uh-huh, are you?”

“Definitely.”

Ah, that smirk again.

Time to get back to the reunion.