Warm wind in my face. The sun bidding goodbye, as the sky slowly turns into that sunset orange that makes Phuket seem like a paradise.
“Paradise on Earth… Such vain wishes of man.” I thought.
Shrugged it away, wanting to just watch the beautiful sunset in silence.
Light steps behind me. I knew it was Matt but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from its beauty. The sea has always been a retreat for me. It is now.
“Paradise.” He whispered, now standing right beside me.
Without moving I could still see him from the corner of my eye. Crisp white dress shirt with contrasting buttons, my gift last Christmas. He had pulled the sleeves back & had paired it with teal green chino shorts.
My heart skips a beat.
“Yes, Paradise.” I said. Finally looking at him smiling. “Damn it, Matt.” I thought
Time seemed to stand still as I watch him. Then he looks at me but with a serious expression on his face. My heart pounding so loud I think he could hear it. My mind was screaming, “RUN!” but my feet were frozen in place. I wanted to crack a joke to make things light. But I was longing for him hold me. I could see him debating with himself. He shrugged his shoulders and smiled. I could always read Matt and with that I knew he shrugged the feelings away.
Still smiling he asked, “Shall we? I’m famished.” Holding out his hand to me.
“Yes please.” I answered, my heart sinking.
Dinner was at THE DECK, under the moonlight, branches of coconut trees swaying lightly above us, soft music in the background mixed with people talking & laughing. We were back to our old selves. Back to discussing, scheduling and planning the next day.
“How is the food?” The manager asked. She seems to be doing her usual rounds asking every table.
“It’s perfect.” I answered
Matt gave her a smile and a thank you.
“Such a lovely couple! Just ask for me if there is anything you need.” the manager said, walking away.
I gave a light nervous laugh.
“A couple…hmm.” he said with a wink
“Matthew…” I said softly
“Aww. Cool it, luv. I was just teasing.” Again winking.
“So, About tomorrow…” Ignoring his teasing.
“All work and no play, eh?”
“No. I just want every detail ironed out.”
“We got this, luv. Easy peasy. We’ve done this a hundred times.”
“Yes. I just wanna make sure there are no hiccups.”
“The only hiccups will be coming from me. After an hour at the bar.”
Both of us now laughing.
Two hours later. I was back in the room. Worried. Now I have to deal with the mix up earlier today. Somewhere along the way there was a communication breakdown and we were booked at a room with one bed instead of a Suite with 2. It would have been ok if my creative assistant, Ava, didn’t bail out on me. Now I’m stuck with Matt. We tried getting another room but the place was full because of 2 weddings scheduled within the same week. Just my luck! Matt said he’d grab the cushions from the pool deck and use it on the floor. I'm worrying too much. Matt will most likely be spending another hour or two at the bar. He already caught the attention of a few women by the time I left.
Defeated by the dilemma, I decided to turn in.
“Xavi!” I called out for the third time.
He turned and looked straight at me, disappointment in his eyes, and then walked away. It felt like someone punched me in the stomach and squeezed my heart till every blood was drained out.
I couldn’t breathe. I cried out his name again but he was gone. I could feel tears burning down my face. It feels like the ground opened up and I was falling.
“Xavi!” I cried again
A hand on my shoulder. Relieved. I looked, my eyes still blurry from the tears. I hear him say something but it was muffled.
“….luv.” he said.
“You alright, luv.” I heard him say. He wiped my tears away.
It was Matt, still in his white dress shirt. His blonde hair a little ruffled.
“Wake up, luv. You’re dreaming.” He whispered again trying to shake me out of it.
“It’s ok, luv. You were dreaming.”
Tears still trickling down my face.
“Everything’s alright. It’s just a nightmare.”
“Yes, a nightmare.” I replied, unable to stop the tears.
I woke up finding Matt beside me. Holding me. I must have cried myself to sleep. I tried to replay what happened last night but all I can think of was this gripping pain in my heart. Not wanting to wake Matt and confront his questions, I slowly wiggled my way out of his arms.
“Deep Breaths, Belle. It was a dream.”
It’s a new day. Going to be a busy one and I have got to get a grip of myself. Tip toed around to gather some stuff. Nothing a cold shower can’t fix!
I was staring at the sea again watching it transform as the sun slowly rises.
But my heart was still sinking.
One. Two. Three.
Pressed call. Holding my breath.
“Hi, Belle” he answered.
Previously: Thinking of You – A Prologue
Up Next: II. Weddings
19 October 2015