By Julia Thompson
She lay there in their two-day-old sex sheets. All the charm and delight of the little hotel room suddenly just became four very stark, very blank walls.
He had left the room somewhere around lunchtime the previous day and she didn’t care for his light hearted chat about the village that afternoon. She wanted to be inside his head. She yearned to know what he was thinking.
Insecurity had washed over her the afternoon before. She felt him slipping away from her. Their previous night of stolen kisses across the table, lovers wandering the backstreets, seemed gone, and her full heart seemed like a moment frozen in time. The cold began to hurt, like the pain of an ice cream headache when it grips you. She wanted the sun to come back and melt the ice that had suddenly caused this familiar pain. What was this shift?
She sat there blankly, not letting him get away without revealing himself. He couldn’t hold her stare and went about doing what he did best, setting a new scene. The polite host in him reared into action, and he waited on her. It took 2 glasses of crisp Spanish white wine for her to let a new shift happen, to overcome the distance he had created when he had left the room. She played him back, showing her vulnerability and finally getting him to open up to her. By the time they got up from the table it was as if their awkward afternoon lying in the hotel room had never happened.
They walked the length of their street to a restaurant they had attempted to eat at the previous evening. At least when he left the room earlier that afternoon, when she was lying there at a loss, he was planning a beautiful evening ahead.
Village chats aside, this place was charming and captured her heart. Typical that the Venetian would find the Spanish version, all tiny alleyways, hole in the wall wine bars and a street that felt like the lot of a movie set.
As they sat down for dinner he came back into their world. This could be classed as their second official date. However, as the night proceeded, white & black met on the backgammon board and he manoeuvred yet another insecurity. As the subject of table manners was discussed he set up his move, licking his knife and staring at her point blank, waiting for a reaction. She didn’t flinch. The competitive side of him wanted a reaction. He stuck his fork out with a little morsel and automatically she reached with her fingers to take it.. He laughed, Ah ha! Blot hit, checker on the bar. She should have taken the fork, or let him intimately feed her the little bite. How easily this man could shame her. And how quickly he could turn anything into a game with a winner and a loser.
By the second course he had forgotten about the game and his competitive eyes turned soft and romantic. The heat from their previous encounters was gone, and there they sat, two lovers at a table starting to feel the weight of all that had passed between them, how they had finally ended up here.
One last night cap, a final glide down the street so she could play out her dream scene, dancing & swinging around the only dim lit lamp post on the lot. They acted out “Singin in The Spain,” harking back to their first stolen evening, after she had watched the stage show of her favourite film. She’d thought this might be the opening scene of a sequel. But it was only an epilogue. Post credits scene.