Like a vision of Adonis he appeared in the doorway. Framed by palm fronds he stood, arrogantly aware of himself and the effect his presence caused, at least on one of the group seated around the table. His dark hair fell seductively in impertinent curls upon his neck. His flashing brown eyes brazenly expressed mischief whirling around in his mind. A self-assured, cheeky smile played at his lips.
Immediately, he drew my attention away from the others around my table, set outside amongst the ferns and palms. Shamelessly, he held my gaze, flaunting his magnificence. He knew it. I sensed it. Cockily, he strutted across to the table. I was sharing jovial afternoon drinks with industry associates, tourist industry acquaintances. With not a sign of bashfulness, he introduced himself, only briefly allowing his eyes to leave mine to greet the others present. I invited him to join us.
In the manner of one contented within himself, exuding a brash confidence, he drew up a chair to the left of my own. Fully aware of the inner turmoil I was experiencing, he spoke assuredly, although with a strong accent. The air between us was rife with electricity. Vainly, I tried to remain composed. If I was prone to blushing, I knew I would have been as red as a beetroot. Fortunately, that was not the case.
To my right sat David, someone I’d been friendly with for a couple of months or so. Amongst the others in the group was a woman from a
The sun began its descent as our little party broke up, each going on their separate ways. Jan and I sealed our advance plans. She and her husband were coming to the island for the weekend as my guests to do a “famil”. A “famil” (a bastardization of “familiar”) is an industry term where travel agents, tour operators etc., visit a resort, hotel and the like to enable them to do an accreditation on the facilities for selling on to prospective holiday-makers. It was Thursday afternoon. I was returning to the resort the following day. Jan planned to arrive, with her husband on the Saturday morning. We bade each other farewell. Andrew lingered, not eager to leave. I suggested that he join David and I for dinner a little later, giving him the address of where to meet up with us. Eagerly without further thought, he accepted my invitation.
Almost every time I stayed in
Having showered, dressed for the evening’s festivities the restaurant awaited. Andrea soon made his appearance and we three enjoyed a meal together. We then wandered on to a nightclub. The last we saw of Andrea that night was him enjoying himself on the packed dance floor. Indicating to him that we were leaving, he waved happily and we left him to his own devices, confidently knowing he’d not get lost in the sea of merry-makers. I didn’t expect to see him again.
I traveled back south the following morning, leaving
Bob, the skipper of the “Reef Cat”, radioed through to me as was his habit when he was five minutes out for the island jetty to advise me of his pending arrival. As arranged, he always radioed prior leaving Cardwell in case I had any last minute pick-ups for him to do for me, and again he radioed as he departed the Cardwell jetty. The powered catamaran pulled into the jetty, and as usual, I was there to meet any expected guests he had on board. Some holiday-makers chose to travel by road, leaving their vehicles at Cardwell and then transferring to the island by boat. Others arrived by seaplane.
A number of guests disembarked, followed by Jan, the travel agent and her husband. Greeting everyone individually as he or she alighted, once my special guests set foot on the jetty, I started to turn to lead the way up to the resort. To my surprise, one last passenger jumped off the boat onto the jetty. Bearing a wide, triumphant grin, there landed Andrea, in his unabashed glory.
To say I was surprised was putting it mildly. To say I felt pleasantly excited, that also would be putting it mildly!
To be continued...