Nine years had passed since Randall first left Australian shores. Many waves had caressed and lashed the coast during those years. For approximately three years during his absence I’d been married. A divorce followed five years after Mervyn and I separated. A few beaus crossed my threshold and as quickly stepped back out again making little or no impression upon my heart. Lengthy, committed relationships were of little interest to me. Then as now, I was contented living alone. My commitment was to my job with the Kolotex Group, where new lines hit the market regularly. Business boomed. Promotional evenings and events were continually being planned and presented. I was busy both at and away from work.
Gavin and Andrew, John and Shirley’s lively young boys were still major highlights in my life being a witness to many of their “firsts”. I took them along to their first pantomime, which I enjoyed as much as they did, watching the excitement and thrill of the spectacle reflected in their eyes and faces. A morning matinee of “The Wizard of Oz” was being played at the same theatre around the corner from where I lived. Borrowing the boys for the morning, the three of us joined Dorothy and Toto in her many adventures along the yellow brick road. I was there, along with John and Shirley to cheer on Andrew in his first “little athletics meet”. He had not yet commenced school or was in his first year, I can’t remember exactly. After the race had finished, with hoarse voices, we hid our smiles when Andrew, with tears forging a path down his cheeks ran across to us, holding the index finger of his right hand in the air claiming it hurt.
“I…I…I got a sore finger,” he spluttered soulfully. It was enough to soften the hardest of hearts.
His sore finger was the reason he came last in his race, or so it seemed!
Dreams I’d been dreaming for years were, perhaps, about to come true. With some trepidation about the unknown ahead of me, I climbed the front stairs at the home of Randall’s parents, not wanting to show the feelings I was concealing. His mother greeted me at the top of the stairs and then led me inside. When I arrived Randall was sleeping off some of his jet lag in the “boys” room, the bedroom designated for he and his brother when the house was built. However, it was soon converted into a sunroom-sewing room as the work commitments of both Randall and his brother took them far a field from the home fires.
His mother and I talked quietly for a little while. Taking a deep breath, I then ventured into the back bedroom to wake him. It wasn’t the greatest welcome as Randall almost jumped out of his skin, not having a clue where he was when he woke. After a most inauspicious beginning, we shared a spirited evening around the dining table. The conversation flowed freely. The intervening years slipped away as if nothing had changed in the interim. Two separate lives in two separate countries suddenly merged with barely a murmur.
Because Randall’s father was away on business until the Friday evening, we invited his parents to spend the weekend with us at “Anna Capri” Randall and his father could spend some time together. Rising early Saturday morning, we packed the car and headed north to the coast with his parents following behind in their car. We pre-arranged to meet up at Surf Air, then a hotel at Mudjimba, south of Coolum, en route to
I jumped, let out a yell and whacked Randall on his left arm.
“You’re on the wrong side of the road!”
A car heading south was coming straight for us in the same lane. After nine years of motoring in the
A pleasant day and evening was spent with Randall’s folks. I prepared a roast lamb dinner and the four of us sat around the table catching up on lost times. The folks headed off to bed around eleven. Randall and I moved out to the sun-room. We were still there talking when the sun made its re-appearance over the horizon to the east. I can’t say the same for the bottle of Cutty Sark Scotch. There was little appearance of it left in the bottle by that time! We were sipping on coffee when Randall’s parents emerged from their bedroom around . They displayed amazement that we were already up, until we informed them we’d not gone to bed at all! After a lengthy breakfast, they departed for
“Anna Capri” proved to be everything I thought “she” would be when I first set my eyes upon the cottage on the hill. No neighbouring properties other than the roof of one home at the base of the north-easterly facing ridge could be seen through the thick vegetation, giving one a feeling of remoteness and privacy. Our peace only pleasantly interrupted by the sounds of the waves lapping upon the shore and birds flitting from tree to tree. It was heaven on earth.
I mentioned to Randall on the Tuesday night that I wished I’d taken two weeks off from work, not one. I felt we needed more time to ourselves to adjust before we went back to the real world. He agreed and suggested I telephone John the next day to ask if I could have an extra week. That I did and much to my surprise and dismay, John said “No!”
In the heat of the moment, I told him quite bluntly that I was going to take the extra week off, regardless of what he said. On the Thursday, Randall and I drove back to
As I climbed back into the car, Randall asked, “How was it? Is everything okay?”
To which I replied, “It’s like
The two weeks we spent at
All too soon the real world reared its sometimes ugly head. The glorious fourteen days came to an end. Back to
John, as I expected, was soon back to his normal self. He was a bit frosty for the first couple of days after my return to work but he warmed and all was forgotten. There were clients to see, places to visit and work to be attended to, so there was no time to be wasted on trivial matters.
Randall moved in. Sasha, my big ginger cat, moved out! Smocka, my beautiful steely-blue-grey cat remained. He wasn’t the jealous type, but the “red-head” acted true to form! I upset more than just the “apple-cart” at work, but at home, too!
Within a couple of weeks, Randall gained employment as bar manager at the Regatta Hotel, which was just down the road a bit from where we lived. For the last couple of years or so in
Soon we were settled into a life of some kind of normalcy with Sasha looking on from afar. He’d packed up and moved into the property behind the apartment block. Nothing I did would convince him he still held a major portion of my heart. He would just sit there, refuse to move and just stare disdainfully at me!
To be continued.....