Out on the terrace of their friend’s rather magnificent home following their 10 year class reunion, Damian stole a glance at Sonja, her dark hair pulled back and plaited so that her neck and shoulders were exposed. She was statuesque, Athenian, he thought, drawing uncertainly on a largely forgotten classics module at university. Tonight would be the night. Definitely. He had seen how she looked at him, confirming his view that, even at school, there had been a special ‘something’ between them.
Once, giddy with a raft of successful exam results in their hands, they had taken over her parents’ house while they were away and had a four day party. Twenty teenagers drinking for the first time and cooking – well, cooking? Putting food items somewhere hot and waiting for them to change texture more like. They hadn’t quite wrecked the place but had her parents been mad when they got home? Was a spiny anteater spiny?!
He had stood by Sonja and taken the rap by maintaining her innocence in the whole affair and claiming to have invited everyone else himself. He knew, he just knew, that she had wanted to show her gratitude for that act of selfless sacrifice but that circumstances, namely him being banned from ever coming near the place again, had militated against this. Now, with them both billeted in the barn conversion by the pool, he planned to give Sonja her opportunity.
Sonja stretched her long limbs and body to catch the last of the sun. The reunion had been extremely pleasant, as had the copious refreshments which seemed to include quantities of wine owing much to their host’s success as an importer. Perhaps it was the alcohol but it seemed to her that most of them had aged rather well although she privately entertained the opinion that her own accumulation of years had led to an enhancing of her appearance, not just a desperate grip on the status quo.
She allowed herself to float mentally in the delicious haze brought on by the gentle summer heat and pleasant repasts and considered her options. James. They had been an item briefly when they were about fifteen. Both artists, they had worked together on some joint projects, talked endlessly and a little pompously, about art and theatre, and gone to the cinema together on cheap afternoon tickets to watch foreign films they hadn’t quite understood. He had even taken her home to meet his parents once where she had found herself totally incapable of handling an unfamiliar coffee pot, thrusting it back at his mother in undignified teenage embarrassment.
They’d split up a little after that due, she thought, to their being in different subject streams. But now here he was again and something big in films which was quite a stroke of luck, given her obvious attributes and talents. That he was as beautiful as ever was a definite bonus. Sonja thought she heard the echoes from him of their past relationship; imagined she caught his admiring glance at her now elegant and, frankly, stunning body; believed she perceived in him unspoken hopes of a re-kindling of that fledgling affair. Tonight, she thought, mentally mapping a route to his room; Chablis and Chanel, how could he resist!
James leaned back in his lounger, gazing at the sky now deepening with rose, orange and indigo shades. He thought of Damian.
©suzanne conboy-hill 2010