Suzi's stuck between two men. Matt Murphy, old boyfriend and now engaged to her housemate Debbie and Ed McEwan, First Officer and fitty, but who is going out with Candy. Suzi's dad has just had a suspected heart attack and Ed has driven her down to visit him. They've nearly had sex on the kitchen table at her dad's house (see previous posts) but they have been interrupted by someone appearing at the door. As expected love never runs smoothly...
Diary of a Long haul Stewardess
When I awoke the next morning, it took a while to work out where I was. I’ve got used to waking up in strange beds (hotels not mens'- this is diary of a longhaul stewardess, not diary of a call girl,) but depending on my level of jet lag, it often feels as though I’m walking through a sticky fog as I wait for all my faculties to engage. I lay quietly for a while, listening. Mia’s side of the bed was empty and I could hear singing coming from the shower. Padding down to the kitchen in my PJ’s, I found Ed sitting at the table naked from the waist up, draped in a towel. His hair was still wet from his shower. Result! This guy has no problem with getting his kit off.
‘Morning,’ he said brightly, getting up to pour me a cup of tea from the pot he’d made. ‘Sleep alright?’
‘I should be asking you that. Yes, I feel much better, didn’t realise quite how knackered I was.’
I sat down at the table and sipped my tea. ‘Any plans for today? Ed enquired.
‘I thought I might ring the hospital and see how Dad is before I decide what to do. What about you? Do you have to be anywhere?’
‘No, not particularly. Thought I might stay around, if it’s ok with you. You could teach me how to tame Gruff,’ he grinned knowingly.
‘When’s your next trip?’ I asked.
‘Oh, I’ve got a few days off now. There are a few things I need to do, but nothing that can’t wait. Do you think my clothes will be dry by now?’ Bugger. I forgot that was the reason he was in the towel. I'd jumped to the wrong conclusion. I got up and went over to the tumble dryer. I reached inside to pull the jumble of clothes out just as there was a knock on the back door. We both looked round as a middle aged woman, wearing Wellington’s and a thick fleece jacket, strode into the kitchen.
‘Morning, Ken,’ she called out. ‘I’m back.’
The three of us stood looking at each other.
‘Oh, sorry,’ the woman apologised as she noted Ed’s nakedness and my PJ’s. ‘If I didn’t know better I’d think I was in the wrong house.’
Mia walked into the kitchen, her hair wrapped in a towel like a turban on her head and an even smaller one wrapped around her body just reaching down past her bottom. The woman at the doorway froze, her hand still clutching the door handle.
‘Shower’s free, Suz. Oh, hello,’ Mia said to the woman whose mouth had dropped wide open. ‘I’m Mia and this is my sister Suzi. Oh, and he’s Ed,’ she gestured towards Ed who was leaning against the worktop. ‘Excuse our appearance but we were wondering whether a nudist colony would take off in the village and are doing some research.’
I got up and went over to the woman who had started to open the door. ‘Hi, I’m Ken’s daughter. Perhaps you’d better sit down and I’ll explain what’s going on.’ I manoeuvred her towards a chair. ‘Cup of tea?’ I offered as Ed, taking my cue, started pouring her one. ‘Ken… Dad, was taken into hospital yesterday. It was a suspected heart attack but it seems it’s not that now.’
Her face went pale and her hand went up to cover her mouth. ‘He’s fine,’ I reassured. ‘Both Mia…’ I gestured towards my sister, ‘…and I went to visit him yesterday. In fact I’m just about to ring the hospital and get the latest on him. Are you a neighbour?’
Sitting clutching a mug of tea, the woman looked flustered with all this information.
‘Yes,’ she said, her voice quiet as she took it all in. ‘I’m Marion. I live two doors along.’ So this was Dad’s bit of tottie, eh? Sly old fox, he’d never mentioned her before. Quizzed me about my love life but not a hint about his. She was an attractive woman with short blond hair flecked with grey that framed her heart shaped face. Dressed in jeans and a flowery blouse underneath her jacket, she wouldn’t have seemed out of place strolling around town except for her green wellies. I give it to Dad; he hadn’t lost his taste in women. A soft line of brown Kohl eyeliner outlined her hazel eyes highlighting their almond shape as she looked up at me;they were turning slightly red with a watery tinge. ‘I’ve just been up North for a few days visiting my son. Ken, your dad, and I always get together for walks and things. I just thought I’d pop in and let him know I was back,’ she continued to explain.
It didn’t take long before between us, Ed and I put Marion at ease and we found out that she usually looked after the animals for Dad whenever he was away. Bonus. Keen to help out once she knew the extend of his aliments, she willingly agreed to come in regularly and look after the menagerie until Dad came out of hospital. After another cup of tea, we had bonded so much that we had agreed on the best moisturiser for really dry skin, how useless men were at multi- tasking (Dad included) and exchanged mobile numbers. Marion promised to phone me if she had a problem. We waved her off home and proceeded to get dressed and make plans. Ed was going to take Mia to the nearest train station whilst I sorted out the animals, rang the hospital and packed everything up ready for Marion to take over her duties that evening. We were then going to call in and visit Dad before Ed drove me home.
I was sorry to say goodbye to my sister. Since she’d gone to university we hardly spent anytime together and the recent few hours made me realise what good company she was.
‘Make sure you hang on to this one,’ she shouted out of the car window as it pulled out of the drive. ‘He’s useful.’ I waved at her and went inside to collect all that I needed before I could do the feed round.
The sky was blue and it was a warm day. We had a while before visiting time at the hospital so I directed Ed down to the beach at West Wittering. The tide was out and we proceeded to walk along the wide stretch of sand. There are some advantages to having a suitcase full of clothes, even if half of them were dirty, as I had garments for all weather conditions. I took off my sandals and sunk my toes into the slightly damp sand. Ed took my hand and we walked along the shoreline watching a couple of children throwing a ball for their collie which bounded into the waves to retrieve it.
‘Ed?’ I asked. ‘When I was at your house that time, I noticed a book about moving to France. Is that something you and Candy were going to do?’
‘Not snooping were you, Suz?’
I shook my head and bent down to pick up a handful of sand, squeezed it into a ball and threw it at him. Before I could stoop for another he charged at me and, in a rugby tackle, wrestled me to the ground pinning me down with his body weight. I could feel the dampness of the sand seeping into my back as he pressed me firmly underneath him.
‘You are the most infuriating woman I know,’ he proclaimed. His face inches from mine as he kissed me gently.
‘Why, I was only asking?’
‘Because you have to spoil a lovely moment by bringing my ex into the conversation.’
Good. He was still referring to Candy as his ex, so that must mean the separation was likely to be permanent on his side. I stared into his brown eyes. ‘Are you thinking of moving to France then?’ I persisted.
Ed rolled off me. I sat up awkwardly wiping the sand from my back. He helped brush me down and leant up on his elbows looking at the sea.
‘Just an idea. Maybe. I don’t want to fly for the airline all my life. Anyway it was always a sticking point for Candy and me. She couldn’t see herself leaving the area.’
‘Not so adventurous then.’
‘No. In fact I wasn’t surprised that she didn’t get in as cabin crew. She’s far too static and really doesn’t like travel.’
‘Then why did she apply?’
‘I think it was a status thing. She needed to prove that she was as good as the girls I work with. Looking back now, I always thought she was jealous of my lifestyle but I never thought she would take it to the extremes she did.’
I sat and reflected for a moment. This was all good news. Another thing that wasn’t working out between him and Candy. Couldn’t see what the attraction was with the woman in the first place. Sounded as though she had a huge chip on her petite shoulders. Bitchy, I know, but after all those texts she’d sent me I thought it was quite generous.
‘So what now?’ I questioned. ‘Don’t you want to stay in the airline until you make it to captain, with all the benefits that go with that?’
‘Not really. I’ve seen the other pilots. They get sucked into the lifestyle and then before they know it they may have travelled the world but they missed out on so many other things because they’ve been away from their families. I love flying but I’d much rather work for myself. I just haven’t worked out how to do it. France was just an escape route really. I thought if I talked enough about it she could come round to the idea in the end. But what about you, Suz? You said you’d tell me about Matt.’
‘I never said I’d tell you about him. I just said it was a long story.’
Ed grabbed me and started tickling so hard that I had to hold him off while laughing. He lay down on his back again and I put my head on his chest while he caressed my hair.
How could I tell him everything about Matt? It was far to long a story and anyway, the rule is that there’s nothing more off putting than talking about your ex. I changed the subject. ‘Let’s go and get lunch at a pub I know, on the way to the hospital. I’m starving.’ I didn’t give him any option as I got up, picked up the shoes that were lying beside me and started walking off along the sand back to the car.
The journey home was a sombre affair. I’d got used to Ed’s company and the thought of not knowing when I would see him again was depressing. Dad was sitting up in bed and right as rain when we called in and Ed and he sat contentedly discussing football and Formula One while I gazed out of the window. I reassured Dad that Marion was going to take care of everything and that I would be down again in a couple of days when he was due to be discharged so that I could take him home.The journey back to London and my car parked at Heathrow seemed to take ages. Both of us were wrapped in our own thoughts.
‘Suz,’ Ed said as he lifted my luggage out of his boot and put into mine. ‘I’m away for two weeks on my next trip. I’ll text you but... could we do this again when I get back?’
‘What about Candy?’
‘Candy and I are over. I’ve just got to make her realise it too?’
Yessssss! The lingering kiss I gave him was his answer. I climbed into my car and started the engine to drive home.
Sam was the only one in when I arrived. She seemed surprised to see me and hastily took my arm, making me dump my suitcase in the hallway before she marched me up to my bedroom where she told me to sit down on the bed.
‘What?’ I questioned. ‘I always get scared whenever you do this. It’s turning into a habit.’
‘Suzi. Debbie is pregnant and they’ve bought the wedding forward. It’s in two weeks time.’
In case you are local I want to remind you that East is East will be at the Garden Show, Firle, East Sussex next week, 20 - 22nd April. Why not come along and enjoy an afternoon out - visit my stall and enter the daily competition to win a candle lantern of your choice? Sounds good, eh?