Do you remember at the start of my story, I promised that I would always be honest with you? Well if I'm going to tell you what happened today I should start by saying that when Paolo suggested the fishing trip I knew that he wasn’t looking to catch many fish. It was the way that he lifted me into the boat and very gently set me down on the polished deck that sent shivers down my spine.
There was a cool breeze blowing through my hair as we set off from the jetty. The
Walking back to where I was sitting he held out his hands to me. Standing in front of him I slowly slipped the straps of my dress down from my shoulders. I held my breath as he stood there, his hands slowly caressed my warm skin. Then he lent forward and pulled me towards him kissing my neck and face before his hot lips found my waiting mouth. My lips throbbed as our kissing became more frenzied and when I thought that I couldn’t bear to wait any longer he took the cushions from the seats and lay them down for me on the deck. Closing my eyes I held him as our bodies moved in time to the gentle rocking of the boat.
Afterwards laying there against the unused fishing nets, quietly watching Paolo getting a bottle of wine from the cooler I realised what I have been missing all these months. I missed the touch of a man's hands on my body and the passion that only love making can bring. For the first time in a very long time I felt alive.
I suppose that I should be ashamed to tell you all this and admit that I wasn't even thinking about Martin or the girls. I just lay back contentedly, still tingling from our unhurried love making, sipping my wine and listening to the sounds of the sea.
With the sun warming my upturned face I felt utterly relaxed and not even a little bit guilty. I knew that I should. I knew that if Martin ever found out it would be the end of our marriage.
Martin wouldn’t be able to stand the thought of me being with anybody else. Let’s face it he mightn’t want me but I am damn sure he wouldn’t anybody else to want me either.
It may sound strange but being here with Paolo has made me regret even more what Martin and I have become. A marriage without love is no marriage at all. I miss the relationship that Martin and I used to have. Not just in the bedroom, I miss the little things that we all take for granted, the hugs at the end of a hard day or even just having him holding my hand when we are walking along.
Don't get me wrong, I don’t regret this afternoon but, and this is a big but, I have realised lying here that I don’t want to wreck my marriage either.
‘Flees, I’m sorry but we should be going back soon, it is getting late and my brother will be waiting for the boat’
‘I know Paolo’ I sighed ‘I suppose that I don't want this afternoon to end. It's just that out here, on the water, everything seems so simple. Out here I am just Fliss, not somebody’s wife or mother’ I turned to look at him ‘I’m just me.
‘We will, how do you say it?’ Paolo paused trying to find the right word ‘ be discreet back in the village’
‘Don’t worry’ I laughed ‘I am not some kind of love struck teenager. I think that we are both old enough to realise that this afternoon has been a bit of a dream but as soon as we are back on dry land we will return to real life’
‘Real life isn’t always so good, I think’ he said sadly
‘No, not always’ I agreed ‘but what is the alternative?’
Paolo turned away from me and started the boat’s engine. Standing there staring at his strong deeply tanned back I knew then that the moment was lost. Our beautiful fairy tale moment was over and heading back to the shore, the sun didn’t seem to shine quite so brightly anymore.
Later as I pulled up outside the villa I suddenly realise with horror that I can’t remember the journey home. I must have been driving on autopilot for god's sake! Leaving Paolo alone on the beach was one of the hardest things I have ever done. If only life was like a Mills and Boon novel, we would have walked off together into the sunset without a care.
But real life isn’t like that. Real life is making the beds, cooking supper, playing with the grandchildren and being with Martin.
‘Get it out of your system did you?’
I jumped, I hadn’t see Martin sitting beside the pool.
‘Get what out of my system’ I ask walking towards him .
‘Well, you must admit you were in a very funny mood earlier. Where have you been all afternoon?’ he asks, putting down the notes he’s been reading
‘Just down to that little cove we used to go to. You know, the one with the cantina at the end of the beach’
‘The drive must have done you good’ he said putting his reading glasses away in their leather case ‘did the sea air clear your head then?’
I smiled and turned towards the door.
‘Yes darling, things are a lot clearer now’
‘Thank God for that. If there’s time I might go down to the club for a few holes of golf before supper’
‘You’ve plenty of time. I want to have a shower before I start cooking’
‘Jolly good, I’ll see you about eight then?’ He asks as he collects his clubs from the games room.
‘Yes, eight will be fine’ I answer as I walk across the patio.
I know that I should feel guilty but the truth is I don’t. I'm all alone now and staring into the long mirror in the hallway I slip the straps from my shoulders for the second time today. As my dress falls away I can see that all the exercising and dieting is beginning to pay off and running my hands down my sun warmed skin I smile as I realise that for once, there are no white strap marks on my bare shoulders. I wonder if Martin will notice.
I wonder if Martin will notice.