Monday, 14 April 2008
Michael had enjoyed his afternoon with Fliss making preparations for the fete. She was so organised, not like Sonny. He despaired of Sonny sometimes. Take this trip of his to Barcelona. Sonny had spent all evening rushing from room to room. At first he was looking for his wallet, then he was looking for his tickets before finally rushing out to the taxi leaving them both on the hall table. If it wasn’t for me, thought Michael, he would still be sitting at the train station. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, mused Michael. This was the third time Sonny had gone off to Barcelona since Christmas and Michael was beginning to think that there might be more to these trips than Sonny was letting on.
These years with Sonny had been a revelation to Michael. When his Mother was still alive Michael would never had dreamt how his life was to turn out. With a respectable, if dull, desk job in the Civil Service and a typical suburban home life with his Mum, not even his closet friends in London had realised that he was gay. The only time that he felt totally at ease with his sexuality was on his frequent trips to the seaside resort of Brighton.
Over the years he had made many friends in the gay community there and when he was forced into taking early retirement, Michael had grabbed the opportunity to live his dream and move there. His redundancy money together with the proceeds of the sale of his late Mum’s house in South London had been plenty to buy an established bed and breakfast on the coast.
After a total makeover of the rather tired décor, the business went from strength to strength and he soon built up a regular clientele. That’s how he had met Sonny.
Sonny’s flamboyant drag act had a huge following around the country and none more so than in the clubs in Brighton. Whenever he was playing in the seaside resort he would stay at Michael’s guest house and it didn’t take long before they became lovers.
Michael remembered how thrilled he was when the glamorous and outgoing Sonny agreed to move in with him, but some of Michael’s friends were not so sure. They had tried their best to warn him that Sonny wasn’t the settling down type. They told him that Sonny liked his independence and they worried that Michael was going to get hurt. But he didn’t want to listen to them, he was in love and nothing anybody said was going to spoil that. He had wasted too much of his life worrying about what other people might think of him. This was his time and he intended living life to the full.
When they were still living in the UK Sonny was constantly on the road with his act, only coming home maybe twice a month. Since moving to Spain he only occasionally went back to the UK to perform at special functions, but that might mean that he was away at least once a month. Michael knew that Sonny needed more than just a quiet life, he need the buzz he got from performing and he didn’t want to stop him. But that didn’t mean that he wasn’t worried about what else Sonny might be up to while he was away. He loved Sonny so much and couldn’t bare the thought that he might loose him to someone else. All Michael wanted was reassurance; he just wanted to know that he had nothing to worry about.
All Michael was looking for was a quiet life. He wasn’t getting any younger and all he wanted was more relaxed life style here in Spain. He knew that Sonny missed the glamour and excitement of performing regularly but he had honestly thought that they both wanted the same thing. Now he wasn’t so sure.
Sonny had told Michael that these trips to Barcelona were to meet up with Gerry and Andy who ran a very successful chain of gastro pubs in Brighton and along the south coast of England. Sonny’s act had always been a sell out at their pubs. When they told him that they were thinking of expanding into Spain it was Sonny who had convinced them to look around Barcelona. Over the past few months they had been back a number of times visiting different premises and were now in Barcelona again to look at a bar that was for sale.
The trouble was Michael had heard from friends that it wasn’t only Gerry and Andy coming over on these trips. Carl was with them. Michael knew that Sonny and Carl had been an item before they had got together. But if there was nothing to hide why hadn’t Sonny told him that Carl was in Barcelona too?
‘You silly tart’ said Michael to his reflection in the dressing table mirror. ‘If Sonny wanted to go off with Carl he had done it by now’ but the nagging doubt remained eating away at him like cancer.
Michael realised that the only way he was going to be convinced that Sonny’s trips were harmless was to go Barcelona and see for himself. It had to be this way, he thought, I have to see for myself.
The railway station was busy when Michael parked up the car. Good, he thought the train must be due soon.
‘Hello Michael, off to the big city are we’ Michael was jolted out of his thoughts by Gloria Westbury touching him on the shoulder. ‘I’m sorry Michael I didn’t mean to startle you’ twittered Gloria paying for her tickets. ‘Are you on your own dear?’
‘Oh hi Gloria, yes I need a few things from Barcelona, thought that I might make a day of it and see some friends while I’m there’
‘Lovely dear, Malcolm and I are off to see our lawyer. Just a little family business then we thought that we would treat our selves to a nice lunch in town. Did you see Malcolm in the car park? If he doesn’t get a move on we'll miss the train’ Gloria said distractedly, looking out of the station.
‘No I am sorry I didn’t see him. It’s really busy out there. Maybe he is having trouble finding a parking space.’
‘I told him we should have left earlier. Look there’s the train coming in now’
‘Don’t worry Gloria here he comes’ said Michael spotting Malcolm hurriedly crossing the station concourse.
‘Look at you, you are all hot and bothered’ Gloria continued to scold Malcolm as they settled into their seats. Michael lifted his newspaper, the last thing he needed was to get involved in the Westbury’s squabbles, he had enough on his mind as it was.
Michael’s mind was racing as he sat on the busy train. He knew that he should have thought this though. He wasn’t even sure what he was going to do when he got to Barcelona. Sonny had said that they were going to see a bar just off Las Ramblas. So he decided that he would make his way there, it was he supposed as good a place to start as anywhere.