Beausejour: Luke – Chapter 7

I realised that I’d never got round to making Emily lunch as promised so the next Sunday when the Espoirs were away for the weekend I invited her round for a barbeque. I’d bought Emily a small present while I was in the States, a dreamcatcher and it seemed like it might be a nice moment to give it to her.

We decided to have a swim while the charcoal was getting hot. I don’t know what got into me, but we were messing around and I threatened to throw Emily into the pool. We’d more or less avoided physical contact up to that point. Anyway, that day I picked her up to throw her in. I thought she was playing when she told me that she didn’t swim very well. As soon as she went under, I could see that something was wrong, her arms and legs were going in all directions as if she couldn’t coordinate them. I dived in and pulled her out of the water as quickly as possible.

She was breathing okay so I fetched a towel and wrapped her in it and just held her tightly. In retrospect I can see now that I realised that I could have lost her. How do you apologise enough to someone you nearly drowned?

While I cooked the steaks she sat quietly in the sun. I felt a little jealous of Mork who lay his head in her lap and she played around with his ear which was ecstasy for him. I was grateful she didn’t go home. I thought about when I was holding her – I didn’t know what to do next. I knew that she respected that I was married so that taking the relationship further would be out of the question for her. Emily managed to diffuse the tension between us by checking her steak to see if I’d poisoned it. She teased me about trying to kill her, so we discussed how I would finish her off and deal with her body. If only she knew how I felt about her body….

When she left in the late afternoon I realised that I forgot to give her the dreamcatcher.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 870 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Beausejour: Emily – Chapter VII

I finally did get my swim and lunch together. It was a the next Sunday lunch time following his return and Luke prepared a barbeque to have after we’d swam. I don’t know how it happened but we started to fool around more than usual and Luke picked me up and threatened to throw me into the pool. I started to struggle and protest that I couldn’t swim very well and he must have thought that I was playing because he just held onto me tighter and continued towards the pool. He threw me into the deep end.

Being under water and not being able to do much about it is not a joke. I imagine when a new born throws out its arms and legs trying to find the comfort of the sides of the womb it must feel a similar sense of panic. I know that Luke was shocked by what he had done, as soon as he saw that I struggled to the surface and went straight back down again he dived in to help.

He somehow got me out of the water which must have been difficult with me clinging to him and fetched a towel to wrap me in and held me tight. I was sobbing and shivering and choking, I was glad of the towel, he just held me and said he was sorry over and over again.

All that I could stammer out was that when I say I can’t do something I mean it. I sat in the sun on the swing feeling very subdued while he prepared the food, Mork came and rested his head on my lap so that I could twiddle his ear which he adored. It wasn’t just the near drowning that had upset me, it was also the way I felt when Luke was holding me . I felt that my guard was slipping. Watching him I could tell that he was really upset. I searched for something to say to make things right again and as we started to eat I had an

idea.

I looked under my steak very carefully and made a show of examining a slice of tomato. Luke wanted to know if something was wrong so I told him that I was checking for ground glass, as he had set Mork onto me on the first day we met and today tried to drown me, he was obviously trying to kill me. This broke the ice so then followed a conversation about the motive for the murder and what he would do with my body. I decided that he was a psychopathic killer as he wasn’t after my money or even married to me. I teased him about remembering a room he didn’t show me in the cellars of the chateau, this was where the other ones had been embalmed and kept. I added that I thought that there were rather a lot of flies round the north side of the château. That was it! He was blue beard without a beard. Would I spend years rotting in a wheelchair in the cellar like in the film Psycho? Do medical students learn about embalming ? I wondered out loud.

Perhaps I went a little too far when I told him that now I understood why Suzie kept herself in the public eye. It would be impossible to bump her off without her being missed by a lot of people. I, on the other hand, would only be missed by Katie and sometimes we didn’t get in touch with each other for weeks. He could pop down to the beach in the middle of the night and leave my clothes and a towel neatly folded and everyone would think I had drowned. Luke was impressed by my attention to detail. I promised not to start writing in competition with him.

He told me that Mr and Madame Espoir cared a lot about me. He’d heard them arguing about me one afternoon when they thought he was out walking Mork. Madame Espoir was of the opinion that we should be sleeping together by now whereas Mr Espoir said that I would never do such a thing as Luke was a married man. If only he knew how I had felt when he was holding me. I really started to wonder if perhaps I should distance myself from Luke. Fortunately the conversation took a less personal turn and by the end of the afternoon the ‘drowning’ incident was forgotten as far as I was concerned and I think that Luke felt the same.

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Beausejour: Emily – Chapter VI

Whenever we went out in Luke’s car we took it in turns to provide the music for us to listen to. One evening when it was my turn I’d taken some music by Claude Debussy for a change. I explained to Luke how I loved ‘Arabesque’ which reminded me of playing on a swing when I was a child, we talked a bit about music reminding us of different memories and then I forgot all about it. Luke hadn’t.

 

A couple of days after his return we went for an afternoon walk with Mork and I noticed that Luke seemed pretty pleased with himself. I broke the rule about not asking about the work in hand and told him that he must be pretty pleased with whatever he had written that day as he was smiling so much: He didn’t really answer and after that I could tell he was trying to keep his pleasure in whatever it was, in check. He invited me back for a drink of Madame Espoir’s ice tea, a real treat on a hot afternoon.

 

At the side of the chateau was a terrace which led off Luke’s study and one of the other downstairs rooms. Luke had decided that something was missing, there were chairs and a table and the shrubs and wisteria made it a lovely place to sit in the evenings. When he asked me about it I suggested a garden swing.

 

He’d chosen a wooden one which looked very comfortable and finished the area off perfectly. I didn’t need to be invited to sit down and try it out. To my surprise he ran into his study and opened the doors wide. The opening notes of Arabesque could be heard from inside. So he pushed me gently to the music for a while and then sat down beside me and we listed to the end of the music together. When the music stopped we looked at each other, but neither of us moved.

 

All of a sudden Mork decided he’d like to join in the game on the swing too and the moment was lost.

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Beausejour: Luke – Chapter V

The same evening we went out for a drink on the port and I told Emily that I would be going to the States at the end of the week.  I like to think that she looked disappointed before she started to ask lots of questions about what people did on book tours and which cities I would visit.  She went quiet for a moment and then asked me if she could take Mork for his daily walks while I was away.  She even promised to keep him on the lead.  She was just like a little kid asking to be allowed to do something all on her own. I knew that Monsieur Espoir would be pleased to hear of her proposal so I agreed.

Up until then we hadn’t exchanged phone numbers and this seemed to be a good moment. Being a typical woman she hadn’t aclue how her phone worked, so we moved our chairs closer to each other so that she could see what I was doing.  I found it very hard to concentrate.  Her perfume was lovely and I wondered if her hair would feel as soft as it looked.  The spell was broken by the waiter who interrupted us as he couldn’t pass through because my chair was in the way.

When we got back to the car park Emily dropped her bag and I went round to her side of the car to help her pick her things up from the ground.  We were very close and I wondered how she would react if I reached out and pulled her to me. I hadn’t felt like this about another woman since before I met Suzie .

The day before I left I was walking towards the kitchen when I heard raised voices.  M. and Mme Espoir were arguing.  I had never known them to fall out before.  The subject of their disagreement was Emily, for what I could gather Madame Espoir thought that Emily and I should get together but Mr. Espoir maintained that Emily would never have an affair with a married man.  I backtracked and made a point of slamming a door so that they were aware that I was nearby;  I entered the kitchen to a stony silence.

I managed to fly back a day early.  I really wanted to get home again but couldn’t work out why.  There was no sign of Mork when I got home and Madame Espoir told me that Emily had gone off for a walk with him half an hour earlier.  It was a beautiful morning, too lovely to spend in bed with jet lag, I decided to take the Range Rover to see if I could find them.

They were sat on the beach.  Side by side like a pair of old buddies.  I wanted to creep up on them but Mork must have got my scent.  Emily managed to release him from his lead before he pulled her over.  I really appreciated the greeting they both gave me – it’s good to know you’ve been missed;  I even got a hug from Emily.

We finished the walk together and caught up on each other’s news.  It seems that Mork is very protective of Emily, she’d been bothered by someone and he growled on cue.  I always thought that he was too friendly to be a guard dog.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Beausejour: Emily – Chapter V

That same evening we went into town for a walk around and a drink on the port and Luke explained that he was off to the States for a fortnight at the end of he week. I was disappointed he wouldn’t be around for a while, although I had been aware that the book tour was coming up soon. I told him I was pleased and asked him a few questions about the cities he would be visiting. Then I had an idea. I asked Luke if he minded if I took Mork for walks sometimes when he was away. I knew that Monsieur Espoir usually took Mork out in Luke’s absence, but didn’t always have the time to take him as far as he really needed. Mork and I were firm friends by now and I felt that I could handle him. I promised that I would always keep him on the lead. Luke thought that it was a great idea and was sure that Mr Espoir would be relieved not to have to take him out every day.

When we sat down at a café for a drink, I wanted to record his phone number onto my phone, but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it, so he moved his chair closer to mine so that we were really close. He then showed me what to do – not that any of it sunk in, I was too busy enjoying the closeness of him. The waiter passed by and politely asked Luke to move his chair round so that he could get through. The moment of being really close to each other had gone.

I went round to receive my final instructions the day before Luke left, hoping that he couldn’t see through the cheerful enthusiasm which I didn’t really feel. I was going to miss him, but I didn’t know whether his feelings were reciprocal.

So Mork and I went for a good long walk every morning before it got too hot, sometimes in the evenings too. Mork listened attentively to everything I confided in him. I told him that I was falling for his master though I knew that it was wrong as he was married to Suzie. I wondered out loud how Suzie treated him (Mork), but he didn’t answer. He was always well behaved and once or twice I was glad to have him with me. Not all tourists were the kind you like to meet on your own in a lonely place.

Perhaps I’d lost track of time, I didn’t realise that two weeks had nearly gone. Mork and I were sitting on the beach watching the waves early one morning. The air was chilly, but the sun was shining and there was a beautiful blue sky. We intended to continue along the beach, cross the bridge at the port over to the other side and walk along the cliff top for a few miles. There wasn’t a soul in site, the way we liked it. Lost in the rhythm of the waves, I didn’t pay much attention when I heard a vehicle pull in over by the road. Then I heard the door slam and footsteps and sighed at the thought of having our perfect peace broken by another human
being.

Mork suddenly started to become excited and nearly pulled me over. I managed to hold him back and stood up to see Luke walking towards us on the path! What else could I do but let Mork off the lead so that he could race over to his master? How I wished I could do the same, I must admit that I felt like a gooseberry, looking on at their reunion.

Eventually their attention turned to me. Even though the sadness seemed to have faded from his eyes, Luke looked tired and needed a shave, we hugged in a friendly fashion and I realised just how much I’d missed him and I was pleased, as I’m sure Mork was, when he agreed to accompany us on the rest of our walk. He’d arrived home a day earlier than planned and knew the route we usually took so he only had to drive round for a while to find us. So we walked along the cliffs and on the way back I drank orange juice while Luke had breakfast and coffee at one of the cafés at the start of the cliffs. The owner even brought out a bowl of
water for Mork. Luke was full of his trip to the States, but also wanted to know all about our walks. I told him about how safe I felt when I was with Mork as he could look quite fierce when he wanted too, and that I would miss our walks. Luke assured me that I could always take Mork for walks if I wanted to, when he was away and come along whenever he was theretoo.

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