Two blogs that I follow post episodes of an ongoing narrative. Lynn Love, at lynnmlovewords.wordpress.com, is writing a gothic thriller called “The Devil of Moravia”. Daniel Kay, on thisisyouth.org writes about his trekking in Nepal. “Why can’t I do that?” I thought. So, today’s post is the next instalment of “At first sight” and picks up where last Saturday’s post finished.
Despite the long flight from England to Australia, Vikki was up early on the morning after her return. She drank her coffee sitting in the kitchen so she could see the post arrive.
“You’re up early, Pet. Difficulty sleeping?”
Vikki gave her mum a hug.
“Body clock’s all wrong. I expect I’ll go back to bed after the post.”
Margaret Marsden gave her daughter a quizzical look.
“Post takes days from the UK,” she observed. “Would you like a croissant? I’ve been down to the bakery.”
Vikki enjoyed having her mum all to herself over breakfast, but there was no letter in the post.
Daniel came to call on the third morning. His embrace wrapped Vikki in warmth and physical strength. His scent, the pleasant smell of a fit male body, almost overwhelmed her. “Am I allowed a kiss?” he asked.
Vikki proffered her cheek. Chastely, Daniel pecked it. He ran his hand through her honey-coloured hair. The look in his eyes spoke of everything other than chastity.
“We’re having a barbie out at Mothers’ Beach tonight. Do you fancy coming?”
Vikki moved away from him, and sat down on the other side of the sturdy wooden kitchen table.
“I’m a bit tired. Jet-lagged, I guess. I’ll give it a miss this time, if you don’t mind, Dan.” Dan shrugged.
“Jessica will be there.”
“Sorry, Dan, I’m going to have an early night. Maybe next time?”
She woke next morning feeling light-hearted and she was singing as she went downstairs.
“Postie was early this morning,” said her mum, gesturing at the envelope on the table.
The handwriting on the envelope was well formed and fluent. Vikki stared at it, turning it over and over, caressing it.
“Would you like a coffee to take to your room?”
“Gosh, thanks, Mum. That would be lovely.” She stroked her mum’s short, dark, curly hair. “You’re so good to me. It’s great to be back home.”
I hope your flight home went well and wasn’t too gruelling. And I hope you received the big family welcome you told me about, with lots of hugs and kisses from your sisters. (How jealous I am of your sisters…)”
Vikki frowned, then sighed. Maybe Jon was premature in writing a love letter, but she couldn’t pretend to herself that she didn’t feel the same powerful attraction. Those few kisses with him after the party had been different from any she’d ever experienced.
“We had so little time together before you had to leave today, and yet I feel that in some way we know the essence of each other. I hope you don’t think I’m being too pushy, but – I love you. Is it ridiculous to feel that some people are made for each other? Reason tells me it is. And yet, how strongly I feel that we belong together.”
Vikki nodded, thoughtfully. She knew what it was to be roused by a man; Dan excited her intensely, for instance; but, yes, what she had felt with Jon was different.
Tomorrow morning I’m going to see my Professor, to ask if he can arrange some more paid work for me supervising undergraduates in practical classes. It shouldn’t be too long before I can afford to fly out for a few weeks and stay close to you in a B&B or somewhere. If you want me to, of course.”
Vikki’s face lit up. She read the short paragraph a second time, and a third. She could think of nothing she would like better than to have Jon visit.
Four days earlier, as he had written the lines, Jon had agonised over this last sentence. Still, now it was done; he must close.
“And now I’d better seal the envelope and post the letter.
With all my love,
He looked at the crumpled balls of paper on his desk, the discarded drafts. The letter had taken him the whole evening to write. Feeling foolish and infantile for doing so, he nevertheless touched his lips to the fair copy. He slipped it into the envelope, and tucked it into the inside pocket of his jacket. A great wave of exhilaration lifted him. He trotted down the stairs and out into the night.
Two strong arms seized him, one pinning his elbows against his ribs, the other pressing like an iron bar across his throat. There was a faint scent of expensive cologne.
“I think you know Vikki’s Australian address,” hissed Guy.
The next episode will be posted Saturday 10 June. Don’t miss it!