Holidays. What a lovely word to think of when it’s 31st of july and your co-workers say something like:
- When are you leaving, Q?
- When are you leaving, Q?
This question was asked by one of my favourite twats.
- Tomorrow –I answered, smirking contemptuously-
I was leaving for two weeks. Sick and tired of waiting for Bob Gausman, my missing boyfriend, I decided to take a trip on my own. It would have been very nice to spend our summer vacation together, but it couldn’t be possible. I think some day I’ll see his picture plastered all over every milk carton in the country. Fuck.
I always wanted to visit the Seashell Islands, but being a working girl and paying a montly mortgage and car payment, my budget was skinny. So I googled ‘best offers summer 2008’ and found at lastminute.com a holiday-maker package including economy-class flight, rental car and full board standard 4-star hotel room.
The Seashell Islands are a beautiful beach resort, only four hours flying from Sandwich –my borderline to acute alcoholic coma-. But this time I managed to gain self-control, kept my cool and didn’t get sloshed after all.
When I arrived to the Seashells airport I got my luggage and headed to the car rental desk. I handed my voucher, passport and credit card to the girl behind the counter.
- Your Mercedes SLK convertible is parked on the third row at left. It’s red. -she said-
- It must be a mistake: I ordered a mid-range car, a Volkswagen Golf if possible –I said-
Wasn't it strange? When you rent a car beforehand, nobody tells you exactly what the model will be. It depends on the availability. You just get the guarantee that you will be given a car of a certain range. A small one, in my case. I couldn’t spend a fortune renting the car I always wanted to drive in my dreams.
- I’m sorry, Ms Qinan, the reservation number is correct. The computer says ‘red convertible Mercedes Benz SLK’ and it’s paid. -said the girl-
- How much you charged me? -I asked, very worried-
- I don’t know, it only says ‘PAID’.
- I ordered a small car, not an expensive sports car.
- If it’s our mistake, the company won’t charge you for the difference.
- Right.That’s fair, but how do I know you’ll admit it’s your mistake? Cause it’s not my mistake.
The manager turned up and said:
- Excuse me, Ms Qinan. It's not a mistake. And you won’t be charged for the difference.
I didn’t understand it, but he put the keys to the car into my hand and as he felt he didn’t need to explain anything else to me, he just turned and left. So I headed to the parking lot and deeply wowed to myself at the sight of the awesome red convertible Mercedes SLK. I decided to stop asking myself questions. It was their mistake, and it resulted in my favor. So that was settled. I jumped inside the car and ... just drove it.
But as soon as I did, I felt I was not on control of the car. The steering wheel would not turn to take the way I was supposed to go. I couldn’t change gear, either. It wouldn’t even stop when I put my foot on the break... because it drove itself.
When I realised what the situation was, I thought it was better to let it drive instead of uselessly getting cranky trying to control it. And yes, it was cool to be at the driver’s seat, resting my feet on the dashboard and leaning back on the headrest.
I closed my eyes to enjoy the fresh breeeze blowing on my face; my hair floating like a vapor, on the soft summer air… when I looked to the right and I saw a weird creature riding shotgun, that scared the hell out of me: a pale woman dressed in a grey wedding gown in shreds. She held in her hands a bouquet of black faded flowers.
I looked at her and yelled in a panic; she stared at me with contempt and said:
- Keep your hands of him or I'll kill you. He’s mine!
- What? Who? –I asked, in fear-
She pulled my t-shirt and shouted at me: “Ed is mine and only mine! Leave him alone, bitch!”. And she vanished in the air, leaving a trace of sparks.
I was terrified: starting my summer holidays in a car that drove itself, accompanied by some kind of crazy jealous corpse bride in a pissy mood. The smell of supernatural stuff stinked out all over the place again.
After crossing a dark forest, the red sporty car headed to a beautiful mansion in the east end of Cape Hope, as the traffic signs indicated all the way. The car stopped at the main door and I saw a familiar face there: Ed’s pale butler, who approached the car. I felt the déjà-vu flash, feeling sure that I had witnessed that situation previously:
- Welcome to Cape Hope, Ms Qinan. Lord Davies is waiting for you at the library. –he said, bowing solemnly-
Lord Davies??? Like Lord Voldemort, The Lord of the Rings… and Lord Vader???
And waiting for me??? Jeez, that pale ancestor of Woodehouse’s efficient Jeeves gave me the shivers!
So Ed was waiting for me in his mansion’s library once again. I certainly didn’t fit in the scenery in that occasion, with my hair tied back in a ponytail, wearing faded shorts and flip flops. A group of pale servants escorted him carrying my luggage, to disappear upstairs, gawd knows where to. I followed the loyal butler, who entered the room, stepped back and announced:
- Mylord, Ms Qinan is here.
Ed was sitting on a luxurious leather couch. He stood up and approached to greet me.
- Welcome, baby. It’s so nice to see you again. –he said, smiling a big smile at me-
In all honesty, I didn’t know what to say or do. He looked stunning in his black denim jeans and sleeveless grey shirt that showed mysterious tattoos on his arms. Snakes, enigmatic characters, dark clouds and blood drops mixed on his biceps. He had muscles everywhere. His long black hair tickled my face as he bent over to kiss me like he was trying to suck the life out of my body. He took my breath away.
I could feel deep into my heart his secret insecurities. He pretended to be steady but I knew he could be wax in my hands. It was written all over his face. And I had sensed some time ago, that everything seemed to be turning to tenderness and strange shades of affection between us.
"Love is a loosing game" (Amy Winehouse)