Anne sets off to Spain.
Anne was getting ready to meet Dennis at the local Coffee Bar. Ruth was also going out to meet some friends at a public house in town and Anne stopped her as she was about to leave. "I've made up my mind," Ruth," I've decided I'm definitely not going to Spain with Craig."
"Have you gone mad? You are turning down a free luxury holiday in Marbella, the poshest and most desirable resort in Spain."
"It's not worth the risk," Anne said. "If Dennis finds out it will upset him and maybe he won't want to know me."
"How's he gonna find out? I'm won’t tell him, and I am sure Craig won't. He is not likely to meet your sister's because you still don't get on with them and from what you have told me, probably never will. If he wants to meet them later on you can tell him that you tried to get on with them but fell out with them again on the way home from Spain."
"Still I feel really bad about lying to Dennis."
"You can't turn this opportunity down, Anne. If you do you will probably regret it for the rest of your life."
"I don't know, perhaps you are right," Anne said. Maybe I should go, she thought. As Ruth had said, it was not likely that Dennis would learn the truth.
"You know I'm right," Ruth said.
Anne sat with Dennis in the Wimpy Bar. She had been putting off telling him about the trip to Spain. She was still not sure whether she should go to Spain or not. If only her mother had let her go on the holiday to Spain with them she probably wouldn’t be bothered about going now. She really didn’t like the idea of lying to Dennis, but knew he obviously wouldn’t be happy about her going to Spain with Craig.
“I’ve saved enough to get my motorbike now,” Dennis said. “I’ll probably pick it up next week.”
“Yeah, well be careful. Motorbikes can be dangerous.” Anne didn’t want to go on about it. She had a full driving licence and didn’t want to put him down too much because he only had a motorcycle licence and a provisional at that.
“I can now save up for a good engagement ring.”
“I’ve told you, I’m not bothered that much about a ring.”
“It’s wrong, we are engaged but you have no ring. It is like we are not properly engaged.”
“Just get a cheap one from Woolworths then.”
“No, I want to get a lovely expensive ring for a lovely young lady.”
Anne was happy with the compliment but thought that’s the end of that conversation. It is time to tell him about going to Spain either that or forget about it. “I phoned my sister Jacqui up last week to try and smooth things over between us. Jacqui said that they had been worried and she seemed so pleased to hear from me. They want us to get together and heal the bad feeling between us.”
“That has got to be good news,” Dennis said.
“The thing is, they are going to Spain for two weeks soon and they asked me if I would like to go with them. But I don’t know why they have asked me.”
“Because of the way you left they probably regret the way they treated you and want to repair the damage.”
“Yes, maybe you’re right,“ she said. “I told Jaqui I would let them know. But I am not sure whether I want to go or not. I won’t go if you don’t want me to.” This gets worse, she thought, now I have cowardly left the decision up to him.
“You have got to go, Anne. I am an orphan and I wish I had some family, but I haven’t. Although you didn’t get on with your sisters when you were younger, you can’t waste this opportunity to renew the bond with them. I will miss you terribly, of course, I will. But I would be selfish to try and deny you this chance.”
Anne felt like crying, but she couldn’t. She felt like telling the truth, but couldn’t. Damn you, Dennis, why do you have to be so nice? Why don’t you tell me I can’t go? Anne hated the thought of deceiving Dennis so much that it made her feel sick. I don’t want to go, she thought. Just tell him that I don’t want to go. But she did want to go and she looked at Dennis. “I don’t feel too good, Dennis, can you take me back to the flat?” she said.
“Why? What’s the matter?”
“Nothing serious,” Anne said. “Woman’s problems.” Another bloody lie, she thought.
Two weeks later Anne walked into the Grocer’s shop with her suitcase.
Dennis gave her a wonderful smile and walked over to her.
“Well, I’m off to the station,“ she said.
"I bet you are well excited. And your first trip in an aeroplane."
"No, I am going to East London to meet my sisters and we are driving there. The three of us can share the driving."
“I can take an hour off work and see you to the station if you like?”
“No, I’d rather say goodbye here, don’t want no teary eyes at the train station like in the films.”
I hope you have a great time, you deserve it, but I will miss you terribly, Anne. And make sure you send me a card and a love letter.”
“I will.” She kissed him, walked to the door, gave a wave, and walked off to the station. She had already asked Craig to pick her up from the train station so Dennis wouldn’t see her getting into his car.
Craig pulled up outside the grocer’s shop and went inside. “Give me a big bottle of Coke, Dennis. I’ve got a long journey ahead.”
“Oh, where are you off to?” Dennis asked.
“I’m going to Spain for two weeks.”
“That’s weird,” Dennis said. “Anne is going to Spain as well.”
“I know, she is going there with me.”
“What? No, she isn’t. She’s meeting up with her sister’s.”
“I think you’ll find she is going with me, Dennis. I’m just going to pick her up at the train station.” Craig walked out with a smug grin on his face.
Dennis was devastated and angry. Surely it couldn't be true. If he had his motorbike he would have chased after Craig but he wasn’t picking it up until the following week. He felt frustrated because he had no way to go after him. He was not sure if Craig was lying or not but thought Ruth would know and he left the shop and hurried off to the garden centre to find her.
“Dennis, what are you doing here?” Ruth said.
“Anne has gone on holiday to Spain. Do you know if she has gone with Craig?”
“No, she has gone with her sisters.”
“He just came into the shop and took great pleasure in telling me he was picking her up. I don’t want to believe him. But it makes sense if she really can’t get on with her sisters.”
“Maybe she has made up with them, Dennis?”
“Don’t, Ruth. I think we both know the truth here but you won't tell me. Why has she done this to me? I love her Ruth, I love her so much and I don’t know what to do.” A tear began to trickle down Dennis’s face.
“Hey, don’t go getting upset. Don’t cry Dennis, please. Come in the cafeteria and I'll get us a drink.”
“Tell me honestly, Ruth, did you know about it?”
“No, of course, I didn’t. As far as I know, she is going with her sisters. She would have told me otherwise.”
“She did tell me ages ago that she hated her sisters so why does she suddenly want to go on holiday with them. I am so stupid, I should have realised. I have to try and think about what I have done wrong and why she has done this to me. If she has gone off with him then there’s no future for us.” Dennis walked off and Ruth called after him but he ignored her.
After work, Ruth called into the Grocer’s shop. “Is Dennis about?” She said.
“No, he quit. He had words earlier with that lad with the sports car and just ran out of the shop without a word. When he came back he said he was leaving to join the army, asked for his wages, cleared his things and left. I tried to reason with him, but he just wouldn’t listen.”
“This has gone terribly wrong, Mister Freeman.”
“Well, he’s left me short of staff now,” he said. “Would you like a job here?”
“No, thanks, but thanks anyway.”
Ruth got to the door of the flat and found Dennis sitting on the step and looking very sorry for himself. “I need a friend to talk to,” he said.
Craig had just driven into Dover when the car engine spluttered and they came to a stop.
“What’s happened?” Anne said.
“I don’t bloody know, do I? I'll call over to that bar and see if they will let me use the phone to call the R.A.C. breakdown man.”
Anne watched him set off across the road. This is like an omen, she thought. She didn’t really want to do this to Dennis and this was sort of telling her not to. Craig was soon back.
“I hope they hurry up and get here or we will miss the boat.”
The breakdown man soon got there, but could not fix the fault. “I’ll have to tow you to a garage,” he said. “You have the premium cover, so I can tow you home if that’s what you prefer.”
“We will miss the boat anyway, so yes tow us home and I’ll get the car fixed there."
Anne couldn’t help feeling happy that they were going back and now she still had the chance to change her mind.
“I phoned home from the bar as well,” Craig said. “My dad is booking a later crossing.”
They got to Craig’s house and Anne stood by the car while he hurried inside. He was soon back.
“Right, we will have to leave here in two hours. I can take the spare car, the Jaguar. Come inside and we can have something to eat while we wait.”
“Can you drop me back to the flat?” Anne said.
“Ruth has been out of town all day visiting relatives and I didn’t get time to say goodbye,” she lied.
“Okay if you must. It’s a bit silly though,” Craig said. “The shop will be closed now won’t it?”
“Yes,” Anne replied, “hours ago, why do you need anything? We can stop at the off-licence.”
“No, I have lots of stuff to take on the journey."
"Well, why ask then?"
"Just making conversation," he replied. "Right let’s go. I’ll pick you back up at midnight and you can leave your suitcase in the Jaguar, to save carting it about.”
“No, I want to take it with me,” she said. “I sort of packed it in haste and I have brought stuff I won’t need and left out things that I will, like my bathing costume.”
“Packed in haste eh? Eager to get away with me no doubt.” Craig gave a laugh.
“Yeah, something like that.”
Craig dropped her off. “I’ll be back dead on twelve. Don’t fall asleep will you?”
Anne went up the stairs feeling pleased that the car had broken down. She had made up her mind not to go to Spain. She just couldn’t do it to Dennis. She gave a laugh. I’ll send Ruth down to tell him, and maybe Ruth will go to Spain with him. The flat was in darkness and Anne thought Ruth must have gone out. She walked into the bedroom and switched on the light to find Ruth in bed, but she was not alone.
“What are you doing back?” Ruth said.
“Sorry, Ruth, I didn’t know you had company.”
It was a shock. A terrible, terrible, shock when Dennis looked out from the bedclothes. “Anne!” was all he got out before she rushed out of the room. She hurried towards the stairs but then turned to see him come out with a towel around his waist.
“I thought you had left me,” he said. “I thought you had gone to Spain with Craig.”
“Well I didn’t," she shouted. "But I bloody well am now.” She rushed down the stairs and into the street, heading for Craig’s house. It took her an hour to walk there and she thought she would sit and wait in the Jaguar, but it was locked. She tried the broken down MCA sports car and luckily it was unlocked so she sat inside waiting for Craig to come out of the house.
They crossed The Channel and set off across France. Anne was still feeling disturbed about finding her fiancé in bed with her best friend. She felt like crying and knew she must snap out of it. “What time will we get to your villa? she asked.
Craig started laughing.
“What’s bloody funny?” she said.
“It will take three days to get to Marbella. We will have to make two overnight stops.”
“Anne looked about the space in the car. How the hell are we gonna sleep in this car?”
“We’re not. I have booked two hotels on the way.”
“Single rooms I hope.”
“My dad is the millionaire, not me. We’ll have to share. Don’t worry. Like I said, we are just going as friends, not lovers.”
Anne felt nervous about stopping in a hotel together, even as friends. The word “lovers” made her feel even worse.
"Is something wrong?" Craig asked.
"No. Why would there be?"
"You have been a bit distant and hostile since we left. Have you had some bad news or something?"
"I've had some bad news. But it is not serious and nothing to concern you." She thought why should she let those two spoil her holiday, and it is not fair on Craig who has been so good to her. "I'm sorry, I'll try to be a good companion. I am really grateful that you are taking me on holiday with you." She smiled at him. "Are we still friends?"
"Now and forever, you silly girl."
Anne laughed at his comment. She wasn't sure about forever though. It was a long tedious ride, even with the two stops for refreshment breaks and Anne tried not to let her depression, spoil his trip. She felt she had to smile over her sorrow and laugh over her anger. She was relieved when they pulled into the first hotel.
They walked into the reception and Craig booked in.
“Oui, you have a double room booked for one night," the receptionist said.”
“No, no,” Anne said. “We are brother and sister, we need a twin room.”
The man had already checked the names on their passports and he shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry, Madame, about the mistake, I will change it to a twin.”
Craig just smiled and shook his head.
They freshened up in the room and went down to the restaurant for dinner. “Do you want me to give you some money towards all this?” Anne asked.
“No, don’t be silly. I am just pleased to have some company.”
“Are any of your family coming over?”
“No, Anne. That’s why I asked you. Contractors are coming to do some repairs to the swimming pool and my dad has sent me to keep an eye on them. So, my dad’s paying. It’s like a free holiday for the both of us.”
Anne thought that the dinner was marvellous. She has never tasted such high-quality wonderful food. I could get to like this, she thought.
When they went to bed Anne was a bit nervous, but she needn’t have worried. They were both tired after the long journey and Anne was asleep as soon as she relaxed in the luxury single bed.
It seemed very strange to Anne when Craig woke her up the next morning. Craig was fully dressed as if ready to go. “What time is it?” she asked.
“Nearly six o’clock. Get yourself ready and I’ll meet you downstairs for breakfast. Hurry up though we need to get on the road.”
Anne was not looking forward to another long drag in the car, although the roads had got very good and the ride was not so bumpy.
After their first break, Anne was feeling a bit drowsy and started drifting towards sleep.
Craig spoke without looking at her. “Are you a virgin, Anne?”
The comment shocked her and she became fully awake. “I beg your pardon,” she said.
“A virgin. Have you ever had sex?”
“None of your bloody business. And why are you asking?”
“Just making conversation. I just thought you might get a bit frisky being around such a rich and handsome young man.”
Anne started laughing. Craig had turned a cheeky and rude comment into something funny. “Don’t worry. I won’t be getting frisky,” she said.
She laughed again. “Craig, can you stop sodding well talking like this please?”
"All right, calm down."
"You said that we were going as friends, not lovers. If I change my mind you will be the first to know, but don't bank on it."
Cheeky bloody sod, she thought. There remained a friendly atmosphere and what could have caused friction just seemed to bring them close together again. They eventually arrived at the next hotel. Craig took the passports and got the room key. The room was similar to the one in the previous hotel with large twin beds again. They were soon relaxing in the bar getting ready for their dinner. After dinner, the drinks were flowing and Anne was enjoying her time with Craig who was behaving like the perfect gentleman and coming out with some funny stories that kept her laughing.
They got back to the room and Anne got changed in her nightdress and gown in the bathroom. Craig went in after her and she got into bed.
When Craig came out he was only wearing some boxer shorts. Anne thought he looked impressive, his body had a lovely tan even though they had not long been over the border into Spain. She had to admit to herself that he had a marvellous, slim, muscular body and that she was taking a fancy to him.
“Want a nightcap, Anne.”
“No, a goodnight kiss will do.” Shit, why did I say that? she thought. It’s the drink, too much drink.
Craig eagerly took up the offer and walked over, placing a lingering kiss fully on her lips. She felt, embarrassed but the kiss felt like the most exciting thing that had ever happened to her. She would have liked it to go on even longer, but Craig moved away and got into his bed.