Mallorcan Magic – Episode 04

On the Monday, Eira woke early to hear Helen moving round. Back to work, of course. She scrambled out of bed to have a quick word.

“We haven’t talked about food,” Eira said, rubbing her eyes.

Helen’s eyes sparkled.

“Good morning to you, too. What about food? There’s plenty in the fridge to keep you going. You did say you might have a lazy day today.”

“I intend to. I meant, is there something I can do towards the evening meal?”

“I thought maybe a cheese omelette and salad for supper. Antonio might drop round for a coffee about nine o’clock.”

“OK, I’m happy to read in bed when he gets here. I’m enjoying ‘Valley Of The Dolls’, by the way.

“Good, but there’s no need to disappear when Antonio calls. He said he wanted to hear your first impressions of the island.”

“That’s fine. When he’s heard them, I can sneak off to my room.”

Helen clicked her tongue.

“You know we love having you here, Eira. Antonio has a couple of single friends who are looking forward to meeting you but we felt it mightn’t be appropriate yet.”

“I hope you mean friends and not his brothers?”

“Would I lie to you? Seriously, his brothers are too young to be boyfriend material.”

“Just checking.”

“We could have a bit of a party though, something informal.”

“If you want to throw a party, then you should go ahead. But please don’t think you have to on my account. I’m thrilled to bits being here with you and enjoying myself for the first time in ages.”

With a sense of shock, Eira realised how much she didn’t miss her ex-fiancé. “Shall I leave the decision up to Antonio?” Helen asked.

“He’s a busy man and you work hard, too.

I don’t want to put you to any trouble.”

“Antonio has to have a social life apart from being with me! Don’t forget, he’s the one hiding this queue of Mallorcan talent, hoping to impress you.”

“Now you really are making me nervous.”

“Is that the time? I must get a move on.” Helen picked up a raffia bag, stuffed with exercise books and folders. She blew Eira a kiss. “You’re welcome to sit on the balcony. Be sure to use sun cream and lock the door afterwards. Or you can use the pool. You remember how to get there, don’t you?”

With that, she hurried off and Eira heard the outer door click shut. Her first day alone stretched ahead temptingly. She flicked the switch on the kettle to make a cup of tea and lit the grill for toast.

Her thoughts drifted to Antonio’s friends. Maybe she was being too hard on herself, ruling out the chance of a holiday romance. After all, it needn’t be serious.

She imagined herself dancing cheek to cheek with a tall, handsome young man, just as Helen described. Flirting with an admiring Spanish male would be the perfect way to heal her wounded pride.

The smell of toasted bread hit her nostrils. Eira rushed to rescue her two slices before they turned to charcoal. Daydreaming was not an option, she decided, looking in the fridge for marmalade.

Eira found plenty of local products displayed in boutique windows and on quirky craft stalls − everything from delicious pastries to silver and turquoise jewellery. A pendant or ring would be a lovely memento of her holiday.

She drooled over a display of bags, unable to choose between soft butterscotch leather and emerald green suede, so she decided to stop for a drink at the next café. She settled herself beneath a giant blue and white striped umbrella and ordered a coffee and a creamy custard tart.

When a waiter carrying a tray headed for a corner table, Eira noticed for the first time the man seated there. He lowered his newspaper to make room for his order and Eira caught her breath. His beautifully cut hair, long-lashed green eyes, and shapely mouth sent her pulse rate rocketing.

Señor,” the waiter said, placing cutlery and napkin beside his customer’s plate.

Eira forced herself not to look, but thought either the man remained unaware of her presence or knew she was watching him and didn’t care. Maybe this kind of thing happened each time he went out.

How could she be so foolish? Anyone would think she was desperate, she scolded herself. Even if the object of her fantasy was gorgeous, she shouldn’t swoon like a schoolgirl.

Her coffee and cake arrived. The man enjoying his late breakfast glanced her way and, to her horror and delight, met her gaze.

She put down her cup. To prevent further daydreams of dancing cheek to cheek with the attractive stranger, she reminded herself she hadn’t informed her parents, or even Helen, that she had handed in her notice before coming on holiday. But her wedding savings remained stashed in her Post Office account and she knew, with her secretarial skills, she could find employment on returning to the UK.

She should consult Helen this evening before Antonio called round. Her friend would understand her need to start afresh.

The man at the corner table raised a hand to catch the waiter’s attention. He paid his bill and returned the saucer, saying something which Eira didn’t understand. The waiter beamed and bowed his customer out into the sunshine.

Eira kept her eyes fixed on passing traffic and if the stranger glanced at her to say goodbye, she didn’t know. But this man would, she knew, be difficult to shake from her memory.


Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!