Mallorcan Magic – Episode 02

Eira glanced at him. Was he really serious? He caught her eye and burst out laughing.

“Your face! I am joking, mi amiga.”

“Phew!” Helen said. “You had me fooled there as well.”

“I don’t mind an occasional cathedral or museum,” Eira said. “But Steven’s fascination for foreign stamps could be annoying at times. He liked me to tag along while he hunted through second-hand shops and some evenings, he set aside time to work on his collection.”

“This Steven was engaged to such a beautiful girl yet he shut himself away with his postage stamps?”

“You never told me,” Helen said. “I’m sure it’s all very well as a hobby but it must have been boring for you.”

“It would have seemed disloyal to complain. It’s not a vice, is it? And secondhand shops can be fun to browse in.”

“Obsession is good – in moderation,” Antonio said.

“Goodness, that’s deep,” Helen piped up.

“Deep?” Antonio asked. “I only know that is the opposite meaning of shallow – like in the sea or swimming pool.”

“It has another meaning. We use it to describe something we feel is profound.”

“Like thoughtful or philosophical,” Eira said, noticing Antonio still looked puzzled.

“Eira, my English speaking is improving, since I began to know Helen,” Antonio said.

“I’m hoping she’ll teach me Spanish.”

“Do you know any words?”

“The odd phrase. Thank you or goodbye.”

“We could try speaking in Spanish on even days and English on bumpy ones,” Antonio said.

“I think you mean odd ones, darling,” Helen said, gravely.

“Whatever you say.” He slowed down. “Look to your right, ladies.”

Eira saw a wide, open gateway. Beyond a gravelled drive, stood a white building surrounded by lush lawns and colourful shrubs. A couple of limousines were parked in front of the hotel’s canopied entrance.

“That is the most luxurious hotel on the island. Movie stars and millionaires pay many pesetas to stay at Hotel Bali.”

“Visiting royalty and politicians as well,” Helen said.

“It’s impressive. Lovely architecture.” Eira craned her neck as Antonio moved on.

“They have a garden bar which you might enjoy visiting. In the evening it is lit up like fairyland and there is a small band to play for dancing beneath the stars.”

“Antonio took me once,” Helen said.

“How romantic,” Eira said. “You don’t want me playing gooseberry though.”

“What is this gooseberry?”

“Antonio,” Helen said, “I adore you.”

“And I adore you too, my love.”


When Antonio drove up to an apartment block overlooking the ocean, Eira gasped. “You don’t live here, surely?”

Helen tapped her on the shoulder.

“Vista el Oceano, yes. Were you expecting a beach hut?”

Eira gazed at the Mediterranean, its azure waters glittering in the sunshine.

“I didn’t mean to sound rude. It’s just I imagined somewhere more modest. This looks like something from one of those glossy magazines.”

Antonio was already opening the boot.

Eira went to take her case.

“I’ll carry this as far as the elevator, Eira.

No problem.”

An elevator! She followed her friends into the building. Inside, the foyer was cool. Tall lilies, their stamens bright flames, stood in a pewter vase on a low table. A concierge behind a counter greeted Helen by name.

Antonio put the case on the floor near the lift. Glancing round as if checking no-one was spying on him, he kissed Helen on the lips, gently holding her shoulders and kissing her so tenderly, yet so purposefully, that this time Eira felt a definite twinge of envy.

“Until later, mi amor,” Antonio whispered. Didn’t that mean “my darling”? Why did words of love spoken in Spanish sound so much more enchanting than in English?

Not that Eira had heard many sweet nothings from Steven.

As the elevator climbed to Helen’s floor, Eira couldn’t resist asking a question.

“I noticed Antonio checking who might be around before he kissed you, though he doesn’t strike me as being shy! Why?” Helen laughed.

“He got cautioned by a policeman when he was a teenager, for stealing a kiss on his first date with a girl. Kissing in the street is still forbidden here. Remember that.”

“Chance would be a fine thing! But we were indoors, not on the street.”

“It’s become a hang-up with him. I’m just happy he wants to kiss me.”

“I’m not surprised. He’s utterly super and I’m so pleased for you.” The elevator juddered to a halt.

Helen drew the lift door across before opening the safety gates for them to step into the hallway.

She carried her friend’s case a few yards and stopped to unlock a door.

“It’ll work out for you one day,” she said. “I know you’re hurting now, but not all men are like Steven. You wait and see, love. Now, come in and we’ll put the kettle on.”


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!