Mallorcan Magic – Episode 24

THE wine, delicious food, plus chatting with her friend, soothed Eira. Later, when the table was cleared of everything but their drinks, she looked up when a young man with a pleasant smile walked up to them and addressed Helen in Spanish.

Eira understood only a few words, but soon Fran was introduced and she saw him beckon to his friend across the room.

“This is Manolo,” Fran said as the other young man arrived.

Helen spoke a few words in Spanish before introducing Eira.

“My friend is learning Spanish but she hasn’t been on the island very long,” she explained.

Manolo, tawny-haired and taller than Fran, took Eira’s hand and kissed it, before asking her to dance, using very halting English.

Eira looked enquiringly at Helen.

“Say yes,” Helen murmured. “It’s fine for me to dance with Fran because Antonio would expect me to.”

So Eira danced with the tall, not dark, but definitely handsome Spaniard. A small group of musicians playing smoochy tunes inspired Manolo to hold his partner much too close, in her opinion. But she stopped fretting and began enjoying herself.

Between dances she discovered, although he didn’t speak much English, that Manolo’s French was good enough for the two of them to hold a conversation.

The Mallorcans remained at the girls’ table during the cabaret. The singer began with a couple of catchy numbers made popular by a Spanish group Eira hadn’t heard of and moved on to songs from the British pop music charts.

For his finale, he performed the famous song “Granada”, delighting his audience.

A couple of Flamenco dancers got everyone clapping as they whirled and tapped their way around the dance floor. The woman flounced her crimson skirt and ruffled white petticoats, while fluttering her eyelashes at as many male onlookers as possible, the attractive couple holding everyone spellbound until they left the floor to tremendous applause.

Eira noticed Fran speaking to Helen. She responded and leaned across the table.

“We should head for home, Eira. Fran’s offered to call a taxi.”

Eira nodded and turned to Manolo to thank him for helping make her evening enjoyable. She tried to sound friendly but not too enthusiastic, in case he thought she’d prefer to stay with him rather than accompany Helen.

“Please, one more dance?” He smiled at Eira.

She politely declined in French as she stood up. Helen was already following Fran towards the stairs.

Manolo took Eira’s hands in his.

“Will I see you again?”

“I’m afraid my work makes that difficult,” Eira said. “I must go now, Manolo. I’ve enjoyed meeting you.”

“Then let me call upon you,” he pleaded.

Oh, dear, this conversation would be difficult enough in English, and though her French wasn’t too bad, she knew there were words that would do the job better than the ones she had at her command.

“I would like so much to see you again,” he said.

“Antonio has my phone number,” she said. “He can pass it to you but I have very

little time off.”

He beamed, thanked her and escorted her upstairs where the others waited.

In the taxi on the way back, Eira confided what she’d done.

“Good for you,” Helen said. “Manolo seems nice but we can check up on him with Antonio.”

Eira chuckled.

“You’re as bad as Danny.”

“I wondered when his name would crop up again. It mightn’t be a bad thing to have a boyfriend or two ring the villa, asking to speak to you,” Helen said.

“I can’t think why.”

“Mr Carpenter possibly needs reminding you’re much younger than he is, in terms of making men friends.”

“You make Danny sound as if he’s in his twilight years.”

“He has to be in his mid-thirties.” Eira burst out laughing.

“Poor old fellow. I’ll have to buy him an ear trumpet.”

Helen chuckled too.

“Seriously, love, it was good to see you having fun tonight. I’m crossing my fingers you’ll start seeing Manolo, and Mr Carpenter will become less and less attractive to you.”

They sat in silence, each looking out of her window as their driver turned off for the apartment complex and the twinkling lights from the flotilla of yachts in the nearby marina faded away in the distance.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.