Mallorcan Magic – Episode 25


ANTONIO arrived soon after the girls got back.

“Two such beautiful young ladies,” he said. “How many hearts did you break tonight?” He bent to kiss Helen and settled beside her on the settee.

“At least one, in Eira’s case.” Helen snuggled against him. “Fran and a friend of his joined us. Manolo has asked for Eira’s phone number.”

“Manolo? Are you happy with that, Eira?”

“It depends. Helen wants to know what you think.”

“This is tall man with red brown hair, yes?

“That sounds right,” Eira said. “He’s very charming but we have to speak in French so it’s not that relaxing – for me, anyway.”

“The Diaz family are well-known in Palma. Manolo is second son and I thought he was to be married but I must ask Fran.”

Eira felt a whoosh of relief, but for the wrong reason. She should be cross that Manolo wanted to see her again while he had a steady girlfriend.

She felt sorry for the young woman if that was the case. If Antonio checked up on Manolo and found him guilty of deceiving both Eira and his girlfriend, she would want nothing more to do with him.

“Thanks, Antonio.” Eira stretched her arms above her head and yawned. “Gosh, I think I’ll take a glass of water and head for bed. I’m reading another of your paperbacks, Helen.”

“That’s fine, love. You can have the bathroom and I’ll see you in the morning. Antonio, there’s bread and cheese in the fridge if you’d like something.” Antonio got to his feet.

“Goodnight, Eira. Sweet dreams.”

After her friend left the room, Antonio sat down beside Helen again.

“Eira does not seem too much bothered about Manolo, does she?”

“Maybe she’s taking longer to get over her broken engagement than I thought. But she certainly wouldn’t go on a date with Manolo if he had a steady girlfriend. Seeing her with him this evening, I thought she looked happy enough, but I worry she has a crush on Danny Carpenter.”

“That is something even you cannot fight, my lovely Helen.”

****

Eira set off for Bella Vista next morning while Helen got ready for another Sunday lunch date. She thought her friend was looking lovely in a rose-patterned frock, her skin gently suntanned, and her whole being aglow with happiness.

Eira wound down her window. On a humid day like this, it would be good to drive into the mountains.

She drove steadily up the incline, changing to a lower gear and enjoying leaving the Sunday morning city traffic behind.

She wondered whether Danny and the children would be home or whether he’d taken them to visit friends. A twinge of jealousy caught her by surprise and she smacked one hand on the steering wheel. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t stop thinking of her boss in far too warm a way.

She found the gates to the villa wide open. Normally they were kept closed if the family were out for the day.

Eira drove round to the yard and parked the car facing the right way in case the housekeeper needed it.

Inside, she hung up the car key and peered round the kitchen door to say hello to Isabella. By now she felt hot and sticky and the thought of a swim seemed heavenly.

Conversation with the friendly cook housekeeper never proved easy and at first, while Isabella mimed, Eira thought the family had gone to visit a poultry farm. That was, until Isabella bustled over to her kitchen calendar and beckoned to Eira.

The scribbled name on that day’s square told her the housekeeper hadn’t been miming chickens spreading their wings, but demonstrating how Danny and the children were on a friend’s yacht for another sailing and swimming day.

“Gracias, Isabella,” Eira said. “You leave whenever you’re ready and I’ll find something for my lunch.”

She left the woman preparing to go off duty and went upstairs to her room. The air was fresher in this part of the island and she kicked off her sandals and removed her blouse and skirt, ready to rest on the bed.

Lying down, listening to faint sounds of birdsong and wondering how to occupy the rest of her precious free hours, Eira drifted into slumber.

How long must she have slept? Eira’s bedside alarm clock told her one o’clock had been and gone. She yawned and scolded herself for oversleeping but decided it didn’t matter anyway.

She rummaged for a swimsuit and pulled out the two halves of a polka-dot bikini. The outfit caused too many glances for her to wear it in a public pool but this afternoon, who’d care or even notice? Raoul was off duty and Isabella would be long gone.

She’d no idea when her employer would bring the children home but it wouldn’t be before early evening.

Eira ran lightly downstairs in her flip-flops, a towel draped round her shoulders. She left through the kitchen door, having glanced inside the fridge and seen a bowl of salad, prepared by Isabella. Some of that would go down well with maybe some cold chicken after she’d completed half a dozen lengths.

Outside, Eira dropped her towel on a lounger, pulled off her flip-flops and walked to the deep end where she sat, dangling her legs in the water before launching herself forwards. She rose to the surface swiftly and swam towards the other end.

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 aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.