Saturday, 9 June 2007

PART V

I watched him walk into the cabin from the cockpit, this man I had met two days ago who had flipped my world onto its side and left my head spinning. “We’re here. We’re back,” he said looking down at me. I stood to leave and he said, “Can you sit and talk for a few minutes?’

“Of course,” I said as I looked back at Ali with some concern, and then sat down. Hassan leaned over to pat my hand and gave me an “I’ve got this handled” look.

He turned, walked to the back of the cabin and bent down to speak to Ali in a soft whisper. Ali looked at him as if he had been slapped. He slammed his whiskey glass, which he had refilled several times during the flight, down on the table and stormed out the door and down the stairs to the tarmac.

“Oh my. Whatever did you say to him to cause such a reaction?”

“I told him you and I needed to speak privately and he needed to leave while we did that. He was not pleased,” he said. The grin was back. Now I certainly knew who stood higher on the ladder of power in that relationship.

“And what do we need to speak privately about?” As I asked I felt like I did the first time I flew an airplane solo – breathless, and my stomach was hollow. I could feel the touch of the leather seat, cold from the air conditioning and inhaled the smell of him, which made me want to touch him.

He took my hands into his and looked at me as if I were made of jade. “I have never been so surprised as I am now, the events over the past two days and how I have come to feel toward you. It was a lark you know? Something I could say to my son, ‘See I did it. I still have a spirit of adventure.’ But then something happened. I saw you on that bench in the park, you looked like the Queen of Jerusalem, and when you smiled I felt something in me melt that has been cold and quiet for years. This can’t be an accident.”

I couldn’t talk. I didn’t speak. My mouth was dry. I raised my hand to touch his face, he took me into his arms, and I fell into his kiss that was soft, warm and inviting.

“Madame? Madame?”

“Yes, I’m sorry what is it?” I realized the driver had been calling my name for the past few minutes.

“I said do you need to stop anywhere? Are you alright?” he asked turning around and looking at me in the back.

“No, nothing thank you. I’m fine really.” The city passed by the window like a dream. I watched the women and men in djellabas and an endless variety of combinations of western clothing as they made their way to home, or the cafĂ©’, or to the mosque. I rolled down the window to hear the sounds of the city roll over me, and to watch the sea as we neared the Oudayas. As the wind brushed my hair back from my face, I felt pretty, desirable, and had an overwhelming desire to sing. I don’t know, something from Chicago? It’s amazing what infatuation will do for your outlook! I am not an unhappy person by any stretch, but this was that upper level of happiness, the intense kind you know? Colours looked deeper, sounds more musical, and smells more enticing. Walking to the door of my little house I could feel the rhythm of the sea and I inhaled the smells of the dinners being prepared on my little street by all of the mothers. My normal upright posture ensured by years of nagging by an English governess was if possible more erect, and I could not stop smiling.

I kept hearing his voice. “I’m sorry to be so forward but I know how fickle fate can be. You have hold of something wonderful and it can be gone before you have time to take it in.”

“Perhaps you should do it once again then, to be sure you got it.”

I couldn’t stop smiling.

Having arrived back home around 1930 hours, M.C. Solaar required thirty minutes of holding and stroking and another thirty minutes of attention after being alone all day – this cat is definitely male!

I had a brief text from Q telling me she is having quite a splendid time at the Music Festival in Fez. When I text-ed her back to say where I had been, her response? “What about the cat?”

I lay in bed listening to the sounds of the neighbourhood settling in for the night. A few souls still on their doorsteps softly talking, a child laughing somewhere, a baby crying, all made their way into my window with the cool night breeze and I relived the day in my mind as I drifted off to sleep.

He was so lovely about having to leave. “I would take you home myself but….Ali. I have to get him back to Riyadh. There is some big family affair and his father requires him there, and the King requires I get him there. Actually I would prefer not to take you home at all. I would prefer to keep you with me. Listen to me, I will be at least six months on this assignment but that doesn’t mean I can’t leave now and again. Would you see me again?”

I put my hand to his jaw again; I couldn’t seem to stop touching him. “Yes.”

“We could meet in Istanbul, Paris, or Barcelona if you like,” he said never losing eye contact. I felt we were in a bubble where only we existed.

“Not Paris, not Paris…anywhere else would be lovely,” I said feeling a small panic at the mention of Paris. I married John in Paris. We lived overlooking the Seine. Paris was full of him, of the memories of us. For me, he still walked the streets of Paris.

“What’s wrong?” He looked concerned and taken aback a bit at the change on my face.

“A longer story than we have time for now, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. When will we go? Q leaves in August and I want to spend as much time with her as I can, so after that?”

“Yes, I don’t like waiting two months I don’t mind telling you but it will take me that long to set up the flight school plans and to begin the second part of my assignment,” he said as he caressed my arms and stroked my hands.

And that’s where it stands readers. He flew off into the black velvet sky of North Africa headed east. I find myself giving out a deep sigh now and then for no apparent reason, and the desire to sing remains. Q said, “When will you see him again?” When I told her I gave him my mobile number she said in surprise, “That’s new!”

Yes, in answer to your question. He has already called. See me smiling?

28 comments:

Omega Mum said...

Oh. My. God. At this rate, you'll have the whole of Blogworld fighting for tickets to the wedding. Get the film rights sorted out first, though. What a read. Five stars. But is he reading about himself and, if so, how will you manage this?

Snuffleupagus said...

How fantastic. You have a life! You have no idea how many people would love to have one. In fact, you have had two lives. One before and one now... and you are the luckiest woman in the world.

Run with it, as far as it takes you. I wish you a very safe and thrilling voyage.

Snuffy

@themill said...

Sigh, sigh, sigh!

I Beatrice said...

Beautiful, beautiful - I'm in love with the man myself! Oh hold on, do! Such miracles seldom happen twice.

I Beatrice said...

It has just occurred to me though - who is the Queen of Jerusalem?

Not that it matters in the slightest of course...

KarenO said...

Goodness me! This really is the stuff dreams are made of, and it's happening to you! As Snuffy said, run with this as far as it takes you. Fly to the moon and beyond. You "know how fickle fate can be" - grab onto it and don't let go!

jenny said...

*long shuddering sigh* I had to walk away after I read this and then I read it 2 more times. It brought tears to my eyes, the way you described your thoughts and feelings and the whole story was a roller coaster of emotions. I can just imagine you walking through your front door in a haze with your mind rewinding all the moments in a mental play-by-play. As I am sure you were doing it again while putting your tale into words for us. I know you are also writing for yourself, to remember every detail lest it starts to fade away, or to see your words and know, yes, it happened and Hassan was real.
It's not often that a person can find love twice in a lifetime, and one so dramatically different from the other. Don't hesitate... fickle fate won't wait!

lady macleod said...

omega mum

Five stars! I humbly accept this award on behalf of women everywhere.(curtsy)
I of course asked him before writing a word, as I always try to do with anyone I put into the blog. I do believe that we are banned my dear in Saudi Arabia (whew). His son promised not to read parts four and five. Q told me today she has not read it, but seemed overjoyed wen talk of the "kissing" came up today at lunch with our friend Suzanne. "Kissing? There was kissing?! All right Mom! No, don't tell me more, I don't want to know more."
thank you for coming by.


snuffy

I am lucky. I have had a wonderful life full of love and adventure that is obviously not done. I will take your words to heart friend.
Thank you for coming by.


@the mill

Me too! Thank you for coming by.


i beatrice

He is pretty. Yep, yep, yep.
the Queen of Jerusalem is a fable from the time of Saladin.


kareno

I am enjoying it as far as it goes. We will see...
Thank you for coming by.

Pamela Jeanne said...

How quickly the world can change. What a romantic whirlwind. Can't wait to read more. (p.s. I voted, of course, for your magical blog!)

debio said...

Reading this has made me so happy, lady m; for you, for me and for the world. Enjoy every minute of your memories and whatever the future holds.
Fabulous, fabulous......

lady macleod said...

pj

Yes the world can treat us to some topsy turvy days You are too sweet, thank you for the support and thank you for coming by.


debio

I must say it had made me quite happy as well. I am so pleased you enjoyed the telling of my adventure. Thank you for coming by.

Andres Carl Sena said...

smooth. I think Chicago did no better than Chicago 17.

have you sung anyhting yet?

jennifer said...

Can I just say... oooohhhh

jmb said...

My first comment disappeared in cyberspace. Trying again.
This is wonderful news Lady M, and what a surprise. I hope all goes well for you.
I'm voting for you as often as I'm allowed and want to thank you for the plug on your sidebar.

pluto said...

What great news. I'm so glad it's working out so well.
You were daring to accept his invitation to go on a climbing excursion when you'd only just met him so you helped to make your own good fortune.

Rebecca said...

wow - how romantic!

"We could meet in Istanbul, Paris, or Barcelona"

well, if you can't meet him in Paris, Istanbul or Barcelona should do nicely. Although I bet you don't really mind WHERE you meet???

lady macleod said...

jenny

my jenny! your comment was slipped in under the cyber space wire while I answered the ones before and I did not see it until now. A wonderful morning conversation to wake to I tell you. I do appreciate your thoughts. I am still on the roller coaster. I remain hesitant..but you are right, Q is right.. I am pleased you enjoyed reading, and yes it was a re-telling for me as well.
Thank you for your comments and for coming by.

lady macleod said...

adres carl sena

thank you for the nice words and music review. Actually yes! I caught myself singing along to the music in the posh clothing store in Ando yesterday - get this, Kenny Rodgers singing The Gambler?!
Thank you for coming by.


jennifer

yes you can, and I thank you.
Thank you for coming by.


jmb

I hate it when that happens, grrr. Right back at you on the voting scene, and thank you. thank you for coming by.


pluto

thank you and yes, I'm still a bit shocked at myself, but the circumstances were such that I really could not say no!
thank you for coming by.


rebecca

Indeed! and no I don't mind where, but I do like exotic, romantic, and posh I must say.
thank you for coming by.

Kaycie said...

Exquisite.

I still remember how it felt, that first blush of love, ten years on.

The part that brough tears to my eyes was Paris. A bittersweet moment in all of the bliss.

John would want you to be happy, love.

I will smile about this all day. Odd how I am so pleased for the happiness of someone I didn't know existed a week or two ago.

lady macleod said...

kaycle

how kind you are. In my mind it is not surprising that you feel happiness for another. I am pleased to know of your existence.thank you and thank you for coming by.

BOSSY said...

Um, OK, this reminds Bossy of what's going on in her own life: She just spent the afternoon kneeling in a pharmacy aisle looking for the right hair color to cover some of her husband's grey. Romantic? No.

And, so - any similarity to your life? Exactly.

Brillig said...

Oh, Lady M. Sigh. Ahhhhh. Sigh again. Beautiful! What an adventure!!!!

Brillig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pig in the Kitchen said...

Ahhhhh, Pig smiles happily at the computer screen.
;-)

Sparx said...

Lady M! I just caught up on all five installments at once (I am supposed to be working...). Wow!! What a great thing! What a great life... I am envious, even though I am happy as I am... your description of the colours getting deeper with happiness, I remember that. On tenterhooks for the next installment... counting the days with you.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Mills and Boone, move over. Lady M. has cornered the romantic story market. This reminds me of when I met my husband and fell in love with him. It happened very quickly and we would have romantic trysts in various cities. SIGH! As my mother said at the time, if it's meant to be, it's serendipity. I love that word. Let it happen as it happens.

Annie said...

Fantastic!

Liz said...

THis is all so wonderfully romantic! Enjoy!