If you have already read a recent post of mine, ‘The Autopsy’ it may help. This is a sort of sequel, really…
They sit side by side on a seat in the park, Harald Sims and Eladora, and anyone can tell by the way they gaze into each other’s eyes they have found love. Around them, the town descends into night and amidst this green interruption to its star-spangled life is a space within which they might speak of the feeling in their hearts.
“A policeman.” Eladora sighs. “Who’d have thought?”
“You don’t mind?” He asks earnestly, squeezing her hand.
“Of course not!” The emerald lights in her eyes flash adoringly. “I feel so – protected!”
They laugh together at this.
“No, but I know it’s right! I just know it!” He insists. “The moment I saw you!”
“And so strange we should meet where we did! So – appropriate.”
“A chance in a million, my darling.” Harald enthuses. “A spark of attraction fanned to flame in a seedy flat in Bayswater – such good fortune! And in circumstances I would normally consider sad…”
“That poor old man!”
“Ah yes, that poor old man.”
A sombre moment, perhaps, yet Eladora cannot help the smile that comes to her lips – those full, tempting lips. “Speaking of flame….” She leaves her sentence unfinished: “Do I have to say it?”
“No, no. I will. Your place or mine?”
“Yours.” She says. “That’s my choice. I want to see yours.” Her hand passes gently across his shoulders, and she slips her fingers beneath the open neck of his shirt, stroking his shoulder, feeling the warmth of his neck. “Perfect!” She says.
He is about to rise. “What a strange thing to say! How is my neck perfect?”
“Such vibrant arteries.”
It has been an evening beyond any possible dream of success. Dinner at the finest restaurant Harald could afford was after sunset, in deference to Eladora’s habit: “I’m such a night person. You wouldn’t see the best of me in daylight…”
The cuisine was unparalleled.
“You don’t eat very much.” He accused her kindly.
“I have a spider’s appetite.” She wrapped her smile around him; “But I enjoy my wine. Besides, you have hardly touched your food either.”
“It’s you. I’m so besotted with you I can’t seem to eat.”
“Well, there you are then…”
The way was open for a sharing of fantasies. Each confessed to having thought about, brooded over, dreamt of the other in the impatient days between this and their first meeting.
“I couldn’t wait to be with you again. Really, I don’t know how I kept from going insane. Is it wicked to talk like this?”
And Eladora smiled, and said ‘no’. She was equally distracted, it seemed.
So, at the dreamlike conclusion of a very special evening the pair rise from their trysting place in the park and stroll, arm in arm, along the pathway that leads to Harald Sims’ Spartan little home, and it may be that they share a kiss now and then, and some murmured, if meaningless conversation. He makes her laugh, a laughter like a peal of bells. She entices him, teases him, caresses his neck.
At the gates to his home, though, she freezes, profoundly shocked. “No! But I live here, too!”
“Really? Which one?”
“The third on the right!”
“And I’m in the one with the marble frontage, over there!” He says. “I’m trying to get the angel statue removed.”
“So the policeman thing is just the day job.” She shudders. “I hate marble, don’t you? Granite is so much warmer.” Then, slowly: “We have more in common than I thought. Of course, you must be of the European family.”
“And you are from the South American. Yet I wonder how we have been such close neighbors and never met. Very strange.”
“Well…” Eladora says philosophically with a shrug; “Now we know we really are together for eternity, I can confide in you, my dearest. I am hungry.” She nods towards a young couple who are walking towards them, arm-in-arm along the path where the park borders the city cemetery. “Would you care for supper?”