Can you love someone , after only 8 days? You can.
Back in 1987 I had worked in Benidorm, Spain. I was back in Holland working with me old dad , as I got a call from my former employer , that I was due to a tax refund. So I thought to myself, “well take a few days of, visit a few old friends and take back some money on top of that”.
It was quite thrilling to be back , as those 2 years I worked there were something special. The air, the heat, the peculiar sound of people being on holiday.
The first night I met up with some friends and started doing some real drinking. It must have been nearly midnight as Debbie , a former colleague came in, with a friend at her side.
One look and I felt my jaw hitting the ground. She was so completely different, so sweet to look at , dressed in baggy trousers, wild black hair, but very sincere eyes and a sort of innocent aura. I just knew, it was her. No name , no idea who she was, but I knew it was HER. 24 I was by then, and so far really doubted if love was actually in the pipe-line for me. Never had I felt the faintest hint of this feeling that people went on about.
It was her and my hearth made a triple salco.
Always was I shy and not very outspoken, but as it was HER, I immediately went to Debby, to ask who this woman was. After nearly 15 years I remember every word. “ Who the hell is THAT!”. Debbie, knowing my reputation for using woman as a mattress but nothing else, warned me “Stay away from her. She is the nicest thing and I don’t want you touching her”. Please Debbie introduce me to her. I promise I´ll be nice.”
One thoughtful look at me and for some reason Debbie gave me a smile. “I think she’ll like you”.
My heart was pounding. Completely sober by now.
“Can I introduce you to Coos. Coos this is Nicola. “
Looking back on the whole thing I like to tell myself, that Nicola did a sort of a flip back as well. One look was all it took her. We went to the bar and talked, talked, talked.
It turned out that is was her very last night in Benidorm and would be taking a flight back to the UK tomorrow.
We did spent a wonderful night together, but that night was over in just a blink.
Off she was.
2 weeks later I am back in Holland working with my dad, but in reality doing nothing but rolling over that night forward and backward. She would not leave me alone. I then took up all my courage and phoned her. 5 seconds it took. That voice, that Essex accent. I then knew I was smitten and started to doing the full job. Sending postcards, flowers. The whole lot.
Looking on back on that as well I should have known. I did the whole thing. She basically did the polite thing and was nice to me. Blinded by the Cloud 7 smell and colours I was running into my own disaster.
It came as it had to come.
I went to England. She picked me up from Liverpool St. station. Boy I was over the moon. The goddess of Liverpool St. station was waiting for me.
We went to her house and slowly found each other again. I could hardly understand my own luck. She was just perfect. Gorgeous to look at. Soft spoken. Well educated. Funny.
The next evening she asked me, what my plans were. I told her that I was going to look for work in the UK, but that she should not worry about us. We would take things as they happened and I would never pressure her.
“Good, as I am with someone.“ she said.
Well that went down like a ton of bricks.
It all became clear to me. All of a sudden I understood. But, funnily enough, it only made things better between us. We went to the Zoo (of course) did the whole touristy thing, met her Dad, her brother, Ice skating. The whole lot. Paradise in Essex (Can you believe it)
For the first time in my life I could actually say “I have a girlfriend”.
But life overtook the story board.
I had to go to Aberdeen for a Job interview.
She said she loved me and that her “boy friend” would come this weekend, which would be his Waterloo. She was going to break up with him. She wanted me.
Got to Aberdeen. We phoned each other a lot. Lovie dovie.
During the Interview. “Have you got a girlfriend. Yes I have “ Proud as never before.
Got the job, took the train, went back to Essex.
Nicola picked me up again. I put the luggage in the trunk, got in the car and knew. I just knew. Don't ask me how, but I knew. Things did not go well for me.
I asked her if I could refresh myself first, before going to the Pub. Normally I would have taken my luggage out of the car. She even asked me, but I told her we’d better leave it where it was. I just knew, I would never set a foot in her house ever again.
We went to the pub and it took her 2 minutes to dish it up. It was me, finding my Waterloo.
I remember how gob smacked I was. Somehow everything turned to stone. I could not feel anything anymore. Definitely no tears or sorrow Nothing at all. Rock hard.
She took me to the train station. It was a Tuesday and pouring with rain. We ended up standing in the pouring rain for 4 hours. She did the crying. She did the stammering. I just stood there, not comprehending what just had happened. Her last words “ I love you”. I still hear her saying that. First I thought I misheard her. “Why on earth, what are you doing with me, are you playing a game with me?.” It all poured out of me.
She could not answer it. She herself seemed to be puzzled by her own reactions
I took the train the Wales. A friend of mine lived ther , so I would say hello to him.
I have never ever seen Nicola again. I rang her twice only to be surprised on the second call that her boyfriend picked up, which resulted in a bizarre and humiliating conversation.
That was it.
Now 14 years later, she still comes haunting my dreams. Sometimes nothing for 2 years. Than all of sudden, she pops up in my head again. I tried to find out where she lives, but all traces have led nowhere. I have given up. I think I'll never learn what became of her and what kind of devil rode her on that Tuesday afternoon.