THE WINDS OF CHANGE

A short summer story by Jill Kramer (August 2020) ©

Today it’s my birthday and the date is very special. 20-8-2020. So to celebrate it I thought I would write a short summer story for all my readers to enjoy. Have a lovely day.

The heatwave continued relentlessly. In this small flat part of the country, under sea level with all the rivers, lakes and waterways, meant that it was literally like a steam bath. The humidity was high. The air so warm, it seemed warmer than the air you breathed out. Everyone was complaining, like they always do, when it concerns the weather! Rose began to wonder if people would ever stop complaining. If it was cold and wet, it wasn’t good and hot and sunny it wasn’t good either! There never seemed to be a happy medium. After all, complaining was something just everyone did and all the time as well.

It was the 9th day, when the heatwave officially came to an end. Rose was not the slightest interested by the facts and figures from the meteorological office, all she wanted was fresh air, cool air and preferably some rain to wash away the pollen and dust.

Her mind wandered back to a couple of weeks ago. She had agreed to go the local pub with a friend for a quiz. After months of lockdown, people were generally getting out and about a bit more, even though Rose had felt happier all those months in her own home and with her own company. It had been 20 years since her divorce. Reluctantly, because if she was honest, she did not want to go, she left the house and walked down to the local pub. It was a reserved number of people and Rose and her friend Julie, found themselves sitting at a table with two men, both of whom they did not know, but they were ‘a team’ for the evening.

Taking the obligatory social distancing into account, there was not a huge number of people present, so the normal loud noise of the pub was surprisingly quieter than usual. She found herself gazing across the table at the rather handsome face of a well-muscled young man. He had a sort of permanent frown between his eyebrows. But he was very good looking and Rose just got lost in her thoughts and did not pay attention until the bell was rung to start the quiz. Julie had been chattering away, but to be honest, Rose had not heard a single word of it.  As the quiz began, she got an amazing smile from across the other side of the table.

Actually, it went quite well, and they seemed to know all the answers between them! The conversation in between got going and once names had been exchanged, the normal talk about: what do you do? Where do you live? Do you come here often? began. Julie collected some drinks, for them all, a second round, as the men had bought the first and Rose began to feel more at ease, and it was just much more relaxed. Dutch courage as they say!

They were not the winners but came in second and decided to have one more drink together and leave. Julie wandered off to take to another friend and Rose found herself alone with her table mate. He was a pilot, yes, she could imagine that, he gave a general impression of being well educated and having a responsible job. And the most amazing accent, which she could not quite place. In the meantime, she had found out that he lived in Madrid, flew regularly to the UK with one of the well-known airlines, and was now on a break. His friend was someone he had known from high school and he had had no idea at all that he would have been here tonight. But he added he was glad he had come otherwise they would not have met! Rose found herself blushing many times at his compliments. He was very suave, and told her how nice she looked, how interesting she was, and very pretty as well. Rose was not used to this at all, having been alone for 20 years and had not been near a single man since her divorce.

It was time to leave and he asked her if she would like to have dinner the next evening. Any suggestions where to go, he asked her? Rose did not know what to say at first. Of course, he was nice, attractive, well damned good looking actually and why not? It did not really seem like a date, after a quiz at the pub. They arranged to meet at the restaurant in the village, at 7 pm the next day. She and Julie left and Rose was conscious of a new spring in her step. She had actually enjoyed it, more than she had expected to and actually he was very nice and my goodness, she was going out again tomorrow.

The next morning, after a flying visit to Boots, the local chemist to buy some scrub salt, some hair removing cream and some lovely scented shower foam, the day passed by so fast. It was soon time to get ready to go out and after about 20 different dresses and such like, Rose decided to wear something she felt comfortable in. She showered, washed her hair, applied some make up and rode on her bike to the restaurant where he was waiting for her.

This time, even though officially it was not allowed because of the Covid rules, he took her hand and kissed it. Rose nearly fainted. How gallant! You could tell he was not English by birth; English men never did anything as romantic as that.

In a cozy corner of the restaurant they ordered drinks and looked at the menu. Rose did not have a single idea what to have, kept reading and re-reading, her mind was completely elsewhere. In the end opting for something simple an easy to eat. So that there was some chance of a conversation… They talked on and Rose felt herself relaxing more and more. He was a charming table companion and they talked about their respective lives. Rose decided to be open and honest, told him she had been divorced for a long time. She did not say 20 years to be exact, not wanting to come over as desperate and pathetic!

When the food arrived, there was a pause as they began to eat. Rose felt conspicuous. But in between mouthfuls, the conversation continued. He spoke about his work, his passion was being a pilot, he loved it, different destinations each and every day. Not that he ever got to see anywhere other than the airport, unless he was on more international flights and got a couple of rest days in between. Just like this exact moment he said, having arrived at Gatwick a day or so ago and taking the advantage of meeting up with an old school friend. And then he had met Rose who he found utterly fascinating. She was sharp, witty, had a wonderful way of talking. He loved her cute British accent, the way she paused between her words, as if she was thinking about them. In fact, he was totally under her spell. He wondered if she felt the same, it was hard to tell. Obviously, she was older than him, but he did not really care about that. He was definitely and totally not interested in all the babes his own age. All pimped and pumped and so full of their own importance and appearance. No, Rose was much more down to earth and actually fun to be with. He loved the way she kept putting her hair behind her ear, he gazed at her elegant neck, thinking what it would be like to kiss her. He liked her expressive hands which she waved about a lot as she was talking. Was this the woman he had been looking for, for such a long time? He hoped so.

By the end of the meal to be honest they both felt as if they had known each other for longer. Everything just flowed so well. The conversation had not been dulling for one moment, on the contrary they found themselves laughing at things the other said, smiling across the table. Now there was something, he found really attractive, her smile, and the way her eyes lit up and flickered like stars in the night skies. Orlando, because that was his name, was falling in love, as if Cupid had personally shot his arrow right into his heart.

After a final nightcap and coffee, it was time to go. He stood up, helped Rose out of her chair and paid the bill. Coming out into the dark evening, he suddenly took her into his arms and kissed her. He just had to and Rose responded equally to him. Their lips explored one another, he held her firmly in his strong arms. Rose felt as if her feet had left the ground and she was floating. She wasn’t, but in her mind, she was. He was a good kisser for sure and it had been such a long time ago. Such a long time. Stirring deep within she felt sensations in her body. She did not want him to stop and he didn’t either. She could have stood there feeling his tender kisses for hours, especially when he kissed her neck.

But she had to go and so did he. Was this just a fleeting moment, like two ships passing in the night, or would there be more. Rose thanked him profusely for the lovely meal and his charming company. Her compliments actually made him blush slightly.  Even though she did not want to, Rose took her bike, thanked him again, gave him one last kiss and cycled off in the direction of her house. Her immediate thought amongst all the ‘rosy pink cloud’ like thoughts she had was: would she seem him again? They had exchanged phone numbers etc. But she knew he would soon be flying back home to Madrid and the travel regulations imposed to UK residents meant that she could not suddenly go there.

That evening in bed, she recalled the evening, what he had said, the way he looked at her, his passionate, gentle kisses and with that thought in her mind Rose drifted off into a deep slumber filled with dreams about him.

Orlando had the same experience. He had gone back to his friend’s house, had a quick beer and said what a nice evening it had been, and went to bed. His mind was filled with exactly the same thoughts she had and before switching off the light, he wrote her a quick text.

I just have to see you again, it said, you are just so wonderful. Such good company, so friendly, appealing and nice. Is that an option? I leave in a day’s time; can we arrange to meet tomorrow. And he signed off with a row of hearts and kisses. He called her darling. Told her how wonderful the evening had been. Like magic he said.

The following morning Rose answered and said she would love to be out with him for the day and see the local sights. She had Windsor Castle as an idea, a quaint town, the magnificence of the castle itself and the long walkway leading up to it.

She got up, showered and dressed quickly, having a coffee and croissant for breakfast and had just cleaned her teeth as the doorbell rang. He was early. Rose felt a moment of apprehension, she had not said one word to Julie about their dinner date or that he was coming here this morning. Should she have done so? Don’t be ridiculous she thought, we are going out, perfectly normal, and opened the door. He looked even more handsome in tight blue jeans, a crisp white shirt and in the hallway, took her into his arms at once, kissing her passionately. He told her how much he had missed her. Rose was puzzled, it was only a number of hours since they had been apart. She offered him coffee, but he thanked her politely. Let’s get going, he said, I want to have a perfect day with you. They set off in his flash hire car and drove to Windsor. Parked easily which was incredible as normally you could not find a space anywhere, wandered around the quaint shops and had morning cappuccino coffees at the local bakery, with a delicious flaky pastry. Sweet toothed Rose could never resist.

Then, they wandered to the long walkway leading up to the castle which looked even more magical today. Holding hands, or his arm protectively around her shoulders, stopping every now and again for a special kiss. Rose was in heaven. He looked as if he felt the same. They just blended well together, chatting away as if they had been life-long friends. Well a bit more than that. Rosie could not believe it if she was honest. Here she was, having a wonderful exciting time, after being cooped up at home for months, with the most handsome man imaginable. She knew he was, every woman who passed them, gave him that typical head to toe, sexy glance.

She told him about her marriage, her divorce, her son and her grandchild. He told her about the loss of his parents when he was young, a dreadful relationship he had had with some ‘crazy woman’ as he called her and had decided that he was never going to have a relationship with anyone again, until Rose came along and had stolen his heart. She blushed and gushed at his romantic words, feeling like a princess who lived in the castle.

They had a typical pub lunch in the gardens and then wandered along the River Thames at Laleham, somewhere Rose knew well from her childhood. She showed him the village where she had lived as a child, the school she had gone to. Apart from it being a trip down memory lane for her, she wanted to share it with him. 

At around 7pm they arrived back at Rose’s quaint cottage style house. So beautifully English, he remarked. Rose was proud of her well-kept lawn and colorful borders. Honeysuckle trailed over the front door eluding its heady scent as she turned the key. Was he going to go, or should she invite him to stay? There was never an answer as he scooped her up into his arms and took her upstairs to the bedroom. And Rose let him. She wanted him now, every single inch of that well-trained body. He slipped the straps off her shoulders and slowly removed all of her clothes, muttering appreciative comments about how beautiful she was.

She removed his shirt, allowing her hands to linger on his chest, which was in one word, just perfect, the tight 8 pack across his stomach and undid his jeans. They laid back on the bed, completely naked. Rose thanked God in her mind that she had done a thorough de-fuzz job as his hands slid gently between her thighs, and kissing her breasts and lips again and again, he made his way slowly down. Rose moaned softly, she had missed this for such a long time and he was obviously a very skilled lover as he knew exactly how and what to touch to make her long for him even more.

Rose came back to reality, it had actually been 10 days now since he had gone back to Madrid and in that time and whenever possible they had texted, and video called with one another. He had sent her amazing photos, from the air, during landing and arrival and departures, from a view she had never had the privilege to see from the cockpit.

She closed the patio doors and locked them, as they were in for a storm. Thank goodness Rose thought, that hot weather had made her fatigued, she did not want to do anything apart from talk to Orlando when she could. They spoke of many things on the text, or recorded audio messages, but one thing was always central, their desire for one another.

A few moments ago, it had been yet another hot sultry evening, not even a slight breeze. The sun had set but the sky had a strange yellow glow. Like the flickering flames of a fire. The wind picked up and within seconds, jagged shards of lightening filled the skies. It lit it up with a flash of white electrical light. Rumbles of approaching thunder were in the distance. Then heavy raindrops began to fall and lashed the windows. It was just a typical summer storm after the tropical heat. It stopped as suddenly as it had begun. The flag in her garden hung limp and lifeless.

Suddenly she heard his voice like a whisper on the breeze. ‘Come to me’ he said. It took her literally seconds to join him. She slid into his bed, between the cool cotton sheets. His warm naked body felt soft and inviting. She took her hand in his. ‘You are here’ he murmured softly half asleep. ‘Of course,’ she replied.

He lay his head on her shoulder, feeling her arm around him, the closeness he so desired. Gently his hands caressed her breasts, kissing her neck gently. She turned to face him, as their lips met. A warm passionate kiss as his tongue found hers.

His soft voice whispered in her ear. I asked an angel to come and guard you, but the angel replied: there is no need for angels to guard angels. ‘You are my angel.’ Rose smiled asking herself if he truly understood what he has just said.

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Jill Kramer

Hi! I'm Jill and I'm a passionate author of books, short stories, columns and blogs.

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