Andrew Hill

I am not a number . . .

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© Andrew Hill, Astcote UK MMVIII

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Somewhere In Switzerland

XXV Dreams

I thought about a lot more things as I drove back to Kos at three in the morning. Theresia had occupied my mind so completely that I had pursued none of the ideas that I had had earlier. If she had wanted, I would arrange to stay another week but what would we do that would make the disruption at home worthwhile? It was a difficult point. Part of me was telling me that I needed to suggest something like that but unless I was absolutely sure that I wanted then to live my life for her alone then I must think more. I told myself to see how things developed. Common sense dictated that it would be better to end the 'holiday romance' before it started and, instead, to plan to return to her when something more real than these crazy days on this weirdly powerful island obtained. I decided to leave our departure dates: mine on Wednesday 19 October, hers on the following Sunday, as they stood.

Sleep on Sunday morning was a rare luxury between thought and concern. In a way, I wanted to think of nothing at all all day long so that my head would be clear for the evening when Theresia would come to me. I spent nearly all the time writing up what had happened over the week and a half since I had arrived on the island. This helped greatly in a sort of mental vacuuming process. I felt very content - remarkably so. A toasted sandwich and some Greek coffee followed by several glasses of water - ice cold and fresh - with a little support from a glass of ouzo kept the wolves of hunger at bay.

I kept my mind away from the imminent events in another unexpected way at lunchtime. Anger. Pretty intense annoyance and frustration at the island's alter ego. Its young men's apparently complete preoccupation with sex and the girls on holiday there. Never did they chase round after their own kind. They genuinely believed that every girl there on holiday was fair game and that they could - indeed, must - take them and have it away on the beach, in a car, against a wall or wherever. I did not argue particularly with the precept that a girl might be fair game but I did think it wrong that they could think that they must cram themselves into her in a matter of days.

Stavros was a good and convenient vent for my steam. In past conversations I had usually waved away any disagreement or termed it politely as a misunderstanding. This day I would attack him head on. It worked. As my Greek had improved I had found myself more involved with the locals and had been constantly prodded with questions about Theresia and Corina. The fact that I had been taking two of them everywhere had really quite incensed some of them and my anger on this occasion had begun when Stavros had boasted that he could easily steal Theresia from me and 'give her what she came to the island for'.