Off The Cretan Track Chapter 46

Off The Cretan Track Chapter 46

A Chapter by Repgreece

The break up

Sal returned to her desk and gave instructions to her reps, before taking a few minutes to make a quick calculation on how much Nick could offer the coach drivers. She then divided this number by thirty, for a thirty seater coach, and wrote the information down on a slip of paper. At this point, a couple of tourists arrived at her desk, asking for replacement plane tickets, and so she handed the paper to one of her reps, telling them to find Nick and give him the note.

After writing out the replacement tickets, and ensuring that her other rep was coping with directing the stream of guests to their coaches, she took a few minutes to chat to some of Nick’s ‘quest’ tourists. They seemed to warm to Sal’s lively, enthusiastic chatter, and were interested to know a little about Nick and Sal’s trip to Matala …minus the small matter of them both getting arrested! Having assured the people that Nick had everything in hand and would be with them soon, Sal returned to her desk to direct her own guests, whilst at the same time, racking her brains to think of who would know about a hotel that would have enough space to accommodate all of Nick’s extra guests.

The first person who sprung to mind, and who would almost definitely have a solution to the problem, was Jen. She had contacts with everyone. There was no way though, that Sal was going to speak to her! The next best person to help would be Jo. Now, Jo and Sal got on quite well together, and had even been on a few ‘girly’ nights out once or twice, so she knew that Jo would try her best to help if she could. However, Jo was good friends with Jen, and would probably just refer Sal to Jen straight away. Considering that she couldn’t really explain why she didn’t want to talk to Jen, Sal needed to come up with a way of getting around that. Of course, the other obvious person to ask would be Adam, or Fay, but if she asked either of those, it would seem as though the quest was interfering with Adam’s business, and that could jeopardize both Sal and Nick’s jobs. Okay, there was only one thing for it, she’d have to phone Jo and make up some excuse about why she couldn’t speak to Jen about it.

Pulling out her phone, she called Jo’s number. The phone rang out for quite some time, dashing Sal’s hopes for a moment, until a breathless Jo finally picked up.

“Hi Sal, you okay?” came the voice.

“Yes, hi. Sorry, are you busy?” Sal asked.

“Just running a bit late. I’m supposed to be meeting the girls in ‘Shots Bar’ tonight for a drink before the airport run, but I really don’t think I’ll make the drink. Got to iron my uniform yet and sort out my paperwork. Oh well, I’ll have to let them know I can’t make it. No big deal. So, what are you up to? Aren’t you working?” she asked.

“Well yes, but I just wanted to pick your brains for a friend of mine. Do you know of any hotel in the Agios area which would have a lot of free rooms available? I’m talking about at least thirty.”

“Thirty!” came the reply.

“Yes, and for tonight too,” Sal answered.

“Bloody hell Sal, what’s this friend of yours done? Misplaced a whole hotel?”

“Err, well kind of. But Jo, this is an emergency. There are thirty guests here at the airport causing riots,” Sal over exaggerated. “We are in dire need of your help. Do you know of anywhere?”

Jo huffed and sighed. “Sorry Sal, nowhere with that many spare rooms.”

“Oh hell,” Sal came back.

“Okay, listen, I’ve got to run, but when I get on my coach, I’ll make a list of some hotels that I know do have some spare rooms. The guests will be split up, but it may be your only option,” Jo pointed out.

“Oh okay, thanks for that.”

“Have you spoken to Jen about this yet?” Jo asked.

There it was; Sal knew she’d say that.

“No, I can’t get hold of her, but I’ll try again now,” Sal said.

“Ok, she’s more likely to know of somewhere.”

Didn’t Sal know it!

“Yes, thanks. I’ll try her again,” Sal repeated. “Thanks for your help Jo.”

“No problem…Oh Sal, I hear that it’s your birthday next week,” Jo added.

Oh yes, Sal had been planning that for months over the winter, but despite it being so close now, the last couple of days had been so busy that she’d forgotten all about it.

“Yes," she smiled. "Who told you?”

“Ruth I think, anyway, let me know what you’re planning to do, and we can meet you in town somewhere for a celebration if you want,” she suggested.

“Yeah, that would be great. I’ll let you know,” Sal assured her.

“Cool. Right, I really have got to go now. Speak soon Sal.”

“Speak soon. Bye,” Sal replied, hanging up.

Damn, she was no further to finding a hotel, and what’s more, she’d soon be busy with seeing her own coaches off and making sure that all the tourists were accounted for. In one last bid to help Nick out, she dashed from booth to booth, asking all the tour supervisors and bosses if they knew of a suitable hotel. However, at such last minute notice, no one that she spoke to could think of anywhere with enough free rooms.

Finally, she was forced to return to her desk to make sure that her own guests were being looked after.

Nick had spoken to almost every coach driver at the airport that evening, but his only hope at that point was Nikos, who had agreed to do the transfer on the condition that his boss authorized it. The only problem was that his boss had finished work and gone home for the evening, so he was therefore not answering Nikos’s calls. Now they were playing a waiting game.

Whilst Nick had been desperately darting around the coach park earlier, his phone had rang, and, to his consternation, when he fished it out to see who the caller was, he realized that it was Jen. Fearing that she may disappear again, he had quickly answered the call. She apologized for having worked through last night and earlier that day, and for the fact that her phone had turned itself off after the battery had run out. He was surprised at her tone, which had been apologetic and agreeable… for Jen. Strange. Oh well, at least now he knew that she was back at the hotel and he could talk to her when he returned from the airport.

In the process of seeing off the last coach of guests, Sal’s phone rang.

“Jo,” she said, on picking up the call. “Hello again.”

“Hi Sal. I might have a hotel for you,” she said enthusiastically.

“You’re kidding,” Sal replied. “That’s fab.”

“Well, kind of, but there’s a slight hitch,” Jo infirmed her.

“Slight? How slight?” Sal inquired.

“Well, basically, the reason why there are so many rooms free in there is because…” she paused “… it’s not quite finished.”

“What do you mean ‘not quite finished’?”

“Well, all the rooms are fine, it’s just some of the hallways and public rooms that need the finishing touches. You know, a few fittings, licks of paint etcetera. It’s due to open in a few weeks but I’ve spoken to the owner, and he’s agreed to let your friend’s people use the rooms at a reduced rate if they want to. I’ve seen the actual bedrooms and they are lovely. It’s a five star hotel,” she pointed out.

“Oh, okay.” It sounded like a real possibility. “And he can take all thirty people?” Sal asked.

“Yes. More if needed.”

“Oh well, that sounds great. I’ll tell my friend and see what he thinks. I’ll need the hotel address and the number of the owner though. Can you possibly text me them? It’s just that I’m right in the middle of the coach park at the moment,” she said, spotting Nick at that point and motioning for him not to go. “Hold on a sec Jo,” she said, yelling at Nick that she might have found a hotel and for him not to disappear. “Sorry. Is that okay then? Can you text me that?”

“Sure. I hope it all goes well for you,” she replied. “Let me know about your birthday.”

“I will, and thanks a million. I owe you one. Speak soon. Bye,” Sal Said.

“Bye,” came the reply.

“What have you found?” Nick asked, watching as Sal pulled out a pen from her handbag.

“Okay well, it’s not perfect, but it’s the best I can do. It’s a hotel that is opening officially in a few weeks’ time. All the bedrooms are fine, but some of the hallways etc. need the finishing touches,” she explained. “But they can accommodate all your guests.”

“I’ll take it,” Nick said instinctively, wondering just how angry the guests would be by now for having waited so long.

“If the guests complain, tell them to speak to Mike,” Sal advised. “It was him who got you into this mess.”

“I know,” Nick replied.

Sal’s phone beeped than and she got Nick to hold her clipboard while she scribbled down the details of the hotel and owner onto a piece of paper, ripping off the strip and handing it to him.

“Those are all the details. Good luck. Did you manage to sort out a coach?” she asked.

“Yes, it was close, but I got one,” he smiled.

“Brilliant! You’ve worked miracles. You deserve a medal for this,” she said.

“You do! I don’t know what I’d have done without you Sal,” he answered.

“Well, we did it together,” she summed up. “Do you need any more help with your guests?”

“No. You’ve been amazing. I’ll be fine now,” he assured her.

“Okay. Well, you’d better get back to them. I’m going home now,” she said, fishing her car keys out of her bag.

“Okay, and thanks again,” he said.

“No problem. Catch up later,” she replied, heading for the car park.

He watched her go for a second, before calling out to her. “Sal.”
She stopped and turned to him.

“I’ve got to go to Knossos tomorrow to prepare for a tour of the place. I was going to ask Fay and Adam along, to practice on them and get some ideas. Do you want to come too?” he asked.

Her face lit up with interest. “Yes, I’ve never been.”

“Then for sure you must come,” he replied. “Maybe we could hit the beach after too for a swim,” he suggested.

“Great,” she replied. “Give me a ring tomorrow when you’ve spoken to Adam and Fay.”

“Yeah, I will,” he smiled. “See you tomorrow Sal.”

“Yes, see you then,” she answered, strolling away.

He watched her go. That sexy walk…sexy uniform… sexy Sal. And what’s more, he missed her already. He’d give anything for it to be tomorrow right then, and for him to have done, what he knew he’d have to do when he got back to the hotel: break up with Jen. Well, at least, however the breakup went, he’d be seeing Sal tomorrow. And then maybe, after a while, a proper relationship would develop between them. It had to. He’d make her so happy, that she’d never want to be without him.

Due to the help that Sal had given Nick, his biggest worry that night didn’t turn out to be his new guests; they didn’t even seem to notice that there was anything out of the ordinary about the hotel. His worst anxiety was most definitely facing Jen, and he became more and more nervous the closer he got to Agios.

As he turned the key in the door of the hotel room, he was wondering now whether to leave speaking to her until the next day, as it was getting rather late. However, at the same time, he was by now just desperate to get it over with. On entering the room though, he was astonished to find that Jen wasn’t in there! This was getting to be ridiculous! Now she was just playing games or something; she had to be.

Taking out his phone, he telephoned her number. She answered almost immediately.

“Where the hell are you?” he asked.

“Babe, I’ve been waiting for you,” she answered, as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. “But I got bored, so I just popped downstairs to the meeting room to prepare for my meetings tomorrow.”

My God, could she never just give up on work!

He hung up on her in anger then. This was one of the many reasons why they could never have a happy relationship: she put work above everything else in her life.

Storming down stairs to the reception, he spoke to Maria and booked another bedroom, before heading straight for the meeting room.

He wasn’t entirely surprised to find when he got there, that the fact he’d hung up on her still hadn’t stopped Jen from working. She was sitting at the desk, filling envelopes with welcome pamphlets when he found her. Well, here was as good a place as any to do this, and at least they wouldn’t be disturbed at that time of night.

“Hey babe. I’m just coming now,” she said, as he walked into the room.

“Listen Jen, we need to talk,” he replied, approaching the desk and pulling up a chair to sit opposite her.

Her busy hands froze then and she watched him suspiciously. He sat in silence for a moment, just staring at her.

“What?” she said, with a touch of annoyance.

Here goes nothing. “It’s not working between us Jen.”

He held his breath and waited for the onslaught.

“What do you mean?”

“Look, let’s face it, neither of us are happy together,” he replied.

“Why, what’s wrong?” she answered, before changing her tact. “Okay, is this because I’ve been so busy since I’ve been back?” She didn’t give him a chance to reply. “It’s just because I’ve been sorting out work for the summer babe… for us,” she added, placing her hand over his.

He turned his over and took hold of her hand. “Jen, you need to be free to find someone to love, who will make you happy and fulfilled.”

“Who says I’m not happy with you?” she said, her voice rising in pitch.

Oh hell, he didn’t like the sound of that. She was working herself up to the anticipated explosion.

“We don’t want the same things. We never do anything together. We don’t even have the same friends,” he pointed out. Right, now was time to lay it on the line. “I think it’s time we split up.”

She pulled her hand abruptly away. “What? But I’ve only just got back! And what about last night? Did that mean nothing to you? Because I thought it was fantastic, Nick,” she appealed, in a softer voice.

He sighed. “It was Jen, but that still doesn’t change the facts. I’ll move into another room. I’m sorry,” he said, standing up and praying that he’d got off lightly.

Not a chance.

She stood suddenly and the chair made a loud grating sound on the floor as she grabbed hold of his arm, stopping him from walking away. “Hold on a minute, is that it? After all we’ve been through, and all the promises you made.”

“I’m sorry Jen,” he repeated.

“Sorry!” she shouted angrily, before checking herself. “But why Nick? Why are you doing this to us? I’ll cut down on work,” she said with desperation. “We can do more things together. You should have said before; I didn’t realize.”

“But that’s the point,” he said, “you should have wanted to be with me more, not relied on me to tell you.”

She searched his face in silence for a moment then, attempting to come up with answers.

“I’m just trying to make ends meet,” she replied with tears forming in her eyes. “You know I have to send money home, and I want us to have enough money too. That’s why I have to work so much.”

“That’s not just it,” he countered. “Jen don’t pretend, you thrive off work. You need it, for some reason. But I’m not like that. I need more in life than just work.”

“Well what’s wrong with being ambitious? And I’m bloody good at what I do. People respect me for it, and that makes me feel good. But if it’s making you unhappy, then I promise that I’ll cut down the hours,” she said, “because I want us to be together. I need you.”

“You can’t change who you are,” he replied. “You’ll find someone who is right for you. And that’s not me, Jen. And by the way, it’s definitely not Adam.”

“What’s Adam got to do with this?” she came back swiftly.

“Look, I know you have a thing for him, but he’s never going to leave Fay. And besides, you two have no relationship together, you never have.”

“Adam and I are history, I know that. I just want you,” she said, tightening her grip on his arm.

“Jen, come on, don’t do this,” he replied. “I’ll still be here for you as a friend, but as a couple, we just don’t work.”

The tears began spilling then and streaming down her face. “We could make it work; just wait and see. I can do anything I put my mind to, you know that. I’ll make things better.”

He shook his head. “You can’t Jen. I’m so sorry.” He had to leave then before he got dragged back into the relationship just because he felt sorry for her. “Look, I’m going to bed. I’ve booked another room. I’m sorry,” he said again, untangling himself from her and walking away.

“Wait,” he heard her shout behind him. He had to keep walking. “Nick, stop for a minute. You have to stop… Nick, please…” she begged.

Tears were now streaming down his face too, but he couldn’t let her see that.

He’d just made it to the door however, when she dropped the bomb on him.

“Nick, you can’t leave me. I think I’m pregnant!”

© 2012 Repgreece

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Added on December 30, 2012
Last Updated on December 30, 2012
Tags: love, romance, summer, fun

Off The Cretan Track