Chapter 7 - Fun In The Sun (Previously entitled 'Off The Cretan Track' ) Edited and extra chapters.

Chapter 7 - Fun In The Sun (Previously entitled 'Off The Cretan Track' ) Edited and extra chapters.

A Chapter by Repgreece

A wonderful view

New chapter

Sal exited her apartment building into the cool twilight of the evening and strolled down the narrow back street towards the town. It was that wonderful time of late afternoon when it was not to hot, not to cool, and there always seemed to be a buzz in the air, like an anticipation of the evening yet to unfold. In Crete, all evenings were the same. People worked in the morning, took a siesta nap in the intense heat of the day, and then in the evenings... people stirred to life again. A nice meal with friends, sharing a carafe of the local wine. A gathering of family. A stroll with the locals through the town, past the lake and around the marina. Simple activities occupied the locals every evening, simple but relaxing and enjoyable.

In the Mediterranean, people rarely stayed cooped up in their homes, even if it meant sitting out on their balconies, or front door steps to wave or chat to the passers by. For how could anybody get to know all the local news if they were locked away in their houses? News travelled fast in Agios Nikolaos and anyone who wasn't informed, wasn't part of the town.

As Sal progressed in her lazy stroll down the street, the sounds of the locals speaking in their native language could be distinguished all around her: mothers calling their children in from a game of football on the street, or the familiar shout of "Nikos! Ella!", an old friend calling a neighbour to go next door for a game of "Tavli", otherwise known as backgammon, on the front veranda. These were the familiar sights and sounds of the town she had come to know and love.

Finally, she reached the end of the street and hesitated before her next turn. She could head left down into the centre of the town, walk around the lake and head back up the hill to The Wheelhouse, or she could do what she often did when she was early for a night out: she could turn right and head back up the hill to the top of the cliff and the pathway running above the lake where she could enjoy the view for a while before heading straight across the top of the cliff path to the bar.

She would enjoy the view for a while as she still had plenty of time before she needed to meet Nick in the bar.

The view over the lake never failed to impress her. Up there, there were just a couple of benches placed in quiet spots under the olive trees. She claimed her favourite bench, partly hidden from the pathway, and sighed as she took a seat and gazed out across the twinkling lake, sea and town spread out below her. She truly loved this place, and she never seemed to take it for granted; it kind of demanded that you take notice of just how beautiful it was.

Below her, the waiters and waitresses of the tavernas lining the lake were beginning to prepare the lakeside tables for the influx of evening diners that would appear soon. The tiny fishing boats bobbed up and down on the ripples in the lake that were created from the harbour waters, connected to the lake via a narrow waterway, crossed by a small bridge which linked one part of the town with the other.

But it wasn't only the beauty of the place that stole Sal's heart, it was the people too. The people were the town, it was impossible to separate them. Every one you passed would smile, many would wave, especially if you passed their restaurant, house or shop regularly. This was the place where Sal had truly learnt to just be herself, and the town had accepted her wholeheartedly.

She sat for a while, just gazing at the view and contemplating the upcoming evening. Then she had a thought and opened her handbag, reaching inside for her mobile phone. She had to speak to her best friend.

The phone rang out and when Fay finally answered it, Sal amused herself by automatically falling into the routine that she and Fay often went through when first speaking on the phone.

"Hi you, guess who?"

"Hello, it is you?" Fay said.

"Who, me?"

"Yes, you,"

"Yes it's me. Who are you?" Sal giggled.

"Who, me?"

"Are you two going to go on like that all night?" Sal heard Adam shout in the background.

Both of them burst out laughing.

"Actually, I hope not," Sal shouted back to Adam, "because I'm on my way to The Wheelhouse. Are you two coming in as well?"

The reply didn't come for a few moments while Fay spoke to Adam about it.

"Adam said he would only go there to meet his favourite airport supervisor, so I think that's a 'yes'," Fay replied.

"Brilliant! Where are you now?" Sal asked.

"Just driving back from Elounda. We should be there soon," Fay assured her.

"Great. And you'll never guess who will also be in there tonight," Sal said, excited to tell Fay the news.

"Who?" Fay asked.

"I'll give you a clue," Sal answered. "He's tall and blonde, lots of fun, but sometimes really annoying... oh, and he thinks he's the best rep in the universe."

"Nick! Oh my gosh. When did he get back?" Fay asked with surprise.

"Today. We bumped into each other at the airport," Sal said. "Jen is coming back at the weekend."

"Wow! He never mentioned that he would be back this soon," Fay replied and then gave a small laugh. "I bet he was surprised to see you working as airport supervisor."

"Yes, I think he was actually," Sal commented. "He said he likes my new haircut," she blurted out for no particular reason.

"I bet he does!" Adam shouted out.

"What?" Sal said.

"Nothing, ignore him," Fay cut in.

"Ok, well anyway, it's going to be a great night. We are all back together again," Sal said wistfully.

"Yes, but... Oh, I'm sorry Sal, we wont be able to stay out late tonight. We are working really early in the morning," Fay informed her regretfully.

"Oh," some of Sal's enthusiasm faded then.

"But we can stay for a few drinks tonight and make arrangements to all go out at the weekend," Fay added, trying to lighten the mood again.

"Yes, ok," Sal replied.

"And anyway, you and Nick can go down town together. I am sure he will want to stay out late on his first night back," Fay added.

"Yeah, but..." Sal faded off and the call fell silent for a second.

"What?" Fay prompted.

"Fay," Sal began, trying to figure out how to say what was on her mind. "Do you think it's a bit weird. I mean, me and Nick going out down town together on our own?"

"Weird? No. Why?" Fay asked. "You always used to go out together. You're good friends," she pointed out.

"Yeah, but we only just ended up out together; we never actually planned it. We just happened to kind of see each other when we were out in the bars sometimes and ended up drinking together," she explained.

"Ok, but what's the difference?" Fay asked.

Sal thought for a moment. "Nothing I suppose, it's just that... well... umm... you don't think that..." Oh, just say it. " don't think that Jen will murder me if she finds out, do you?" she said suddenly.

Fay laughed. "Why would she? You and Nick have been friends for ages and it never bothered her before. You're still alive and kicking," she chuckled. "Besides, if she even tried to murder you, she'd have to get past me first, and Adam, and Ruth and...all the other people who would come running to your rescue. And...let's face it, most probably Nick too," she added.

Sal chuckled. "That's crazy, a boyfriend should help his girlfriend, not try to defend the person his girlfriend is trying to kill."

This was getting very complicated.

Adam could be heard shouting out again. "I'll be trying to kill someone soon if you two don't stop this absurd conversation and hang up! You'll be seeing each other in a minute," he reminded them. "Then you can discuss Jen's homicidal tendencies as much as you like!"

"Shut up, we're trying to figure things out here," Sal heard Fay say to Adam. "Sal," she went on, "do you want to go to town with him?"

"Well yeah, of course I want to go. I'm excited that he is back. But..." she had another attack of uncertainty, "Should I be excited about it?"

"It all depends," Adam called out. "How excited are you, Sal?" he chuckled.

"Stop listening to our conversation!" she called back.

"Stop listening? How can I help but listen to you two nattering on about a load of crazy stuff. Sal, go to town with Nick. If Jen's not coming back until the weekend, she won't know about it anyway," he concluded.

"Yes, but..." Sal began. "That's not..."

"She's going now," Adam interrupted, speaking for Fay as he commandeered her phone. "We are nearly there you've been gossiping for so long."

"Oh! Okay," Sal replied, jumping up off the bench and glancing at her watch. "I'm nearly there too."

"Good, get a move on. Nick will be waiting to see you in that little black dress," he grinned.

"What?" Sal glanced down at her dress and then at her phone in astonishment. "How did you know?"

Adam laughed loudly. "I didn't. It was just a wild guess. All women wear a little black dress when they..."

"Got to go now," Fay cut in. "See you in a minute, Sal." Then the phone cut off.

Sal grabbed her bag and slipped her phone into it as she climbed the couple of steps up to the pathway and headed for the bar.

"All women wear a little black dress when they what?" she wondered.

© 2020 Repgreece

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Added on July 1, 2020
Last Updated on July 15, 2020
Tags: romance, love, fun, friends, summer, beach, travel, vacation, holiday