CHAPTER 2:DEEP BLUE

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      I have always thought of the first time I met Christopher, as the first day of my real life. Nevertheless, I've never regretted letting him into my life, in full consciousness of the outcome and, were I given another chance, I would do exactly the same. Of course, I would have to change a few things. Because I have my share of blame in this story. This I cannot deny.

Every single detail of that evening will be forever engraved in my memory.

The first thing I vividly remember is the smothering heat and my total dependence upon the air-conditioner.

It must have been one of the hottest summers in Greece. My body had not become adjusted yet to the waves of heat coming from the south, making me spend my first two days in this vacation spot on the outskirts of the city of Corinth, going back and forth between the beach and the air-conditioned studio apartment I was sharing with Kate. Usually, it would take me a week to get used to the hot temperature, having spent the most of my life in the cool and gloomy suburbs of London. This summer I felt I would need even more time, as the overwhelming brightness and the blue of the sky did not match my mood at all. I had been masochist enough to be missing the cloudy, gloomy sky of London, even from the first day.

I was having summer holidays in Greece for the third year as a university student. BrantelUniversity offered students the opportunity of spending eight weeks here every year, in cooperation with the University of Athens. It had been a long tradition for the schools of Archeology, History and Social Sciences ever since my dad had been working as a professor and researcher in Brantel. It goes without saying that for all of us, not only the students but also the tutors, summer school here was considered more as holiday time. But the school was not the only reason for my coming to Greece as other, personal reasons called for my presence here.

The second thing that comes to my mind about that first day of my new life is the awful headache I'd been suffering from, or should I say the hangover symptoms.

The previous night, Kate and Tony had persuaded me to follow them to the beach party that was traditionally organized by the Greek students to welcome us.

'No way I'm coming. You know I'm in no mood for parties.' I had stubbornly insisted.

'If you're not going, I'm not going either.' was Kate's, who was no less stubborn than me, last argument. She always knew how to have it her way.

'Please Emma?' Tony had pleaded, making me give up, while at the same time Kate was smiling, enjoying her little triumph.

How excited I had been about this party the previous summer, when Colin and I were still together! This time, I felt like it was the wrong place to be. There were so many memories of Colin there and I had hated myself for not being able to stop thinking about him. He did not deserve it. Not since last spring, when I discovered that my suspicion that he was having another affair turned out to be utterly true.

The beach party was not over until the first light of day. Greeks were used to crazy nights but it had been too much for me. I had come home at the ungodly hour of 4.00 a.m. and, although I had spent most of the day in bed, I had not been able to make up for the lost hours of sleep. I had been suffering from serious hangover all day, which had made me take down a considerable dose of painkillers to be able to leave my bed and help my friend with her cooking adventure. Which brings me to the third memory of that day: the dangerous blending of smells coming from the kitchen, as a very special dinner lay ahead for my friend Kate and her boyfriend.

Kate had been my best friend for the last three years. We were always on the same frequency she and I, and most of the time I did not even have to talk to her for she could always read my eyes as I could read hers. She had been a sweet comfort to me ever since I'd broken up with Colin.

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