Chapter Ten

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Chapter Ten 

Scorpio: You are at a healing stage in your life now, so heed the messages you have gained from your past and be ready to embrace your future...

Melody turned down the disco music, "It's probably time for me to leave, you must be tired and I'm sure your ankle is hurting." Melody said, feeling guilty that she had stayed so long when Winter needed to rest. 

"No way," Laughed Winter, your'e not leaving yet, not until I have heard your life story. Besides, what else can I do stuck here with a sprained ankle, I can sleep anytime, and the alcohol has dulled the pain very nicely." Winter replied, breaking off the final row of chocolate from the pack.  

"I haven't much to tell," said Melody. But she took a seat next to the bed, smoothing down her cotton skirt and crossing her legs. Melody began talking about her upbringing and her sisters' competitiveness. She told Winter how everything she did was never good enough for her parents who doted on her other sister. It lead to Melody moving out of the family home at the age of eighteen and landing her first job in admin, then managing to work her way up until she had become part of the team at the local newspaper offices, where Winter had been given her assignment. Melody had caught her flatmate with her boyfriend one night after coming home from work and had broken up with him. After that, Melody had started an affair with a married man at the office who claimed he would leave his wife for her but had no intention of doing it some time soon. Luckily for Melody the trip away had come at the right time for her to re-consider what she wanted to do. Now she had met someone else. "He is so dreamy, I think this time it will work out, at least he isn't married!" Melody exclaimed. "You will have to meet him sometime, maybe at the masked ball -you are still going to attend aren't you?"  

"I don't know, it's not really my thing" Winter sounded doubtful, the only person she would want to be with was Dan but he would probably be on duty so there would be no point going alone.  

"No way! You have to go so you can write about it in your article! C'mon, pleeese say you'll come, I want to introduce you to Al and we can dress up and dance all night!" Melody looked so young and pleading that Winter couldn't resist.  

"Ok, but only if my ankle is better otherwise I won't be able to walk, let alone dance all night!" she joked. Melody unsnapped her handbag and pulled out two sheaths of paper with the cruise ship letterhead on them. "Well, it just so happens I have the forms with me, c'mon, we can fill out the questionnaire together". Those guests attending the masked ball had to fill out a questionnaire about their love life so they could be matched up with their perfect mate. On the evening the male would have a huge gold lock around their neck. The female partner would have a key and need to mingle until she had found the right lock for the key. 

The women chatted and laughed, sharing anecdotes and fashion tips as they filled out their questionnaires, Winter put in information which was the complete opposite to what she really wanted as she didn't want to be matched up with a stranger and to attend the ball without Dan. Afterwards, they booked in for a beauty therapist to come to the cabin, for a manicure and other spa treatments, which took them late into the evening. They ordered room service for a late night meal, then Melody returned to her cabin so Winter could sleep.  

The next morning Winter awoke feeling refreshed in both body and soul, the talk with Melody last night had been cathartic, yet she felt ashamed about lumbering a colleague with her problems. She was so used to having to deal with life on her own, it was difficult to let others in. But she decided now that she and Melody had shared their intimate details they should continue on as friends, rather than letting her slip back into being an acquaintance, so Winter texted Melody to thank her for last night and to let her know that today she would be lining up interviews of the crew for her article and then would try to have a swim in one of the pools later on if her ankle felt ok. Perhaps they could meet up at the pool. Winter checked if there were any messages from Dan and was disappointed to see none. She thought hard about whether she should send him a text, but she didn't want to appear too pushy. Yet the camaraderie they had shared whilst locked in the lighthouse couldn't be ignored. The problem with technology, Winter thought is that it is too easy to use it as a communication tool to express what feelings can't. She decided to send Dan a brief text and that way, if he misinterpreted her meaning or didn't want to have anything to do with her he could blame technology. After her text, she felt guilty that she hadn't spoken to him instead. With a lot of effort, she managed to get out of bed and hobbled into the shower. Afterwards, she dressed smartly as she was representing the newspaper, in a black skirt and a fitted lemon-coloured cotton shirt. She wore her black pearl necklace and twisted her hair into a chignon. She sprayed herself with Anai Anai and picked up her laptop and notepad. She wanted to approach the captain to ask if she could schedule an interview with him and some of the crew members over the next few days. She had already written notes and the questions she wanted to ask so she felt perfectly prepared. The magazine headquarters had already sent the captain and crew her biography and a list of possible questions and the angle she was hoping to cover in the article so they were also prepared for her visit. She navigated her way, limping and hobbling to the captain's quarters and waited until he could see her. They discussed her article and her father's sailing prowess, and Winter was pleased that he was so friendly and accommodating. He suggested that she go back to the island and investigate the multi-million dollar eco-resort built and designed by a local millionaire as it may be useful for her article. "I can organise a driver and a car for you and I can arrange for the manager to show you around." Captain Thomas suggested. "Just let me know when you can fit it into your schedule. Have you tried out some of the other activities we have on board too?"  

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