‘It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.’
– Robert Benchley
Happy Valentine’s, Mr Cappuccino Baby!
I decided to try something hot and sunny for Valentine’s Day. After making a few calls, I packed my suitcase and headed to the airport. I arrived off the coast of Africa somewhere in the afternoon. I dumped my case in my hotel room and headed out to explore the grounds. It was totally awe-inspiring. As I passed the bar and started down a path towards the beach, I felt like I was being followed. Abruptly, I stopped and turned. A man stood there. I didn’t fancy him, but he wasn’t an eyesore either. I’d say a blendering of old school Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis. But to be honest, I wasn’t doing a ‘How-Stella-Got-Her-Groove-Back’ number, or expecting any stalkeratzi so early in the game. Briefly, we chatted before he invited me for a drink. Why not, I thought! But as we turned around, the path veered away from the bar towards the hotel block.
‘Where are you going?’
‘This way.’ he said, over his shoulder. ‘We drink in my room for Valentine’s.’
I mean, I hadn’t even been there half an hour! Anyway, after scraping my jaw off the ground, I eyeballed long and hard. I knew what kind of ‘drink’ he had in mind. Flinging two bad and toxic words at him, I left him wilting in the sun.
A little parched I headed to the bar for a cocktail or three. There were a few loved-up couples and a few singles sprinkled here and there. About an hour passed before he surfaced, filling the doorway. He pulled up a stool, perched at the bar and ordered. After dragging his stool closer to mine, he wiped his forehead with the back of his hand, and spewed torrents of compliments about my skin. In short, he thought we could get married and have cappuccino babies. What could I say? I felt like giving him one Batman-esque K-A-P-O-W, but thought better of it! Instead, my eyes welled and I erupted in hysterical fits of laughter. Quickly, I knocked back my nth cocktail and exited stage left.
I spent the following day lounging under the bluest of skies. My skin radiated like the black gold of the sun. A faint breeze kissed my neck telling me it was time to freshen up for dinner at the Waterside Restaurant. Afterwards, while Valentining couples got it on, I decided to venture out and walk dinner off. Not once did I feel fear of any kind, but that was to change in a matter of minutes. It wasn’t even that late when it happened, but everyone had gone in for the evening’s entertainment. I was truly alone. At least I thought I was.
Kicking off mules, I enjoyed the cool, damp sand between my toes. I trudged along the crescent-shaped stretch of white sand beach, lined with palm trees and stunning blue water. A magical moment of pure bliss and serenity. When I got to the end, I scanned the horizon and looked back from where I came. That’s when I saw the stomping figure. My heart pounded like no one’s business.
As he neared, I couldn’t quite see his face, but my gut told me it was him. Mr Cappuccino Baby. Trembling with shock, I walked back in the hope I’d pass him and head back to my room. But as I drew abreast of him, he sidestepped, blocking my way.
We stood almost nose-to-nose. My nostrils flared because of the alcoholic attack from his breath. Starey, glazed eyes were framed with deep black grooves, which made him look like Grim’s brother. I breathed hard. There was no one around as far as I could see, and I’d left my phone locked in the safe in my room.
Eventually, he smiled and wagged his finger, then shot off at an unexpected pace. Awashed with relief, I swallowed and tried to get a grip. As I reached my block, I looked around. Then, suddenly, there he was… marching towards me with something shining in his hand…