A holiday isn't technically a holiday if the whole time you are wishing you are back home. This happened to me when I was dragged to Italy with my family. You see, saying no is not an option and even though I had a job lined up for the Summer and had made grand plans, I still found myself on the plane heading out to the Mediterranean. Against my will.
My expectations for the holiday were incredibly low and I'd mope around the hotel feeling sorry for myself, counting down the days until I was on the plane back to England.
It's an unbearably hot night and I can't sleep, so I slip out of my hotel room for some fresh air. I go out into the patio area outside and get a little startled when I see there's someone else there also.
"Hello," says the voice. It's still a little dark so I can't make out who that voice belongs to, but it's definitely a man's.
"Hi," I casually say back trying to edge closer. A light comes on from across the road shining brightly on us and I see that the man is actually the hotel manager. A young guy in his mid-twenties. He's casually leaning over the railings smoking a cigarette.
"Can't sleep?" he asks and I'm astounded at his perfect English accent.
"No. Thought I'd get some fresh air,"
"Well if it's fresh air you want you shouldn't have come to this part of Italy," he smiles. I can't describe it but his smile suddenly makes my stomach flip - like a nervous pain. "I'm Oliver," he introduces himself and we stay out talking for about an hour. I go back to my room feeling happy, replaying the conversation in my head.
Suddenly, being in Italy isn't so bad. I wake up the next day and tell myself that I'm in a gorgeous hotel, spending precious time with the family, getting a very flattering tan, and to top things off, have met a lovely guy. That smile on my face doesn't seem to be so forced anymore.
“Oh, you scared me,” I say startled as I see Oliver outside trying to ring someone.
“I scared you?” he laughs and I nod. He’s now leaning against the window of the bar looking at his phone. I breathe in the evening view; of peace and quiet. Not long till I get back to my precious life, I tell myself.
Oliver is still there and I'm not sure whether I should be making conversation, so wearily I say, “Don’t these dogs have owners?” as I see a few strays roaming the streets. He laughs and shakes his head.
“They’re homeless,” he tells me.
Silence overwhelms us once again for a few seconds, but he breaks it. “Are you leaving tomorrow?” he asks.
“No. I’m here till Sunday,”
“Oh right,” and his phone rings and he answers. He talks on the phone for about five minutes. When he hangs up he turns to me and says, “You’re always outside,”
“I like being out here,”
“So you’re leaving on Sunday,” his eyes are burning down at me and I almost feel a little uncomfortable.
“Do you want to go out tomorrow night?” he smiles and I almost melt. He's just so amazingly attractive.
“Go out where?” I ask.
“Into town. Out there,” and he points towards the beach. “Wherever you want,”
“I can’t. I’d have to wait for everyone to go to sleep,” I reply and suddenly feel like a fifteen year old all over again.
“Well,then I’ll wait,” he’s still smiling. We look at each other for a couple of seconds.
“And what would we do?” I say sheepishly looking at his aquamarine eyes. We're suddenly surrounded by an incredible tension.
He laughs. “Whatever you want. Go for a drink maybe,”
“And what would we drink?” Gosh, I’m stupid. Why did I ask that?
He laughs again. “Whatever you want,”
“How would we get there?” I ask him.
“I have a car,” he smiles that unbearable smile again. I'm seconds away from saying yes.
“I don’t think I can,”
"Think about it," he tells me and disappears back into the hotel.
It's 3am until everyone decides to go to bed and I can sneak back downstairs. It's going to be harder than I thought, however, because all the waiters and the receptionist are still up.
Oliver signals for me to meet him outside so I pretend my phone rings and move. "Won't they find it suspicious that you're suddenly getting in your car with me?" I say to him.
"Good point," he states and puts his finger to his lips. After a couple of seconds, he begins, “Right,” he says and thinks. “OK, this is what you should do,” I listen. “Go up towards your room and meet me by the stairs at the side of the hotel,”
I head back in and look at the group of waiters chatting away. I smile at them and do a fake yawn (which by the way was worthy of an Oscar). “Goodnight,” I say sweetly and head upstairs.
I definitely feel like I’m fifteen again sneaking out of the hotel.
"I'm not getting in your car," I say to him innocently and he laughs. We settle for a walk along the beach instead as all the bars are shut now.
It’s all rather awkward as I’m not sure what to say and I don’t think he knows either. I look into the horizon of the dark night. The sea if sparkling in the moonlight and the whole view is a picturesque of romance. My flip-flops leave footprints on the sand and I can see the path ahead is getting shorter. We stop walking and stand in the light of a shutting down bar looking around, avoiding eye contact completely. Oh gosh, I should never have come out.
But out of nowhere I feel his hand at the back of my neck and he’s pulled me close. Our lips touch and even though I need to desperately tear away, I find I can’t. I'm completely lost with him. All rational thinking has escaped me and all I want is to be here. With him. As out lips part he smiles at me. But reality sinks in.
“Oh no,” I say covering my face with my palms.
“Ummm…” I don’t really know what to say. I shouldn't be out here with this stranger. I should be back in my hotel room. I search my brain for an excuse.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” he’s asking, looking at me with a faded smile.
Bingo! I nod and see him look at the floor, brushing the sand with his foot. “Is he in England?
"Yes," I say.
"So what's the problem?" What? How is he even asking me that?
“I’m a good girl,” I tell him. “I don’t do this kind of thing,”
“Look, don’t worry about it,” his smile is back in a sympathetic way. He’s not pushing anything.
Oh gosh, I so badly want to kiss him again. But I can't. I shouldn't. OK brain, please think of another excuse.
“But I've been with him for a year. It’s not right that I’m sneaking out with someone else,”
“A year?” He repeats. “Well, I have four years with someone,”
I’m gobsmacked. Looks like he’s not who I thought he was. I stare at him but he turns away. I ask him why he’s out with me.
“I really like you,” we’re walking back towards the hotel. “And since you're out with me that must mean you like me too,” He stops and looks at me. His lips twitch. “I want to kiss you again,” and I really want to let him but I shouldn’t.
“I can’t,” I say. “I’m not supposed to be out with you,”
He’s nodding as if he’s accepting what I’m saying. “OK,” he starts walking again. “Let’s take you back to your room,”
But I don't want to go back to my room. I don't have a boyfriend. There's no real reason why I shouldn't be out with Oliver. Well, apart from the fact that he seems to be in a four year relationship. And the fact that he's the hotel manager and perhaps being out with a paying customer is breaking some sort of rule.
We're inches away from the hotel and he stops, taking my hand. With the other he sweeps back his short, brown hair. "You want to go back to your room, or would you like to come back to mine?" he asks, his thumb rubbing my hand in a circular motion.
What on earth have I got myself into? I'm to shy to say yes, but also too shy to say no.
"I can't leave the hotel," I tell him.
"I have a room here as well," he says edging himself nearer to me. His lips land on mine again and I find myself saying, "OK, we'll go to your room,"
I'm sitting on the bed in his hotel room, asking myself why on earth I'm here. Oliver sits down next to me getting closer and closer. "I'm so glad you're here," he whispers as he leans in to kiss me again and suddenly I feel relaxed. He must have some sort of potion in his mouth because every time he kisses me I'm utterly lost and can't think straight.
You shouldn't be here, my head is telling me. But somehow I can't hear my own thoughts when he's near me.
"Should we get a bit more...comfortable," he says pointing to my top.
I freeze a little. No, this is definitely not right. He said something...at the beach. Something that seemed to have escaped my notice.
"Why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself?" I ask crossing my arms. He looks at me bewildered. This is probably the reason why I've never been able to have a one night stand.
He clearly doesn't want to answer the question because his hand is sliding up my arm and that amazing smile is back on his face. "I'd rather get to know you better," he whispers trying to kiss me again.
"Well, in that case," I say, "I'm twenty. Still at university. I have a little flat that I share with my best friend. She's a nightmare though. Sooo messy. I adore Doctor Who, oh and I also like Eastenders..." he cuts me off.
"As interesting as that is, that's not really what I had in mind," he continues, trying to lift my top up, but instinctively my hand stops him. Something's not quite right. He said something that wasn't right, but I can't quite recall it. Oh, what on earth was it???
"So what do you do?" I ask him with a straight face.
He stares at me and says, "I'm the hotel manager!"
Oh yeah. Of course. Perhaps that was a rather stupid question.
"Do you like your job?" I continue.
He appears to be grumpy now. "Look, I didn't wait until 3am just to talk to you about my job. I could have gone home and slept," he leans in closer.
I try to picture what his home looks like. And then it hits me - his girlfriend. He said he had a girlfriend! How on earth did that escape my notice?
I quickly rise from the bed.
"What's wrong now?" he snaps.
"You said you've been with someone for 4 years," I snap back. "So I've decided to leave," and with that I walk out, tip-toeing to my room.
Please don't be so stupid as to find entertainment in a guy just because you're bored, I tell myself. Never again!