Monday, 15 August 2011

Frequent Traveller - Antigua, Carribean

By Pandora Poikilos

This is another Cathy Dixon moment from Frequent Traveller - my upcoming Fiction, Novel.
Antigua, Carribean
October 2007

Located in the Leeward Islands of the Carribean region, Antigua is well known for its rustic tourist charm. Its native name is Wadadli but was named Antigua which means 'ancient" in Spanish in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. With a population of more than 80,000 people, it is estimated that more than 30,000 of them live in the capital, St.John's. Between its first occupants, the Arawaks and the Europeans, Antigua has led a very colourful past which has now made it one of the most luxury escapes sold on a travel brochure. It has gained international recognition for its highest peak Mount Obama, international yachting and sailing competitions with cruise ships being allowed to dock all year round, sport fishing, kitesurfing and even hosted the 2005 Cricket World Cup. Aside from these recognised sports it has in recent years achieved the popularly unpopular title of hosting "illegal online gambling".

This is however a very subjective view shared by all parties concerned. The United States is adamant that offshore gambling cannot be allowed to protect its citizen while Antigua stands proud in being the first country to legalise online gambling and has had its arguments backed by the World Trade Organisation. Caught between such beauty and such conflict, lies the exclusive MoonStar Antigua which houses 20 villas designed with guest privacy in mind. Each villa is tucked away between its own garden and plush greenery with the next villa located at least 10 minutes apart. A spacious rain shower, a massage corner and a private swimming pool at the back of each villa add to the luxurious feel of a guest's stay. It is on one particularly windy night that we see a shadow creeping down the path towards one of the villas. He rustles the grass looking for a key and creeps in the main door.

Thomas Clarke stood at the bedroom doorway breathing in the sight before him. Dressed casually in a white v-neck t-shirt and stonewash blue jeans, his six feet two inches frame cast a shadow in the room. It was late at night or early in the morning depending on how you looked at it. The room had a blended scent of vanilla, strawberries, lavender and a tinge of oranges. The creamy sheets were a mess as though someone had found it difficult to make a decision to sleep with or without the sheets and quite literally beauty lied within it.

Dressed in her usual night attire of cotton shorts and a t-shirt which covered very little and exposed even more, her red hair tumbled all around her. She was sound asleep and yet her brow crinkled and her lips were curved in a smile.

"Did she ever switch that brain of hers off ..." Thomas muttered to himself.

He slowly approached the bed, his one finger pointedly touching her shoulder.

"Hey you," a sleepy voice mumbled through the sheets.

"Hey," he replied as he pulled of his jeans and started to get into bed.

"What happened?! I waited for like forever and then got tired."

"Yea, I'm sorry sweets. I lost my bag and then got held up at customs and then had problems getting a ride but look on the bright side, you said to make sure nobody saw me getting in, at this hour no one was about."

Cathy laughed softly as she sat up and looked at him. It had been months since had seen his familiar face. Now, facing him she saw the lines around his eyes, his tired smile and the stubble on his chin, he was the very description of what one would call a weary traveller.

"I have missed you so much,you know," he said in a loud whisper. His eyes roaming on the figure in front of him as he reached out for her.

"Oh Tom Tom, I have missed you too," she threw herself into his arms and placed her head on his chest.

"It has been months hasn't it." She sighed. "My safest place in the world."

He kissed her forehead and breathed in her scent. He might be her safest place in the world but she was his life and he wondered if she would ever realise that she was his living breath.

"Cat, listen ... I love you. You know that but you need to start being open with me. After all this time, trust me a little even if you cannot trust all of me. I'm on your side and it's been years Cat since IT happened. You need to start talking."

He felt her grow tense but held her tightly as he buried his face in her hair. He gently kissed her forehead and her face, small kisses filled with hope that he would be her everything as she was to him. The smell of her shampoo, mandarins clutching at his nostrils flooding him with longing more than ever. How was it even possible to love someone with such intensity and yet know so little?

And still as she looked up at him with those big almond shaped eyes, he knew he would settle for a spoonful of her even if he could not have the entire helping. That was the Cathy Dixon way, "have me in small portions or risk never seeing me again."

"What if I tell you and they come to hurt you? I would never be able to live with myself. Why do you always need everything, Thomas? Why can't you just be content with that I give?! It is always more and more with you.

Even in the dim light, he could see Cathy's face flash and change to a colour that matched the fiery red of her hair as she got out of bed. Thomas stood up to face her, looking down at her eyes now filled with turmoil.

"Hon, listen don't cut me out ... I am on your side. But cut me a little slack ... that's all I'm asking. You are the woman I love! And I won't let you shut me out forever. I see you once every three months. No phone conversations, random emails. And when I do see you, we stay inside without making an effort to talk about what we need to talk about. I know something terrible happened all those years ago when they arrested you but you need to talk to me or to someone, just please, spill it out. Tell me what happened, please.

Looking up, all Cathy saw was pain. As tears welled up in both their eyes, she put his arms around his neck and pulled him towards, holding on as tightly as she could.

"I'm so sorry. Hold me, please. They said anyone who knows will be dealt with. And I ..."

"Shush, I didn't mean to push. I am tired and hungry, maybe some food might set the mood straight? Tom Tom's breakfast special."

They separate but Cathy continued to lean on his shoulder, nodded her head and they made their way into the villa's kitchenette. Thomas started to ransack the fridge as she slowly sat herself at the counter and watched him. She wondered how life can be so simple and yet so complicated all at the same time. They had grown up in the same neighbourhood. Their families had been friends even before they were born. They were born one day apart. From cycling to gawky high school pictures, they grew up with each other and then 12 years ago, everything changed.

She decided to put an end to a family secret she could no longer keep. He came to her rescue in more ways than one and a childhood friendship grew into an adult romance filled with twists and turns far worse than a climb up Mount Everest.

Cathy clasped her hands together and slowly started, "They said I am free for as long as I keep doing what they want but the day I say no or I screw up, they will have me thrown back into my cell. And on some days, I think that is where I deserve to be. After all, I did kill him."

Thomas glanced up from the eggs he was beating.

"Yea, you killed the animal who forgot what it was to protect and shared you with his friends while telling the world he was God's answer to mankind."

He saw her face become twisted with pain as he felt the colour in his cheeks rising too.

"I'm sorry but I just don't understand it. Even after all this time ... How did nobody see it or realise what was happening? You were just a child, we both were."

The eggs in the bowl were on their way to becoming the most well-beaten eggs anyone would ever see as Thomas lashed out his fury at the past.

He vividly remembered that night, 12 years ago when she had shown up at his house. Her t-shirt drenched in blood, knife in her hand. They were to be celebrating their 15th birthdays in a week but at that moment, he did not see the girl he grew up with. He saw a woman thrown towards desperation and lost between love and hate. His parents had sent him to his room. There was a long silence and loud whispers before the sound of police sirens broke into the night.

Her mother had been away on one of her many world saving crusades. Cathy could no longer take her father forcing himself on her and when he came to her bed that night, she drove a knife straight through his chest. It didn't matter that he had been doing it to her since she was six or that he had even had his friends do it to her, all the legal system saw was a deranged teenager who had killed her father and because they were foreigners who lived in a country that did not look too kindly on "children who planned to kill their parents" . His parents, also foreigners found it exceedingly difficult to get Cathy any kind of help. For more than seven years, they knew close to nothing of what had happened to her.

His letters to her were returned, unopened and he was never allowed to visit. Prison officials said it was high security, he sensed something else was going on and it terrified him. But without proof and given the assurance that she was alive and well, there was little he could do. His parents eventually moved away to seek solace from their retirement, he could not bring himself to leave in the hopes that one day, he would have the answers he wanted to the night that changed both their lives and more than anything, he would be able to see her. And then one day, it happened.

As he made his way home from work, late one night, he instantly recognised the familiar tumble of red hair standing in his doorway.

She had aged more than she was supposed to and looked as if all the energy in her had been knocked out and yet, there still appeared to be this sense of strength that nothing would be able to stand in her way. Her eyes were fiery as she hugged him.

He remembered asking her so many questions and she told him they "had reached a deal". She said very little else other than the fact that part of the deal was a name change, a job within the popular hotel chain MoonStar and that they would check up on her occasionally. Just the mere sight of her was one he never ever wanted to lose again. Falling in love was never difficult with Cathy and he knew healing would be a long journey but one he would gladly take with her and so here they were ...

Cathy trying to find the words to speak and not relive her past, him falling in love with her all over again, and more if that was even possible.

To read other Cathy Dixon moments, please click HERE.
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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