“Thou shalt learn to expect the unexpected.”
Date: Saturday 19th July 2008
Location: Outside Larnaca Airport, Cyprus
Absorbing the final view of Cyprus’s rugged hills and crisp blue seas, the minibus abruptly pulled up outside the airport arrivals point.
“Phew,” I exhaled, realising the potential rumble in the jungle was just nothing but a false alarm.
Life as I knew it wouldn’t be worth living if I took another detour to the little girl’s room. Making a quick check of my dishevelled reflection in Johanna’s hand mirror, I wasn’t at my finest, especially with my face looking like it had been doused in cooking oil but at least I was heading home and not back to the beach.
“Thanks for the —”
Before Johanna even had the chance to show her gratitude to the minibus driver, Stavros had dumped the entire luggage on the pavement and was already half way down the road.
“Hello. Hello. Errr what do yah think you’re doing bruv? Get the hell off my things man! I didn’t ask for your help!” Jade shrieked, seizing her suitcase handle out of some eager little boy’s hand.
Within a millisecond the poor sod had scuppered back into the busy crowd.
“What the heck’s got into you Jade?” Shauna asked, picking up her hand luggage.
Wiping the sweat beads rapidly forming on my unkempt brow line, the temperature must have easily been nudging a simmering thirty eight degrees.
“Hmmm let me think Shauna, no let me think,” Jade sighed, pushing her khaki brown ‘Sox’ cap further down on to her forehead.
“Oooh I know…Sorry I ain’t full of the joys of spring like, but just in case it’s escaped your notice Shauna, we have seven, no-no six and half minutes left to check in!”
Grabbing her suitcase handle, Jade marched towards the airport entrance.
“Somebody’s tired,” Shauna mocked as she followed in hot pursuit of Jade.
“Button it Shauna man, you’ve always got something to say innit. Excuse me, excuse me,” Jade clucked, trying to push her way through the solid flow of oncoming human traffic.
Oh hello. Defying all laws of rational comprehension, I think I must have temporarily died and had a brief acquaintance with heaven. Through no action of my own, my heart literally pounded into cardiac arrest, as the most delectable selection of young bufftastic men passed us.
“Wow we see you ladies are in a rush jaheeeeze,” one of the guys from the group said, hastily backing up out of Jade’s way.
“No shit Sherlock,” she sniped.
“Rah she’s facety boy! I like it doh,” the guy chuckled.
“OK, what’s he doing?” Johanna curiously whispered, taking off her Dior sun shades.
No sooner had we made it inside the airport, the next thing we knew, this guy had stood right in front of us and was bravely putting his hands on his hips as if he was trying to match Jade’s attitude.
This was no time for playing silly buggers and certainly not with an irate Jade. I couldn’t help wondering if I had something on my face, as one of the other chocolate covered Adonises kept looking in my direction. I quickly glimpsed over my shoulder to see if he was bogging at someone else but other than a mass of leather skinned grannies admiring each others orthopaedic footwear, there wasn’t anyone behind me.
“Errrm excuse us, I don’t mean to be rude but we’ve really gotta get to the check in before they close boarding,” Shauna shyly stated, pointing at the desk.
“Oh my bad, sorry,” Mr Brave said, stepping to the side to let us pass.
“I’ll give you sorry bruv,” Jade mumbled, hauling her suitcase away.
Dashing in a mad fluster towards the check-in desk, I tried to keep up with the others, but with a botched big toe and a suitcase that was fit to burst I almost fell down.
“Here let me help you,” a scrumptiously deep voice boomed behind me as I tried to stop the blasted thing from toppling over.
“Oh, oh th-th-thanks.” I stuttered, realising it was the tasty piece of gorgeousness who was checking me out a moment ago.
“No problem B, what’s your name?”
Standing back and allowing this fine specimen of a gentleman to cart my luggage towards the girls, I almost fainted.
“My name? Errrrm…”
Oh my days, this guy had a smile so sweet it almost made me forget my name.
“Marcia, that’s a pretty name for a pretty girl. I’m Marlon,” the words comfortably oozed out of his mouth.
“Flattery will get you everywhere you know. Nice to meet you Marlon.”
Eye contact Marcia, keep eye contact.
“Likewise Marcia. What ends you from?”
“Well I was born and raised in Bow but I live in Docklands now.”
“Oooh check you out, talk about an upgrade,” I giggled.
“Something like that,” Marlon said, parading that smile again.
In an eager attempt to accentuate my coyness and distract Marlon from my ropey appearance, I stupidly thought it would be sexy to run my fingers through my water matted extensions until my left hand got caught up in some kind of knot.
“You ok?” Marlon frowned as I desperately tried to dislodge my fingers from the centre of my head.
This can’t be happening.
“Yeah course,” I forged a plastic smile.
I finally managed to yank my hand loose from the bird’s nest otherwise known as my hair. Ouch.
“So….You’re just coming then?” I asked, feeling ludicrously keen to move away from that embarrassing ordeal.
“Yeah, me and the mans dem are down here for the week. It’s a shame you’re going.”
The surprising rush of excitement raised the sun singed hairs on my arms. It wasn’t until Jade stomped her way over like some kind of satanic faced troll, that I even realised Marlon and I had stopped walking.
“I’m not being funny like, but do you think you could finish chirsping my friend back in the London, we’ve got a plane to catch yeah,” she spat.
“Uhhhh,” Marlon cleared his throat.
“Jade, really,” I said, as my eyes widened in disbelief.
Standing next to me, as if she was my personal bodyguard, Jade seemed ready to grab Marlon by the short and curlies if he didn’t hurry up.
“So Marcia, can we link up when I’m back in London?” Marlon politely asked.
“Let me get back to you on that one,” I laughed, trying to ignore Jade’s hostile presence.
“OK, while you do that, can I have your number so I can find out the answer?”
You don’t need to ask me twice… baby boy. Handing me his iPhone, I swiftly tapped in my digits.
“Nice to meet you Marlon,” I smiled, passing back his phone.
“Yeah it’s been emotional,” Jade sighed, snatching my suitcase handle out of Marlon’s hand.
Marlon didn’t even have the chance to respond as Jade dragged me with her free hand towards queue. Joining the other two, I saw nothing but huge curious grins on their faces.
“Marcia who’s the cutie?” Johanna asked, eyeballing Marlon as he walked back towards his friends.
“Marlon,” I proudly announced.
“He’s uber buff, wow. They all were man,” Johanna said moving up with the queue.
“Tell me about it. What I don’t get though Marcia, is out of all the guys who’ve stepped to us out here, how come you only gave this Marlon your number?” Shauna quizzed.
“Innit doh. There was Malachi, Jermaine, Kwami, Lamar, Nathan, Jayden, the one with the teeth big like Mr Ed, Junior, Kevin, bare of them man.” Jade said flicking through the pages of her passport.
Good question. Why did I give Marlon my number? Maybe it was the way he didn’t approach me rubbing his crotch and then address me as if I was christened ‘Oi come ‘ere a sec’? Or it could’ve been the way he didn’t spend the remainder of our conversation with his eyes superglued to my goodies?
“He seems sweet innit,” I said, rummaging through my black Gucci waist pouch bag, trying to remember where I put my passport.
“Sweet he is, damn,” Johanna laughed, handing one of the check-in staff her passport and boarding pass.
She so wasn’t wrong about that. There was definitely something about the subliminal lure of Marlon’s eyes, not forgetting his mesmerising smile, that drew my immediate attention in the first place.
“Where is it? I could have sworn I packed it,” I whispered, unclipping the belt and slapping the pouch on the desk.
“Packed what Marcia?” Jade asked staring at me as if I was cuckoo.
“My…my passport,” I gulped.
After anxiously emptying out the contents, I realised my credit card wasn’t in there either. Oh my days!
Suddenly it dawned on me as I double checked the compartments in my purse.
“Uh…uh…You’s lot are gonna muller me but uh…I think I’ve left my passport and credit card back in the villa safe,” I rasped, not even brave enough to meet the girls’ furious gazes.
I didn’t think it, I knew it actually.
Having spent the best part of this morning fastened to the toilet seat, as well as being harassed and rushed along by the Black pint sized answer to Adolf Hitler, packing those crucial items totally slipped my mind. Oh man.
“MARCIA!!!!” The girls squealed in unison.
[Continues Next Week…]