Uncanny Love Tales – (025) The Platonic Pair (Part 02)
As a result of their saving up, Harry and Nerissa had become a quite boring pair and put on hold any expectation of finding Mr/Miss Right as their focus was one hundred percent on the holiday.
The run up to Christmas added to the coffers as they picked up extra shifts as a result of the age-old tradition of seasonal panic buying.
They also restricted their spending on entertainment by only attending certain festivities, like staff parties and such like, and by cutting back on buying Christmas gifts.
This was a difficult decision as they were both huge Christmas fans and liked to make the most of the season.
The decorations went up promptly on the first of December and that Christmas they had twice the decorations to put up.
What they didn’t stint on though were the festive services from the first Sunday of advent to Christmas morning.
After the morning service on Christmas day they really pushed the boat out, despite having spent a pittance.
They bought the damaged or reduced items wherever possible and used their staff discounts on the rest and as a result they had a sumptuous feast.
“Well that was very indulgent” Harry said as they sat on the sofa after dinner.
“Very” Nerissa said and burped
Both of them laughed and Harry patted his stomach and said
“I don’t know why I’m laughing this belly is going to look great with my speedos on the beach”
“I hadn’t thought of that” Nerissa said and patted her own tummy and burped again.
When they exchanged presents, they both had novelty chocolates and one main present each.
Harry bought Nerissa a small Gold crucifix and she bought him a Gold tie pin engraved with his name.
On New Year’s Eve, they normally hit the town, but this year they stayed home and saw the New Year in quietly with Jools and then they worked the next day for double time.
January was a hard-depressing month, the decorations were packed away and the flat looked bare, the weather was bitter cold and snowy and it was a long 5 weeks until payday.
When pay day finally arrived, they applied for their passports.
February brought more cold weather, more snow but a much quicker payday, but no valentine cards save for the joke ones they gave each other.
March brought an end to the snow and cold and showed the first hint of spring and the passports arrived.
With April came Easter and another chance for extra money which would be in their pockets in time for the holiday.
In May they did their holiday shopping and packed their cases and they were all set.
The first week of June and they arrived at the airport an hour earlier than necessary.
Harry had only been to the airport before to either drop someone off or pick someone up.
Nerissa on the other hand had never been to an airport before in her life.
When they eventually got on the plane they sat very quietly.
Neither of them had flown before and were both quite scared, but didn’t want to mention it to the other and as the plane raced down the runway, they held hands.
Once in the air they soon relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the flight to Athens and nervousness was replaced by excitement.
However even once they had landed in Athens, they were still a long time and a long way from their destination.
First, they had to wait half an hour for a coach at the airport then a similar duration coach trip to the docks where they boarded a ferry.
There they had to wait a further 40 minutes before the ferry departed on a journey which took two hours to carry them to Andros Island in the Cyclades.
To the seasoned travelers aboard, the journey would have been very tedious indeed but to Harry and Nerissa being novices at travel, they didn’t mind a bit as they saw everything about the journey as a great adventure and on the journey they were rewarded for their patience by the appearance of a pod of porpoises who escorted them across the azure blue Aegean sea.
This they took as a good omen for the holiday ahead.
When they docked on the island, they were met by another bus that took them on the last leg to the village of Batsi.
As they walked into their apartments, they had travelled for a total of 12 hours door to door but they enjoyed every minute and thought it would all be worth it when they met the person of their dreams.
On the afternoon of their first day they had an orientation meeting with their tour rep who gave them the spiel about the resort and handed out information on places of interest, transport timetables, day trips and local entertainment.
However, the two of them were less interested in the talk than they were in their fellow tourists as they were looking for romance in the sun.
But as they scanned each and every face in the assembly, they noticed there appeared to be no singles present.
Although Harry and Nerissa both noticed independently, they chose to keep it to themselves.
However, over the next 24 hours they both came to the conclusion that they had come to the wrong resort for romance because the visitors were all, without exception, already paired up.
Over an Al fresco breakfast next morning on the waterfront, as they sat in the fresh morning air at a quayside café it was Nerissa who broached the subject.
“Have you noticed they’re all couples?” she said
“Yes” he replied
“We’re not going to find them, here are we?” she asked
By “Them” she meant their soul mates, their perfect other halves, Mr. or Miss Right.
“I’m afraid not” he agreed
“So, what now?” Nerissa asked glumly
“Now we just have fun” Harry said
So, they resigned themselves to the fact that they were not going to find who they were looking for and decided they should just enjoy every minute of their holiday instead.
Their search for love over, they spent a lot of time on the beach or in the water, or on a boat or in bars and Taverna’s, they filled every possible moment.
Walking the beach together, playing in the waves and having fun, before finding a quiet sheltered spot or a shady tree to siesta under.
They took day trips to Tinos and the Church of Panagia Evangelistria and visited the monastery of Agia Zoodochos Pighi and took the bus to Andros town.
Evening entertainments included cocktails at the Koala bar,
Nightcaps at the Paradise, Greek dancing, Beach BBQ’s and a Greek night of local cuisine and drink.
But most of all they spent their time in or near the water.
One of their favourite spots was a narrow stretch of beach, north of Batsi at Agia Marina with its own beach side Taverna run by a colourful character called Stavros where they often had lunch.
He was an elderly man with deeply wrinkled skin the colour of tanned leather.
When Harry introduced him to Nerissa he said,
“Oh, what a lovely name, that means Goddess of the sea you know?”
Harry thought that might make her big headed, but Nerissa blushed.
Mind you when Harry watched Nerissa walk out of the water wearing her yellow one piece, he could see what Stavros meant.
As the holiday drifted amiably into the second week, any casual onlookers could have been forgiven for thinking that Harry and Nerissa were a couple, they behaved like a couple and a happily married couple at that.
Every evening the pair dined together happy in each other’s company but unknown to everyone they slept alone.
One day the beaches on their side of the island, was covered in dead jellyfish, each translucent disk was roughly the size of a dinner plate.
Apparently, June was the spawning season for jellyfish and having spawned out at sea, they promptly died and drifted in to shore and then two days later drifted back out to sea on the tide never to be seen again.
One afternoon Harry was lying on his stomach on the beach snoozing off his lunch and Nerissa picked up a dead jellyfish from the lapping waves and from a height of four feet, dropped it squarely in the middle of Harry’s back.
“What the hell” he yelled and looked over his shoulder to see Nerissa wearing a pink bikini, almost wetting herself with laughter.
“Oh” he said, “I suppose you think that was funny?”
“Oh yes” she confirmed and laughed even harder
“Right that’s it” Harry said scrambling to his feet
Nerissa, still laughing like a drain turned and ran down the beach with Harry hot on her heals holding a jellyfish freshly plucked from the waves.
Her laughter turned to squeals as he chased her, and she ran about a hundred yards before she fell over in the lapping water and as she lay on her back in the wet sand.
Harry, with great delight, dropped the jellyfish on her exposed belly.
Nerissa screamed in disgust and it was Harrys turn to laugh.