Uncanny Love Tales – (025) The Platonic Pair (Part 03)
The evening after the Jellyfish fight as the sun was setting, the sultry air was heavy with the scent of oregano, and they sat on the terrace of the Medusa Taverna accompanied by the familiar symphony of evening birdsong.
“It’s been another lovely day” Nerissa said
They had ordered their dinner and were just enjoying an aperitif; the cracking of ice cubes was clearly audible in their Gin and tonics.
“It really has” he said and they chinked glasses.
After dinner and the best part of two bottles of wine and a hilarious reliving of the afternoons Jellyfish escapades the subject of the conversation took a familiar turn.
“Of course there is one thing that could have made today even better” Nerissa said
“And what’s that?” Harry asked before draining his glass
“Our perfect partners” she replied
“Oh yes, I’d forgotten about that” he said
“Of course it would help if we could recognize them if we saw them”
“Well yes that would help” Nerissa concurred
Harry thought she looked lovely that night and he was particularly pleased to see she was wearing the gold crucifix Harry had bought her for Christmas.
“Ok then” he said “do you have pen?”
He already knew the answer; Nerissa always had at least one pen in her bag, so she fished in her bag and produced a one.
“So what is your ideal?” he asked
“What do you mean?” she replied with a puzzled expression
“What would you want in a partner?” he elaborated
“Tell me what qualities you are looking for and we’ll make a check list”
“Oh I see, ok” she said “Well the usual I suppose”
“Let’s write them down then” Harry said and using a napkin he headed the list “The perfect other half”
“Someone I can trust” she said
“Dependable” he wrote followed by “trustworthy”
“Someone who shares my values and my faith” she added
Harry wrote “Moral compass”
“Someone who makes me laugh and laughs with me” Nerissa said
“Good sense of humour” he wrote
“Someone who loves me, and will cherish me” she said
He wrote “Romantic”
“Someone who will be there for me” she said “whenever I need them”
“A friend” he put
“Someone who listens to me and understands me” she added
“And who values me”
Harry thought for a moment before writing
“A confidant, Kindred spirit” and for good measure “Open and honest”
“Someone I can grow old with” she said “who will want to grow old with me”
Harry wrote “Soul mate”
Nerissa was silent for a moment as she gave it some more thought and then said
“That will do I think”
Harry took another drink and then read down the list and his brow furrowed.
He read each item and mused over it, added the occasional word to it, and muttered under his breath as he studied it and in the end after what seemed to Nerissa like an age, nodded his assent.
“Are you ok?” she asked with concern
“I agree with every single one of those” he said
“Good” she replied
“And furthermore I know the person who has all of those qualities and more” he added
“Really?” she said open mouthed
“You Nerissa” Harry said
“What?” she asked
“It’s you” he said “you tick every single box on this list, you are my perfect other half”
“Don’t be daft” she said
He didn’t say anymore but handed her the napkin.
Nerissa took it from him, and started reading down the list of her suggestions and his additions and was very thoughtful for a few moments and then she went down the list in front of her again.
“You’re right” she said finally “you are the perfect other half of me”
Knowing smiles were exchanged and then they sat in silence as a confused turmoil raged inside them and thoughts raced in and out of focus.
“More wine sir?” the waiter asked breaking in on their silent deliberations.
“Absolutely” Nerissa said and returned to her thoughts.
Both of them shared the same thoughts and were afraid, afraid to take a chance, afraid of being wrong, afraid of getting hurt but most of all afraid of losing their best friend.
The wine came and they drank in silence as they continued their internal struggle, until in a moment of perfect clarity Nerissa looked at Harry and smiled as it dawned on her that they had come to Andros looking for love but the romance they had searched for wasn’t on the island at all, they had brought it with them.
And when Harry saw her smiling countenance he was immediately entranced and all his doubts melted away and the deep passion for her that he had always harbored subconsciously, stirred within him and rose to the surface.
Her inner beauty exposed Harry reached his hand across the table and Nerissa took it.
“All this time I was looking for Miss Right and she was there right under my nose”
“Living next door” She added
“Living in my spare room even” Harry corrected her
It was a miracle finding their heart’s desire so close at hand.
“How could we have been so blind?” Nerissa asked as she caressed his hand.
“Love is blind” Harry replied
“Yes” she agreed “yes it is”
Neither of them could comprehend how it was possible they were both so short sighted.
He had always thought she was lovely but now Harry’s feelings for her were of love for his soul mate who lived in his spare room.
On the moonlight walk back to the apartment’s they were holding hands and drinking in the heady atmosphere of the night, not wishing to forget a single second of it, and when they reached her door they kissed for the first time and it was a kiss that made the hairs stand up on the back of their necks and their skin tingles from head to toe.
“That was a first kiss to remember” Nerissa said and giggled
“Let’s try number two” Harry suggested and she obliged
“Wow” Nerissa said after kiss number two
“I think we should sit down for a minute”
“I think so too” Harry said
Nerissa walked a few feet and sat on the wall and Harry sat next her, she immediately leant in to him and rested her head on his shoulder and he put his arm around her.
So they sat there quietly in the moonlight, their hearts filled with a new found love and their minds awash with previously undreamt of possibilities.
Nerissa kissed Harry once more and it was the equal of its predecessors.
But as much as they wanted each other in that moment they resisted the desire until their minds were clear and their desires not fueled by cheap wine and Gin and tonics.
So they reluctantly said goodnight and slept alone.
Though neither of them actually slept.
Harry and Nerissa were both up and about early next morning and both had made independent decisions on their futures.
The quandary was, had they both made the same one.
There were three possibilities, two of which could cost them their friendship.
Harry was sitting on the terrace drinking his coffee when Nerissa appeared.
Harry smiled and stood up to greet her but remained frozen to the spot, she returned his smile and said
“Hello soul mate”
The relief Harry felt in that moment was palpable.
He found he was able to move again and he stepped forward and scooped her up in his arms and said.
“Hello, my perfect other half”
And then he kissed her as he had the night before and the feeling was just the same.
Their complete and utter surrender to each other came that afternoon when they made love for the first time.
When loves consummated passions reached the ecstatic heights of fulfillment.
To the untrained eye the remainder of the holiday appeared to go much the same way as the days before their epiphany.
Harry and Nerissa still appeared as if they were a couple as they behaved like a couple, a happily married couple.
Every evening the pair dined together, happy in each other’s company, but now unknown to everyone they did sleep together.
Harry and Nerissa had gone to the Cyclades in search of love and romance and it turned out they had actually taken it with them.
All too soon they were on the ferry heading away from the northern most isle in the Cyclades, and looked back at Andros, bathing in warm sunshine, the hills and valleys, the groves and vines and painting the hillsides in differing hues.
They would miss the place and its warm hearted people, the scent of herbs on the warm night air, the culture, the food, the warm sun, the blue sea and the golden sand and the soft sea breezes.
But most of all they would miss it because it would be forever the place where they fell in love.
Harry and Nerissa stood at the stern of the ferry, for one last look across the Aegean as Andros faded from view.
“Will we come back” Nerissa asked with a tear in her eye
“Oh yes” Harry replied “On our honeymoon”
A smiling Nerissa turned towards Harry and she kissed him.