Moments of Life Spent in Limbo
The flight from Amsterdam touched down in Willemstad right on time. A glance out of the window, as the aircraft banked into its final approach, lifting and settling in the thermals, had allowed Willem to catch a glimpse of the runway that was fringed by the glittering waters of the Caribbean sea; the terminal buildings, in a soft ochre paintwork, with their pitched roofs and palm-fringed walkways, looking more like a shopping mall than Curacao’s main entry point for air travellers.
He found it a stunning sight and he sure needed to be here; to suspend all links with his shattered life back home; a wrecked marriage and the defection of his two daughter’s affection and loyalty; traduced by his ex-wife who had put out the word that he had abused them; accusations it was hard to fight against, in spite of incontrovertible evidence that it had not been so.
But, the legal process, and some drips of news into the press, had done its work and he had now to pick up the pieces and start over. At least he had kept a hold of his job; the Principal and other staff members of the Technical College providing all the evidence needed to convince a court that he was innocent of all charges, save that of being a stickler in the family home for good manners, hard work for school and college, and the adherence to some core principles founded on his lapsed Christian faith. What he had presided over in college, so he brought to his home and family life.
In the words of some of his friends, he had been accused of being a ‘diligent parent’, in a world that some felt was falling apart all around them. Right and wrong had different meanings to those he had been brought up to believe in and adhere to.
‘How easy it would be to be a cynical bastard,’ he thought as he tugged at his hand luggage and joined the line as they made their way to the exit door of the aircraft.
His six weeks holiday on this island could now begin; along with the task of restoring himself and attending to the tasks that his cousin, Anna, had set for him. He had been only too willing to take them on for her.
After all, he was a craftsman in his own right, in carpentry. The materials he might get to work with would be different, but the skills he had acquired, over some twenty years of his career, went with him, wherever he chose to go.
Cousin Anna would be waiting, and then all bets would be off on what would be encountered. She had been known to have her preferences in men; a taste that had caused a few ripples in the wider family and that she had taken no notice of; save that, in the end, she had moved here and taken all her possessions with her; found a hillside plot of land and built herself a new home. Who she now shared that with remained a surprise, after all that had gone before.
But he was not the judgmental sort. He was here to finish off the detailing and, in the process, would take each, and every, day just as it came. Travelling light was nothing new. As a man close on forty, taking his emotional baggage with him was something else entirely. He’d married young; became a father far too quickly; had the rest of his life to sort out and then begin again with someone, sometime and somehow.
The heat that hit him, even in the terminal building, soon reminded him that a change of scene was just what he needed. There would also be company of a different sort and mind set; all of it to be welcomed and, he could easily admit, keenly anticipated.
‘Yes, Willem de Vries, you’re ready to start again.’
‘Willem, over here!’ he heard an unfamiliar voice call out as he passed through the opening in a frosted glass screen and out into the echoing arrivals hall.
He looked in startled amazement as a beautiful, local girl with a sublimely smooth skin, starkly rouged lips and a shock of dark hair, approached him; her swirling, colourful dress a delight; the soft jangle of a multitude of silver and beaded bracelets on her wrists. Stud earrings glistened whenever she moved, and the sunlight caught them.
‘Yes, I am Eline,’ she soon told him, on a captivating laugh, and holding out her hand.
‘Oh, why bother with that?’ She moved to kiss his cheeks in the usual ways of greeting family, and that he was only too accustomed to. Gone was the formality of a first meeting between them. ‘Anna’s told me all about you…but left out that you’re a good-looking man…’
‘Yeah…well,’ he said in some embarrassment on hearing her say it straight out. ‘And I’ve heard something of you,’ he assured her.
Willem shifted his case from one hand to the other. The light beyond the hall was blindingly bright and he soon put on his sunglasses, with their round reflective lenses. He made to step outside but felt her restraining touch to his arm and stopped, oblivious to people brushing past. Eline had gotten to him.
‘It’s…it’s incredible,’ she gasped, on giving him an unwavering and appraising glance
. gorukle escort ‘You…you look just like a young John Lennon, with those glasses on.’
Willem gave her another embarrassed shrug. ‘It’s been said before, Eline…even down to the light brown colour of my hair, as he once had it…so I’m told. Mine’s a little longer, that’s all.’
She smiled, beautifully, her teeth bright against the colour of her lips and her dark skin. It had already captivated him for the sheer novelty of being in the young woman’s company and talking so easily with her. They walked on.
‘But it’s true! Your hair, your slim face and now, those sunglasses…it is as if I am walking with him.’
Willem did not know whether to be flattered, or feel embarrassed, by her enthusiastic ways of it with him and on such a short acquaintance. He felt that his grip on reality might be loosened in this woman’s company, were it not for the fact that she was spoken for.
‘Where is Anna?’ he asked, changing the subject to what was of greater immediate concern to him.
‘She’s sorry not to be here, but the heat and the humidity affect her sometimes, even with the air conditioning we often have on in the house…but you’ll see all of that very soon now.’ She took hold of his arm and guided him to the car parking lot. ‘Anna’s waiting for us with a welcome drink and lots to catch up on…so I am told. Anyway, you will hear of it all when we get home.’
Accented as her melodious voice was, and her Dutch good, he was disconcerted to hear her call Anna’s place ‘home’. Their relationship would be something that he would get to hear about; or else deduce it from how Eline and Anna were together, even in his presence.
For now, he had to take it all in.
Anna’s past lovers, and a husband dead some years, had all been of Dutch colonial descent; they had been men of a particular presence and appeal to her; a vital element in what many thought to be Anna’s wayward lifestyle. Her choice of company had evidently changed, but he wondered if this was but another passing phase in her exotic love life.
Now, it was abundantly clear, she had taken an undoubtedly beautiful Curaçao woman as her lover and partner. He knew better than to try and keep up with it all, and this development in particular. He would, no doubt, learn how the wheels turned in Anna’s life soon enough.
Willem gaped as Eline drew up outside Anna’s home. On the plot of ground that he had seen pictures of, long ago and where a partially completed villa had stood without a roof, there now was to be seen a white-washed property with a terracotta-tiled roof, shaded by small palms and surrounded by local plants and shrubs; a slabbed path leading up to a welcoming front door, set back under a yet to be completed recessed porch.
It would be one of his first tasks to deal with, Anna had said, after he had really settled in. He had not pursued what she had meant by stressing that one word.
Anna now rushed out to greet him, her face creased in smiles, her laugh high on the air, necklaces swaying at her breasts. The woman really did not change. There it was again; the wildness in her character, the impulse to break life’s rules that struck him even more strongly in the surroundings that he now found himself to be in.
‘At last, you’re here, Willem…dear…dear cousin!’ She kissed his cheeks, met his appraising glances that would show her lightly tanned skin, her blonde hair almost white from its bleaching by the sun, her strikingly blue eyes taking in every detail of him. She wore tan shorts and a sleeveless yellow blouse that hugged her pert figure. Sandals lent her feet an easy grace. ‘You are only the second member of our family to visit me here…but I’ve looked forward to yours the most.’
For a woman ten years his senior, Willem thought that her life out here in the sun had treated Anna very kindly. She looked radiant and happy.
Anna waited for him to take his suitcase from the trunk of the car. She saw him glance her way as she stood close to Eline’s side, a hand around her waist if only for a moment.
‘It is how it is now, cousin,’ she told him in her direct ways of it, and of old, on seeing Willem’s pouted smile as he took in the scene before him.
‘I’m really not in a position to say anything on it,’ he said as if needing to reassure her, ‘after all I’ve been through.’
Anna pressed fingers to his lips to silence him. ‘You’re here to be mended and to help me too, isn’t that so Eline?’
‘Yes,’ she smiled at Willem. ‘The three of us will make your stay work for all of us. Now leave all of those troubles behind you…look forward!’
Willem saw the two women smile, as if they only had eyes for each other, before Anna led the way inside. ‘It’s as if you’ve bought your little part of paradise, Anna…’
‘They’re my thought exactly…what Luc and I decided on and slowly paid for until he was lost to me.’ It seemed to Willem that Anna wished altıparmak eskort bayan for the confessions to be out of the way quickly. ‘I changed after that…found comfort with someone you now see here by my side. The years changed me, as did the things that happened in those times to make me think of what I had and wanted to keep. I decided on how to live out my life and to do that here. You will soon see how free it is here on the island…uncluttered and unbounded. People are allowed to be who they are. Think of your life back home as being in limbo…’
Willem held a hand out to her. Anna clutched it as he drew her to his side. He met her uncertain look upon him after her confession had sunk in. ‘I’m already persuaded to that…’
To his dismay she kissed him, uninhibitedly on the lips then broke away. ‘Good… live it all out and with me…with us.’
Willem chuckled. Just what awaited him here on the island and with these two women?
‘Your home in Blue Bay looks stunning and I haven’t been here long enough to even begin to know it all. You’re happy, so we don’t talk about what has brought you to this point, okay? You live on and I mend myself. That was the arrangement and I’ll live the way you two do while I am here.’ Willem squeezed her hand again as if to make her concede on that point. ‘Do we agree on that?’
‘We do,’ she smiled and leant in to kiss his cheek this time. ‘I’ll show you to your room and you can unwind, a bit, while Eline and I sort out a welcome drink or two…’
‘I like the sound of that.’
Washed, and shaved, just to freshen up, Willem simply put on some swimming briefs, blue shorts, a white T and white beach shoes. He fingered out his hair and left it at that.
His room, with its own shower room and toilet, was a white out; the walls decorated with brightly coloured abstract paintings, the small dresser having a potted palm at its side; the tall sliding window looking out over the sloping hillside and the sea beyond. Oblong windows, set at the ceiling’s edge allowed light to still enter, if curtains and blinds were drawn for privacy. It felt as if he had been transported to another world.
He soon knew that he had, when he saw the two women together again, unashamedly intimate and unaware that he had come into the living room area.
‘Ah, there you are,’ Anna smiled and drawing away, murmuring something to Eline, who nodded and left them. ‘I’ll show you round outside…show you where I have put some of the materials you asked for…’
‘And what about the tools that I’ll need?’
‘They’re on call, Willem. I wasn’t going to pay a day rate when there was no knowing when you’d want to start. Line and I thought you’d want to relax…and…and we’ll help you with that,’
Willem nodded in agreement; wondered what these two had in store for him. He’d known Anna long enough to know that family bonds also had their limits.
‘Ever the organised one,’ he smiled, stepping out to the edge of the slabbed verandah and looking down the hillside, its gradient steepening the further away he looked. The ground before him was cloaked in dense but dry vegetation.
Stunted palms and a tangle of shrubs, thickets, and plants were close to the edge of the verandah, the grass, such as it was stunted and parched. It would all change in almost the blink of an eye after a rainstorm.
‘I’ve always been that, but even more so in getting this place fixed up…’ Anna swept an arm around to point out the view and the setting of the house, the back walls painted an azure blue and in stark contrast with the front that he had first seen. It matched other properties on either side, as the authorities demanded. ‘The small plunge pool was an expense, but worth it…’
‘You’ve done incredibly well. It’s a credit to you…’ Willem had walked to its slabbed side and crouched to feel the water’s temperature.
‘Try it!’ he heard a voice suggest and gasped on seeing Eline approach; an azure bikini stark against her ebony skin. She was carrying a tray, the clink of empty glasses to be heard, and a jug of some fruit cup, alcoholic he had no doubt, also to be seen. But it was Eline who had held his attention. ‘Try it…we should all do that…call it a ‘settling in moment’, or in my case a ‘getting to know you’ time.’
Willem was disconcerted by her winning ways, gloried in her large-breasted figure, and the sweep of her flat stomach down to her skimpy bikini briefs a provocation. Her dusky skinned body was only to be matched by her soft wondering smile.
He saw the women exchange a knowing glance once more.
‘That sounds like a great idea.’ Anna agreed. ‘You don’t mind do you, Willem? We can take turns in the plunge pool and have our drinks right here, outside?’
Willem shrugged as if indifferent o what he had been told. He felt an interloper as the two women behaved as they seemed to do when on their own.
‘I’ll watch and learn,’ he grinned, nilüfer eskort bayan turning his face up to the sun. ‘I feel like a bleached piece of whale bone washed up on the beach compared to you two…’
He was seen to tug off his T shirt, revealing a line of reddish hair over his strong but pale torso and down under the waist band of his shorts. The stress of recent times had taken its toll on his physique. Cycling to work, and for distraction, along with the frequent physical demands of his teacher’s life, had firmed up his body.
Anna came to him and brushed her fingers lightly over his skin in a brazen gesture of attentiveness.
‘It will feel strange being here, I know. But it will give you a different take on life. I’ve done that for many years, and I haven’t done too badly because of it, have I? Let go of everything and have your inner spirit fly free again…and as I remember of you.’
She had smiled and tilted her head in enquiry, sought to prompt him into letting her get an insight of what was now at work in him.
If he was of that mind, he could soon tell her. Two women were about to be scantily clad in front of him and he would have to do the same, but how far to go with that had yet to be decided on, by him. He wasn’t about to confound everything that he’d used to defend himself in court, no matter how beguiling the sight of one woman, Eline, would be. She had shown her preference in being with Anna, but of that he could not be entirely sure. Disconcertingly, the same went for Anna.
To have a cousin prance about, with next to nothing on, before him was a step too far, for now at any rate. Yes, it did feel strange, but for reasons he would keep to himself. Having people prying into his private life back home had obliged him to live an all but monkish life, and he sure as hell hadn’t been ready for that, then. But, he had gotten through to the other side.
As with so much else, he had to rebuild his private life and who he would again share that with. He saw Anna move away, brush her fingers against Eline’s hip before she tugged away at her blouse and soon stepped out of her shorts.
He stifled groan…on seeing them both so scantily clad and so soon. He felt the sudden gnaw of aberrant longing for these women as they stood together and looked his way; Eline in her figure-shaping bikini, with the sheer cut of what was little more than a thong; Anna in a flesh-coloured bra and panties that she had no intention, it seemed, of changing out of. It would have been only too easy to let go of everything in these relaxed surroundings, but Anna had kept her figure; softer now but still fulsome and appealing to the man in him, cousin or not. She moved with balletic grace, revealed the dancer that she had once been as a favoured pastime.
That she was family, remote as the link was, he pushed to the back of his mind. Willem wondered if he should harbour such thoughts of her.
Eline gave him a long look. ‘Well, are you going to join us? Or are you just going to watch us having a dip?’
‘You could get used to our ways of it?’ Anna added on a smile of further encouragement. ‘What I have made here is only too private.’
Willem knew it well-enough. He had already taken in the gentle curve of the screen walls Anna had someone set on either side of the plunge pool. They did not block the best of the views and they certainly shut out the gaze of prying eyes.
‘I’d be stupid if I didn’t…and spoil the welcome,’ he laughed, as much in dismay as in eager anticipation. He had begun to feel an ache in his groin; felt his prick strain against his swimming briefs. He knew he’d bring enough to them and the way he felt it wouldn’t be long before they knew the effect they had upon him.
He soon stepped out of his shorts and kicked off his shoes.
‘That’s better,’ Eline smiled, drawing near and holding out a glass. ‘It’s a rum punch…so go easy on it after a long flight. Don’t get wrecked too soon, will you? We can’t have that…’
‘Or not just yet,’ he answered, quite unable to keep his eyes off her.
‘That is so…’
Willem swallowed hard. He was confused. The wondrous young woman’s eyes had begun to roam over his body. The bulge in his swimming briefs, with their tropical motif, gave a hint of how he was now feeling. Fatigue from his flight vied with his eagerness to discover what the two women had in mind for them all.
‘I’ll live and learn, won’t I?’ he laughed, before looking away. Willem now felt a feather light touch to the skin of his back. ‘Don’t…I’m just not sure that I’m ready for all of this…’ he blurted out.
‘It’s only me,’ Anna told him, softly, and on meeting his startled gaze. He’d once had a thing for her. To now feel Anna’s touch, here and in the prevailing circumstances, only brought those memories flooding back. ‘I asked you to be here because, when I called you to suggest it, I didn’t hear the voice of the happy man I once knew or saw when we were both so much younger. People can wreck each other…they can also mend each other.’
‘And the way to do that is…what?’ He had felt her breaths on his face as Anna spoke to him; a hand caressing his back, scratched lightly at the base of his spine. He felt the rush of a raging longing in his belly as he looked at her.