Anna gazed at the posters on the wall. A human circulatory system. A BMI chart. Typical ligament injuries.
‘How are you feeling today, Anna?’
She snapped her head around to look at her doctor. ‘Fine, fine.’
‘We’ve had the results of the tests. You’ve got an STI. Chlamydia’ I’ve got what?
‘Is that serious?’ Tell me it isn’t!
‘We can treat it.’
‘That’s a relief.’
‘I’d like to know how you got infected…’ So would I!
Anna sat in the café gazing out at the sea. The harbour lights danced on the waves. What a beautiful sight.
She turned to see the waiter approach. ‘Yes?’
‘Can I get you another drink?’ She looked at the empty cocktail glass in front of her, Another one? Well, maybe one more. After all, this holiday is so f—king shite that all I can do is drink to ease my pain.
‘Another would be good.’
‘Of course.’ I like your smile.
She gazed at the bar. It was mostly empty. A couple sat together pawing at each other. Don’t they look happy. Why aren’t I happy? Aren’t you supposed to have fun on holiday?
‘Your drink, Miss. Seven euros.’ She fished her purse out of her handbag and found the right amount and passed it over.
‘Call me Anna.’
‘Of course.’ He paused briefly. ‘Anna, you look sad.’ He swung an arm around to indicate the panorama in front of her. ‘Sidari is the most beautiful place. You should be happy here.’ Yes, yes, yes. I know. But after what I’ve been through, even Eden would look like shite.
‘Not if you’re staying in a hell hole alone.’
‘That is really bad.’ He smiled at her. ‘You are so beautiful, you shouldn’t be alone.’ Tell that to the birds. He sat down beside her. ‘I’m Spiros.’ Hello Spiros. She really took the time to look at him. Why, you’re hot!
‘My holiday has been ruined and I have four more days here. I don’t think I can last out.’
He placed his hand on hers. ‘I cannot believe that a beautiful woman like you can have a bad time here in Sidari.’ That’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me since I got here. You’re a real angel.
‘You are very considerate.’ And cute.
‘I tell you what,’ he glanced at his watch, ‘I finish in an hour. Why don’t I show you the sights? I know all the good places.’ That’s very sweet of you Spiros.
‘I would love that.’ Wow, what a break.
‘Wait for me here.’ I’m not going anywhere.
An hour later, Spiros escorted her out of the bar and along the waterfront. ‘See,’ he pointed at a group of traditional fishing boats, ‘my family’s business.’ So why are you a waiter? But she did not voice her thought. You are what you are.
He led her away from the harbour and to a residential neighbourhood. They came to a battered Fiesta. ‘My car.’
‘I though we were going to see the local sights?’
‘Of course, we are. But first I want to show you the most beautiful beach in the world.’ That sounds wonderful.
He unlocked the car and she got in. Spiros started the motor and almost immediately roared off at some speed. Hey! Take it easy, we’re in town. They sped away from the centre and in a few minutes left the town behind them. He drove them for about twenty minutes along a winding road. She felt slightly carsick. I’m not sure this is a good idea.
Spiros turned off the road. They bumped down a dirt track towards the sea. Anna could see it—a dark expanse below them. Homer’s wine dark sea. Some distance from the shore, he stopped the car. ‘We walk.’
He led her down a path towards the sea. A first quarter moon and stars provided enough light for them to scramble down the rocks and out onto a beach. The sea shimmered, and Anna heard the gentle splash as waves rolled onto the sandy beach. It’s so romantic. There was no one else about.
‘This is magical.’ We are alone here. Our own private beach.
‘I knew you would like it.’ Spiros did a wild dance before coming up to her and grasping her in a passionate embrace. She responded to his advance. Spiros, you are so sexy. She kissed him. He released her. That was lovely. I feel like a teenager again. ‘Shall we walk? There is something you must see.’ I’m sure it’ll be beautiful. She felt happy. Ah, this is what I want.
He led her along the beach to a spot where the trees nearly came down to the shore. It was darker under their cover. He pulled her towards him. Oh Spiros! His arms clasped her tightly and he slowly lowered her to the ground.
The sand felt warm beneath her. He knelt next to her and fumbled with her clothes. In response, she unbuttoned his shirt and caressed his hairy chest. Oooh!
He collapsed on her heavily. Ouch, that wasn’t kind.
Lying on top of her, he fumbled at her nickers. She could feel his hot breath on her cheek. His hand on her panties. He did something. She shrieked. That’s really painful.
‘What is it?’
‘You’re hurting me.’
Almost immediately, she felt herself being eviscerated. She screamed. What are you doing? She pushed him off.
‘What? What?’ His voice spoke anger.
‘I don’t want any more.’ She staggered to her feet and sought her clothes.
‘You no like me?’
‘It’s not that.’
‘Skatá ston táfo sou!’ He pulled up his trousers and snatched up her handbag before storming off.
‘Hey! Come back with that. That’s mine.’ What do you think you’re doing? He ignored her. ‘I’ll go to the police.’ Just you wait! He simply went faster. She scrambled to get her clothes on before chasing after him. ‘Come back. That belongs to me.’
He gained on her. Before she had traversed half the beach, he was already clambering up the path towards the car. As she got to the path, she heard the engine roar and saw the headlights come on. Oh, shite, he’s leaving me here. Then she heard the car scrunching across the gravel as, with a skidding sound, it disappeared up the track.
She was alone. Triple shite. What a f—king prick.
She sat down on a rock and burst into tears. Come on, Anna, you can do better than this.
Eventually, she got to her feet and worked her way up to the track and followed it up to the road. Somewhere in the dark, an owl hooted.
‘…I’ll make out a prescription. Be sure to complete the dose as instructed. If the itching doesn’t go away, come back and see me.’
‘Thank you, doctor.’
‘And Anna, it is good you came to see me, and didn’t simply ignore the symptoms. You see, if untreated, chlamydia can lead to infertility. Please get your partner to have a check-up.’
‘I will.’ In your dreams. May Spiros rot in hell.