Phillipa felt exhausted and weary about seeing Demetri. She couldn’t get him out of her system. She was constantly dreaming about him and she didn’t know how to stop these feelings that she had about him.
Determined to keep busy, she spent the rest of the week swimming each day and visiting Marina at the Hospital. The next day she visited Marina at her house and had lunch with her.
After that she lay on the beach outside the bungalow and didn’t once bump into Demetri. She took leisurely walks through the soft sand and ate at the local taverna each evening. As each day passed, she felt refreshed and happy to be where she was. She wanted to stay here forever. If only it was possible, she thought, as she stared out to sea, but she couldn’t leave her family and job to start a new life here. Besides, everyone would think she had run away from her problems. She had to go back to sort out her belongings that had been left in the flat she’d shared with Jake. It was in her nature to face up to problems rather than run away from them. She needed this time to come to terms with her separation from Jake.
Saturday arrived and she slept in soundly until she heard the telephone ring. She got up. Her sleepy eyelids opened and she reached for the handset.
“Hello,” she said.
“Phillipa, it’s Demetri. I’m sorry I haven’t called earlier, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to take you to Paphos today.”
She thought he sounded rather upset.
“Okay. That’s not a problem.”
He was quiet for a moment and she sensed that something was wrong.
“Is something wrong Demetri?”
“As matter of fact, yes. I got a call early this morning from Hellena’s father. Apparently, Hellena was involved in a car accident last night. She’s now in intensive care with extensive injuries. I’m at the hospital at present, and they don’t think she’ll make it.” Phillipa’s heart sank and, almost, missed a beat at hearing this news.
“Oh… Oh, I’m so sorry Demetri. Is it really that serious? They can’t help her?”
She awoke abruptly, unable to believe what she had just heard.
“No, I’m afraid not. She’s lost too much blood and she’s severely injured in so many different ways. It’s still a shock and I can’t quite believe it yet. I hate myself now. If it wasn’t for me, she might still be alive.”
“What are you saying?” She sat up in her bed, feeling sorry for him.
“I’m saying, if I hadn’t broken our engagement we wouldn’t have argued like we did and she wouldn’t have been in such an angry state. It’s my fault for leaving her in that way.”
Phillipa couldn’t believe she was hearing this. She had somehow thought that he hadn’t really broken their engagement. She didn’t know why she had assumed this, but now she knew that he was telling the truth.
“Don’t be silly Demetri. It’s not your fault. You mustn’t blame yourself. It was an accident. She was most probably rushing to get somewhere. Look, why don’t you visit me later, when you’ve seen Hellena. I’m sure she’ll be fine.”
She didn’t know why she had suggested such an invitation. It was definitely not the sort of thing she’d normally do.
“She won’t. They’ve told me she hasn’t long to live and she was rushing to get somewhere last night, because she’d crashed just down the road from here. It looks as if she was on her way to visit me. Look, I’ll have to go. Perhaps, I’ll see you later, but I can’t say for sure if I’ll make it. Bye Phillipa.”
She heard the receiver click and she replaced the telephone back on its stand. He’d sounded devastated and that worried her even more.
She felt awful. Why hadn’t she listened to him? Things could have been better between them, if she’d believed him when he said he’d broken his engagement. She had treated him terribly these past few days and she was ashamed of herself. She shouldn’t have been so horrible and selfish. From now on she would treat him kindly. Although, he might not want to know her anymore. After all, she was the reason he’d broken his engagement to Hellena. He may now choose to hate her after this.
She paced the room for an hour not wanting to believe what she’d heard. She couldn’t stop thinking about Demetri and wanted to comfort him. She wanted to put her arms around him and tell him that everything would be all right. But how could she? He would think it odd if she was to suddenly have a change of heart. What if he thought she was only showing interest, because Hellena was now out of the way? No, he wouldn’t think anything like that. He wasn’t that sort of person. She was sure of that.
She went for a swim to clear her head and then lay on the sand feeling worn out from all that had happened. Her mind whirled with thoughts of Demetri. She was worried for him and didn’t want to see him suffer. If only she could make things easier for him.
After a while, she sat up and stared into the distance at the sea in front of her. She knew she’d been out here for too long. The sun was getting hotter and she thought it was time to go in. She’d been lying on the sand for a couple of hours now, which she knew she shouldn’t do.
She lay back down for a minute, so she could regain her energy before she finally got up. She closed her eyes again. She needed to sort her feelings out where Demetri was concerned. Then she felt a hand touch her leg. She jumped and her eyes opened quickly.
She gazed up into a pair of sad brown eyes. It was Demetri. He was dressed in cream shorts and a white short-sleeved shirt that was left unbuttoned. Her heart began to beat erratically. She didn’t think he’d come, but he had, and now she wasn’t sure what to say to him. Still lying down, she looked up at him.
“I’m sorry I’ve startled you.”
He looked worn out and he hadn’t shaved. She sat up and he squatted alongside her on the sand. She was aware of how close he was and that she was only wearing a skimpy bikini. Trying to keep her distance from him, she moved backwards. He appeared to be worn out and looked forlorn. His tanned body was too close to her for comfort. She began to swallow nervously. A shiver ran through her entire body before she replied.
“It’s all right. How’s everything?”
She didn’t really want to ask because she was scared of what he might say. She waited patiently for his answer as she didn’t feel she should rush him. She only wanted him to speak if he felt like doing so. “Hellena died an hour ago. I’ve just left her mother and father. I couldn’t take it anymore. It’s been awful. I had to get away.”
To be continued……………