Romantic tryst in Havana

Last minute packing for a romantic tryst in Havana in the middle of the night. January 28, 2009 was D Day. A Virgin flight from London direct to Havana . What to pack? It would be ‘winter‘ in Havana with cool grey skies.

Would Victor, her lover and soul mate, recognise her after a 3 year absence? She did not look the same. Her lovely hair, that was sleek and dyed auburn, looked thinner, shorter and had surprisingly gone curly during her breakdown. She looked older, yet at 64, fortunately despite her ordeal, she did not look her age. In fact she looked 10 years younger on the outside. Inside was another matter. He, on the other hand, was 52 and in his prime. She loved the idea of having a younger lover. Her unfaithful husband Martin was 7 years older than she was and looked it with white hair. No more salt and pepper for Magical Martin.

They had both written passionate emails and expressed their love for each other against all odds. Victor was a recovered alcoholic who had not touched a drop of rum in 3 years while she had had a serious breakdown, lost her magnificent historic Georgian house in Brighton at #10 Hanover Crescent, moved into 2 different flats and divorced her husband after a 25 year old faithful marriage in the past 3 years. A lot had happened to both of them in those intervening years. No need to discuss the past. The Now was the only important thing in their lives.

The tryst was planned in minute detail in her mind. How and where would they make love? She had put on weight due to the pills she had been forced to take. 3 stones. She weighed 15 stones and felt ashamed. She ‘felt’ fat. Would he still love her naked body? Would his lingering kiss shatter her world again? So much to imagine and visualise!

They planned to meet by the lift in the lobby at The Central Park Hotel, Havana at 11.00 am. Would they embrace and kiss in public freely? He would not be allowed to come to her room as he was not a registered guest and local Cubans were forbidden in smart hotels. 

What would they say that had not already been said in their intimate emails?

Time was ticking on. 11.00 would soon be approaching..........

Originally written on International Women’s Day, 2009 in a creative writing workshop facilitated by the late Sheila McWattie where I met Susi Oddball.