فصل 09

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 09

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CHAPTER NINE

On Bianca Beach

Max was still ill that evening. When Carlo came to take them to the festival Ruth wasn’t with him.

‘Thomas isn’t feeling well either,’ he told Stephany, ‘so Ruth said she would stay and look after him.’

‘So, it’s just you and me,’ said Stephany.

‘Perhaps we’d better forget it,’ said Carlo.

Stephany had been looking forward to this evening. With Max ill, she had had a boring day on her own. The things Luigi the waiter had said to her had made her think. This would be a good opportunity to talk to Carlo alone, although she wasn’t sure how she was going to begin to talk about the subject.

It would be difficult to say, ‘Luigi thinks I made love with you so I could have your flat, but it’s not true.’ She wasn’t sure what she was going to say.

‘Come on,’ she said. ‘Why don’t we go? Just you and me? I need to get out. Max has been ill all day.’

Carlo looked at her. He found her very attractive, but he wished he didn’t. He worried about being alone with her. His mother always said he should have married Stephany, not Ruth.

But Stephany had never been interested in him until that time two years ago. And by then he was married to Ruthi and he loved Ruth a lot. He and Stephany had been friends until that time two years ago, so they could be friends again now.

‘Well… yes, we could go,’ said Carlo. He wasn’t too sure.

‘Good,’ said Stephany. Max was still asleep when they left. They drove up a road through the mountains. There were trees on either side and when they came to corners, they could see views of the deep blue sea far below.

‘I was thinking,’ said Stephany, ‘Instead of the festival, could we go to that lovely beach?’

‘Which one?’ Carlo asked. ‘The one with the white sand and the pine trees. I think It’s called Bianca beach. It’s where we went last time I was here.

Carlo didn’t answer immediately. He was remembering. They drove in silence for a few minutes before he looked at her.

‘OK,’ he said.

‘Are you all right?’ Stephany asked him. ‘You’re very quiet.

‘I was just thinking how things change,’ he said. ‘Now I am a married man with children, I don’t often find myself alone with a woman.’

‘I’m not going to bite you!’ laughed Stephany. But some were deep inside him, Carlo felt that was exactly what she was going to do. Soon they arrived at the beach she had talked about. Carlo stopped the car and got out. He came round and opened her door for her. She got out too. With the waves, the white sand, and the wind in the trees the beach looked beautiful.

‘Stephany,’ he said, ‘that night two years ago was mistake, you know.’ Stephany looked at him. So he has been thinking about it too, she thought.

‘I know,’ she said.

‘We can still be friends, can’t we?’ she said.

‘I’m not sure,’ Carlo said. ‘The trouble is, Ruth doesn’t feel very happy about you using the flat.’

Stephany looked at Carlo. She realised how much he loved Ruth, but she couldn’t help feeling a bit jealous Surely she was more attractive to him than Ruth?

‘But you feel happy about it, don’t you?’ she asked softly. ‘Until you married Ruth, you wanted me to come here often.’

‘Things are different now…’ he said, then was silent. It was impossible to tell Stephany she couldn’t come any more. It would be wrong of him. He hated breaking promises.

Stephany put her hand up to Carlo’s cheek and touched it. Before he knew it, she was touching his neck. Against his wishes, he was finding himself attached to Stephany again. This had been such a hard time for him, with Ruth tired all the time with the children. Suddenly, finding himself alone with Stephany like this, he couldn’t slop himself.

Stephany felt Carlo moving as she touched him. She thought of Max, sick in bed, and Ruth, at home with two children. She thought of Luigi in the bar. But suddenly none of this seemed to matter. She was kissing Carlo wildly, and they pulled off each other’s clothes. They fell onto the sand, which was still warm from the sun, and lay together as the moon came up.

As they drove back to the village much later, Carlo breathed deeply.

‘No one must ever know about this,’ he said.

‘No-one will. It’s just one of those things that happened, isn’t it? Only you and I know. ‘

Carlo felt terrible. He didn’t want to hide anything from Ruth. But if he wanted to keep Ruth, he thought, he would have to hide it from her.

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