character Chris O'Lavin persuades his wife, Nora, to go on a Caribbean cruise in a three-mast sail ship. Island hopping, he hopes that the tropical sun and breezes, aquamarine sea, snorkling, palm trees, fine-sandy beaches, friendly people, delicious food and drinks, deck socials, and spectacular sunrises and sunsets will remedy their marriage.
(Author's Note: The neurotic female in this novella is NOT based on my wife).
Chris and Nora - Chapter One
“You bastard!” Lisa said as she jumped off the bed, stood naked and looked at Chris, her face contorted and stiff. “You’ve been using me all this time. You can’t go through with anything, can you?”
“Now come on! Not true, Lisa. I feel for you.”
“Why in the hell did you screw me for six months, then? You led me to believe that you were going to leave Nora. I wanted you for my husband. I wanted to live with you. Now you want to call it off—dump me like a used rag.”
“I never promised you anything.”
“You may not have said it with words, but you certainly did with sweet talk, telling me that I was the best thing in the world.” She put her black slacks on without panties, pulled her orange mid-sleeved sweater down over her short athletic body without her bra and then slid into her sandals. Then, she stuffed the panties and the bra into her black leather shoulder bag. Sweat curled her short black hair. She grabbed the lit candle from the bureau and threw it at him who was still on the bed. He ducked. The candle hit the headboard, broke and splattered wax pieces on the blankets and across theroom.
“Come on! Cool it, Lisa!”
“You go to hell!” She rushed to the door. Her hand on the doorknob, she turned to Chris. Her large dark eyes narrowed and took on a cold distant stare.
Her seductive face that he had kissed so many times in their lovemaking frowned. Eyebrows pinched, her jaw tightened and her olive skin turned pale, scarlet blotches tinged her cheeks.
“I never want to see you again!” she said.
“Lisa, let’s talk.”
“I’m through with talk. I thought you loved me. I’ve been a fool.” She opened the door, stepped out and slammed it shut. The jolt shook the wall and rattled the windowpanes.
The car door thumped and the Honda Accord engine revved up high, then wheels spun, and gravel showered the motel door.
He sat on the edge of the bed. Could I have handled this differently? I never saw her angry before. She was always so sweet. I liked her. Did I love her?
Lisa’s scent mixed with lavender candle hung heavy in the room. He thought of the many months of their lovemaking.