Spanish Parts

Author: Kylie Andrews

Travelling through Spain in 2001 with my best friend Bronwyn proved to be more eventful than I anticipated. We landed in Madrid after the 8 hour flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, prickling with excitement, immediately searching for the adventures of our combined fantasies. Anything could happen and so it did…

Eagerly we collected our car rental, tossed our backpacks and cheap duty free liquor onto the backseats and hastily left the airport, ignoring the typical rip off of additional driver insurance. We visited the Prada and all the Cultural spots that first day, burning blisters into the soft skin of our frantic feet. Bron and I were both passionate about art and architecture. Madrid’s treasures thrilled us, raising our love for life to a tempo that we telepathically acknowledged but were unable to comment on. That night we found a backpacker’s lodge right next to the Retiro and met great people from all over the world doing the same thing as us.

We had both wrangled three months off our respective jobs naturally hoping to squeeze the maximum out of our sojourn before Bronwyn said, “I do” to Gareth, her fiancé of five years. Bron was experiencing the whole series of pre-wedding jitters. My supply of soothing words for her was drying up, as I was just not turned on to a life time commitment to one person. Call me young, enthusiastic or just plain fickle, but I yearned for and chased the thrill of meeting new people all the time without the encumbrance of a permanent lover.

We stayed in Madrid for another four days to take in as many of the sights we could and to be with our new found friends before embarking on the next exciting slot of our adventure. Next stop was Toledo which is about an hour South of Madrid. Wow, what a city this was, our eyes were opened to such beauty and we reveled in the places of interest, the Museo de Santa Cruz, the Castillo de Oropesa and much more. We decided on a whim to spend at least a week in this enchanting place and to explore the surrounding areas.

It was on the second last night that fate stepped in while we were sitting enjoying tapas in a small tavern next to the Mezquita. We met David.I was immediately floored and intrigued by this good looking and very well traveled man. His knowledge of Spain was exceptional as he had been living there on and off for the last two years. He was by trade a surgeon, but this was just one of his many vocations. He had done so much and he was completely fascinating to talk to. I immediately warmed to him, probably because we were also pretty buzzed from the drink. We talked for many hours that night, him and I doing most of the it while Bronwyn sat quietly sipping her sangria. When the sun was just touching the horizon we decided it was time for a rest before the days fiery rays began in earnest.

After a long period of sleep, Bron and I woke late in the afternoon. There was a message waiting for me from David asking if we would like to join him for dinner at another local restaurant. I was over the moon at the chance of seeing him again, there was definitely a strong connection between us and I could feel his intense attraction to me when we had talked the previous evening. Bron was not enthusiastic at the prospect and tried to persuade me from going to see him. She said that she sensed darkness in him, an evilness that she could not put her finger on. I was shocked at her admission and thought that it stemmed from jealousy as she always chose men so terribly wrong for her and her relationships ended in disaster. I however had not met anyone in a very long time and it was hard for me to find someone I was attracted to so quickly. I begged her to reconsider using all my manipulative powers and eventually she conceded, resignedly saying that she would go with me to make sure I was alright.

Excitement welled within me at the prospect of the night ahead and I dressed carefully. Making sure the top I chose was slightly low cut and the skirt shorter than the rest in my luggage, he had mentioned the night before that he appreciated strong, athletic body parts and I was blessed with shapely legs.

On arrival at the restaurant, he was waiting at the bar looking even more enticing and delicious than the night before and my legs felt weak, heart beating with excitement. In his strong, clear voice he greeted us and planted a soft, silky kiss on my cheek. This was going to be brilliant.

However things were not that exciting for Bron and she started hitting the wine with a vengeance. After the meal, which she ate very little of, I went to the bathroom to freshen up and returned to find David and Bron in a hushed argument. She was slurring aggressively and he seemed to be trying to reason with her. It was awful to see, but I was not about to lose my chance with David because my friend was drunk and argumentative. I pulled her aside and berated her for her selfishness. She just stared at me open mouthed and eventually said that she could not believe that I was taking the side of a psychotic stranger over her. That was the final straw, I told her to go back to the backpacker’s to sleep it off, she took my advice and stumbled off in the direction of our accommodation.

After she had left I returned to our table and to a very calm and compassionate David. I was visibly upset, but he put his strong arm around me and whispered sexy secrets in my ear. He took my breath away and within the hour I was in his bed experiencing the most beautiful passionate night of my life.

Towards the morning I must have drifted off. I woke alone. My head foggy, I was feeling confused as to where I was. I lay back then and remembered the night before and a smile parted my lips at the memory of that beautiful man. Reality hit about one minute later, my drunken friend and the fight that we had. I realized how late it was and how worried she must be. Looking around for David, I saw no sign of him, deciding that he must have gone out to get us something to eat. Hastily scrawling a note for him, telling him I had to go and see if Bron was OK and that he should contact me when he could. I saw such a potential future with this man.

When I hurriedly arrived at our backpacker’s, I took the stairs two at a time. I was anxious to see her and explain what a wonderful man he was and that there was no need to worry at all. However, when, panting I ran in to our shared room I found the door slightly ajar. On entering I found a cleaning lady and no sign of Bron. In fact, our backpacks and toiletries were missing too. Back down the stairs I bounded and rushed up to the reception. In my broken Spanish I questioned the owner and eventually came to the conclusion that Bron had checked us both out and taken a taxi back to Madrid to fly home. My belongings were behind reception and our stay had been fully paid for. I was shocked and horrified that my supposed friend could do this to me. That she would leave me in a foreign country with no explanation or excuse. She had always been a bit of a flighty person, a bit too emotionally spontaneous perhaps, but I never believed that she could ever go this far.

Dejected and extremely angry I took my backpack and passport and walked the streets of Toledo in a daze. I was still feeling the effects of the alcohol from the night before so I wandered around aimlessly wondering how my friend could have been so angry with me over a man that she would make such a drastic and hasty decision which affected us both so deeply. What was I to do, we still had another two and a half months of our visa’s left and this was our combined dream holiday.

After walking around for an hour I realized how thirsty I was and decided to go back to the restaurant of the night before to get some much needed refreshment. I chose a table at the back and placed my order, deciding that alcohol was exactly what I needed. I ordered an entire jug of sangria and started to drink with purpose. I could feel the alcohol taking effect on me and numbing the pain I was in when I looked over at the bar area only to see David in what appeared to be a passionate embrace with a young girl. I could not believe my eyes and I actually rubbed them to see I was not imagining this terrible scene. Imagine my pain and frustration tripling when not only had I lost my traveling companion, but also my source of comfort and hope, all in the same few hours.

I would not stand for this; I got up and stumbled up to the bar to confront him. Tapping him on his shoulder, he lazily peered up at me, still holding on to the girl’s bare brown waist. I just stood rooted to the spot for what felt like an eternity and looked at him with venom in my eyes, he smirked at me. Finally, finding my voice I told him in the most abusive language I could muster what I thought of him and his disgusting behavior. Trying to hold on to my dignity I whirled around, stumbled again and started heading off. Before I was out of earshot however, he said the most mysterious thing. He told me to be careful or I would end up like her. I did not understand and in my haste in paying the bill and grabbing my things I dropped my address book with all my precious contacts of the friends I had made whilst traveling. This book also contained all my contact details back home in South Africa.

Decision made, I was going home and not looking back. I would find Bronwyn and explain how right she had been, what a fool I had been and hopefully she would forgive me and we could get back on track with our friendship and hopefully even plan another trip together. I caught a taxi as we had already returned our rental car, everything was in walking distance in Toledo, and headed for Madrid. I knew there was a flight on a Wednesday night. Managing to change my ticket for a very small penalty I boarded the aircraft just after midnight. Finally falling in to a fitful sleep with dreams pierced with pain, I flew home to my beloved South Africa.

My extended families were very surprised to have me home so soon and were worried. I calmed them down by telling the truth of everything that had happened in the last fateful twenty four hours. They in turn commiserated with me and expressed how sad they were. Next step, contact Bron, but to my surprise she had not in fact come home as I had anticipated. I was now hysterical and contacted her family to find out if they had heard from her, they were just as surprised as the last they had heard was a week before. When we left for Toledo, she had told them how much fun she was having and how she loved traveling with me.

Weeks went by, then months with no word and we were all sick with worry. I had to stop visiting her parents as the accusatory, blaming looks were too much for me to bear.

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  • Reviewed by Claudio  on  June 30th, 2011

    This review will contain a good portion of spoilers, so DON'T read it until after you read the story.

    The storytelling is very solid and easy to follow even to a non-native reader which I am.

    There is a small inconsistency, namely accusing Bron of being jealous because she "always chose men so terribly wrong for her and her relationships ended in disaster" when she actually is engaged and will marry soon.
    Bron out of the blue accusing David of being "evil" doesn't seem to fit anywhere, and it kind of makes the reader expect that she is absolutely right and he IS literally a psychopath. Being a surgeon amongst many other vocations seems unlikely too - this stinks of a very cliché imposture. Bron's behaviour is also not like a friend who wants to warn her best friend about a murderous psychopath. How does she know it, anyway? There is no sign whatsoever.

    The part when she dropped her contact list isn't clear to the reader. Does she realize she dropped it, or not until later? The reader should not know about that fact until later when she should mention that her list is missing.

    The story is the basic plot about a murderous vacation acquaintance thet haunts the narrator afterwards. The narrator'S friend acts illogical, and her suscpicion while true is unfounded. The writing itself is good, but I'm sorry to say that the content leaves to be desired.

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