Four Months Later…
/Four Months Later…/
She would be barely recognizable to anybody now who had known her in New York, but then, Escher Green had always been a master of disguise. In high school she hid her darkness behind a perfectly worn school uniform and regulation braid. At college she had hidden everything boring about her behind bright pink hair and a ring of cocaine around her left nostril. And later she had hidden her fear and insecurities behind her tough, no nonsense suits and army-inspired jackets.
She liked to think she wasn’t hiding anything now as she ran her fingers through her dark golden curls, still damp from her swim an hour before, as she sat on the deck of the small motor boat.
The boat belonged to the elderly couple that owned the group of villas nestled into the cliff leading down to the bay of Corfu town. When she had arrived on the ferry from Bari nearly three months before, she had seen a notice in the local paper for a room-mate, the only notice in English and that was how she had met Ludivine. Most of the villas were only occupied during the tourist season so Ludivinie and Escher had quickly become favourites of Con and Grutzelba whose only son lived on the mainland. They often came down early in the morning to take the motor boat out for a spin.
She turned when Ludivine called her name and handed her a coffee.
“It’s beautiful today, right?” Ludivine asked in her heavy French accent.
“It’s beautiful every day Lu” She argued with a laugh.
She gazed out over the bay of Corfu and sipped her coffee.
“It’s so nice having a day off” Ludivine sighed, lying back on the deck and taking off her bikini top.
She had been a student back in France, studying Greek mythology and art at a college that Escher gathered was similar to the Sorbonne. One of her less conventional lecturers had suggested she take a sabbatical from her PhD to travel to the place itself. But as Ludivine explained, she had gotten to Corfu and fallen in love, not travelling any further.
Escher felt the same way. She flew to Italy first, and spent a few weeks pottering about Rome before hiring a Morris Minor and driving across the country to Bari where she had caught the ferry to Corfu. After growing up on the mean streets of New Jersey and cutting her teeth in the jungle of Manhattan, she had held her breath as she watched the sun setting over the port.
And she found, the longer she spent here, the more she felt at home. She had slipped into the laziness of days spent by the ocean or in the hills, feasting on dates and vine leaves. She had grown tanned and her hair was much lighter than it had been. She strolled down the old cobble stone streets and drank strong Greek coffee in the bars and haggled with vendors in the markets, who seemed like charicatures of themselves.
It was a different world to the one she had left behind and she was thoroughly enchanted by it. She didn’t think too much of that old world anymore. Sarah and Lazslow had the running of The Canary down to a fine art. They, of course, knew where she was but she only spoke to them once a fortnight or so. She had sent a few postcards to Michelle, Val and Kyra. But My Chemical Romance and Frank Iero had been left behind in America.
Of course as lazy as this new life could be, Escher got bored quickly and Ludivine had set about getting her a job in the traditional café that she worked in. It was very different to New York though, Escher only worked a three days a week for a few hours at a time. She spent her time reading, or writing, or thinking.
Of course her mind was the one place that Frank still resided. She had found it impossible to completely banish him. She had confessed the whole sorry story to Ludivine over a bottle of ouzo early in their friendship. But she had accepted it, all of it, and she had forgiven him and was starting to forgive herself.
“The carnivale is next week” Ludivine said softly.
As though Escher could forget, she had been looking forward to the carnivale since Ludivine had explained the bizarre jumble of theatre, parades and drinking ouzo to her.
Ludivine rolled onto her stomach, flicking white blonde hair over her bare, bronzed shoulder.
“Why can’t we just stay here forever Escher?” She asked wistfully.
“Why can’t we?” Escher asked from beneath the arm she had slung across her eyes to block out the bright, early morning sun.
“Oh, we could marry big strapping Greek boys” She giggled,
“Twin brothers” Escher added seriously,
“Both named Spyro”
Escher laughed, it seemed every second man on the island was named in honour of it’s patron saint.
“Yes, both named Spyro”
“And we would have many, many children and grow olives and dates”
“And grapes, then would could make our own wine”
“Of course,” Ludivine agreed but then she sighed, “But we can’t, not really…we’re not so different to the tourists we glare at and grumble about. We will never live here, not really, even if we stay for hundreds of years. But I have my art to get back to although I’m doing a good job of ignoring it. And you have your music”
“I’m sure MTV and the music industry can get by without me”
“Then you will stay here?” Ludivine asked in surprise.
“No, no…you’re right, we can’t stay here forever, but I’m not in any hurry to get back to New York”
And she wasn’t. What was there for her that she couldn’t find anywhere else?