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A chapter from "Passionate romance on the Greek isles..." (1 Viewer)

dsaranti

Senior Member
Kyllini and Kefalonia
(Kefalonia is a green island off western Greece with white beaches)

They left late the next morning and just made the ferry to Kefalonia
Jason, Paul’s friend had invited them to use his house for a week.
They arrived around 4:30. Elaine was stunned and shocked by what she was seeing.
The breathtaking view of the sea about two miles away, the valley in front of them filled with the olive trees, the cypress trees and the vineyards.
The colors of the house; the warm, homey decoration;
Their garden had any kind of tree and plant you could imagine and there were flowers everywhere; the scents, the aromas of nature dazzled them. You could smell the wonder of nature in all places. Caroline, Jason’s Spanish wife who was a landscape architect, designed this lovely garden.
She told Paul: “this is my absolute dream house; I don’t want to see anything else on the island. I just want to stay at this home all the time. And, my real dream is that we build a house close by. But, I want one just the same as this dream-house. Please, Paul!”.
“No problem, we’ll do it right away,” he answered.
Janet and Jason greeted them graciously. This Phlippino couple was very nice and very well trained. They were to treat them like a Queen and a King for the week that was to come.

Janet asked them if they would like to have dinner at home. They both gladly agreed.
They swam a bit in the pool and then lay lazily on the armchairs. Janet brought them Espresso-freddos (iced espresso) and iced water. They talked, read “their books” and dreamed; they were in heaven.
Right after six, he grabbed her hand and told her:
“Elaine I have to take you somewhere”. “And where is that”? She asked.
“Well” Paul said, “It’s Makris Yalos, the nicest beach on the island.
A beautiful sunset and an awesome beach bar. Want to go?”
Half an hour later they were splashing each other; they were having ecstatic fun. They walked the whole beach and after about an hour, they headed for the beach bar. As the sun was about to set both the beach and the bar were practically empty. They sat on the stools and the bench was facing the sea and the miraculous sunset. It was the time for their ritual; drinks and love talk. Only this time there was music too; fantastic old romantic hits.
Elaine looked at Paul and told him: “I want to ask you a favor”.
I’ll do it even before I hear it” was Paul’s quick answer. “I want you to bring me here every single evening for the whole week,” she whispered to him.
“Done deal” said Paul.
She was in such heaven that she ordered a second drink.
Paul asked her. “who are your favorite artists?” she told him and then he went to the DJ. He handed him a nice tip and told him they would be coming every evening for the week. He asked him to play Elaine’s songs and the beautiful music he was now playing. “No problem” the DJ answered. He invited them to come to the luxury Club where he played later in the night. Paul said they might.
As the last glimpses of the red sun disappeared behind the Lixouri Mountains, the music slowly stopped as the bar closed. They had to leave for home.
They sat under the beautiful pergola for dinner. The view of the sea in the dark was “everything”. Janet brought them a very nice and healthy salad.
All the vegetables were homegrown in the garden. The second course was fried zucchini and fried eggplants. Then there was fried chicken and French fries. The desert was full of butter and heavy cream. The whole meal was a “cholesterol delight”. Elaine was skeptical. “What’s the matter?” he asked her with loving care. “I’ll tell later you by the pool” she said.
A nice feature of the house was the music system. In every zone of the house, you could select either iPod playlists or any FM station in the world.
As they sat by the pool and had coffee, Elaine had selected her favorite Athens radio station.
“Look Paul” she said. “I forgot a very important pre-condition for our marriage. We have always enjoyed equality all these years.
And, we will continue so in our marriage. However, there is one matter where I require total control. And, that is your health. I am saying so because tonight’s dinner was very unhealthy. So, I am asking that that as we like to eat mostly at home, we have healthy and tasty food.
And when we go out we should be careful.”
“I agree,” he answered. He added, “Since we can afford it I also propose we have an annual check up at the Mayo Clinic. And, since my results will be fine you’ll allow me to have a steak and fries occasionally?
“Yes, occasionally” Elaine answered back and then added:
“I forgot, your last cigarette will be just before the marriage.
These rules are non-negotiable. One slip and you’ll be in lots of trouble”.
“Elaine I got your message 100%” was his definite answer.
He added, “Anyway my immediate proposal is tomorrow morning we go to the local AB Super Market and load up a week’s worth of real healthy food.
In addition, everyday you will tell Janet what you want for the lunch picnic basket when we go to the sea and then for dinner.
Tonight should never be repeated”.
“She really does care for me, immensely so,” Paul thought to himself…
Janet had prepared their breakfast exactly as they wanted; she knew very well what each one liked.
It was lunchtime when they returned from AB loaded with the shopping. Elaine and Janet had a long talk. Things changed and they had a very nice and tasty mixed spinach salad for lunch; it was a recipe of Elaine’s.
They swam in the pool and read “their books”. As they were having their second freddos Paul told Elaine, he had three proposals/ideas for the next days. She was free of course to pick whatever she pleased.
The first was a 2-3 hour trip with two seat kayaks and they would visit the famous White Rocks cliffs and caves; a young couple organized it.
The second would be a drive up to the 1,600-meter high Mt. Ainos with its unique dark green fir trees. They could walk in the woods.
Thirdly, a 1-hour trip by speedboat to about a dozen white beaches that are inaccessible by land, and, according to Paul they were among the nicest in the world. Elaine said, “I really want to do all three! I trust you so much”.
Paul made a few phone calls and arranged everything.
The kayak trip was for the next day, 9:30 in the morning.
Later on, and on their way to Makris Yalos, they spent an hour in another small, but gorgeous beach. People called it Ammes (roughly in English, the “Sandies” beach). The sun was setting. Elaine’s favorite tunes enhanced their ritual. She was very high with the whole atmosphere. The DJ had done a very good job, and again insisted they come to the Club. May be, they said.
Elaine had made a great selection for dinner: homegrown salad; shrimp with Champagne sauce; grilled sole and to finish it up lots of homegrown summer fruit.
As they sat by the pool and gazed at the starlit sky and the glowing moon, they were listening to a playlist from Paul’s iPad.
First, there was a mix of the most beautiful love songs. They listened without talking… They were absolutely, all alone in privacy as, fortunately, Janet and Jason went to sleep early, down stairs.
Their souls were full of thoughts of love but they did not talk.
They were absorbing the romantic ambience and appreciating every single second filled with sentiments that were overwhelming their souls.
Paul stood up, gave her a small kiss on the cheek and said:
“Dance with me”.
They had never danced before. And, so they did dance very closely, very emotionally, cheek to cheek, but with lots of sensational passion and emotional tenderness and loving sensitivity between them.
They kissed a few times. It was not his lips she kissed, but she touched his soul.
They adored their newfound heaven.
Elaine interrupted the dance and told him.
“I need your help! I am very confused… I am trying and trying to describe the huge love I feel for you and I just possibly cannot find a description, no words at all, impossible. Could this be a definition by itself? Or am I simply being just foolish?”
Paul thought for a little while, and answered:
“Elaine, I think you have just produced the greatest definition of true love.
I admire you so much and you are simply awesome. I, too, cannot find any words to describe what my deep soul feels for you; there are no words to describe my love for you. You are a true genius. I love you so much, Elaine. Thank you for sharing your so deep, sensitive sentimentality”.
They started dancing again and then, the music became a bit faster.
They did not know that they both were such good dancers. They were made for each other; they clicked so perfectly. They turned; they swirled in perfect figures with absolute timing and flawless synch.
They were just great and they, also, felt so great.
“Perhaps we should do this for a living?” Paul joked. Elaine laughed.
“I’d like to go to the Club tomorrow; I’ll dress up very nicely” she said.
“Great idea” Paul replied happily.
The hours passed so quickly, but they would not realize because of the great fun they were having. They went on and on forever. Their newfound adventure filled them with emotion, satisfaction and lots of happiness.
After many, many hours and lots of exhaustion, they crashed on the pool’s couch and fell asleep soundly.
It was 11 in the morning as the bright sun heated them up, and forced them to open their eyes; Janet was there with a tray, and two espresso freddos.
They needed them badly and even had second helpings.
Then Elaine suddenly cried,
“Oh my God, we’ve missed our kayak rides”, and so they had. Paul reassured her, and called later to rearrange for the following morning. No problem, at all.
They had a usual day. Lying lazily by the pool, swimming, reading, a light lunch, talking and always keeping so very close. Nothing would separate them. Paul turned to her and told her:
“Tonight, I’m asking for an exception. It is the full moon and I want to take you to a very special place for dinner, to see a very special moonrise.
You’ll never forget it in your life”. “Paul, why do you even have to ask me at all? You know I always trust you blindly more than anyone in this world”. “Sure” said Paul. Her words had touched his soul tenderly as only she knew how to do. Paul called Aleko at the fish taverna.
It was their usual evening ritual. They felt especially romantic and sentimental that evening. Although it was getting a bit chilly, as the sun went home to sleep, their two souls were so, so very warm.
He looked at her and told her while his heart was beating a little faster.
“I’ve told you, I don’t have the words to describe how much I love you today. But, what I do know for sure, is that is that I love you more than yesterday and, for certain, much less than tomorrow”.
Elaine took her time. “Your heart is so romantic and sensitive that you leave me speechless, and so touched, I can’t find the words to reply. I have no words at all. I love you with passion Paul, thank you for being real in my life. “
It was dark when they arrived at the small fish taverna. It was right on a shallow cliff, right above the gentle, dark sea. Aleko, the owner, greeted them warmly, and showed them to the best table. Everything was so silent.
They could see the endless, dark see in front of them. To their very left,
they could see the huge, black Ainos Mountain. The sky was crystal clear, and all the stars were there to greet them. They could hear the soothing, healing sounds of the gentle waves as they reached the sand of the beach just below their table. They held hands forever as they enjoyed this romantic sound.
A Greek salad preceded Aleko’s specialty, fresh tuna fish salad.
And, then, a delicious grilled sfyritha (local fish).
An hour passed.
A moment suddenly came, and Paul gently wrapped his arm around Elaine. “Just look to your left, at the very top of mountain of Mt. Ainos. What can you see?” “I see nothing,” she said. “There’s a slight glimmer of gentle light
“Paul replied. “You’re right” was her reply. And, the glimmer grew and grew.
And, the tiny slice of the orange moon grew and grew and became full blown. It was the miracle of nature, and the miracle of life, of love. It was so beautiful in all its glory; it was as if it was looking down on them from so very, very far secretly telling them it knew of their eternal love.
“I feel right now” Elaine said “that your soul is as beautiful as this stunning moon”. Not to be outdone Paul hit back “The whole of you Elaine, your face, your feelings, your heart, and your mind are as breathtaking as all the dazzling sunsets we’ve enjoyed together”.
This time they arrived on time for the kayaks. There were about eight boats and they were the only Greeks. The organizing couple were smiley and nice. The journey was long, but a bit tiresome. It was not easy to synchronize the paddles. But, the destination was more than worth all the trouble of the journey. The marvelous white cliffs were spectacular. And, then there was the big cave, with an astonishing white beach inside. They paddled inside and spent a long time enjoying this most unique of beaches in the world. The couple offered them snacks and soft drinks. They paddled back and later on were lying by the home pool reading “their books”, and drinking coffee.
They ordered out sushi that night for dinner. It was Paul’s idea but Elaine did the ordering. Paul liked her selections very much and was by now learning the secrets. It was very nice and it was a change from the usual.
Paul turned to Elaine
“You said you trusted me the other day. Do you really, really trust me?”
I sure do, she said. “OK then” he said, “I have a really very crazy idea for tonight. Let’s go to our bedroom and put on our swimsuits”.
“But, we’ll freeze” she said. “Trust me, the summer night sea is quite warm” Paul continued. As they entered the bedroom, Elaine murmured
“I think I’m completely crazy to trust you. You’re totally mad Paul”.
Paul took a big beach bag with them. Janet and Jason were astonished.
They drove, and finally reached the beach. It was a very, very long beach.
It took them more than hour to reach its middle.
The cliffs above them were enormous, very tall.
Therefore, they were completely isolated, secluded, not a soul in sight.
They were alone.
He grabbed her by the hand and they rushed into the water. The bright moon led their way. It was indeed warm and very pleasant, Elaine admitted. They swam and enjoyed the unique experience for quite a while. They slowly walked out. Then, it got colder. But, Paul had brought two pairs of thick towels and wrapped Elaine up. He wrapped her around his arms, and cuddled her tightly to keep her warm. They slept in the sleeping bag that Paul had brought along. They found other ways to keep each other warm…
The unbearable heat of the blazing sun woke them late the next morning. They rushed to the refreshing sea to cool down and enjoyed a long, invigorating swim.
Janet and Jason were even more shocked to see them.
These people sleep by the pool, they swim at night, and they spend the night by the beach.
Crazy, they are just crazy.
As they were having a brunch under the pergola Paul asked, his Elaine “Would you like to go up to the mountain or stay at home today?”
“Actually, my book is getting very exciting and I’d like to finish it by tonight”. “Well, the mountain will still be there tomorrow, won’t it? And I, also want a lazy day by the pool today. But, let’s hit the Club tonight!
What are you wearing for the Club?”
“Sure” she said,
“I’m really excited. As for the dress, it is a secret. I want to surprise you!”
The slight breeze, made the lazy afternoon very pleasant.
Elaine finished her book, and was thrilled.
It had the happy conclusion she wanted from the beginning.
They went for the evening ritual and told the DJ to expect them that night. They had their dinner home as usual, but tonight it was a bit of an exception. The tasty salad was followed by thick and juicy filet mignons with French fries. Jason had prepared them on the garden barbeque.
They both went to their room to dress up for the Club. Paul was ready quicker, so he went up to the pool, and had his diet coke.
He was anxiously waiting to see how Elaine would look in her “surprise” dress.
She emerged half an hour later.

She was breathtakingly, stunningly beautiful. The wonderful red dress she was wearing was made just for her. She was the Lady in red.
She walked, elegantly to his couch.
Janet was waiting with Elaine’s drink.
Paul said, “I’m stunned. You are absolutely beautiful.
And, your dress…
You are the Lady in red!
I have to tell you the story. Chris de Burgh is a top Irish singer who has had many hits. He sings romantic ballads. One day, it was his birthday party at his house. And, he was waiting for his most beautiful wife to come down the long staircase of the house. And, when he saw her in the beautiful red dress,
from what he felt inside him, he wrote the lyrics and the music of “Lady in Red”, which became his hit.
But, forget that Chris De Burgh wrote this song.
This song, is now me, it is Paul, and it is my heart and soul.
It is me looking at you, the beautiful Lady in red.

“I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright
I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
They're looking for a little romance, given half a chance
I have never seen that dress you're wearing
Or the highlights in your head that catch your eyes I have been blind
The lady in red is dancing with me cheek to cheek
There's nobody here, it's just you and me, It's where I wanna be
But I hardly know this beauty by my side
I'll never for get, the way you look tonight

I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright you were amazing
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And when you turned to me and smiled, It took my breath away
I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight

The way you look tonight
I never will forget, the way you look tonight
The lady in red
The lady in red
The lady in red
My lady in red

I love you”

They danced and enjoyed the song Lady in red, tenderly, lovingly, affectionately
three times…





They left, and hit the bar as soon as they arrived at the Club. This was a truly special Club. The design and décor, the view, the people. Everything.
They hung around for sometime and then, one of Elaine’s favorite songs was on. She led him to the floor and pretty soon they had blended in, and were dancing like the other night at their pool. Then something strange happened.
The people around them moved away, formed a large circle and started clapping and yelling. They had become instant hits, stars. They continued for half an hour, although the crowd was asking for more. The owner of the Club approached them and offered them a free luxury meal if they were to repeat this every night. They politely declined.
Waking up late the next morning, they just grabbed a quick coffee and headed to the mountains. The clear day view was breathtaking: they saw the islands of Ithaki and Zakinthos and mainland Greece. They could even see the very beach where they had swam and slept the other night. It was nice, the air was fresh, and they started their long trek in the dense forest. The dwindling paths led them through the gorgeous, very dark and tall Kefalonian fir trees. They walked for more than 3 hours. They came back. Janet’s picnic basket included carrot and cucumber sticks; tuna and smoked salmon wrapped in thin crêpes; peaches and watermelon. And, lot’s of fresh orange juice.
They had it all.
They drove down the mountain and they headed for “The fresh fruit farm”, a place close to their home. The friendly couple that owned it sold various things. So, as they were to visit Patras (seaside town in the west of Greece) (Elaine’s hometown) after Kefalonia, they bought for Elaine’s family: marmalades, olive oil, almonds, and nuts and special sweets from the island. All, home grown and made.
They then hit Makris Yalos earlier this evening to get some extra swimming. As they were lying on the beach, Paul turned to Elaine and told her.
“I’ve got some extra explaining on the huge financial matter that we discussed in Kyllini”
“You sure picked a romantic spot with the sun setting to discuss such a mundane business matter,” she said.
“OK, I apologize, I’m insensitive, but I want to resolve this matter; get it off my chest” Paul said in an embarrassed tone.
“Well, we both agree that the word freedom is very important to both of us. I am right, am I not? “He asked. “Absolutely” Elaine responded.
“Well I want our marriage to be completely free. Specifically we both agree that our love is forever. But, life is life, it has many ugly twists and turns. We cannot predict life can we? So, if God forbid, one day you meet some one and fall in love with him you won’t be free at all. You will not be free. You will be dependent on my money. I want to walk down the street with you holding your hand and I want it to be a free hand. I want you to stay with me and love me for my soul, and not for my money. If you have your own money, you will be free, not dependent. Please listen to the reasoning and make me happy” Paul finished. He was very moved.
Elaine had produced the tissues from her bag and was wiping her tears.
She sobbed and said:
“What you have said shows your wisdom, your lack of selfishness but most, importantly that you put my happiness ahead of yours. Moreover, Paul, this is the utmost demonstration of true love on your part. I love you Paul, forever. Just one thing, please Paul.
Do not ever, ever again mention the possibility that I will leave you.
I thank you for the money that I will accept to make you happy but, mostly, I thank you for your love”.
“Elaine, you’ve taken my breath away,” Paul whispered.
By the time the sun had set and they had left their favorite beach bar, Elaine had finished the whole box of tissues.
After a nice dinner, they had their coffees at the pool. This time, Elaine selected a very nice FM station from NYC. They talked and talked. Elaine was very good in physics and she answered Paul’s many questions. Paul tried to understand, but she was so much better than he was. She asked him many questions on the international economic crisis. That was his stronger point and he was better able to help her out.
He read her some romantic poems from Lord Byron:
So we'll go no more a roving

“So we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And Love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon”.

They discussed and discussed each, and every line; was it happy or was it sad? They had endless interpretations. But, one thing was for sure: it was romantic and their souls were “flying high”. So, they danced a few songs while their hearts were fluttering. But, this time they slept at their bedroom and not at … the pool couch.
They woke up earlier the next day. Swimming, sunning, reading and talking. After lunch, more of the same routine. As the afternoon was ending, Paul turned to Elaine and asked her:
“I’ve been wondering about our future life and I want to discuss some things”.
“I’ve had the same thoughts myself,” Elaine said.
Paul went on “Well I would propose the following: why don’t we “analyze” the matter by each posing questions with his turn. You’re the lady in red, you go first”.
She agreed.
“My first question is: “which country do you want to live in?” she asked.
“Greece of course; it’s my country, I prefer the life here and I love it. But, if it were for your sake, I could arrange my three American Board duties and all my Metalco Inc. obligations from anyplace abroad” Paul replied.
“You can ask your question now,” Elaine continued.
“OK, my question is: we will be jointly making an additional of about $400k/year. What fraction is that of our huge annual income? Is it high enough to justify working in a little office for 12 hours a day? Plus, and this is very important: for you following a hugely successful career like Pericles means living 2 years in LA, 2 years in Buenos Aires then 2 years in London etc.
Is all this really worth it? ”
“Well” Elaine answered with her quick math mind:
“The fraction is small. It is marginal. And, I would love living in Greece more then anything else. And, yes I would hate transferring from town to town for the rest of my life. But, I’m asking you directly. Is this a plan to retire so early and spend the rest of our lives in cafes, shopping or just simply laying around doing nothing? Why did we study so hard then, after all?”
Paul was quick: “No, no, no I want to work at least 8-10 hours a day. I do not plan to retire as long as I am standing up. I am asking you: what is the best attribute of our relationship? And I’ll answer for you. It is working together, side by side. Remember the business cooperation we had when we were working on your Harvard Business School application. We worked so effectively, so well synchronized it was like a Swiss clock. And, most importantly we had a hell of a time.
So my proposal is simple: buy a house in Ekali (the, plush most exclusive suburb of Athens), the most beautiful suburb in Greece – no apartment buildings at all – and so green and pretty, top of the tops. Have two separate offices at the house.
Work together, hand in hand, 8-10 hours/day and publish our “love story book”.
Then, and here comes the crazy part, go to Brown University for one year and take eight courses in poetry, philosophy, literature etc. This will first enhance our educations, but most importantly, it will allow us to return to Athens May 2013 and write books on our favorite subjects like poetry, philosophy or what else we might choose. We might become famous, we will certainly leave a positive mark behind in our lives and, the best of all, and we will be together and work together. And what do you think of my crazy idea?”
“I love you” was all Elaine could say.
“I love you because you make my dreams come true”. A kiss, on his cheek.
“And how on earth will they accept us for just one year? Will we have to apply, take SATs etc?” Elaine asked very curiously.
“Leave that to me; I will arrange everything. Don’t worry at all”.
“Yes, Mr. Superman” Elaine continued.
“And one final, very important question” Paul added.
“What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? With our huge joint income, we can buy a mega yacht, expensive cars, a big private jet, a palace as a house. You get the picture. And, even then I’m not sure we can spend it all.
But, I have another proposal: I want to remain basically the same, humble, simple person. Be Low profile, low key. Of course, we will have two beautiful houses in Ekali and Kefalonia. We will travel first class, best hotels and restaurants, buy expensive jewelry and clothes.
All that would be a small fraction of our incomes.
And the biggest part of my own income, at least, I would donate it to charity”
“I love you even more; your philosophy on staying simple and humble is what expresses me best and it touches my sensitive soul. So, your proposal is ideal for me. And, I too really want to donate to charity”. Another kiss on his cheek. They enjoyed their sunset bar by the beach just as greatly as they had the first evening. After dinner, they went for a very long walk amid the olive trees, the cypress trees and the rhododendrons. The bright moon accompanied them and helped them find their way back to their house.
They sat comfortably by the pool and had drinks. Elaine said she would count all the stars… Good luck, said Paul.
Paul wanted to tell her something so she stopped counting…
“You know,” he told her
“I’m so really happy we agreed on everything this evening”.
“I’m so happy too” Elaine answered. “I want to tell you something” he went on.
“I love you; not only for who you are, but for what I am when I am with you.”
She gently lay her head on his shoulder and said
“You make me so very happy; just by seeing you; just by listening to you and just by being so close to you”.

Elaine was upset at Paul the next morning at the breakfast table. He was eating two fried eggs and bacon. “What did we agree?” she asked.
“Elaine, I apologize, it only happens very few times a year,” he said with a quivering voice.
”OK, forget it”, she murmured.
They enjoyed the pool and their reading and, most of all each other’s company.
Then, Paul got up, and, without saying anything, headed to the house. She could see him talking on the phone. Whom could he be talking to, she was wondering. He had already had his daily talk to Andreas – his executive manager at Metalco Inc. who reported with information only to him. And, he always talked to Andreas next to her. Why did he go to the house now?
His phone was over and now he was talking to Jason”.
“What the hell is going on here?” she asked herself.
As he was slowly, walking back to lie next to her she was suspicious, jealous and very upset. She was mad at him. She was dying to ask him, but she decided not to. She would be ridiculed and show weakness. Inside her, she kind of hated Paul. “Why is he doing these kind of things to me? “
She wondered…
An hour and a half passed, and suddenly Jason appeared at the door.
Paul sprang up and disappeared into the house with Jason.
“Enough is enough. I am going to confront him. What on earth is going on with Paul’s secrets? I’m mad as hell at him,” she pondered.
Paul emerged from the house and slowly walked up to her.
He gave her a stunning bouquet of 21 exquisite, radiantly fresh white roses…
The note read:
“To my Lady in red,
my Goddess.
When I see you,
I smile;
when you smile,
my heart beats faster;
when you laugh,
my soul shivers.
And when you kiss me,
my whole world vanishes”.
I love you,
Paul”

She hugged him tight, kissed him and just said
You are my everything, my breath belongs to you.
You are my everything, hold these words to be true.
You are my everything and
I'll always love you...
and what’s more
I know you'll always love
me too”.

Paul replied “Because it’s a sunny day; because your heart radiates sun and fills my heart with sunshine, fills me with the happiness of life. I am overwhelmed.
Just sense how the gentle summer breeze makes you feel fresh.
I just wanted to make your heart feel even fresher with the smile, the hope, and the freshness of these fresh roses”.
They decided to spend the rest of the day at the Makris Yalos beach. So, they hit the beach which was very crowded; the beautiful, crystal clear water rewarded them instead. And, so did their sunset drink that particular evening. It was so special; their souls were very romantic as the last sliver of the sun disappeared.
That night Elaine was going to cook for Paul. It was whole-wheat spaghetti with a delicious sauce. Fresh-diced tomatoes and eggplants, slightly grilled.
A fresh walnuts and parsley, were later added along with a very tasty dressing. Paul adored it. While they were enjoying their pasta at dinner, Elaine turned to Paul and asked him:
“When are we going to discuss the future and how are we going to spend our summer?”
“A little patience, we’ll clear everything up a bit later, when we have our coffees by the pool” he told her. “Excellent” Elaine replied.
A little later, they were at the pool. The moon was rising in all its royalty and, was reflected in the still pool water. Elaine wanted to count her stars again; she was so romantic. But, Paul wanted to answer her question at the dinner table. He kissed her on the cheek
“I hate to interrupt such a lovely moment but we have to discuss what you asked me at dinner”. “No problem, shoot” she replied.
“Well there are many things we have to do in Athens and other places, and I’ll explain. My proposal is that we have as our base a beach house at the Astir Palace Hotel in Vouliagmeni (the posh, most exclusive seaside resort off Athens),
It is a luxury five star resort, many beaches and three top hotels. Anyway, it is the best resort in Greece. We can spend weekends in Patras or even a whole week so that we can see your parents.
So, what are the things we have to do?
First, we have to find and buy our ideal house in Ekali (a posh, most exclusive suburb north of Athens). A great advantage of Ekali is the “Ekali Club”, the only country club in Greece: top food, pool, tennis, squash, perfect exercise facilities; everything.
Then, I have two Engineer friends who can finish the repairs, if some are necessary. After that, we will have to order cars.
Moving on to an important matter, obviously you and I will freely and independently decide on how to separately invest our money. I have four alternative proposals and we have to visit all four people in order to make two, independent mature decisions. So, we first have to visit my lawyer Kyriakos in Athens who will present investments from Greece and, also, discuss many other legal matters. Then, also in Athens, we can visit a Cypriot lawyer who will explain offshore investments possibilities. After that, we fly to Switzerland where you sign for your account and, also, we will hear their investment proposals. From Geneva, we fly to Boston, visit Investment associates, and are briefed on their proposals. Two days in Providence, where we will visit my good friend Ron who is in charge of donations. I want to make an annual donation to Brown University. Ron, will also send us to the right people who will help us select the perfect courses at Brown University next year. Back to Boston we head where I also want to make a donation to Harvard Business School.
And, finally 4-5 days in NYC for heavy shopping. Then, two surprises for you! What do you think of the plan?” Paul ended.
“I totally disagree” was Elaine’s answer.
“And why?” asked Paul.
“Because you are constantly torturing me with your surprises!
I demand that you tell me now!”
“OK, a week in Cuba and then a week in St. Bart’s”.
She said
“Thank you; I love you so much”. They kissed and kissed as their hearts were fluttering. Love was in the air; romance was in the air. Their souls were intense of feelings of love for each other…
They arrived in Argostoli (the main town and port of Kefalonia) at nine o’clock the next morning. Kostas helped get them on the speedboat. The ride to the first of the 12 beaches took one hour and a half. Elaine, was awed by the white sand, the white cliffs and the azure color of the sea.
She hugged him and told him:
“This is why I trust you. You told me these beaches were some of the nicest in the world and you were so right”
“Wait till you see all twelve of them; there are even nicer ones”.
They stopped at each one for about half an hour, so they could be back for the sunset.
The lunch Janet had prepared included three kinds of sandwiches and watermelon.
Elaine whispered to Paul’s ear.
“I wish we were alone, without Kostas. It would have been fabulous”.
“It would have been romantic, tender, dreamy and passionate”.
He replied
“But, I will disappoint you. I do not have a speedboat license, and I am not at all a man of the sea. What can we do? Life is so full of compromises. You certainly can shape your life, but sometimes you have to learn to adjust”.
The visit to the great cave was the highlight of their trip. There was a white beach inside and they spent a long time swimming.
They zoomed around the island of Ithaki, (Ithaki is an island off Greece’s west coast.) on their way back. The name Ithaki meant so much to them…
They skipped the famous Myrtos beach (the famous beach pictured on the front cover of this, very book). Too crowded, too touristy, they thought.
A beautiful journey to the beauties of nature, a stimulating experience was over. They felt a bit sad, as they sped back to Argostoli. However, that is life.
They arrived at the beach bar for their last visit. They were going to Patras the following day. They were both very moved and sentimental because they had treasured their “moment of love” for so many gorgeous sunsets, had said so many wonderful words, and exchanged such wonderful feelings about each other. It meant a lot to them and they both knew they would miss these moments, and that they would think back of the beach bar sunsets during some cold winter nights.
Elaine, had tears in her eyes as she asked him:
“Please, Paul, bring me back here every summer. Please, promise me”.
“Well” Paul thought. “I can certainly promise you that our house will be ready by next summer. This is something under our control and we can do it. But, if we come here one summer and the beach bar is closed? Out of business? Turned into a horrible bouzouki place?
I know we can shape our lives. So, all I can promise to you, Elaine, is to work hard and find you a nicer place. And then, we’ll come every sunset; listen to beautiful music; talk about our precious love. Just relax, absorb and be romantic”.
Before leaving for Patras the next day, they had a very pleasant surprise. Janet had packed all their bags for them. How convenient.
After lunch, they said good-bye to Janet and Jason. Paul gave both of them a nice tip. They both deserved it so much.
Elaine and Paul were so sorry to leave. They had enjoyed everything so much and their stay would always be in their mind in the most pleasant way, the fondest of their memories…
 

Fran Canning

Senior Member
I've not felt this emotional after reading a post on this forum before, I got as far as “She really does care for me, immensely so,” Paul thought to himself… and had to stop. I don't find Paul believable as a male character. Where is the resistance to change? Where is the thinking you always know better? Where is the saying one thing but meaning another? I'm not saying all men are the same but I struggled to find any characteristics in Paul that I could connect with. That being said, the place you described sounded lovely. I have the feeling that you have a clear target market in mind for your story and I'm not it. I hope you don't mind me sharing my opinions, good luck with the book :)
 
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