So we talked about mom’s and dad’s
About family pasts
Just getting to know where we came from
Our hearts were on display
For all to see
I can’t believe this is happening to me and,
I raised my hand as if to show you that I was yours
That I was so yours for the taking
I’m so yours for the taking and
Thats when I felt the wind pick up
I grabbed the rail while choking up
These words to say and then you kissed me… (yeah)
I knew from the start
My arms are open wide
Your head is on my stomach
And we’re, we’re trying so hard not to fall asleep
But here we are
On this 18th floor balcony…
We’re both flying away
18th Floor Balcony – Blue October
“Matye, Matye. Kote ou ye ti bebe?” Her voice is calling out to us but Matty and I are well hidden underneath the table cloth his small body snuggled on my lap. Long, shapely, shorts-clad legs stop beside us and I have to clasp a hand over Matty’s face so that his giggle doesn’t escape. Too late. Her beautiful face peers at us with a smile as she gets down on hands and knees to our level. “Oh, Matye, o mwen ka wè ou.”
More giggles come from Matty as she crawls under the table with us and we wrap our arms around him. Our laughter echoes around the empty dining room and soon the sound of feet and eager voices come floating through the door.
“Ils sont là, ils sont là, je peux les entendre!” They have found us and soon there are five more little bodies crammed underneath the table, multiple limbs and faces all clamoring for a perch close to Kate.
“Mlle Kate, M. Elliot vous êtes ici. Pouvons-nous avoir notre histoire maintenant? Vous avez promis!” The cries of the children are endearing. Its a struggle to unfold myself from under the table so I push the children and Kate out first. I don’t completely understand their jabbering but I am fairly sure that they are asking Kate to tell them a story. Matthieu has wrapped his arms around Kate’s legs as he does almost every moment of the day. She hugs him close, picking him up when she needs to move quickly. Their affection for each other is genuine and his presence doesn’t seem to phase her in any way. Not exactly how I had envisaged her being around kids but just another reason to love her.
Work is progressing well with the new dormitories and common rooms for the orphanage. All the bathrooms and kitchen have been fitted out and James seems to think that if the crew can stay through the next three weeks that the children will be able to move in within the month. The children are all very excited and Liana and Kate have been working with them today on making tiles that will grace the floors of the new main entrance.
Watching her today has been an education. She works hard, she smiles a lot. There is this completely natural way that she has endeared herself to everyone from the children to the gardeners, all within a few hours. I have spent most of the morning helping to tile the roof until it got too hot to stay in the sun. Playing games with the kids has been a welcome respite from the heat.
“Vini non sou tout moun, nou bezwen prepare manje midi pou tout moun. Apre manje midi Mwen pral li nou tout yon istwa anvan ou dòmi.” Although the children have been diligently speaking to us in French and English as requested by Liana, Kate responds to the children in Creole, she says for her own practice. I can speak a little but I struggle. Kate is almost fluent, another skill that amazes me. The question must be on my face.
“They wanted a story but we have to get lunch ready for everyone first. Then I will read them a story before their afternoon nap.” She passes Matty over to me so that she can go with the children into the makeshift kitchen. While he would rather be with her, he snuggles into my shoulder willingly as if he knows that Kate trusts me so he can too. This makes me very happy and I feel closer to her through this little boy than through any of the hot and heavy sex we have had in the past couple of weeks.
Last night we stayed at her hotel. I had no desire to be apart from her no matter what our new agreement entailed, so we shared the room, her on the bed and me on the floor. Although we were both exhausted we talked for hours, simply holding hands.
“Where did you go when you left me?” I know that she was concerned and I never meant her to be that worried.
“I moved my things into one of the spare rooms. Your mother had already suggested it a few days ago, I merely took her up on it. I just thought we needed space.”
“So you never left?” Her look says she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “I thought you had left Barbados with James and the others. All I wanted to do was to get to you. To talk.”
“I’m sorry. It took me a couple of hours or so to sort out your phone. You were on the balcony when I brought it to you. I knocked but you didn’t respond and when I saw you sitting out there I thought it was deliberate. That you didn’t want to talk to me just then. I thought if I stayed in my room for a while you would calm down. I couldn’t believe it when Julie brought your note up to my room yesterday. Nothing would have kept me away from you, babe, I hope you know that.”
With a sad smile she reaches out to touch my face. “I know it now.”
Our midday meal is a raucous affair with the mixture of workmen, builders, orphanage staff and the children. There must be forty or fifty people gathered around the long trestles and throughout the lunch Kate doesn’t sit. She serves food, she refills water jugs, she talks and laughs with everyone, checking that they have what they need before finally coming over to sit next to me. I immediately fill a plate with food for her and take care of her needs. Her appreciative smile is all the thanks I need.
“Madmwazèl Kate ou menm ki pral ou marye Mr Elliot?” Miss Kate are you going to marry Mr Elliot?
Kate’s hand pauses in mid-air as she looks nervously from the young girl, Rihanna, who has asked the question, to me. I am not sure what she has asked but James is sniggering into his cup trying not to look at me. I can guess and I am intrigued what her answer might be.
“Wi, si pitit li mande m ‘mwen pral marye l’ Men, li pa mande m ‘ankò.” Yes, but he hasn’t asked me yet.
Kate shakes her head with a little laugh but my limited ear caught the yes.
“Èske mwen ka gen yon asistan nan maryaj ou a?” Can I be an attendant at your wedding?
Liana walks over and places a hand on Rihanna’s shoulder to silence her.
“Sa a se ase riana, pa gen okenn kesyon plis.” That is enough Rihanna, no more questions. Without any real hint of disappointment Rihanna stands to take our plates to the kitchen.
“Kate, the children love you already. They are going to be very sad when you leave. Particularly little Matthieu. I am worried that we are all growing too attached to you.”
“It worries me too. I have enjoyed being here today so much more than I ever imagined. The children are very loveable. I wish I could stay here forever, or pack them all into my suitcase and take them back to Seattle.”
“We will come back. There is no question about that.” I take Kate’s hand as I say this. In my mind, there is no doubt that she will be mine and we will find ways to come back here. My mind is already planning a beach wedding.
Our afternoon is hectic with me supervising the installation of cabinets in the main dining room and Kate working with the older children on their school work. Liana and James float through various spaces keeping everything and everyone on track. It is clearly evident that my friend is still very much in love with Liana and I wonder if perhaps this time around he may choose not come back to the States. I don’t want to lose my business partner but I understand now. The last time we were here we fought about him staying.
“You’re thinking with the little head not the big one. You’ve known this woman for what? A few weeks? And now you are going to give up everything to stay here. For what? What the hell are you going to do here?”
“I don’t know. I just know that I need to be where she is.”
“Well then use your brain and talk her into coming back to Seattle. You can’t throw away everything that we have built up for a nice pair of legs and a great fuck.”
At that point he had hit me. I don’t blame him but it didn’t stop me. I kept at him until he decided to come home. He tried to convince her to move but Liana is dedicated to the children. She went home to France for a few months but only to organise her life so she could be back in Haiti. James couldn’t wait to get the crew back down here to be with her. I didn’t understand it a few weeks ago. Now I know that I would move heaven and earth to be where Kate is, even if she doesn’t want to sleep with me again.
After the evening meal, Kate and I excuse ourselves and head back to the hotel. Exhaustion threatens to take over our bodies but I have a surprise waiting for her when we get to the room. A scented bath has been prepared, candles lit around the room and wine chilled and waiting for us on the balcony.
“Elliot, I…would you like to take a bath with me?” Her voice is sad, shy and I think disappointed.
“No, I don’t have that kind of strength, babe. Take your time, relax and I will be waiting here when you come out.” I kiss her on the top of her head, luxuriating in the silk of her hair once more. Her smile is grateful and she pulls away to move into the bathroom.
An hour later she is bathed and I am showered. We are lying back on a lounger out on the balcony cuddling. The next few hours are spent talking about our childhoods. I tell her what I can remember about my mom and brother. She talks about her Catholic School education. Eventually we are taken over by the tired ache in our bodies. She has fallen asleep half lying against my chest, her hand resting on my naked skin. My body is longing for her, my cock has been in a state of semi-arousal for the past 48 hours. I concentrate on willing it away as I stand to lift her into my arms.
Laying her on the bed, I can’t resist her temptation and I snuggle in behind her, spooning into her body as I wrap an arm around her waist. On one level it feels perfect but it is going to be a long night.