A journalist in Spain, avoiding his unhappy marriage, meets up with a mysterious sex-hungry lady on the run from her eventual nemesis.
It’s late evening as he watches her from the newspaper stand cross the road in sunglasses and pink chiffon scarf and slip into the interior of the café bar. He takes a seat at an outdoor table, orders a beer and starts reading from El País about the drug barons on the Costa when her shadow casts over him; she enquires if the chair opposite his is taken.
-No, he says, standing.
Wheaten hair peeping through the scarf, primrose top, the filling out of the light blue jeans as she descends into the chair he holds out for her.
-You’re sure you don’t mind? It appears there’s no table free.
-Not at all, he says, noticing an empty table in the far corner.
-I was right, she says.
-You do speak English. I knew by the look of you.
-Giveaway? she says pondering. You don’t mind my saying…?
-Of course not.
-It’s so stuffy in there, she says pointing to the interior, -but then… She takes a packet of Benson and Hedges from a cream shoulder bag, places a cigarette in a black Bakelite holder, flicks a gold lighter and sizes him up across the flame.
-Then? he says.
She drums the cigarette packet with the long nails of her left hand, looking around shiftily. -I saw the newspaper in Spanish and… I wasn’t sure.
She orders a cuba libre from a tall gangly waiter with shirt sleeves too short for his long arms.
-You don’t live here? she says, – I mean in Fuengirola.
-But you are staying?
-For the time being.
Her drink arrives.
-¿Otra cerveza, Francisco?
-He knows you? she says suspiciously.
-From coming in and out.
-So you’re Frank.
-My name is Pam, she says.
-That’s all, he says shaking her hand, -just a first name?
She smiles, the side of her lip curling, -You’ve a gentle handshake, she says, ignoring his quip. -You married?
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