Monday, 14 May 2007

Chapter 90

Danny wasn’t even sure he wanted to know about Ana and Harry. If Harry hadn’t told him, then that was his business. Yes, it would have been nice to know that his first few hours in a foreign city would be spent being dragged around the sights and (one or two, at least) of the bars that were on offer. But even if part of him didn’t want to know about Harry’s history, he sensed he wouldn’t have much choice. Alan clearly wanted to tell him. Danny hoped Harry would turn up soon – maybe that way he’d be spared the grisly details of his partner’s relationship with this ‘Ana’?

They were sitting in a corner of the bar. He took his first sip of the sherbet-sweetness of the anis. Harry had waxed lyrical about it on the plane over, and Danny had to admit it was a pleasant drink. He saw Alan take a long swig of his own. Yolanda’s attention, he noticed, seemed to have wandered to looking around the bar.

“So… you need to know that Yolanda and Ana are sisters,” Alan said, waiting for Danny’s reaction. What reaction was expected, Danny wondered? He decided on “Really?” with a sort of half-shocked expression. It was the right choice, he realized, since Alan responded with a grin.

“Yep! How bizarre is that? Two English brothers and two Spanish sisters. And I have Harry to thank that I met Yolanda!” Here, he raised his glass in a toast to his absent brother. Yolanda gave them both a weak smile, then turned back to her people-watching, seeming not at all interested in the discussion, with only half an ear to it.

“But Ana was different, Danny. Ana was special. Harry loved Ana very much. Much more than I love Yolanda.” Danny couldn’t understand the bitter undertone of Alan’s words, still yet process the idea of someone like Harry being in love. So? What was the big deal?

“He screwed it up, Danny. If you ever met her, you’d realize what a mistake he made. You just have to take one look at her…” (Alan glanced at Yolanda, and saw she had tuned out of the discussion – bored, no doubt, Danny thought) “… you’d see what he lost.”

Man meets woman, man falls in love. It doesn’t work out. It was hardly front page news, Danny was thinking. It wasn’t even so unusual that a couple of brothers might end up with a couple of sisters. He’d seen a dozen examples in researching people’s family history. It happened. Just while he was wondering what the big deal was, Alan jumped back:
“We’re not very close, Harry and me. Too similar. Too much rivalry from an early age. Have you got brothers or sisters, Danny?” he asked, genuinely enough. Danny shook his head.
“Well, in my opinion you got the best deal. Don’t get me wrong. I love Harry. He’s like a brother to me…”

The joke, lame as it was, rang an alarm bell in Danny’s mind. ‘This isn’t sibling rivalry,’ he thought, ‘this is a war!’ He wondered what might have happened, in the past, to lead the two brothers to this point. Yet, relations couldn’t be so strained as all that, or surely Alan wouldn’t be spending the evening hosting a friend of his brother’s who he’d never met before?

*

“Harry,” Ana said, finally. “I want to sleep with you tonight.”

The statement might have come as more of a shock to Harry if he hadn’t noticed Ana’s mood softening when he came back to their table. For once, Harry let himself loose, resisted the temptation to analyze what she’d said. Well, that’s to say he only analyzed it a little: this is Harry McFry we’re talking about, after all. He knew he wanted to be with Ana tonight more than anything he could remember wanting before. Just the way she smiled, the way – dammit – she said his name, was enough to make him feel a hunger for her that he thought he’d locked away. Yet, what was she thinking about, saying a thing like that? He wondered how bad her marriage could be that she could come out with an invitation quite so baldly as that. He needed a cigarette, and took one out the pack on the table.

“What about him, Ana?” he asked, as he lit it. Booking into a cheap hotel somewhere off the Gran Via was one thing, but going back to her flat was quite another. Where was this woman coming from?
Ana smiled: “There’s no need to worry, Harry. I’ve organised things for tonight. We’ll have the place to ourselves. Just say ‘yes’. Don’t you understand? That’s all you have to say!”

Harry said ‘yes’, of course. Even if he was wondering what kind of calculation and organization it had taken Ana to free herself for the night.

They arranged it that Harry would go to her flat around midnight. They could both be excused if their goodbye kiss was a little more passionate than the customers of the tiny bar were accustomed to seeing. It made Harry late for his rendezvous with Alan and Danny. And it made Ana realize what a mistake the last five years had been: for her, for Harry and for everyone else involved.

6 comments:

Lord Likely said...

This is all taking a decidedly raunchy turn.

I wholeheartedly approve.

I am also enjoying the revamped look. Most pleasing on the eyeballs.

Thomas Hamburger Jnr said...

I am glad it meets your approval, Lord L. I have the fine people at Tips for New Bloggers to thank for the revamp.

meleah rebeccah said...

Dont you worry about having your book on the internet? People stealing it? Or not buying it when or if it ever gets published? I have one chapter of my book posted, but I was advised not to post the rest for the reasons stated above. What do you do to protect your work?

Thomas Hamburger Jnr said...

Hi Meleah

I'm afraid that, without the internet (or blogging in particular) I would have got nowhere near 89 chapters of Harry McFry. The comments I've had along the way have helped me a lot. As for anyone publishing Harry McFry without my express permission, then I would have to recourse to protecting my interests (much the same if anyone stole any ideas from a printed book).
Kind Regards
THJnr

the domestic minx said...

Oh hurry up and get a room...

Thomas Hamburger Jnr said...

If only Harry had gone to www.lastminute.com!

Kind Regards

THJnr