When Olivia Met K: Chapter 10 - Tamara 2, a series by Michael McCarthy at Spillwords.com

When Olivia met K

Chapter X

Tamara 2

written by: Michael McCarthy

@FlateyeFiction

 

Tamara’s most striking characteristic was her bluntness, I’d experienced it several times but I’d just smiled or laughed. I’d seen most things in life and didn’t judge. Whereas Tamara did and prematurely.

I liked her a lot and it was clear it was reciprocated.

‘‘What’s wrong?’’ I’d said on one of my most recent appointments while waiting for the massage to begin.

‘‘Nothing.’’

‘‘You’re not in the mood are you?’’

‘‘No.’’

‘‘No problem.’’

So we lay there chatting and stroking each other, while the coming night life gradually took form. Then I’d insisted on paying her the full amount. She’d been a bit embarrassed.

She was very insecure and worried constantly about people she cared about. She made an effort not to get close to people.

‘‘You can’t live like that.’’ I said.

‘‘I’ve managed up to now.’’ She answered.

On my next appointment, after the massage, we were lying on the mattress sipping our drinks and listening to the din from outside, when she seemed to sense the moment was right.

‘‘Have you got a partner?’’ She asked.

‘‘Yes.’’

‘‘Then why do you come to me?’’

‘‘I like you. You’re your own person. You’re uncomplicated. You know who you are. And, of course, I love your massages!’’

‘‘Thanks! I used to define myself by my bad side. Now I’m slowly coming to recognize my good side.’’

‘‘What was your bad side?’’

‘‘If you don’t see it, that’s proof I’m succeeding!’’

‘‘That’s exactly what I mean. Furthermore, you’re honest. I respect that. You say what you think.’’

‘‘I don’t take crap, you mean?’’

‘‘Exactly!’’

‘‘Tell me about your partner.’’

‘‘What do you want to know?’’

‘‘Everything.’’

‘‘We’ve known each other since school.’’

‘‘And you’re still in love?’’

‘‘We wouldn’t call it that.’’

‘‘What would you call it?’’

‘‘Being us.’’

‘‘Is she really your type?’’

‘‘I don’t have a type.’’

When I went to Tamara I just flopped down on the mattress like I’d just come home from work. We felt completely at ease with each other.

‘‘I really need a massage today and I mean a massage. My back is killing me.’’ I said once.

That really made her laugh.

I could tell she was very curious about me. But I surmised that was an inevitability in her line of work.

‘‘Can you put some music on?’’ I asked.

‘‘What would you like?’’

‘‘Something old and soulful.’’

‘‘That fits.’’

She found what I was after, some old classics’ station.

‘‘Are you staying the night?’’

‘‘I’d like to.’’

We let the evening slowly pass. The voices and night noises from outside just faded away as we lay together in a loose embrace and a half slumber.

I think that was the evening when the phrase familiarity breeds contempt flashed thru my mind, only that was not what I was experiencing. It was more that she had divorced herself from the matter in hand, pun meant, as though it was a tedious chore she was performing and she needed a diversion. It happened when I rolled over onto my back. She just started babbling about politics with one of her hands resting on my hip as she gazed out of the window.

The next time I came she’d prepared a salad and brought two bottles of wine. After a couple of glasses each, when we were both feeling mellow, she asked me.

‘‘You do live near town, don’t you?’’ She knew I did. I was always on foot. She just wanted to know where.

‘‘The solitary house next door to the graveyard, actually.’’

‘‘The brown house! I’ve seen it. It’s a great location and it’s got something special. By the way, does your partner know you come to me?’’

‘‘No. I’m not hiding my visits to you from her. I just haven’t told her.’’

‘‘Supposing she did the same?’’

‘‘It wouldn’t surprise me. But she’d tell me. She’d have to. She tells me everything.’’

‘‘Are you sure?’’

‘‘Totally. I know her inside out.’’

‘‘But she doesn’t know you as well?’’

‘‘She does. We don’t have secrets. As I say, I just don’t tell her everything.’’

‘‘Why not?’’

‘‘In this case, she’d want to come with me and she can be, in her own words, overwhelming.’’

‘‘And you’d let her come?’’

‘‘I couldn’t stop her. ’’

We were quiet for a while.

‘‘Would she really come here alone?’’

‘‘No question. Assuming you also massage women?’’

‘‘Sure. Just not often. But every now and again a woman makes an appointment. Is she bi-sexual, your partner?’’

‘‘No. Just curious.’’

‘‘Don’t underestimate the power of curiosity.’’

‘‘Or of Olivia.’’

‘‘Nice name.’’

‘‘What about you, don’t you have a partner?’’

‘‘It’s a bit strange, being in this business. It puts some guys off and the guys who are put off are the sort of guys I’m interested in.’’

‘‘Do you get any weird men coming?’’

‘‘Strangely enough no. Most people who come to me are OK, some are rude and some are not the most hygienic creatures on the planet, but what the hell.’’

The following morning I left her dozing and went out, returning about ten minutes later, with coffees and pretzels, which was unusual.

‘‘When I said I had a partner that was a slight exaggeration.’’

‘‘Oh?’’

‘‘We don’t live together, I just visit her from time to time.’’

‘‘You mean she lives far away?’’

‘‘No. The Sugar Factory.’’

‘‘My goodness! She must be rich.’’

‘‘She is.’’

‘‘I bet you go to all those flash restaurants and bars where she lives.’’

‘‘We don’t go anywhere.’’

‘‘What do you mean?’’

‘‘We just hang around her flat.’’

‘‘And that’s it?’’

‘‘That’s it.’’

‘‘So she cooks something special?’’

‘‘No. We order a takeaway or somebody prepares something special.’’

‘‘Somebody? So she’s got staff?’’

‘‘No, not exactly. There’s a crew of ‘little women and men’ who do various things for her.’’

‘‘She sounds like royalty.’’

‘‘She behaves like royalty.’’

‘‘You must be really close.’’

‘‘Like I said, we’ve been together for most of our lives.’’

‘‘Do you know what she does when you don’t see her?’’

‘‘Quite a lot actually. She tells me everything. And I mean everything. Literally everything.’’

‘‘You’re talking about other men?’’

‘‘Yes. And what they do.’’

‘‘You don’t mind?’’

‘‘Not a bit. It means I can do whatever I like. It suits us both.’’

‘‘But you don’t tell her everything you do?’’

‘‘No. I don’t think she’d be interested.’’

‘‘I don’t get that.’’

‘‘Neither do I. Her motto could be, live and let live, play and let play.’’

‘‘If you wouldn’t call it love. What’s the foundation of your relationship?’’

‘‘Us.’’

‘‘Is she very attractive?’’

‘‘Typical woman’s question. Yes.’’

‘‘I have a feeling she’s dark haired.’’

‘‘You should play poker.’’

I knew Olivia would welcome the fact that I had another woman in my life, regardless of age, or anything else for that matter; a budding relationship made my life and hers, more interesting, even piquant. It was something she’d always probed me about.

Olivia didn’t fear competition, not because she didn’t have any but because she knew she was unassailable.

A few days later I arrived at the massage parlor with a smirk on my face.

‘‘You look like the cat that got the cream.’’

‘‘That’s what I’m here for.’’

Lying on the mattress afterwards the air coming in the open window had an awful whiff of fried meat to it.

I heard her sniffing.

‘‘I’ll close the window.’’

I didn’t close it immediately but stuck my head outside and sniggered.

‘‘What’s so funny?’’

‘‘Big sister is watching you.’’

‘‘What do you mean?’’

‘‘Come and have a look.’’

She knotted her kimono and joined me at the window and saw Olivia for the first time.

About five meters away suspended from two previously redundant flag poles, hung a huge poster on which was displayed a life size image of Olivia.

It took her a few moments to take it in. She read the advertising blurb.

I stood beside her laughing harder.

‘‘This calls for a drink.’’

‘‘You know where it is.’’

Olivia was promoting the various, worldwide projects of an international property development company; exclusive, luxury villas, flats and bungalows in highly desirable locations, including The Sugar Factory.

She was standing on an otherwise empty beach under a clear blue sky and behind her was what was supposed to be a dream house hidden in shiny, purple wrapping paper topped off with a gold bow.

Allowing for the fact that her image had obviously been retouched she still displayed a certain seductive charm; a pair of sun glasses nestled in her tousled hair and she had a ‘come hither’ look on her face accentuated by a beckoning fore finger.

She was dressed in a plain white t-shirt and faded denim shorts.

Beside her was a series of speech bubbles containing the following,

‘‘I wanted a place to call my own; to be myself in; to be in an area that catered to my requirements. I found it, thanks to Sugar Factory Developments. I wanted somewhere of the same high standard to spend my free time and holidays in; I found it, thanks to Sugar Factory Developments. If like me you’re used to the best and expect nothing less, you know where to go.’’

That was followed by a phone number and the details of a website.

‘‘Do you think that means something?’’

She asked as I poured out the drinks.

‘‘The only thing it means is that unless she’s already seen it, she’ll soon be here to have a look and take a photo.’’

‘‘It seems inevitable that she’d somehow appear in my life.’’ Tamara said.

‘‘You’re absolutely right. I’d say it’s typical. She’s full of surprises.’’

‘‘I’m surprised she didn’t tell you.’’ She said.

‘‘So am I. It’s almost as though she knew I’d see it before she told me about it.’’

‘‘I’d say that was typical.’’

‘‘And you’d be right.’’

‘‘Where’s this holiday home of hers?’’

‘‘First I’ve heard about it.’’

‘‘Does that bother you?’’

‘‘No. The opposite.’’

She stood at the window the following morning watching me go, I stood under the poster and made silly gestures and then waved and headed for Clint’s.

At that moment I felt my insecurity, I felt Olivia controlled me and that I needed somebody like Tamara more than I’d ever realized.

Series Navigation<< O on Ernst
Latest posts by Michael McCarthy (see all)
This publication is part 10 of 10 in the series When Olivia met K