It was late afternoon in mid- July and the sun was shining brightly down. I pressed my head against the frame od the car door of the passenger seat. I was terribly sad. Not sad pathetic sad but sad, sad, when you mourn for the loss of a loved one.
It had been six months since the loss of my mother who died at sixty with a heart tumour.
My husband, Marc Lane, a local GP, had been my rock through all of it.
I lifted my head and looked at him. I felt so lucky to have been given such a handsome, trustworthy, and kind man for a husband. I felt even luckier as we were expecting our first child together in October. I placed my hands on my blooming pregnant belly and rubbed it.
"Are you OK, Megumi, babe," asked Marc, after half an hour of silence of not speaking to one another.
I smiled placing a hand on his thigh then nodded.
My family came from Tokyo, Japan, and I had learnt English at university where I had met Marc three years ago. We'd both been students studying English and Medicine. It was love at first sight for me and also an experience of terror because Marc had been the first English man I practised my English on. I taught him a bit of Japanese as we spent each day together hanging out until we shared our first kiss under a rose bush. Dead romantic.
Marc had been a total gentleman and brought me roses each time we went out on a date. And then we fell in love, got engaged, and then finally got married. My parents were traditional Japanese people who believed each human being is equal but should marry their own race not an Englishman or any other nationality. I argued with them for months until my father gave in and told me to bring Marc round for dinner; And as soon as they met Marc they changed their point of view. They loved him.
So, to make a long story short, Marc and I got married in Tokyo, Japan, I wore a traditional Japanese white wedding dress with my long black hair piled on top of my head. My maiden name had been Chinami. Megumi Chinami. Megumi Lane sounds a lot better, doesn't it? It wasn't long after we were married I fell pregnant with our baby.
"I'm fine, I just love you," I said. "I've never thanked you for being there for me when my mother died and my dad was put into care when he got sick."
Marc quickly glanced at me and winked sending my heart wild. He turned back to the wheel of the car where we were driving down a country road towards our holiday cottage in Cornwall, which was oer a hundred years old. But as he turned, the sun's rays shone in his eyes as a young woman suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
The young woman was a tall, blue-eyed beauty with long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail wearing a green anorak and faded blue jeans with a green backpack over her left shoulder.
Marc pressed down on the pedals to stop the car and was an inch away from hitting her. He breathed heavily and then stepped out slamming the door angrily.
I slowly got out of the car also then walked over.
"What were you doing out here? I could have killed you!" Marc tried to stay calm but anger was running through his veins and to the temples of his face.
The young woman just stared back at him with her big blue eyes. She was young and beautiful in her early twenties. "Sorry, I used to live here years ago and there never used to be any cars down here," she said.
"You still should've looked where you were going," he argued.
"And you should've concentrated on the road instead of looking at your beautiful wife," she argued back. The young woman glanced over at me.
I felt all of a sudden threatened by her. The way this beautiful blonde was looking at my man, my husband, my Marc. I looped my left arm through Marc's and stepped up beside him. In a stand that was meant to send a message - hands off my man.
"Which way are you headed? Can we give you a lift somewhere?" Marc pffered, most kindly to my most utter dismay. His anger had gone.
The woman shook her head and beautiful long strands of golden blonde hair fell from her loose ponytail over her shoulders. "No thank you, I can walk," she replied.
"OK, bye," I said rudely. I pulled on Marc's arm. "Babe, come on, its about to pour with rain. I looked up at the sky that was now black as night.
The heavens opened and torrential rain poured down.
"Come on, you can't walk in this," Marc ignored me while looking at her.
"OK, thank you," she said.
I reluctantly followed Marc back into the car with this beautiful stranger. I wiped the rain from my face with my hands. I was glad I had worn a summer dress instead of trousers that I was originally going to wear.
Marc started the engine and we were again on our way towards our summer cottage.
"Where are you folks from?" the woman asked, making conversation after ten minutes of driving through the rain with the windscreen wipers moving rapidly backwards and forwards across the windscreen to see out.
"Well, Megumi is from Tokyo, Japan, and I am from Kent, South East part of England," Marc explained. "My name is Marc, Marc Lane, and this is my wife, Megumi. What's your name?"
"My name is Cynthia Olivia Downing," the blonde beauty said. "Nice to meet you both. Yor wife is beautiful."
He looked at her in the rearview mirror and smiled and then turned to me and smiled. I smiled back. "Yes, she is beautiful, isn't she? So beautiful in fact."
"You look in love," Cynthia said.
MY jealousy was gone and I decided to be nice to her. I turned in my seat and smiled at her for the first time. "Thank you. Are you married?" I said.
Cynthia's friendly expression on her face turned sad. "I was," she said.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you," I replied. I felt terrible.
"Megumi," Marc said disappointingly, shaking his head. "Here we are, baby, we've arrived," his tone was cheerful again.
I faced the front and the cottage was beautiful. It took my breath away.
The cottage was stone made with an upstairs and downstairs. There was a driveway with colourful flowers blooming around it. Facing it was the sea and a lighthouse in the distance above some high rocks.
The rain pounded like drums against the windscreen as the wipers were moving back and forth across it. The car jerked left to right as we drove over the pebbled driveway up to the cottage and then stopped.
"What do you think?" Marc asked, his green eyes sparkling.
"I looked at him and threw my slender arms around him happuly.
"I knew you'd love it, what do you think Cynth...where did she go?" he asked.
I glanced round and saw no one in the backseat.
We got out quickly and glanced around.
"Cynthia!" Marc shouted.
"Cynthia!" I shouted too.
There was no answer as the rain soaked us right through.
"Come on, we got to get you inside , Megumi, the baby," he said.
We went to the white front door and Marc opened the door and we rushed in shutting the door.
"Where did she go, Marc?" I asked.
He shook his head in confusion.
"I don't know. Did you hear her get out of the car?"
I shook my head.
"Damn, I left the towels in the car I'll go quickly to get them.
"But we're wet through," he argued.
I grinned starting to unbutton my dress.
Marc's eyes widened in surprise and delight. "Now?" he asked.
"It'll get us warmed up," I said in a sultry, seductive tone.
Just as we were about to get passionate, there was a door slamming from upstairs.
Marc and I looked at each other and he took me by the hand and we slowly went up the stairs that had a creamy white carpet on them. The stairs creaked everytime we took a step up.
I held onto Marc's hand tightly.
We got to the top of the spiral staircase and then turned right into into a large empty bedroom with an empty wooden wardrobe in the corner, a white dresser by the window, a four postered double bed, and a baby cot against th far wall that was yellow. From the window you could see the view of the sea, lighthouse, and see the waves of the ocean crashing up against the buge, black high rocks.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Marc asked me, placing his hands on my shoulders as he came up behind me.
"Breathtakingly so," I gushed as I stared out the window. Suddenly, I felt a chill run up my spine, the hairs at the back of my neck rose. "Marc, someone's here," I said.
Marc turned around then turned back in confusion. "No, there isn't," he said. "Come on, honey, you're exhausted, you're six months pregnant you need to rest doctor's orders."
he was right I was exhausted. I followed him back out of the room but couldn't help looking back over my shoulder at the room and then followed Marc back down the stairs.
The bedroom door creaked softly as it closed by itself.