Her Boss by Day...(3)

By: Joss Wood



‘I always thought that he was waste of space.’

At the knock on the door Amy got up to accept a bottle and glasses, thanked the waiter profusely and adeptly poured them both a glass.

Amy took a sip of her wine and took her seat again. ‘Why do I get the feeling that I’m getting the sanitised version here?’

Because she wasn’t a fool. ‘My dead marriage is a very boring topic, Amy.’

‘You were never boring, Willa. Quiet, maybe—intense, shy. Not boring. And I know that you probably gave Wayne-the-Pain a hundred and fifty per cent because the Willa I knew bent over backwards to make everyone happy. When you make a promise or a decision it takes a nuclear bomb to dislodge you.’

‘I’m not that bad,’ Willa protested, though she knew she was. She didn’t give up—or in—easily.

‘You hate going against your word.’ Amy sent her a strange, sad smile. ‘You were distraught that you had to ask Luke for help that night in the Whitsundays because I’d begged you not to.’

Willa bit her lip, still seeing Amy, battered and bloody, tears and crimson sand on her face. Her black and blue eye and her split cheek from fighting off Justin’s unwelcome advances on the beach. Sometimes she still saw her face in her dreams and woke up in a cold sweat.

‘I’m sorry, but I needed Luke to help me to help you.’

Amy looked into her wine glass. ‘I know...it’s okay. It was all a long time ago. How is Luke?’

There was an odd tremor in her voice which Willa instantly picked up. Amy and Luke had always had some sort of love-hate, weird reaction to each other that Willa could never quite put her finger on.

‘He’s fine...still single, still driven. He’s working on a massive hotel development in Singapore—the biggest of his career.’

Amy eventually raised her eyes to meet Willa’s. ‘Are you still in contact with the others from the resort? Brodie, Chantal, Scott?’

Willa shrugged. ‘Loosely, via social media and the very occasional e-mail. Chantal is still dancing, Scott is one of the city’s most brilliant young architects, and Brodie is the heart and soul of a company that runs luxury yacht tours down the Gold Coast. I haven’t seen them or socialised with them....nothing has been the same since the week you and Brodie left.’

Happy to be off the subject of her dysfunctional marriage, Willa cast her mind back to that summer they’d spent in the Whitsundays, when a group of strangers had arrived at the very fancy Weeping Reef resort, ready and rocking to start a holiday season of working all day and having fun all night.

It still amazed her that the five of them—six if she included Luke—had clicked so well. They were such a mixed bag of personalities.

They’d laughed and loved and drunk and partied, and then laughed and loved and partied some more. They’d been really good at it, and the first two months of their summer holiday had flown past. Then their idyll had been shattered when two dreadful incidents had dumped a bucket of angst and recrimination and guilt over their magical interlude and ripped their clique apart.

And set Willa on a path that she now deeply regretted.

‘To go back a whole bunch of steps—we were talking about you and Wayne and what caused the split,’ Amy said, pulling her back to their conversation. She refilled their glasses and lifted an eyebrow.

‘Oh...that.’

‘Yes, that.’

How strange it was that after so long she and Amy could just fall into conversation as if it was yesterday...how strange and how right.

In the natural order of things they shouldn’t have been friends... Amy was bright and flirty and outgoing, and Willa was quiet and naïve and a lot less boisterous than her friend. She couldn’t just spill all the beans about her less than happy marriage—not even with Amy, so successful, confident, sophisticated. With Amy those qualities went deeper than her looks and clothes right into her psyche. Unlike Willa, whose confidence and sophistication was just a fabric layer deep.

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