Georgia did not know how long she had been curled up in a fetal position on the floor of the bathroom but gradually her left shoulder began a dull ache from bearing her weight on the hard ceramic tiles.
As she shifted to a sitting position, she heard the sudden far-away peals of her doorbell.
“I can’t face anyone now.” She muttered to herself.
Drawing herself up slowly she stood up to face the mirror, the Elizabethan design added allure to her pristine white porcelain bath and jacuzzi. At the moment the beauty of her settings was lost on her. Her forlorn reflection stared back at her and she gasped.
Her eyes were red and her face blotched and swollen. Her hair was a matted mess on the left side on which she had lain. She pressed the fourcet and cold water rushed out into her cupped palm.
The door bell rang on insistently as she dashed the freezing water over her face. She fumbled for a side towel and dabbed off the water as she stumbled out of the bathroom, down the passage and stood at the top of the spiral staircase.
Further peals of the doorbell beckoned her as she reluctantly began a timid descent down the grandiose wrought-iron staircase.
She paused on the last step, curious now, and took a deep breath. There was silence. Had the person left? She wondered. Loud bangs sounded from the door knocker. Georgia ran to the door and without glancing through the peephole she removed the security chain and slowly drew the door open.
The subject of her dreams and at present, nightmares, stood before her with a myriad of expressions crossing his chiselled, rugged good looking features.
She yearned to throw herself into his arms and beg for time to talk this situation over. She stiffened as she regained her pride and put on a care-free, lackadaisical demeanor devoid of affection.
Somewhere at the back of her mind a niggling thought tickled her momentarily. What was he doing here?
Michael reached out for her but she stumbled backwards inside the door.
“What do you want?” Her voice broke, but she was resolute. She didn’t realise she was twisting the forgotten face towel in her hands.
“What happened to you? You look awful.” Michael said softly, unsure of himself in the face of the hostility emanating from Georgia.
He stepped inside the door as Georgia scuttled away and turned to close the door and fix the chain into position.
Turning back he saw that Georgia had moved to the window above the veranda and was looking out. Without a sound he moved stealthily till he reached behind her and wrapped his arms firmly around her.
Georgia started and tried in vain to extricate herself but Michael had no intention of letting go.
“What are you doing?” Georgia mumbled. She groaned inwardly at the soothing comfort of his arms but outwardly she remained stiff and cold.
His soft kiss at the nape of her neck was almost her undoing as she melted inside but the remembrance of the discarded card upstairs washed over her and she finally pushed way to face him.
Looking up into his face she saw anger, then hurt and confusion. She stopped for a moment to ponder this then she looked away unable to bear the delayed confrontation another minute.
“Michael…” She began.
How she ended up in his arms, she never knew. She was being enveloped in familiar territory, in the bearhug he reserved for her moments of pain, disappointments and overwhelming circumstances. The hug that left her head totally buried under his arms, nestled on his heart beat. She soaked in the warmth and comfort for a moment. She felt so loved. Just for a moment.
Slowly she came out of her reverie. The steel guards began to be replaced one by one as she drew her innerself up and then pushed at Michael’s chest gently.
She started to extricate herself from his embrace despite his protests. Her remembrance of his quickened heart beats while in his arms would not deter her she decided. It was time for the reckoning.
Everything seemed muddled up. What exactly was going on? Well, she was going to find out, and now.