Writing

Paradise Missed – A short story by Madelon Smid

Barry had a big smile on his face as he boarded the DC8 that would fly him to Hawaii. He smiled because he knew with a certainty that he was going to get laid. Not just once, either, but over and over again. Ahead of him walked the source of his pleasure.

He’d met her on the famous beach of English Bay in Vancouver only days before. Gidget Bigelow “NO, I really am called that!” She’d wiggled with pleasure when a big wave drove them together. And a Big hello to you, too, Barry thought as her silky legs tangled with his. She’d gushed her enthusiasm for any stretch of sand. “The sun and water arouses me,” she’d breathed in her little girl voice, “doesn’t it make you just sooooo hot?” With her tanned belly and thighs and voluptuous breasts pressed against him, Barry felt all of that, and more. When he eagerly shared his experiences of swimming in Hawaii, she clung to him cooing enthusiastically.  Like a racer who hears the starting pistol Barry offered her a long weekend in Hawaii.

Walking down the aisle of the airplane he still couldn’t believe his luck.

Gidget wriggled herself into the centre seat of three. An elderly lady with a tight perm and bright pink cardigan already hugged the window. The last minute tickets meant Barry hadn’t been able to get good seats, but he didn’t mind, he was counting on the long flight to give him lots of snuggling time. He settled into his seat just as Gidget turned to say something to him. Her size 38 enhanced breast rubbed against his arm and Little Barry twitched to attention. Big Barry quickly accepted the pillow and blanket the Flight Attendant offered him for the overnight flight and dropped them over his lap. Phew!

Expo Vancouver 1986. Every Canadian wanted to be there. Planes were filled to capacity all gathering on the west coast. This was not a good time to fly to Maui for a holiday, but Barry didn’t care. Barry didn’t care about anything but the fabulous looking woman by his side. Even the snotty Flight attendant who had greeted them didn’t faze Barry. He figured the reason they’d been ordered to check their carryon luggage was to make room for the guy’s attitude.

“Barry Werry, can’t you make that person stop smoking.” Gidget’s breathy voice raised a notch in irritation as she wafted the air with fuchsia tipped fingers and wrinkled her nose in disgust.”

The nickname didn’t please him, but her helpless need did. Barry turned to the Flight attendant and inquired if they were indeed sitting in the “no smoking section”. The middle-aged male pursed his lips and explained in a condescending voice that they were in the no smoking and the smoking began the row ahead. “But, Barry, Werry, what is the point of getting a no smoking seat if you have to breathe it in anyway?” Gidget whimpered. Barry asked to change to a seat further away – this in a plane that didn’t have a whisker width of room left. Now, with a legitimate reason to dislike them, Mr. Snarky scowled and told them both to fasten their seatbelts. Barry made a great deal out of fishing around their hips for the belts and helping Gidget to fasten hers. Like a supervising teacher in a playground, the elderly woman at the window never took her eyes off them. But Barry didn’t mind – his thoughts leapt ahead till later …

Dinner service came and went, dark descended, the cabin lights were lowered in the hopes that passengers would fall asleep and give the flight attendants a break. Midnight found them over the Pacific Ocean.

With Gidget’s breast pressed against his right arm, her light breath fanning his cheek, Barry floated in a blissful daydream of the best way to cop a feel without the old gimlet-eyed lady seeing him. He’d already suggested that Gidget share his blanket hoping he could drape it over both of them and get down to business. “Oh Barry Werry, that would make me just too hot. It’s warm in here don’t you think? Maybe Barry Werry could adjust the air flow for me.” Wincing, Barry opened the vent and then settled back to enjoy the scent of baby talc as it wafted toward him along with the faint warmth radiating from her body. He spread his legs so his thigh rested against hers and sank back into his fantasy. Suddenly Gidget was pushing his arm and whimpering in earnest. “Barry, I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” she whispered in urgent tones. “Get up. Let me out. Something I ate …” The fact that she hadn’t taken the time to extend his name spoke volumes. Barry struggled out of his nest of blanket and pillows, fighting the seatbelt, stumbling over the shoes he’d shed earlier and helped her to rise. She pushed past him and fled toward the toilet in the rear of the plane. Oh, no, I sure hope this doesn’t wreck our weekend.

He settled back to wait, clutching his shoes, blanket and pillow and not bothering to do his seat belt up so when fire alarms shrieked from every direction, causing him to leap toward the nearest exit, he hit his head on the overhead baggage compartment. The crazed Flight attendant hammered on the lavatory door, yelling in his French Canadian accent, “Opennn these dor.” Then “Ouvrez la porte cet instant,” as if there would actually be a non English speaking passenger on the airplane. Ha! The hammering continued until finally the door open and Gidget pranced out looking harassed and huffy. As she headed toward him Barry had the ungentlemanly instinct to hide under his blanket and pretend he didn’t know her.

“Barry Werry,” she panted as if she’d flown there under her own power, “do you know what happens when you light a match in an aircraft lavatory?”

“Yeah,” Barry said, for the first time not quite as enamoured with his potential sex kitten. “All hell breaks loose.”

“That awful man just kept yelling at me to open the door when I had my panties down around my ankles. I was terrified. I thought the plane was crashing. He yelled at me until I’d pulled up my jeans and opened the door. He was mean to me, Barry Werry,” her eyes narrowed menacingly, “I think you should talk to him about his manners.”

Barry who had already seen the fury on Monsieur Quebec’s face wasn’t going there for even the best piece of tail in Hawaii.

“He thought I was sneaking a smoke. He’s really stupid because he knows I don’t smoke. Her raised voice held the interest of the other 233 souls, who roused from their sleep by the shrilling alarm and loaded with adrenaline, smothered them in a miasma of loathing.

“You know there are other reasons to light a match in a bathroom,” Gidget waved her fist at the Flight Attendants. “Oh damn, now I’ve broken a nail, Barry Werry.”

If he could have gotten hold of it, Barry wanted to take the “Werry” off his name and wrap it tightly around her neck. He settled for sorting out his blanket, re-doing their seat belts and using her broken nail as an excuse to kiss her finger then up her arm and over her breast – she seemed oblivious to his poor aim, but the old lady sitting ramrod straight gave him a knowing look and shake of her head.

They arrived in Honolulu around 2:00 am and stepped off the plane to breathe in humid air heavy with the scent of blossoming Bougainvillea and ginger. Barry figured the pissed off passengers and Flight Attendant had formed a hate coalition to make sure he was the last off and therefore the last in the line for customs. He expected to find a big X gouged in the side of his suitcase so he’d be searched. The airport cleared. They stood there alone.

Barry had been told that there would be a commuter plane available to fly them over to Maui. However, when he inquired at Information where to board it, the woman never bothered to point out it would be seven more hours before it appeared and instead sent them on to an outdoor gate system where the planes drew up along a long cement tongue poking from the main airport. Carrying both their heavy bags and Gidget’s two carry ons he trudged about a half mile with Gidget dancing along behind him bemoaning the fact that her jeans felt too hot and she needed to change into shorts. The main terminal lights grew dimmer and they found themselves isolated in the dark. Everything was closed down and locked up tighter than a widow’s windows. As they stood there wondering what to do next a patrol car drew up and a policeman got out. “What are you doing out here at this time of night?” When Barry explained the situation, he said with some disgust, “They should have told you to wait at the main terminal. I am going to sit here while you go over to that pay phone and call a taxi to take you to a motel.” He named the closest motel then had to give Barry an American quarter to make the call. Barry squirmed, Gidget chattered and the policeman waited stalwartly in his cruiser never taking his eyes from them until ten minutes and thirty-seven seconds later a taxi drove up.

By the time Barry got Gidget into the motel room it was 3:30 am and although he could never, ever, be too exhausted for sex, Gidget apparently was. Barry turned on the TV while Gidget monopolized the bathroom.

“The suspect is armed and dangerous. Police found his vehicle abandoned inside the airport grounds just after midnight. The man is believed to have murdered two people earlier this evening.” Now Barry understood why the policeman had insisted on staying there to protect them until they were safely away. They must have looked like prime hostage material. “Take us we’re tourists.” He decided Gidget was better left in ignorance – which he concluded by now was her default position.

After this the morning flight in the Fockker aircraft to Maui seemed anti climactic. They arrived at Paradise. A deserted paradise! A lone taxi took them from the airport to the luxurious gated community where Barry’s friend owned a condo. The road and yards were empty. When they finally got to the condominium headquarters to check in, a breathless employee rushed to the main desk. Apparently a hurricane had passed near to the island and fearing a tsunami, officials had ordered everyone to the highest ground – the golf course. People were just now returning to their homes and businesses. Ah, and they’d missed all the fun!

“Oh Barry Werry Jerry, just think we could have been killed,” Gidget shrilled.

And you don’t know the half of it, thought Barry.

The condominium was the height of luxury, with every amenity. An enclosed courtyard enticed him onto a private patio at the back and luxurious grounds spread down to a private pool and beach in front. They changed into summer wear and went on a tour. You’d think by this point Barry’s fantasies would begin to approach reality. But no, Gidget’s energy levels could have powered the island. She spent every minute in the condo with the phone affixed to her ear talking to her friends in Canada about the luxurious condo surroundings. At first he wallowed in his sense of pride that he had impressed her, but as the phone bill mounted along with his libido he started to get pissed off. He figured a beer would help and snagged one from his friend’s supply, while Gidget dialled yet another number. Finally, she ran out of chitchat or friends, and Barry, well into his fourth Coors was informed they should hit the beach. “After all that’s what we came for Barry Werry Jerry Cherry.”

Maybe that’s what you came for. He almost puked when she said his name. He blamed it on the beer, but the rhyming scheme was getting stale fast.

It took him two minutes tops to shuck his clothes and drag on his swim trunks. Gidget ‘I’ll just use the second bedroom. Then I’ll have a bath of my own and closet space’ Bigelow took a lot longer to change. She tried on three suits before they could go. After one look at his back and a giggle she’d taken to calling him Hairy Barry Werry, but Barry didn’t mind because each was a teeny bikini and Gidget had a body to die for, or at least toast with another beer. At last, they were settled on the private beach. Barry had every intention of using the ocean as a screen for some heavy foreplay, which would of course entice Gidget out of the water and back to the condo. But after frolicking along the edge of the waves Gidget decided that her suit wasn’t up to their power and she should change to another. Frustrated and drunker than a groomsman at a Bachelor party, Barry lay face down on his mat and waited. Little Barry poked the sand below. She returned in a suit that she informed him was better for the pool. With a sigh, he gathered their stuff and followed her swaying hips back up the beach to the crowded patio. There she ignored him while she cavorted with dozens of young people, mostly males who were stronger, faster and pushier than Barry. He lay on a lounge chair fuming, fortified by a couple more beer and the fact that she was going home with him. After dinner at the nearby 5 star hotel, Gidget suggested a late night swim and slipped into yet another bikini. Barry dragged off his jeans and ran after her in his skivvies. Water makes her sexy, he repeated like a mantra as he followed her into the ocean. “Oh Barry Werry,” she grabbed for him with enthusiasm. “Isn’t this roman …” she stopped abruptly as he started screaming like am arachnophobic confronted by a tarantula. “Don’t touch me. For Cripes sake don’t touch me,” he pushed her hands off his body. Her nails scraped across shoulders redder than hot peppers and Barry screamed again – because he’d just realized he was in too much pain to have sex.

He slept in the guest room that night, because, “Scary Barry Werry didn’t need a big old soaker tub and king size bed if he was just going to sleep. Hmph!”

“Barry, werry, jerry, terry, hairy, Gidget, fidget, widget, bitget,” he whispered to himself in a drunken voice that became louder as the hours passed and he descended into the hell of a hangover. His sunburn was so severe, he felt he was being roasted alive and prayed for a quick death—right after Gidget gave him mouth to mouth to revive him and then began stroking him all over, begging for him to take her and … He lost the fantasy as chills wracked his thin frame.

By day three Barry wanted only to plant himself in a shady spot in hopes that Gidget, sauntering by on her way to and from a change of clothes, would hand him a cool drink. He’d long since given up on asking her to put lotion on his burn, because her activities calendar had filled to capacity and she had no time for him. His single swimsuit status meant he had no reason to follow her about, but still hanging on to a thread of a hope that she would soon sit still long enough to come across, he continued to spring out of beach chairs, off blankets and beds like a crazed stalker trying to keep tabs on his obsession.

To avoid the beach and bare skin (he’d have bet his Calgary Flames season tickets he’d never do that) Barry suggested a day in the port of Lahaina. Gidget shopped, while Barry darted from one spot of shade to another. She loitered a long time, looking at a pretty ring with a diamond star on one end of an open band, not quite meeting a crescent moon on the other. Thinking this might be the key to her affections, he bought it for her. Thrilled she slid it onto her pinkie finger and walked about admiring it, her arm half raised her hand tilted in a Queen Elizabeth wave, that caused people to stop and bob half bows and curtsies in her direction just in case she was a celebrity.

With their return to the mainland imminent, Barry was just beginning to recover. Gidget had spent the last evening with her new friends, while Barry lay in a tub of cool water moaning about his bad luck and thinking her truly evil. If she hadn’t changed so often he wouldn’t have been out in the sun waiting for her. Waiting to jump her bones. She didn’t have a thoughtful or giving bone in her luscious body.

When they boarded the commuter flight to Honolulu Gidget’s battery was fully charged, Barry’s all but drained. They had several hours to wait before their flight to Canada took off. After a visit to the rest room Gidget suggested they get lunch at the airport restaurant. Then they went and sat in the lounge while they waited for their flight to be called. Barry was still amazed that all the buildings in Hawaii were open to the outdoors, but now he got his look at the downside of that as some dried plant fragments swept by in a refreshing breeze and buried themselves in his eye. It felt like he’d been stabbed with a chopstick. In agony, he pushed his finger hard against the eyelid to hold his eyeball still. It soothed it a little. So there he sat his finger poking into his eye socket, his tongue poking out to catch his tears, and insensitive Gidget Widget thinking he was making sexual plays for her. She wiggled closer, he came to attention, his arm still in salute position. The moment, if there even was one, dissipated faster than a woodie in a cold shower when she looked down and discovered she’d lost her new ring. The ridiculous became ludicrous. Deciding it must have fallen off when she dried her hands, she returned to the restroom. Barry hovered outside anxious to support her. The door opened and he got a glimpse of a floor covered with crumpled paper towels and several irate women bombarding Gidget with soggy balls of paper they’d scooped up, before she made it out and clear.

“Terry, Hairy Werry,” I think I lost it at lunch. She’d also become lost in the mire of his many names. “We have to go back and check our table.” They reached the restaurant where, of course, their table had been cleared. Nothing on the floor or bench seat—into the kitchen she marched. Barry followed. Either Gidget’s lengthy explanation wore him down or Barry’s tear-soaked face struck a note of sympathy, because they gained permission to go through the food trays containing the unwashed dishes, cleared from the tables. Barry rooted with one arm, his middle finger pressed against his sodden eye. Gidget went through the bins like a high efficiency vacuum. They failed to find her ring.

As they hit the lounge, Gidget let loose with a long string of epithets that would have been censored on all but pornographic channels. A large black man sitting a few seats away, rose, came over and towering above Barry, said, “Mister. dis is not right to speak like dis in dis public place. Discipline your woooman.” Flabbergasted Barry flailed for words. The flight was called just as he was about to try castigating Gidget, who’d swelled to the size of a blowfish in her wrath. Finger in eye, he grabbed her arm and jerked her away from what surely was the biggest linebacker in the NFL and into the boarding line.

He literally swept her on board. As Barry sank into the aisle seat beside Gidget, another elderly lady eyed them dubiously from the window seat. Let her look, he thought, there won’t be anything to see. Gidget had long since figuratively castrated him, and bloodied and torn he’d retreated from the field; the victim of a gorilla war he hadn’t even known he was fighting. Fate had inflicted damage too great to overcome.

“Barry Werry Cherry I’m put out.”

“If only you had,” he sighed.

“You need to punch out that big oaf for being rude to me.” She glared past Barry to the large man seated across the aisle.

Barry scrunched a little lower in his seat. “No I don’t need to Gidget Widget Fidget, better you just sit still and read a magazine and pretend you don’t know me.”

She huffed into angry silence. The one good thing of having three sisters was he knew just how to make a woman shut up.

When the wheels hit the tarmac he couldn’t get down the ramp fast enough. He wasn’t sure if he was missing in action or had just missed the action, but never was there an MIA happier to get out of a war zone.

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