He was walking into his New York hotel after a long day of trying to make a living, trying to make ends meet, when he saw her.
At first, Matt wasn’t sure it was her.
Was it really her?
After all, it had been nine years since that earth shattering summer, nine years since he had embarked on such a strange journey!
Even though they had finished badly, it had been a remarkable summer!
And he still thought about her every day, thought about the life lessons she had taught him!
She alighted from a sleek black limousine outside the exclusive hotel that stood arrogantly next door to the hotel where Matt was staying.
Matt’s hotel was small and cheap while the other was tall, sleek, rich, over bearing and supremely confident!
He was idly standing outside the hotel after a busy day, waiting for the occupants of a Japanese tour to trek through the revolving doors of the hotel, idly watching the tour leader waving a flag so the others could follow her.
Matt was keen to get to his room when he noticed the woman emerging from the gleaming black limo.
At first, Matt just watched her legs as they teasingly alighted from the vehicle – long, legs in black nylons – but when she stood on the footpath in an all too familiar arrogant stance, he immediately recognised her with a heart trembling thud.
Of course, she wasn’t alone.
Why would she?
She was with an older man in a well cut suit and gun barrel grey hair who possessively took her arm while she smiled at the doorman.
What number is he?
Husband number five or six?
Matt had followed her progress in the various society pages over the years. He had even carefully cut the stories and photographs out and wedged them between the pages of a battered copy of a childhood atlas.
Do they print the old fashioned atlas these days?
He had accumulated a small pile of cuttings as she cropped up from time to time and, with each marriage, used a different name.
Covertly, Matt watched as she smiled again at the increasingly flustered doorman, a warm but sexy smile and he could see she had lost none of her allure.
Even after nine years!
During that hot summer so long ago, she had seemed to Matt to be very worldly and quite old. Now, he realised that, while he had been just nineteen, she hadn’t been that old! In fact, she had been just twenty-eight – a mere nine years difference.
So, that makes her thirty seven!
God, she looks great!
She paused in front of the revolving doors, arm linked through her husband’s but her eyes travelled to where Matt was standing.
As their eyes met, Matt did not expect her to recognise him and looked at her boldly, almost challengingly.
Their eyes connected and she tilted her sunglasses down and peered at him over them. Then, she smiled in that intoxicating sly manner he remembered and with a small sly wink, told Matt that she knew, that she remembered him!
She remembers me!
Then, she was gone, whisked into the exclusive hotel with her husband guiding her arm, the bellhop struggling with a mountain of Louis Vuitton bags.
She always wanted the best of everything!
As Matt rode up the elevator to his small room, one thought echoed in his mind.
She remembered me!
A quick shower, dressed in comfortable clothes, he ordered room service with a couple of beers. After eating, Matt sipped beer and stared out the small window.
She remembered me!
And the years suddenly melted away and he was nineteen again, standing on the hot white sand of a Caribbean beach.