OK, so I wasn’t going to write another part to How to Eat Chocolate and Lose Weight. But after someone enquired as to Sheila’s whereabouts and if the law had caught up with her, an idea popped into my head. So not content with Eating Chocolate and Losing Weight, it’s time to catch up with Sheila and as she figures out How To Drink Pina Coladas and Lose Weight.
Sheila had been hiding out in Benidorm for 23 months, 12 days and 7 hours. It had been a whirlwind 23 months, 12 days and 7 hours since the plane touched ground in sunny Spain. And Sheila had made the most of mingling with the tourists and putting down roots with the locals.
She looked around Bar Britannia and smiled.
So quintessentially Spanish yet with a fake British atmosphere and gaudy wood panelled walls adorned with pictures of the royal family. Sheila always gave old Queen Liz a nod when she entered and it was where she came to see Prince Harry wed that American girl. She hoped they were happy. They deserved it. Everyone deserved that, didn’t they?
Sheila was happy in her little hideout in Benidorm. June’s husband had been easy to manipulate back then, in dreary England. Sheila knew he was rich and would be able to support her new life on the continent. He also was after blood after watching Derek, god rest his soul, seduce his darling June. Derek wasn’t the first man June had let have his wicked way with her. “Old Joan free for all” was known for her love of all things male and had a penchant for kinky sex that was the talk of the neighbourhood. It was only a matter of time before Derek wanted a piece of that all to himself. Yet, her poor naive husband had no idea. Every day he got up, kissed his wife goodbye and went to work to keep old June in the cushy life she had become accustomed to. He came home, ate his dinner, went to bed and got up again the next to do it all over again. If anyone needing saving as much as she did, it was him.
But the poor old sap had hardly been a challenge, all it took was for Sheila to pretend to drop round for a cuppa with old June when she knew he was home alone. June was probably getting down and disgusting with the milkman or someone else’s husband or ‘bingo’. Sheila was the ear he moaned at, shoulder he cried on and arms he embraced after 3 weeks of her ‘random’ drop-ins.
So when she suggested they give Derek a permanent bed to lie in instead of another man’s bed, Tony jumped at the chance.
Although not as much as he jumped when he saw old lifeless Derek on the floor of her bedroom that wet winters day in January. These days, Tony goes to work, comes home to a slightly inebriated Sheila, makes her some food and then holds her hand as she falls into a deep pina colada fuelled slumber before carrying her to bed. Occasionally she gives him a little something-something. A man’s got needs and all that and, well so has Sheila and if this keeps her eyes deep in pina’s for the rest of her days then it’s a price worth paying.
It was anyway until Mateo. Oh, Mateo. Sheila swooned to herself as she sipped at her third cocktail of the day. He was the missing piece of her Spanish dream. The antagonist to her own telenovela, Sheila needed a handsome distraction and boy, was Mateo handsome. She had swooned and melted into his brown pools every day as he stared at her from the other side of Bar Britannia.
A 50-year-old hunk of Spanish goodness, with a George Clooney swagger. The one that had kept her glued to ER reruns all these years later. He resented Tony and she was pretty sure during their afternoon ‘siestas’ he curses his name as he comes before holding her in his muscular arms.
“If only there was a way to drink pina coladas and lose weight” Sheila mused on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.
It was before the start of the season, and whilst there was always tourists milling around the beachfront bar, it wasn’t crazy busy like during peak season. Mateo would have her all to himself today and that was exactly the way she liked it. If only it was permanent!
Going home that evening with a slight buzz ringing through her body, partly from her favourite tipple, mostly though, from Mateo. Sheila passed by an ageing Tony as he whipped up another paella, the only Spanish dish he knew how to make and sighed. This was the life she had dreamt of. But the man making dinner to sober her up once more wasn’t the hunk she had imagined when she built her new life. Tony was a means to an end and the end was nigh.
Stepping over his body 30 mins later, Sheila had her overnight bag in hand and stopped for one last look around the apartment.
She had heard Tony on the phone, he was making a deal. Telling the person on the other end she was here and it was time to come and get her. Sheila would be damned if she had worked this hard to let her Benidorm dream slip away due to someone else’s guilty conscience. Her dream wasn’t over, she wasn’t ready to wake up just yet.
Dialling Mateo on her pink S7, Sheila put on her best-distressed widow performance. They need to move now and she needed Mateo to take her far far away. Benidorm was fun whilst it lasted but right now, Sheila fancied a change. She heard Mexico was fun this time of year and she knew just the person to take them there. Deirdre Brand-Hollingsworth was the name on her passport and Sheila had already dyed her hair before having her new picture snapped. Deirdre would get them to Mexico, the honeymoon was just about to start!