There was a stage being built on the beach for a television show that was to take place in a few days time. Lina and I sauntered past, surreptitiously checking out the guys that were working there. One guy, wearing an olive green tee shirt, straightened up and looked at me with big serious eyes. He grinned and his face lit up. I smiled back and walked away, clutching at Lina, both of us giggling like schoolgirls.
The weather had been bad for a few days, it was overcast and threatening to rain. My lunchbreak was nearly over, so I headed back up to the gallery and opened the doors. Thunder rumbled from above and a few fat raindrops hit the road. Soon it was pouring down, turning the steep road into a racing river, heading down towards the sea. I sat down to read a book, no one would be shopping for artwork in this weather. But, someone did come in. Dripping wet with a sweater held over his head for protection, in charged the guy I had seen earlier, the one who had smiled at me.
“Sorry,” he panted, “I'm all wet, do you mind if I make puddles on the floor?”
“No, go ahead!” I replied.
“Oh! You're not Italian!” he said in surprise.”Where are you from?”
“I'm English, from near London, and you? You're not from Positano are you?”
“No, I'm from a village above Sorrento, I'm just here working on this stage for a couple of weeks.”
He peered at one of the paintings, and then surprised me by telling me who it was by and mentioning other work by the same artist.”By the way, my name's Andrea,” he said holding out his hand. “Nicki, pleased to meet you,”I replied.
We met up a few times over the next couple of weeks, usually for lunch on the beach. He was a student at the University of Naples, was passionate about photography and spanish poetry and talked often about his family. I told him that I had never been to Naples and he was upset that nobody had bothered to show me the city. He promised me that he would take me one day. He introduced me to his friends, bringing them all to a bar in Pos to meet me. They were a friendly group and I felt comfortable with them.
Andrea arranged to show me around Naples a couple of weeks later. It was our first proper date together, and I was slightly nervous. I dressed casually in a pair of black capri pants, a suntop and flipflops, and went to wait on the road for him to pick me up...