Authors: Sian O'Grady
Sing a Song of
By Sian O’Grady
2013 Sian O’Grady
All Rights Reserved
To my husband
and kids for their constant love and support.
It had been the right choice
having a break up at Mum and Dads holiday house. I could feel the tiredness of
the past year washing away and my old energy levels returning. Matapouri Bay
had this effect on me and I didn’t know why I hadn’t thought of coming up here
Every morning since I had
arrived I had started the day off with a swim. Bobbling around in the waves
and drinking in the view.
The beach was deserted at
this time of year and my only companions were the ample wildlife that resided
in the trees. Their squawking and carrying on never failed to bring a smile to
The cliffs above the bay were
surrounded in Pohutukawa trees that had mostly finished blooming but there was still
the odd dash of ruby red that blazed out from among the deep green foliage. On
the left and right hand sides of the bay, gentle rolling hills emerged above
the cliffs where you could see herds of cows quietly munching on grass. As a
child I had sat out the back on my surfboard for hours drinking in that view
and wishing for summer to go on forever.
My parents had inherited the
holiday house from my Dads parents and for as long as I could remember we had
been coming up here for family holidays. I had so many great memories of this
place that usually any problems I had just melted into perspective.
I was still waiting for that
to happen though as the thought of next week was terrifying me.
I had an audition for backup
vocals for a Scottish band that we had been hearing good things about. They
were due to tour Australasia but first needed to record their new single. If our
audition went well we would hopefully get both gigs which would keep us in work
until the end of autumn. And would look fantastic on the CV!
It had been a real honour to
be asked and Cam, who was the other half of our backup duo and my business
partner, had shipped me up north to get my head in order so that I didn’t stuff
this up. It was well known in our local music scene that I had been off my
game and it had been a tough year but we were both hoping this would change
things. If the recording went well then this would put us back on the map.
And I really owed it to Cam to make this work seeing how he had stuck by me
over the past twelve months with not one word of incrimination.
I had separated from my
husband Jay about twelve months ago and it had left me feeling like a failure
and my self-confidence had taken a big wallop. You see the thing with singing
is that you need to lose yourself in the moment but if your mind is going a
hundred miles an hour well you just end up sounding terrible. My voice was
still good but the performance was stilted. Crap basically! Cam had been a
huge support and kept telling me how I was feeling would pass. But now I had a
deadline to be fully functioning by; talk about pressure!
I had met Jay in my last year
of school when I had auditioned for a band that was after a lead singer. I had
got the gig and was drawn to Jay straight away. He was full of life and fun and
he helped me forget all the sadness of the last few years and the stress of
shifting to the city after living in the country all my life.
Jay’s attire reflected his
take on life and I loved his stovepipe jeans and colourful, crazy shirts and he
seemed so comfortable in the chaotic city environment that I had hoped some of
his confidence would rub off on me.
We started dating within
months and soon did everything together. The easy camaraderie we had reminded
me so much of my Mum and Dad’s relationship that I was positive it had to be
love. So when he proposed it seemed like the most natural thing in the world
to say yes.
We had a small wedding at my
parent’s farm up north and everyone brought tents and pitched them in the front
paddock around the marque we had hired for the reception. It was an amazing
day and like a Cinderella movie the sun was out and the sky was picture perfect
blue with the odd white fluffy cloud; the birds were singing and life seemed
perfect. I was surrounded by all my friends and family marrying this great guy
whom I loved with all my heart and soul, just not like
. I just
hadn’t realized that yet.
I had assumed I wasn’t an
overly sexual person and it wasn’t until a few years after I was married that I
realized that there were different types of love and I was actually capable of
very strong sexual responses.
About two years into our
marriage we got a new drummer and soon as I saw him I had it bad. I couldn’t
stop fantasising about all the things I wanted to do with him. My stomach would
churn and talking to him was nigh on impossible. I felt like a star struck
teenager instead of the married woman I was supposed to be. I tried to stop
the feelings but nothing seemed to work.
It culminated in a drunken
kiss after months of us skirting around the attraction and he honourable left the
band shortly after. The experience left me shaken even though nothing more
than a kiss had happened and I tried hard to put it behind me. Unfortunately
turning back the clock isn’t as easy as that and my new found doubts started to
affect the relationship I had with Jay. There was a tension that had not been
there before which spilled over into every aspect of our life together. The
worst part was that Jay didn’t even know what was going on and the hurt that I
saw in his eyes made me just want to crawl up and die with shame.
Eventually in an attempt to
save what we had I fessed up to the kiss and I think Jay was so relieved to
have answers that he forgave me in a heartbeat. For the next four years I
poured all my energy into making the relationship work but the cracks I had
created were becoming wider. Every day I felt like I was slipping deeper into
the muddy cesspool I had created.
I don’t know what finally
precipitated my decision to end things. Perhaps the combination of continually
feeling like a louse hurting Jay and that it wasn’t fair to either of us to
keep up this pretence. Anyway, Jay was amazing about the whole thing and said
it was not unexpected. That was even harder as part of me wanted him to yell
and scream and punish me for what I was doing. I felt like I was getting off
scot free and it just didn’t seem fair. But I got my karma later; my best
friend Kel said it was self-inflicted but whatever it was, it sucked. I was
full of self-loathing and felt bereft and sad. Kel kept pointing out that Jay
was ok, and he was which only seemed to make it harder but I wouldn’t listen. It
was like I had lost my best friend and the only person I could blame for it was
me. And worse still, everyone else seemed ok about it!
So here I was at the Bay
putting my life in order and after three days of reclusive activity I thought
some human contact might be a good idea. I decided to head to the local pub
My parents were close friends
with the owners who had brought the pub about twenty years ago when they had
first emigrated over from Italy. Angelo and Mara were like second parents to
me and I hadn’t felt ready for their concerned questions until today. I knew
they meant well but sometimes not thinking about things could be the best medicine.
They spotted me as soon as I
entered and rushed over with big smiles and hugs and led me to my favourite
spot on the deck overlooking the bay. They sat with me chatting until the
dinner rush began and they were called away. It had been nice to sit and reminisce
over a glass of red and by the time they had left I was feeling pleasantly
relaxed and optimistic. It was always good to catch up on their children’s
news and whereabouts as they were like cousins to me. Also talking about their
kids kept the topic off me!
After about twenty minutes
Mara brought out some freshly baked bread that made my mouth water and asked if
I would mind sharing my table with a friend of theirs. Apparently there was a
visitor to the area who had been staying here for the last few nights who Mara
and Angelo had taken a shine to. They thought he might be good company for me
since I was eating dinner alone.
I looked up at Mara’s kindly
face beaming down at me and realized I didn’t really have an option so
graciously agreed to a bit of well-intentioned meddling! Mara walked away
purposefully to return a few moments later with what can only be described as a
whole lot of man and after making introductions, vanished but not before
subjecting me to her brightest smile and a big wink. I couldn’t help but smile
back as I liked what she had brought over!
Mack had clean cut good looks
which contrasted with the tattoos on the top half of each arm. I didn’t
usually fancy tattoos but on Mack they just accentuated how broad and tanned he
was and somehow gave his classic good looks a rougher edge. He had dark hair
and by the look of it would be capable of growing a beard to be proud of; he
had five o’clock shadow which I always thought looked sexy and vivid blue eyes that
were alive with curiosity.
“I hope you don’t mind Mara
throwing us together. She means well and I’m planning on eating and running so
it should be fairly painless.” I looked up at Mack with what I hoped was a
welcoming smile and was rewarded with a grin that seemed to say he didn’t mind
“Actually I am pleased to
have some company. Mara and Angelo have been wonderful over the last few days
but tonight looks like one of their busy nights so I’m glad not to be a
distraction. Mara said you are here staying at your parents holiday house for
a few days?”
Mack sounded just like Ewan
McGregor and coupled with his strong masculine presence was a force to be
reckoned with. I was usually wary of men this good looking but there was a
quality about Mack that put you at ease albeit with a few flutters in the
I looked up at Mack watching
me and was glad that Mara had introduced us. It was like someone had waved
their magic wand and given me a large dose of abandonment. I felt young and carefree
and very glad to be here. I leant over closer to him so that he could hear me
over the dinner crowd and asked if he was here on holiday. He smelt warm and
earthy with just a hint of cologne and I felt my body respond in appreciation.
“Kind of, I promised my sister
I would look after my nephew while he was over here working to make sure he
didn’t get up to any mischief. He is twenty two and a smart boy but you know
what Mums are like!” I nodded and Mack added that he had come up here for a
couple of days to recuperate and to give the boys a bit of breathing space.
His nephew was over here with his two best friends so he had decided it would
be safe enough to leave them to it for a few days while he saw a bit of the
“And right now I am thinking
what a great decision I made. I sure wouldn’t want those three muscling in on
my date,” Mack grinned at me and I couldn’t help smiling back.
“If it’s a date then I guess
it’s your shout!” I picked up the menu and pretended to study it. Mack had
changed the dynamics with that statement and my stomach which already had
flutters went into over drive. I tried to hide my nervousness with a bright
smile but one look at Mack and I knew I wasn’t fooling anybody. He was fully
aware of the effect he was having on me and was staring back with open
appreciation. I could feel his eyes taking in not so much what I was wearing
but what it concealed and I felt my cheeks start to burn.