Speaking to Alan Wood is a very interesting experience, all of the charisma you would expect from the famously chiselled billionaire, is somehow trebled when he’s actually facing you. I was the envy of all my friends and colleagues when I told them that I was assigned to interview him. He laughs as I confide this in him, those brown eyes betraying a hint of disbelief, that is gone so quickly I almost felt like I had imagined it. “What is this interview about?” he inquires of the hovering P.A.

“It’s for Marian. Her birthday.” She says in a soft whisper.

“Right,” A smidgen of sadness ghosts over his face, “Marian was amazing. The most remarkable woman I’ve ever met, and one of the very few people I’ve ever trusted unconditionally.”

“Can you tell me of an abiding memory of her? The first thing that pops into your head about her?” I prod

“First thing that pops out, is the first night she and I had out,” he confesses and the P.A. smiles.”We couldn’t have been more than fourteen,”

I can’t keep up with the speed of his words, and am glad of the dictaphone I always carry. Part of me is astounded when I listen back to the tape, later in my apartment, as he’s managed to remember so many details of that night, despite it being more than thirty years ago.

 

Below is the story as dictated

The quiet of the night was broken, by the creaking of the door. It spilled us onto the cobblestones, along with a blast of soul music. James Brown’s distinctive voice filled the square, bouncing off the sand coloured bricks of the surrounding buildings. I held onto Marian, keeping her upright when her high heel got caught in a crack between the worn grey stones. I breathed in the scent of her, her citrus shampoo mingling with cigarette smoke, sweat and the beer on her breath. “Bells is going to kill me!” She laughed.

“What…why?” I smiled, watching her face light up.

She laughed, resting one hand on my forearm as she removed the constricting high heels, leaving them on the cobblestones. “They’re her favourite pair,” her eyes lit up as she spotted the fountain right in the middle of the square. “You wanna go swimming?” she flashed a cheeky smile at me, as she moved closer to the fountain, enjoying the droplets that landed on her overheated skin from the plume of that arced up against the inky sky. 

“You’re crazy!” I laughed, “It’s freezing!” the clouds of my breath coming out as I spoke, proved my point. She ignored that, twirling beneath the stream of liquid, letting it soak her thin dress, the fabric sticking to her curves within moments.

I sighed watching her face come effortlessly to life. Her deep green eyes sparkled with excitement and laughter, even as she was soaked through. She spun around on her bare feet, water flying off her with every revolution and splashing my face. My phone rang while I contemplated kissing her, the shrill tinny sound blasting from my inside pocket. I groaned as I recognised the number. I wasn’t ready to deal with the acusations and hysterics, taking off my jacket and dumping it next to her shoes. She giggled as I grabbed her hand, and we ran to climb into the giant basin of the stone fountain, revelling in the feeling of the cool water soaking our skin. 

 

Copyright Emily Morris 2016