Vladimir skillfully eased his lorry into a space between the picnic tables and an oleander bush. He jumped out of his cab and felt intense relief as he stretched his body into an upright position . The constant stream of tourists going home had ceased and as dusk fell the few remaining lorry drivers had the service station to themselves.
A waft of cloying scent drifted past and from the corner of his eye he glimpsed a female form hovering expectantly. Many times he had been grateful for the comfort they gave, the warm presence of another human being, passing by like him and wanting the illusion of anothers care.
On the journey home though he was a husband, a father and a son. He was going to a place where he would be welcomed with open arms. Everyone would rejoice at his return and the whole village would be invited to share the Roast pig . The women would be making vast quantities of potato salad and the children would be helping to taste the rich creamy desserts. He thought of his wife Inga. Had he imagined that her face hadn't lit up quite so much with the joy of seeing him last time? Had he imagined that his cousin Vasili had touched her on the arm a bit too often? He shook himself. He would go into the autogrill and buy her a special gift, just like the tourists who wandered round looking for last minute souvenirs.
|The view from the Beausoleil service station looking towards Cap ferrat|