Maud looked at the deserted rear deck which had been their perfect relaxing spot to soak up the sun and have a good gossip. Until George had discovered them! Maud’s husband George was like a black cloud sprinkling doom all over their hard earned slice of paradise.
Doreen and Maud had saved for years to take this cruise through the Greek Isles. Their cabin was miniscule but the weather, and the wine, were perfect. Two weeks without the stress of cooking meals, or being asked to care for sick grandchildren. Just two friends escaping.
Doreen was the lucky one, it was easier for her to escape; Bert had passed away four years ago. She and Maud had planned the trip over coffee, two days after Bert’s funeral.
Maud still had George. She had come home on the day of the funeral and looked at George stretched on the couch, his thin strands of hair combed over in a failed bid to disguise his bald crown.
“Get us a beer love,” had been his greeting. Not one word about the service or how her best friend was coping. Maud decided to escape.
They told no one. Maud switched to no name supermarket brands and pocketed the savings from her housekeeping budget. Gorge paid no attention to what she cooked anyway..The savings increased slowly. The friends celebrated when the final stamp was placed on their passports. George didn’t bat an eyelid when he was told the grandchildren had measles and Maud would need to be away for two weeks.
“I suppose I’ll have to eat at the pub,” he made it sound as if he was sacrificing himself.
Maud had underestimated George though. For all their secrecy, when the ship had docked at Mykonos, there was George, floral shirt straining across his large belly and what resembled a dead animal attached to the top of his head.
“Not a wig,” he insisted, “a toupee”, he boasted, rhyming it with tee-pee. “I’ll share your cabin; after all my money paid for it.” He was at his most obnoxious.
Doreen and Maud did their best to ignore George as he strutted around,”checking out the talent,” as he called the other female passengers. They retreated to their quiet spot to discuss the problem. George followed, fiddling with his new hair in the breeze.
“I’ll need the cabin if I score.” George trying to sound like James Dean was too much for Doreen and Maud, they broke into a fit of laughter. George turned back angrily, his progress interrupted by a gust of wind that took his hair over the railing.The two friends were in hysterics, tears streaming down their faces.
“My toupee,” George screamed, climbing after it and losing his footing.
“Well should we?” Doreen repeated looking at the water, “ask the Captain I mean.”
Maud, still chuckling, wiped her eyes. “Perhaps later love, it's almost happy-hour.”