It was a lazy Sunday afternoon when we met them. They were sprawled on the sun loungers, shading themselves from the intense Greek sunshine and yawning from the heat.
We were escaping to the beach, to feel the sea breeze on our pale English skin. Gold bag brimming with sun hats, beach towels and sun tan lotion. We stopped to say hello. They looked so content, underneath the faded yellow umbrella, watching the children splashing around in the pool. We hoped to see them again, when the sun was setting and we were ready to return to our apartment.
We saw them every day after our first encounter by the swimming pool. They were timid at first, unsure of us and our enthusiastic introductions. But as each day passed their inhibitions melted away and they became friendly and playful, reacting to our happy sun kissed faces.
They watched us drinking pink cocktails on our balcony, and they ran around the stained wooden table while we danced to the sounds from our portable CD player. We invented ball games to keep them entertained, and each night we waved good night to them before we retired to our air conditioned bedroom. We would collapse on the cool white linen sheets, exhausted from our days spent gazing at the sun and running into the sea, and our evenings spent eating platefuls of feta cheese and bowls of moussaka.
We were sad when seven days later we had to say good bye to them. Our summer holiday was nearly over.
During our last evening we drank tall glasses of tomato juice and took photographs for our memories. Memories to cherish, happy memories of the friends we met in Rhodes.
We named them Ronnie and Roxy. We were not sure of their real names, but we wanted to affectionately call them something. I think they liked the names we gave them.
If you ever visit the Solemar Hotel in Ixia you will probably find them by the swimming pool, sheltering from the heat. They have bright green eyes and ginger speckled hair. And they will probably be eating cockroaches.
If you do see them, could you tell them Nikki and Mark said hello?
Ronnie and Roxie