It was mid-September when recent divorcee’s Matthew Charlton and Emily Waugh moved into Flat’s 3 and 4, respectively of East Cliff Lodge, overlooking the picturesque Teardrop Lake.
The view of the water from their flats was spectacular with its distinctive teardrop shape which gave the lake its name surrounded by the ancient woodland of the Dancingdean Forest.
It was a modest body of water as lakes go, just over two miles long and almost a mile at its widest point, it really was a thing of beauty and was both idyllic and peaceful.
Matt was 32 years old with neatly styled brown wavy hair, brown eyes and a well-groomed close cropped beard.
Emily was five years younger than him and was best described as diminutive at 4’ 11”, with shoulder length brown hair streaked with red and gold.
They had moved there because after the divorce they both wanted to start new lives, in an entirely different part of the county.
Also they had both been heavily influenced by friends who had recommended Teardrop Lake as the perfect place to begin again.
But fate definitely took a hand.
They only discovered their collective error when Matt knocked on Emily’s door to introduce himself.
Only a few months before he knocked on her door they had still been married to each other.
They divorced, not due to a lack of love but, but a lack of conflict.
Apparently he was too enabling,
He wasn’t assertive enough,
He was too accommodating, in short he was too nice.
Though he didn’t think it was true that he was too easy going, it was just that he didn’t care whether they went on holiday to the Greek islands or to Cyprus, he knew he would enjoy either.
It was true he had no strong opinion on the colour of the lounge carpet, the style of sofa or whether the walls should be papered or painted.
If he’d had an opinion he would have put her straight.
Choices mattered to Emily so he let her make them.
Over the weeks that followed their re acquaintance there were a number of chance encounters between them that led to an increase in animosity which culminated in the decisive meeting on Halloween.
It was at the big fancy dress party at Forest Lodge to which everyone on the Lake was invited, as well as some from Shallowfield.
It was the home of Peter Lutchford, and mine host was dressed as Herman Munster and his fiancé Claire Andrews, who was a Doctor, was dressed as Lily Munster and Peter’s actress sister Amanda Flanders was dressed as a witch, her brother Peter thought was type casting.
It was a marvelous occasion and everyone had a wonderful time and although they didn’t know it at the time, due to its popularity it would become an annual event.
Emily was dressed in a monkey costume, the only costume she had ever tried that fitted her perfectly, so it was the only thing she ever wore.
But for variety she would accessorized it for the occasion.
She did so for Halloween by adding Vampire teeth and a cape and she went as a Vampire Monkey.
Matt on the other hand had the pick of the costumers’ and went to the party dressed as Satan.
It was almost inevitable that it should happen so late on in the evening they bumped into each other again.
It was while he was in the conservatory.
“Oh God not you again” she said “Are you stalking me?”
“Oh lighten up Emily” he retorted having had just enough to drink to not take her seriously.
“Lighten up? Lighten up?” she exclaimed all shrill “everywhere I go you’re there”
“Perhaps there’s a reason for that” he said “maybe the universe is trying to tell us something”
“No its not” she snapped “it’s not the Gods nor is it fate or providence and any other bloody superstition, it’s just bad luck”
“I think its serendipity” he said
“Oh shut up and take me home” she barked
“No” he replied and poured himself another drink
“Then call me a cab” she said
“Call your own bloody cab” Matt said and laughed
“Charming” she said “you used to do things for me”
“Yes I did and you called me a door mat and divorced me so if you need a bloody taxi, call it yourself” he said
“My father warned me about you” Emily said coldly
“It’s funny you should mention your father” He said
“He gave me some great advice on our wedding day, he said “Emily is my only daughter and I love her with all my heart, but she can be a selfish little cow, when she was little a spanked arse did the trick, it might still””
“You wouldn’t dare raise a hand to me and you’re not man enough to put me across your knee” she said and laughed in his face and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
He took her by the wrist and pulled her across his knee.
Peter and Claire walked into the kitchen laughing and Amanda said
“What’s so funny?”
“We just saw Satan spanking the monkey in the conservatory” Peter said
“Eww that’s disgusting” Amanda said
“No, it’s not like that” Claire said
“There’s a girl in a monkey suit and she’s being spanked by Satan”
“It still sounds dirty to me” Amanda said.
With the first slap on her plump cheek she wriggled and protested but the protestations were short lived
“I should have taken your fathers advice and done this years ago” he said and gave her another good spank.
When he had finished spanking her she had long since finished protesting he stood her up and said
“Now I’ll take you home”
“Ok” she said meekly, rubbing her buttock with one hand and holding his hand with the other.
That night Matt took her home, but not to hers, he took her to his and from that moment on they were effectively together again.
Over the following weeks they jointly decided how to decorate and re-carpet and then they moved everything of hers into his flat, their flat.
It came as a bit of a shock to their friends that they were back together but on the whole everyone was pleased.
Although there was some hostility from both sets of parents.
But they were happy and they settled down to a pleasant life together on the Lake.
For New Year’s Eve, Matt and Emily had been invited to another fancy dress party this time at the Shallowfield Lodge Hotel.
Unfortunately just after lunch Emily started to feel the effects of a migraine coming on and decided not to go to the party, but she didn’t want to spoil Matt’s fun so she insisted he should go on his own.
“No it’s alright” he protested
“You must go” Emily said
“I’m really not fussed about going” he said “I’ll have a quiet night in”
“Nonsense, you must go”
“But…” he protested
But she wouldn’t take no for an answer and she made him promise.
“Ok I promise I’ll go” he gave in and then she went to bed.
About six hours later Emily woke up and was surprised to discover the headache had gone.
So, she got up and had a long relaxing soak in the bath and as she wallowed in the scented water she made a decision, she would go to the party after all and surprise her husband.
She got out of the bath tub and dried herself and dusted her skin with powder.
Emily slipped on her sexiest silk underwear and then the monkey costume which she accessorised with a Santa hat and some Led lights.
Then she jumped in the car and drove to the Lodge.
It was fairly close to midnight when she pulled into the car park and found a space.
Having parked she rushed off to find Matt so they could see in the New Year in together.
It didn't take her long to spot Matt in his Devils outfit, he was on the dance floor with a very leggy Cat Woman.
Emily was just about to go and cut in when the music changed and James Blunt started warbling out “Beautiful”
And the Devil moved in close to Cat Woman and then they wrapped their arms around each other’s necks and began kissing, very passionately, very passionately indeed.
Emily didn’t stay for the midnight countdown, she just ran out to the car sobbing and once she got to the car she broke down completely.
When she had finished crying she wiped her face on the sleeve of her costume and drove home and when she go inside she went to bed where she cried some more.
Emily couldn’t sleep and just lay there in the darkness, rerunning the picture of her satanic husband with his tongue down Cat woman’s throat.
It was about 1.30am when she heard the front door open and close and it was a few minutes later that the bedroom door opened quietly.
Emily lay silently in the darkness until he slipped into bed.
"Did you have a nice time?" she asked
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to wake you” he said and kissed her forehead
“I bet you didn’t” she thought to herself but out loud she said
“So did you have a good time?”
"It was okay" he replied
"Only okay?” she pressed “Didn’t you enjoy the dancing?"
“You know I’m not much of a dancer” he said
“Well you seemed to be doing ok when I last saw you” she said inside her own head
“So you didn’t get carried along with the excitement?” she said and there was no response
“I have a confession to make” he said
“Oh God here it comes” she screamed in her head
"I didn't go” Matt said and braced himself
“What?” Emily retorted feeling the anger building, it was bad enough him kissing another woman in front of their friends and neighbours but now he was lying to her on top of his betrayal
“I know I promised Hun but I really didn’t fancy going without you”
“So where have you been all this time?” Emily asked
“I met up with Danny and Penny at their place and we had a few drinks and a catch up.
Danny Pellegrino was an old friend, who he’d known from Art School, who had recommended Teardrop Lake.
He said he had found happiness and love there only that summer and couldn’t speak highly enough of the place.
“Dan’s cousin Josh pitched up unannounced and he was the only one who fancied going to the party, so I leant him my costume” he explained “are you really cross with me?”
“So you didn’t go to the Lodge and snog Cat Woman?”
“What? No” he replied and was prevented from speaking again as Emily was kissing him.