YOUR HOLIDAY ROMANCE

Emma Berol went to Mykonos without her partner in search of her own enlightenment. She found another man

Alone on the Greek island of Mykonos, I was quite content with my backpack, tent and the mosquitoes as intimate companions. The last thing on my mind was a holiday fling - especially since I had left my boyfriend back in England. I'd planned a journey of independent enlightenment, but it didn't quite turn out that way.

Lolling on the beach one day, I was accosted by a fellow Brit, a very self-assured Harley Street dentist to be precise. The dentist did his posh-London best to chat me up, but all the time I was preoccupied with a pair of blacker-than-black eyes staring at me. These big black eyes belonged to the dentist's friend. We were introduced involving a minimal exchange, and for the time being no further conversation followed.

As is the way in Mykonos, the night drew in the beautiful people, all who were dancing and drinking. Mr Black-eyes and I never left one another's side yet we still hadn't exchanged more than two words - we just shared just this captivating, comfortable silence.

As the sun blinked at us some hours later through a cocktail-induced fog, I realised that we were alone. The dentist had vanished with a more obliging Italian girl, and the bodies strewn around us on the beach were out cold. The alarm bells rang: "boyfriend at home", "journey of independent enlightenment". I made "I'm about to be going" small talk and then we chatted... and chatted... and what hadn't been said in past hours was certainly made up for. We talked the sun up into sky, across the burning blue midday, and back down to the horizon again.

Two days later we were still talking. By now there was nothing that we hadn't spoken about, including his return home to Canada, and my imminent return to my partner in England. We agreed that we had made a special friendship, but long distance correspondence plus the occasional visit was how we would leave things - civilised and sensible. Yet I found myself boarding the boat back to Athens with tears in my eyes and a head filled with romantic cliches. The words "destiny", "once in a lifetime" and "soul- mate" blurred my vision all the way back to the UK.

Two months after my return to England, my black-eyed Canadian came out to see me - the words that had echoed in my head on that flight home suddenly became reality. Three and a half years later we are still together.

A grovelling apology goes out to my previous partner.

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