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Pattaya Daily News

10 March 2008 :: 17:03:49 pm 6929

“I Want a Divorce!”

"Not that I don‘t trust him," the patriarch had said. "But there are things he should not know. He‘ a farang, and never will be one of us."
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When the trio sauntered back after the lapse of almost an hour, the poor wealthy woman noticed that the two men almost reached the same height of six feet, but Edwin had more delicate features and was slightly less in weight as opposed to Charles’ refined looks and broad shoulders. During the salad days of their marriage, Sunita had mentioned to some Thai women who gawked adoringly at her prince charming: “And he’s very public school, you know.”

“Tea or coffee?” Sunita asked the three as if she had not read the Post.
“Tea, please,” said the trio in unison as if they had not talked about the news behind her back. The lady of the house called for the maid and ordered tea for the English and kaotom talay (seafood rice soup) which she had alone in the dining room while Charles and his friends took tea by the sea. After a while Charles came to his wife and said: “Let’s take Rebecca and Edwin on a boat and have a picnic on the island.”

When the wife remained silent, concentrating on her breakfast, the husband pleaded: “It would be so nice for them. I’ll ask Boon to make sandwiches and I’ll pack foie gras, smoked salmon, caviar and a few bottles of champagne in ice boxes, then we’ll be off.”

” All right,” the wife replied nonchalantly, without looking up while she contemplated the bowl of kaotom.

One of the drivers was dispatched to the fishing village of Baan Shan to secure a boat. The guests were told to take their suntan lotions, towels and flip-flops. Soon a small fishing boat approached the villa, making a spasmodic rut-rut-rut sound as the boatman tried to nose it up the beach for the party to climb on board.

The grinning, youthful helmsman wore only baggy black trousers which Edwin thought were pyjama trousers. The half-naked native was in fact a fisherman, earning extra income by taking tourists to the island whenever he is not out to sea. Barefooted, he was busily steering his boat away from the land.

The wives were spreading their large blue fluffy towels on the deck chairs before sitting down on them, facing seaward. While the boat was nicely gliding on the slightly choppy sea, Charles Charlton uncorked a bottle of well-chilled champagne as Edwin brought out glasses from a picnic basket. When they were skirting the island, Charles attempted to communicate with the ever-smiling Thai youth, pointing with the hand that was holding his drink: “Too many tourists on the beaches on this side, go farther and we’ll find a beach with no people on it kaojai mai krap?”

The handsome fisherman smiled broadly, nodding. “Well done, old chap,” Edwin mentioned to flatter his friend though he did not know a word of Thai.
” Awful” uttered Sunita. “Charles still needs to go back to his Thai classes. He doesn’t even know the difference between kobkoon and kobjai.
“She’s only jealous of my Thai,” Charles told Rebecca. “The Thais don’t even understand her Thai.”
Against that remark, Sunita flashed her hateful look, glad that her mind was momentarily taken off the headline and the report of the Post. Eventually their boat arrived at a deserted sandy cove. Here, the sea was mild and the water was sparklingly clear and blue. The sandy beach beckoned to them.

Having anchored and stopped the engine, the humble youth took out a cigarette and began smoking. He looked content enough to remain within his own world, while the world of the rich farangs seemed millions of mental miles away. But for once, he took a sly look at the bikini-clad figures and entertained his own thoughts. He had taken uninhibited farang tourists here several times and some of them had divested themselves of all their clothes to sun themselves!

Charles and Edwin dived almost at the same time into the water, swimming together to the shore, while the women took their time. By the time the wives could wade towards the dry land, their husbands had gone to the other end of the cove. Picking up shells by the lapping water evoked Sunita’s childhood memories of her time at Huahin with her father whom she had successfully taken away from the children of his mialuang (major wife) to spend time exclusively with her and her mother at their beach house. Father was not a billionaire then, but he was on his way to becoming mighty in the world of trade and politics.

At this point Sunita turned to look for Charles and saw that he and his friend had transformed themselves into a pair of ancient Greek athletes, wrestling on the sand. It took a wounding moment for her to say: “Just like those in Women in Love!” Not caring whether Rebecca had heard her or not she hastily turned and walked in the opposite direction.

On the way back to the mainland, Ms Panichakulkosollooked so sullen that Mr Charlton had to whisper to Mr Pennington his guess of what was troubling her. So the English played dumb and drank the rest of champagne while the Thai sulked all the way. At home Sunita went straight to the master bedroom, but when Charles followed she swung to face him head on, eyes glaring and her quivering mouth demanding hysterically: “I want a divorce!”

As if he had been expecting such a scene to happen, Charles said calmly: “I’ll agree to that if you let our children keep my family name which is still clean and honourable so that they can travel and enter countries which your father cannot. It wasn’t the headline in today’s paper that opened my eyes. I’ve been hearing rumours, and as a matter of fact, several foreign correspondents have told me openly about the allegation. When he asked me to go to Los Angeles to bring the body of one of your half brothers who died in a car accident to Bangkok, I did not have to guess why your father could not go himself. Your father..”

“Stop! You leave my father out of this!” Sunita did not attempt to muffle her cry. “Get out! Get out of my house!”

After Charles had gone, Sunita snatched her handbag from the dressing table and left the room. Her husband was not aware that his wife had not come back from wherever she went off in a huff by car until dinner.

“Then why didn’t Tanom drive her? I saw him just now, in the back of the house,” Charles raised his voice, scowling at Boon, the housekeeper.

“Naipuying took the car key from him,” said the frightened servant.
At the dinner table, the host made an excuse to his guests that his wife had gone back to Bangkok to be with her father who needed all the comfort a man in such a predicament might require. His choice of wines included Dom Perignon 1982 to celebrate his forth – coming divorce.

It was not until the next morning that Charles learned of his wife’s fatal accident caused by a head-on collision with a truck some twenty kilometres from her palatial home on the beach of Rayong.

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Stories

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