Sophie paused to look out of the window at the scene below. In the middle of the ancient square was a statue of a little girl holding out a seashell in her open hand, standing under a waterfall. Restaurants lined the square, where orange and lemon trees were ripe for the picking. The tourists were enjoying their lazy lunches, accompanied by jugs of traditional Sangria, and as she opened the window, the sound of laughter filled the air.
Just a few steps from the tree-lined square was the beautiful white-washed Church of Santa Domingo where, on the hour, the heavy church bell rang out, to be heard in all the neighbouring villages. Just past the Church, there was a sheer drop to the Costa far below. The view was truly breathtaking and was one of the reasons she had chosen to buy the traditional terracotta house. The area offered an easy lifestyle with its comfortable climate and light sea breezes.
Once all the tourists had disappeared back to their Hotels, Sophie took great delight in wandering through the narrow cobbled streets and enjoying the display of hot coloured geraniums spilling out of endless pots on little window cills and ricketty iron ladders.
Down the steep, winding hill from the Pueblo, was the Costa, with its many restaurants, clubs and bars, throwing out the sounds of live jazz, and salsa dancing til dawn.
Twice a week, Sophie would venture from from her little house to stroll along the promenade, which stretched from the Castle to the Marina, and admire the amazing variety of mosaics created by local Artists. Often she would just sit looking out across the Mediterranean, or simply watch the world go by. At times like these, her mind would wander and she would see herself in the garden of her old home, surrounded by grandchildren, listening to their excited shrieks as they played hide and seek, or racing across the lawn to the swings that hung from the apple trees in the old orchard. She would pause from picking the roses to watch the little ones at play.
Although Sophie adored her sons, part of her had always longed for a little girl and now here was her toddler granddaughter trying so hard to keep up with her older brother and cousins.
Suddenly, she stirred and the awful black cloud descended on her once again, and she was right back to that rainy November morning. It still amazed her, even now, to think that when she had woken up that morning, she had no idea that, after this day, her life would never be the same again.
To Be Continued ....