Pon stepped out of the bright blue taxi, her pink skirt rising up and showing more than enough of her fair skinned thigh to catch the attention of the table full of office men sitting just outside the front doors of the Star Coffee Shop.

“Maybe the sea would be good for us…” he mumbled, attempting to calm the storm within his mind.

“I know that it will be. I’m sure of it. There is no place you and I feel better than the sea. It will be so romantic.”

The idea of romance, the mere mention of it, and immediately his thoughts – unable to bring into focus the multitude of nights he and Pon had shared, the love, the conversations over dinner, the physical ecstasy – and he pictured her with the guy she had betrayed him with. In truth he had no idea what the young man looked like, only that he was young, her age, and the son of a wealthy land developer who could afford to whisk her away for a quixotic weekend to any island of her choosing. Seth had been golfing with his work buddies the weekend it had happened and he’d been shocked, when returning home early Sunday afternoon, to find her note detailing a spontaneous trip with college friends to Ko Samui. Ironically it was a location she’d been asking to take him to for months.

Perhaps he had been arrogant or just absent minded about his doting upon her. In Thailand she was the essence of desire. Her China white complexion, long black hair, tiny features, and wealthy heritage made her desired by Thai’s elite and the nation’s commoners as well. Much like the TV actresses she resembled, she was blessed with the unusual skin tone, the contrasting shade – her white skin was opposed to the usual Thai dark brown and her long egg shaped face contrasted their square profile – and this otherness made men desire her and women aspire to look like her.

Seth’s thoughts were flashing, but he’d paused too long in their conversing. She exhaled a slow breath. “Seth, are you okay?”

“Yes… Sorry. I know the beach is your favorite.”

“Our favorite,” she argued. “You are always so relaxed there; your face loses all those worry wrinkles. It is perfect for us to get out of Bangkok and smell some salt air.”

He nodded in agreement. His heart was pounding as if he’d been running to catch a cab in the rain, but in truth there was no reason for his anxiety, this had all happened a while back and since then she’d been making every effort to make him blissfully forgetful. There were just days, his exhausted ones, when the old wound seemed to reopen in him and both of them knew – without any need for it to be stated openly – that her prior unfaithfulness was why his tongue was razor sharp.

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