I needed to find a flatmate & I needed to find one quick. I had had short notice given by my previous one & I needed to pay the rent soon. Sometimes it was easy finding someone as my spacious flat had a first class sea view from the largest veranda on the front of the building, though of course sometimes it took ages to find the right person.
Before I started advertising for someone a friend asked me if I preferred a male or female. I said I wasn't bothered though if they were going to be female, I didn't want an attractive one as this was business & I didn't want to be distracted.
Cutting it a bit fine one week before the rent was due, I found a girl to move in. She put some money down to close the deal. A girl called Petra did phone a day later saying that she would really like to look at the flat too though I told her it had just gone. She told me to take her number just in case it fell through. I took it though just to be polite.
Three days before my new flatmate was supposed to move in she phoned to say that she had changed her mind. She had just split with her boyfriend though they had made up & she was back to living with him again. She apologised for messing me around & was good enough to pay me one weeks rent even though she hadn't moved in, though this still left me in an awkward position of finding someone else really quick.
I still had to pay one months rent & I didn't have the money. The only very slim chance I thought I had was to phone Petra. I called her asking if she was still interested. She said she was very happy that I had phoned & said yes, she would be round within the hour to view the flat & would be bringing a friend. Soon there was a knock on my front door & I opened it.
What I saw next made my jaw nearly hit the floor! Standing in front of me was not only a very beautiful smartly dressed woman, she was probably the most beautiful woman I had ever seen! I stood facing her wearing a days worth of stubble, a worn t-shirt, old track suit bottoms with a strong feeling telling me this ain't gonna work.
I introduce myself & invite her & her friend called Martin, also smartly dressed, into my flat. She looks around the flat, has a chat with me then Martin, says she likes it, hands over a deposit & starts moving in her belongings two days later! I'm in shock. She's absolutely gorgeous! I have to have someone move in though this is going to be far too distracting. Where have all the average looking girls gone?
Petra was Portuguese. Her olive skin was like silk. A perfect set of white teeth, big brown sparkling warm eyes that you could lose yourself in & lips with a natural pout. She was so beautiful it nearly hurt to look at her. Brighton always has some very pretty girls living here though Petra went off the scale completely! Within the first couple of weeks I had told a few of my friends about Petra & said that she was certainly the most beautiful woman in Brighton. Quite naturally they didn't take my opinion quite literally & thought it was perhaps just me who found her attractive. When they met her though their opinions changed instantly as they realised I hadn't been exaggerating one bit.
Petra was 27 yrs old & told me this was the very first time she had lived with someone other than in a family situation. It sounded like she had had a much more conventional experience of life than me, so I wanted to make sure she would feel comfortable & relaxed around me. She would go off to work each day, come home in the evening & either stay in her room or go & visit her friend Martin. She mentioned that she was taking some prescription drugs for anxiety though she came across as reasonably happy.
Each time she came in from work & saw me she spoke a little then retreated into her room. I could feel that she wanted to communicate with me more so I was patient & let her come to me in her own way & time. After two weeks of sharing with me I could feel that she wanted to have a proper conversation as the conversations were gradually getting longer in length.
One Saturday afternoon it was raining outside so she decided to stay in. I thought when she wanted to chat I would give her some space to express herself by using my active listening skills. Eventually she came into the living room & began to talk. She was sitting on the floor in the living room & I was on a sofa several feet away from her. I listened to her speak for around 90 mins, encouraging her to express herself by just nodding my head occasionally & in that time I spoke perhaps 20 words. I listened with my ears, my eyes & my feelings.
Petra began to really open up to me. She told me about her past, her family, her relationships, her education, personal stuff. She had wanted to make good & earn a decent living in the U.K. so she could show her Mother she had achieved something.
Even though she was intelligent & well educated, her particular Portuguese qualifications were not useful for her to get a decent paying job in this country. She quickly fell into working in the sleazy side of Brighton as a Dominatrix doing S & M & because of her beauty she began to make lots of money very quickly. This explained the very expensive clothes she owned. Doing this kind of work though grated against her values & made her ill so Martin & his Italian family took her in so she had some stability & security.
After 90 mins of talking she suddenly slumped over on the carpet, went into a foetal position & began to cry. She was sobbing her heart out. I just sat there & watched as she let it all out. After several minutes she sat up, a smile appeared on her face & then she began to laugh. She then said, "No one has ever listened to me like that in my whole life & I will treasure today forever." From then we were connected on a deep level. With some effort she came off her prescription drugs within the next few weeks. She told me she adored me & later on told me that Martin thought we were going to marry. I asked her why & she said it was because she was talking about me all of the time.
BUT & there always is a but, she still had too much baggage from her past. She had witnessed her mother getting beat up on regular occasions by her father. He had a successful limousine hire business though preferred to spend most of this money on other women & gambling. He also had a gun in the house. Petra had two brothers. One was mentally retarded & the other one had been in prison for drug dealing & now had Aids. I can accept some baggage though how these things had affected her was far too heavy for me. She eventually packed her bags & returned to Portugal & I never saw her again.