To Cecil: You are my biggest regret. When you drove me in your yellow BMW to the Alps near Geneva I knew I loved you dearly. When you slapped me softly on my cheek because I said I wanted to stay with you, you hurt me badly, even though you were right: you were engaged to marry. I had an on-and-off girlfriend but when I met you – and your sweet and funny sister – I knew you were the one. Then you said your father was only a train conductor. So what? OK, my dad was a beer brewer and my mother from nobility. But who cares? You were IT, and it would have been beautiful. For me, you were just the most beautiful and most lovely girl I ever met, and you had this great stamina and presence.
That’s why I wrote Ingrid the Magnificent Viking. Of course, it’s imagination of what could have been. But you are still in my mind. When I met you again at the coffee bar down at your Norwegian Embassy in Geneva, you seemed less happy than I would have thought, after your marriage. Well, I hope you had a beautiful life with lovely children, as you were the most beautiful girl I ever saw.
You will remember that tape with the Beach Boys, Good Vibrations. You loved that tune so much that I left it in your car.
I was at a diplomatic party in Geneva and they said, “We hear you are going to marry a Norwegian girl. Who is she?” I don’t know who spread the rumor. Maybe my boss did because he was Norwegian too. He naughtily told you I was “in love” with his secretary, but I was not. We liked each other, but not for life.
I wish I could have said, ” Yes, I am going to marry Cecil.” I would have learned to speak Norwegian. It can’t be more difficult than Dutch.
But you were already taken and I had to leave you behind.
Kiss-kiss, my dear: my greatest wish is to see you again before I die.
Your loving John
INGRID THE MAGNIFICENT VIKING : http://amzn.to/2jZf6Is