Stolen summer

Read part 1- It doesn’t matter, it feels like summer … and part 2- Summer in the middle of winter

Stolen Summer

* * * * *

Imagine there is a place where all emotions were born, pure, untouched by the lies of people emotions, virgin feelings that never saw the light of day or the moonlight at midnight; held for centuries in a dungeon where no Divine or a human soul has ever been. And imagine how one day the chains, the torture, the walls, the caves burned down and all these desires were let out into the wild. Double that! No! Make it times ten! And then add the power of the five senses, the lullaby of the winds, the lives of raindrops fighting to survive the ground, the alchemy of the sun, moon and star- lights … that’s how it was being with Alex.

And it wasn’t because of the little things he’d do to make me feel like I was the only woman in his world, I’ve felt that before; it wasn’t because of the flowers or because of the passion he managed to extract out of me kiss after kiss, I’ve had many flowers and kisses before him; it was because of what I saw in his eyes- worship, respect and love reflecting through a sparkling green light. I’ve seen in the eyes of men love, joy, lust, happiness … anything that could bring a smile into a girl’s heart, but in his eyes, it was something that originated from beyond the beyond. Every day was like the glory of New Year’s fireworks, every night – a happy end of a fairy tale. I was myself for a first time, I crashed all walls down and I let myself flowing into the river of unknown, taking me to what love had in store without a fear.

Sometimes when I was alone, I wondered if my heart was strong enough to handle all this love and few times the shadow of tomorrow curved a wrinkle on the very deep end of my inside peace, but with the sunrise the shadows always faded away and resembled nonsense. Day by day my happiness grew even stronger and turned into an extreme excitement that brought a constant fever into my body and into my heart. Somewhere along the road I had lost control and with that came the jealousy, the doubts, the fear of loosing him. Every minute away from Alex was unbearable and the sight of another woman talking to him even innocently was like the knife of a serial killer ready to strike. I’ve always been a very patient person and with a lady-like behavior, I could never bring myself down to the level of making a nasty, jealousy scene, not now, not back then, not especially when I knew I had no reasons, when I was aware that it was all a fiction created in my imagination.

Of course that didn’t help much, I suffered, chasing invisible demons, I didn’t want it, but thinking clearly wasn’t easy, the emotions were flooding my mind unwillingly and I often let them drown me. Sometimes at night, when we made love and the strawberry body butter on my skin blended again and again with the musk fragrance of his perfume I cried and he sat there holding me, not knowing what to say, how to stop the tears. I was trying to find good enough excuses to cover the real reasons and I knew he didn’t believe any of them, but he never said anything, he just kept being even better at loving me, and I kept being confused and drifting from peace to insanity. And when the company he worked at offered him a six month training course in Germany I saw it as a sign, I was sure that we needed to take a break, I needed to gain back my emotional freedom and I was the first to encourage him to accept.

Alex wasn’t happy when I explained why I am willing to let him go, he thought that my fears were just a face I’ve been going through. But after many conversations, after days of arguing I somehow managed to convince him that some time apart would be good for both of us. “… And each man kills the thing he loves, by each let this be heard, some do it with a bitter look, some with a flattering word, the coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with a sword!” / Oscar Wilde/ and I, unknowingly, killed my love the day I let him leave Athens by thinking I’ve made the right choice… Because the six months turned into an year and then Alex moved to Finland because of a good job opportunity he stumbled upon, thanks to that course in Berlin; and by the time we both realized, we were dating other people and we were friends again.

At first it was Costa and the sunsets in Santorini, then Ben and the feeling of security, after Ben a summer flirt with Tododris and an online passion with Charlie, a long distance, intense relationship with Alexis and … each of them gave me love, made me grow as a person, as a woman even more, with each of them there was something beautiful and something that I couldn’t accept completely. There were tears and laughter, understanding and lies and I tried to find the bright side in each of them, but when you’ve been to the moon once and you’ve seen the stars shining in your hands, it’s really hard to settle down with the faraway glow of neon lights or the fake glitter of fireflies.

It was just before Alex moved to Finland he came back to Athens for a week to see his parents and it was at that time that Ben had just left me, because as he said, he couldn’t take anymore of my demands; and when Alex took me out for a drink and we spent the evening both complaining about the men and the women in our lives, it felt natural to find comfort in each others arms and this is how from friends we became friends who shared intimate moments once in a while. There were no demands or fears, no pressure or jealousy, no plans for the future, just moments when I could be with him and forget about the rest of the world and in the same time to be in control of my own emotions. Sometimes it hurt to have him so close in the same room and on the next day miles away, but I always thought about the few hours left with him and every desire to confess that I want him back was dead even before the first breath of life. ‘It’s better that way’, I’d tell myself and I’d steal one last kiss to keep me going ’till the next time I’d see him.

It was the last week in November 2009, I was expecting him to visit me for a long weekend and the joy was everywhere, even the rain and the clouds didn’t bother me. I remember looking at the skies and wondering how come they couldn’t feel my happiness, how come they wouldn’t smile even for a second, but I moved very fast into thoughts about Alex and ignored the thunders and the lightnings. Until later on, when we were lying in bed and I was babbling happily about something trivial and he suddenly made me stop talking, asked me to listen to him and there it was, the biggest thunder ever, ” blood and wine were on his hands” and “the poor dead woman whom he loved, and murdered in her bed. For each man kills the thing he loves, yet each man does not die. “/ Oscar Wilde/

‘I am getting married next month’, he whispered and I was again, 25 years old, in his arms, in the hotel room in Halkidiki, not realizing that I shouldn’t smile, but I should run, run, run to where the sound of a ripped paper can equally fight with the turbulence in the air that brings death; and even further, where time stops and the crack of a human’s soul is nothing more than an innocent joke. I should’ve ran! To the end of the world!

Everything happens for a reason, they say. I have no idea why I can’t offer you a happy end right now, I’ve blamed myself long enough to know that to dance tango it takes two; and I have no idea why there is this constant feeling that someone stole every bit of summer that I had inside of me, I’ve survived worse than a winter caging my feelings. But I can tell you, the next day when Alex left, I wrote my first poem …

In love with the rain

by B.Todorova

The quiet rain that murmurs outside,
that calm rain I know is burning you inside,
because if the wind blows and
the muddy floods stop all of a sudden,
you know I will leave you to sleep.

My hair, sparkling wet and the scent of it,
I know you drain off with your eyes eager,
the dewdrop that trembles on my neck,
it’s all that you have in your dreams.

And if I ever reveal my love for rain
if I ever confess it’s because of you,
please don’t hate me,
I know you created the drops that fall right now,
I know you invented the rain for me.

Author’s note: The story is based on true events, for a better presentation I’ve added few fictional moments and I’ve changed some of the names. Excuse the mistakes if you see any, it is difficult to look myself for mistakes right away. Thank you everyone for reading!

"Nature's evening show" by Robert Stern

Visit Robert Stern Photography, like their Facebook page or just enjoy other lovely images on Flickr

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© 2012  Broken Sparkles

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Summer in the middle of winter

Read the first part of the story “It doesn’t matter, it feels like summer”- HERE

*****

The road had bleached, gray colors, I could barely separate the white line in the middle and the asphalt seemed to run together with the wheels, panting to exhaustion. The arrow on the speedometer was trembling over the steaming red area and it was probably frightened as much as me.
‘Can you, please, slow down! Id’ like to arrive to the airport on time, but alive! If possible!’
‘Evil doesn’t die that easily, honey!’
The wrinkles of anger on his face were a definite sign to keep quiet and abstain from smart comments, even if I had one ready. One thing that I didn’t know how to handle with Stefan was his bad temper, especially when I was the reason for his devilish behavior.

My first trip back to Bulgaria after two years in Greece, I had finally sorted out my residence papers and with that, the right to come and go out of the country whenever I liked. The time faraway from my family seemed like an eon from another universe. I couldn’t wait to see them and all my friends. The residence permit came unexpectedly a week before Christmas in 2003 and going home was scheduled at the very last moment. Stefan didn’t like the idea of me going alone to Bulgaria, he wanted to come with me, to meet my parents and then to introduce me to his parents who lived in a village near by. My confident and non-negotiable “No” didn’t blend nicely with his emotions. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t accept the fact that all I wanted was 10 days with my family. The week before my trip was a little nightmare, we spent every moment together arguing about silly things.

Asking him to drive me to the airport was not my first choice, but it was the only one since that day there was a strike of the public transport and a taxi from my place was a fortune. When we finally arrived and I sighed with relief, he stopped the car, dumped my suitcase out on the side walk and drove away, murmuring something with a rather nasty sound which I’m sure it wasn’t “good bye” or “have a nice trip”. I almost shouted after him “idiot”, but then I knew it wasn’t worth. I had 30 minutes to check in and I needed a moment to get rid off the unpleasant and awkward situation. I sat on top of the suitcase, searching for a cigarette, ignoring the looks of people who witnessed my little shame, when right behind me a voice made me feel like I am in a deja- vu scene.

‘Trouble in paradise, sunshine?’
‘Now that makes sense! Of course I am in trouble, it usually happens when you’re around!’
‘At least I didn’t find you walking to the airport. Having a ride for a change is a huge progress!’
And we both laughed and hugged, exchanging greetings.
‘What are you doing here?’, I asked him, noticing for a first time his green eyes, ordinary green, if it wasn’t for the sparkles of sweet danger, that made them glow.
‘My brother is flying to Thessaloniki for Christmas, I drove him here.’
”Aren’t you going home for Christmas too?’

‘Well, if you hadn’t left while I was still asleep that morning in Halkidiki, we could’ve had a coffee and a chat, and now you’d know that I was there only for the summer and that I live in Athens. You owe me an explanation and a name if I remember correct?’
The game of teasing, running away, the chase had this delightful taste with him and again I couldn’t resist…
‘It’s a long story, summer boy, and I am going to miss my plane, so maybe some other time.’
I walked towards the entrance of the departure hall, smiling, mostly inside my heart, on his reaction.
‘No, no, no! You can’t do that again! Wait! Give me at least your phone number, please!’
I stopped, worried, with a thought- ‘What if Fate doesn’t give me another chance to meet him? I’d sure regret it for life’. I turned around and I told him:
‘I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. Be here on the 2nd of January. My plane arrives from Bulgaria at 7.45 pm. And I’ll tell you my name.’
‘What you gonna do in Bulgaria?’, he was helpless in such a cute way, I could see all the questions on his face, but ‘Merry Christmas, summer boy!’, is all I said and I got lost in the crowd, happy, thrilled.

By the time 2nd of January came, I completely had out of my mind the little date I’ve arranged for my arrival back to Athens. Christmas at home, family, friends and moments by the fireplace with presents and wine made me forget Alex or I, on purpose, erased the thought, because I was afraid he will not come. Once the plane landed on “Elevterious Venizelou”/ the name of Athens airport/ and I collected my luggage, the first thing I did was to swap the Bulgarian with the Greek card on my mobile and to check my messages. None from Stefan, which was good, I wasn’t planning on calling him either. Plenty of wishes left on my voice mail- Happy New Year, all the best, may you find true love, let 2004 be your year … and as I was walking towards the exit, there he was, standing tall, handsome, made out of sunshine and smiles.

I love airports, always have, always will. The chaos of people chasing time and destinations, checking-in, hand luggage, Swiss chocolates, the smell of Armani perfumes … Even the airplanes in the sky, the turbulence and the feeling of creeping ants on your back, I love it all, but that night, the moment I saw him waiting for me, it was like a summer, sapphires in the ocean’s waves, palm trees under the bliss of the sun, sea shells kissing the sand right in the middle of winter.

It’s funny how I remember every little detail, every moment together with him; his words, my words, expressions and emotions, places we went to, things we did, but I don’t remember how and when we decided to be just friends. Alex still says that I was the one to promote the idea, but I have no memories about it. Maybe no one had the courage to take the next step or whatever started after that night on the airport was much bigger and few hours lust in bed were not worth to destroy it. Because there was the lust, in his eyes, in my heart and in the air every time we’d be together. Sometimes it was unbearable/ to me at least/, but spending time together was an adventure, every day was unique and different. He would follow my ideas without second guessing and I loved his surprises. Pancakes at 3 am, calling in sick at work so we could have a coffee in the middle of nowhere, on the other end of town, riding 100 km with the bike just because we saw an advertisement of a restaurant in the newspaper. But most of all, it was the talking, the conversations that mattered; sharing our souls out, intimate thoughts that I’d never share with anybody else, even with my very close girlfriends, weaknesses that he would never admit as a man, I trusted him and I knew he trusted me back.

In the first week of June we planned a long weekend away again. A colleague of Alex had a family hotel near Lavrio/ a village 50 km away from Athens/, it was a place we’ve been before and we liked very much, and it wasn’t that faraway from Athens. I couldn’t leave with everyone on Thursday night, so I was supposed to take the bus on Friday after work. When I got there the first thing that I noticed was a girl called Afroditi. She wasn’t their colleague, just a date Alex had one night a month or so ago. I even remembered Alex calling me after the date, at 2 am, to tell me the evening was a total disaster. Seeing her there sent a nauseous impulse to my stomach. Ever since Alex and I found each other in Athens and became friends I’ve never seen him dating a woman twice; every time it was a different girl and on trips away for the weekend, with friends, I was the only one he’d bring and we’d stay in the same room. He’d flirt with some of the local girls, which was totally fine by me, because I was dating other men too, and sometimes he’d come back to the room later than me, but he’d always come back, wake me up and talk to me about everything.

Seeing him with the same girl a second time didn’t feel right at all, but he welcomed me more than happily when I arrived, the whole evening in the restaurant and after in the night club he was around me just like every other time so I didn’t ask him or tell him anything about Afroditi. But when he didn’t come back to our room all night, when at 7 am I was still awake and pretty upset, I got up, packed my bag, checked the transport to Athens on the reception desk and I left. At 8 am I was on the back seat of the bus, with sun-glasses to hide my tears. I remember thinking of the people who died on Titanic, steel and glass swallowed by the salty, icy monsters and the odor of fear and death. No hope! Just screams of agony! In an hour I was in Athens and the pathetic, tearful wave of emotions had transformed into a heavy self- criticism and I was mad at myself for crying about nonsense, for letting my guard down. I didn’t have the right to feel the way I felt, but sometimes it’s impossible to fit in a tortured soul a big heart and even bigger logic and to make them beat in harmony at the same time.

In September 2002 when I first met Alex and I woke up next to him, to find myself happy in his arms, thinking of waking him up with a kiss … I left only so one day I won’t find myself crying on the back seat of a half-broken bus. I promised myself that whatever the cost, I will not let him near me and there I was, holding the pieces of that promise. I was going home and I was convinced that I will manage to get over it. A few movies and a day in bed seemed like a good idea. I stopped by my neighbor to collect Jasmine/ the kitty that I had at that time/ and at the look of the little creature’s eyes I was already feeling better. I found TV series called “Spooks”/English series about MI5 officers/ to watch online and hugging Jasmine on the couch, in my pajamas, there was not a single thought about Alex left, just the sound of the rain starting to drip on the window glass. At some point I must’ve fallen asleep and when the door bell rang I heard Jasmine jumping on the floor, but the idea of getting up wasn’t accepted that well from my body, so I thought that I won’t open. No one knew that I am back and it was probably someone trying to sell saucepans. And the door bell rang again and again and on the end I got really annoyed and stormed out to see who the intruder was.

The sight of Alex, with leftovers of rain on his hair and jacket, standing by the door and his green eyes flashing with madness came on me as a cold shower and the waking up effect was shocking. I tried to close the door but he was already inside the flat and there was nothing I could do to push his robust body with muscles distributed amazingly evenly. I stood there, speechless…
‘Enlighten me, please, what the hell are you doing here? And why did I have to find out that you have left Lavrio from reception dude?’, his voice was like a thunder, all I thought was when the lightnings are going to join us.
‘Eirini called that Jasmine didn’t look well, I was worried and I came back.’
‘Oh, come on! The cat looks more than fine’, and to made me look like a very talented liar, Jasmine jumped perfectly happy back on the couch and started playing with one of the remote controls. Damn cat!
‘It’s you and me B., leave the lame excuses and spell out the real reason, why did you leave?’
The sounds of Titanic sinking under the frozen waters came again and I couldn’t breathe and the previous night when I was alone waiting for him came together with the sinking boat and I couldn’t hold my thoughts locked anymore and ocean of words just flew out.

‘Maybe because I am sick of watching you fooling around and making out with blonde, silicon Barbies who have not a single curve on their brains? Maybe because I didn’t sleep all night, hoping that you will come back. Or simply because I wanted to leave! Suit yourself and choose a reason!’
‘Come again?’, at that moment I was sure he will somehow take a gun out and shoot me, but instead he pushed me to the wall, caught my face with his hands and spoke again.
‘Look me in the eyes and tell me, who’s idea was to suggest, repeatedly, that you and I should be great as friends? Because it wasn’t me! And who started bringing dates here and there first? Tell me!!!’
I was scared of the tone of his voice, I knew he won’t get violent, but still, I could feel my legs trembling from all the adrenalin in the room. I got annoyed how he tried to control me with his male power and the last thing I was planning on is to give up easily on his words.
‘Oh, give me a break! There is a huge difference between my dates and your dates. I let them take me dancing, I have a drink or two with them. You! You skip everything that starts with “innocence” and finishes on “decency”; and you and your male ego go straight to the bold, night activities, only so you can kiss them “good-bye forever” an hour or two later and to never see them again. Have you ever thought how one of those women must feel on the next day? And why would you think that I would even consider of being one of them? So yes, friends is all you get! Now, why don’t you go back to Lavrio and continue having fun with Gwyneth Paltrow!’

And then there was a silence, sporadically interrupted by my heavy breathing; and Alex staring at me, outlandish sparks between his face and mine. It was probably only a moment made out of a few seconds that escaped out of the tension between our bodies, few seconds enough for both, mine and his brain, to synchronize. And then there was the kiss, the first kiss. Silver raindrops and shy moonlight, quietly pirouetting in on hot summer night …

TO BE CONTINUED …

"Heart in snow" by Amber Church

Visit Amber Church at “The Craft Project

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© 2012  Broken Sparkles

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It doesn’t matter, it feels like summer …

Pitch dark! That’s how the sky looked like that September night in 2002. There wasn’t a sign of the moon or the stars, not even a pale light, only the shadows of black clouds ready to erupt. My mind must’ve had similar, ludicrous colors because there was no other explanation on how I ended up walking alone, at 1 a.m., in the middle of nowhere, without a clue if I was going in the right direction. It took some time to convince myself that I could be included in the category of smart people.

I could’ve blame it all on him; Tassos Pappas- not that successful and smart, but handsome in a Greek way football player that I met few months earlier that year. I could’ve blame it all on him, but it wouldn’t have eased the pain in my bare feet, it wouldn’t have stopped the laughter of the silvery sandals in my hands. I remember thinking why did I wear high heels on the first place? And I remembered Tasso’s words that I needed to look more “lady like”, I had to appear astonishing in front of his friends, not embarrassing him. I skipped the remark despite the little urge to tell him all about embarrassment and respect and I accepted the shoes and the dress he bought for me that day.

It was my first year in Greece. I was not completely, legally residing in the country, I didn’t have many friends, apart from a few Bulgarians that I didn’t like spending time with. I barely knew the language and I didn’t have a very good job. Meeting Tasso was like a fresh breeze of air. Yes, a “fresh breeze of air” – an absolute cliche, but still a cliche that came with opportunities and attention that every girl needs. And when he asked me to go together on a holiday, I didn’t even wait for him to spell the whole question out and I had the “yes” dripping down on my lips. Of course my always-way-too-vivid imagination painted pictures of old fashioned romance on the beach and passion on the dancing floors in Halkidiki*. I had seen many photographs of the area and I knew it was a beautiful place for a vacation; the hotel was like a castle from a fairy tale adjusted to the tune of today’s luxury and charm and I felt like there was no reason that I shouldn’t be a princess for a week.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”** The meaning of the quote hit me shortly after we arrived. The hotel was a perfect, five stars place. The sea and the sand were the finest someone could ever dream about or at least they looked that way to me, but I couldn’t say Tasso was my knight in shining armor, it appeared that he had arranged quite a few personal meetings in Thessaloniki***. I spent most days alone on the beach and in the evenings he was way too tired to stay late and have fun. On the fourth day of our stay he came back with the silver sandals and a white dress wrapped in fancy boxes. With a crooked smile he announced that on the next day he is taking me to a party that his friends from Thessaloniki are having in a club in the woods near Halkidiki and that I should make sure I looked more than great. I swallowed the loneliness of the first days and I concentrated on the word “party”, I even played few songs in my head and smiled in the dark while Tasso was snoring next to me.

I did look more than great. The white mousseline turned me into a happy star walking on admiration, even I approved my reflection in the mirror. His friends accepted me and made me part of their evening and whatever the reasons, I was having this tickling, joyous butterfly in my heart for satisfying Tasso’s desires, until his metallic, whiskey breath and his words proved me wrong. Enrique Iglesias was singing: ” If you feel like leaving, I’m not gonna beg you to stay …”  and in between the rhythm of the song and the girls around me moving with the sounds, Tasso saying that he didn’t bring me to the party to flirt with his friends, that next time I’ll stay alone in the hotel, and there was a hate, a jealousy, an unexplained darkness in his eyes.

I tried to tell him that he was interpreting the fun we all had in the wrong way, but his hand squeezing my arm painfully didn’t seem to agree with me and like a sudden wake up call the words escaped my lips: ” Well, if you didn’t want your friends to flirt with me, next time you shouldn’t dress me like a whore and you should spend more time dancing with me instead of swallowing down a whiskey after whiskey!”. I turned around and I left the club without giving him the chance to answer back. I didn’t even care if he would come after me, I’ve had enough. I could’ve stayed there, I could’ve turned a blind eye to the accusations, but instead I decided to rebel out and because pride was something I thought we don’t spit at, there wasn’t a chance that I’d go back and I ended up walking alone with the darkness of the night.

Rain was about to pour down and I sure was lost. I could’ve blamed it all on Tasso, but that wouldn’t have showed me the road to the hotel. Young and restless, acting before thinking twice, I had done it again and the fact that I was completely aware about it didn’t make me feel better, payback time sparkled in the silent horizons. I kept walking, craving the lights of the hotel and when the refreshing drizzle turned into a heavy, wet torture I felt the dress glued unpleasantly to my skin and the waterproof mascara bitterly mixed with tears. I didn’t know if I was upset more because of the rain or because I felt so helpless, I didn’t have the time to decide. The sound of a motorcycle and the sight of its bright light made me stop. By the time I sigh in wonder the bike had stopped too. I couldn’t see who was on the bike, the projector light was blinding me, but I heard his voice and I couldn’t help it but think that I knew the voice.

‘Trouble in paradise? What are you doing walking alone in the rain that faraway from the hotel?’. The voice came nearer and stood in front of me, he took his helmet off and I recognized him. The barman with the annoying grin I’ve been seeing every day by the pool of the hotel. Uh, someone up there thought I wasn’t been punished hard enough for my stubbornness, to my misery had to be added an arrogant Mr. I Know Everything Better Than Everyone and of course a solid amount of irony to accompany his questions!

‘I don’t see a sign saying that the walking here is forbidden, so mind your own business! I love walking in the rain, it clears the mind, so I’m walking to the hotel and I love it! ‘, I would’ve died before I confess that I was lost and scared. It was embarrassing enough that he overheard some of my little fights with Tasso in the hotel, it wasn’t very difficult to spot the laughter in his eyes, I didn’t want to give him more reasons to gloat over my agony.

‘There’s one little problem sunshine, you’ve been honoring your love for walking in the wrong direction, the hotel is not that way. How about you let me drive you, I’m heading there too?’ Oh, crap, I knew it! Now, do I continue to play it strong and magnificent or I just give up and let the stranger help me? I wanted the rain to make a hole in the asphalt, huge enough so I can disappear. And before I came up with another bitter answer, he spoke again and I could feel his effort to keep the smile away from his face: ‘Don’t be stupid, it’s okay if you admit that you need help. I won’t  triumph over one little moment of weakness.’ I said nothing and I got on the bike behind him, mostly relieved that the walking was over.

When we arrived at the resort I mumbled quietly thank you and rushed off to the reception desk. I didn’t care if I looked like a complete mess after the collusion with the rain, but just before I was about to reach out to the door, through the glass I saw Tasso sitting at the lobby bar, holding another drink and I froze. It was great that I spilled out all my anger and I told him off, but I was sure it wouldn’t be great, at all, to face him and explain my behavior, not with all the alcohol he had that night. I took few steps back only to end up in motorbike guy’s arms. ‘So there is a trouble in paradise after all. What did you do?’

‘Why do you think I am the one at fault? And why are you still here? Find somebody else to stalk, will you?’, this man, he had this magic touch bringing the worst out of me. Why couldn’t he leave me alone, I wondered.

‘Your shoes Cinderella, if you are going in there, at least do it with a style.’, he handed the sandals, dropped a smile that looked kind of sad and walked away. ‘What was wrong with me?’, all he did was to help and I happily attacked him. If it wasn’t for him, I’d still be walking … to Thessaloniki. ‘Hey, wait!’, I ran after him. He looked at me probably trying to figure out what the next poison out of my mouth would be and when I said ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude! Thank you, once again!’, the irony on his face faded away. ‘No problem sunshine! You should go inside and change, you’ll get a cold with this wet dress.’

‘Maybe later, I will stay here for a little while.’ He stopped locking his bike and concentrated on me, and I was sure that he knew what was inside my mind, inside my heart, for some reason I felt like an open book and whatever the language on the pages, he seemed to understand it all. ‘ Let’s make a deal, I won’t ask you why you don’t want to go inside the hotel, but you will not stay out here, it’s dreadful. You can come with me, I have a room in the staff’s building, I’ll give you to wear something dry and when you feel ready you can go to your boyfriend. How does that sound?’ I wanted to say yes right away, I was cold and exhausted, but I pretended that I was thinking through his offer very carefully and in a few moments, with a quiet voice, I accepted.  His room was very small, a bed, a closet and a TV on the wall. The bathroom was even smaller, but once the hot water warmed my skin and bones I didn’t really care about anything. He gave me sweatpants and a t-shirt that felt really comfortable to wear.

He was lying on the bed, when I came out of the bathroom, watching TV. I was dying to have my body flat too, to close my eyes for a minute and like he was reading my mind, without even looking at me he said: ” Come on the bed, there is enough space for both of us, and honestly, you can stay here for the night.’ I didn’t wait for a second invite and I was next to him, feeling a little awkward, but the blanket he gave me and I placed between us made that feeling go away. ‘Thank you!’, not that a simple ‘thank you’ could’ve expressed my gratitude, but I said it anyway. ‘ I never asked for your name’, I must’ve lost all my manners that day. He sighed, teasing me: ‘ Yes, you were too busy being smart.’

‘I said I’m sorry, let’s not quarrel anymore. I’m really tired!’, and he came close to me, tucked the blanket nicely around me, left his hand on my shoulder and whispered: ‘ Alex, my name is Alex.’ I loved that name, it was all I could think at that moment, I’ve always wanted to know somebody called Alex.

‘ Hmmm, you don’t look like Alex. I’ll call you summer boy.” The sweetest laughter ever tickled my back and I was happy to hear him being amused. ‘ Why summer boy, it’s not even a real summer?’, his curiosity was even lovelier, or maybe I was extremely sleepy. ‘ It doesn’t matter, it feels like summer with you!’, and if he only knew how much I love summer.

‘So what is your name?’, his voice was calm and beautiful, but I was barely holding my eyes open. ‘ Ask me again tomorrow, will you?’, I pulled the pillow in a comfortable position under my head, glad that there wasn’t rain or cold to feel and the last thing that I heard before sunny dreams grabbed my full attention was his whisper, floating warmly into my heart: ‘ I will! Sleep tight summer girl!’

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* Halkidiki, also Chalkidiki is a peninsula in northern Greece with several summer resorts on the beaches in the area.

** “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”- Benjamin Franklin.

*** Thessaloniki  is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia, 12 km away from Halkidiki.

TO BE CONTINUED …

"Shelly Lovers" by Hugo Ramos

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© 2012  Broken Sparkles

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