Sleeping bells

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“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”

~Pablo Neruda

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Strange, almost pathetic that I forgot to remember today. Or maybe it is a good thing …

I danced all Sunday night with the stars and my personal moon, and when the alarm screamed at 6.30 a.m., I nearly assassinated  the Neverlate – 7 day clock. Luckily, summer boy and his inbuilt nature of a savior rescued the annoying gadget before I get hold of it in my sleep.
– Easy Ms. Bundy, let the alarm live at least one more day!- the low-pitched voice stirred in giggles came near me and marked seductively my back.
– Go away, Alex! Five more minutes, please!- I pushed the pleasantly familiar body, pulling the blanket all to myself and covered my head, before he let the light on.

It’s a crime someone to be awake this early, yet, Alex seemed to think otherwise, even in the darkness of the dawn, he is always the most sunny boy, my summer boy. I wondered if he will ever get bored with my morning reactions and just leave me to sleep in peace? I felt the butterfly kiss through the sheets and I heard him jumping out of bed, switching the CD player on, letting Nino‘s voice to fill the room. His bare feet tapping on the marble floor headed to the kitchen and with the smell that came from the coffee machine I forgot about those five minutes I was begging for.

It was another ordinary day. I was walking around quietly, Alex was singing and teasing me, holding an imaginary guitar. The coffee had the same “made with love” taste, black for me, with sugar and milk for him. We shared the shower and the sink again wasn’t wide enough for both of us to stand in front. I helped him with the tie, he helped with the zip on my dress. I was barely holding my breath close to him, he couldn’t keep his hands away.  Everything seemed normal, but the extra smiles, extra kisses, extra sweet talking, the dozens “How do you feel?” questions … Well, I was probably still asleep and it was just an idea in my mind. And there we go again …

-Are you going to be alright today?- he looked at me and the green of his eyes was never that bizarre.
– Why wouldn’t I be? As soon as the coffee kicks in properly I’ll be like McLaren’s car in Formula 1, even worse, Mclaren’s car in a dress and with female brains!
He stared at me like I was telling him that I’m moving to North pole to live happily with Polar bears and Killer whales.
– Ok, Alex! Do we have something special to celebrate today and I forgot? I’m sure I haven’t! So what is it today?
A sigh, an inhaled hidden agony clouded his voice, but he let it fly away. He pushed me smoothly to the metal door. A long gaze, his fingers drawing the contours of my mouth, his lips leaving shadows of quiet words.
– Today is a happy day. I want you to enjoy it! – he smiled, with the kind of smile you doubt even your name and we left for work.

Once at the office I forgot about the weird morning and I concentrated on the program for the day. Just before the end of the working day a courier came, looking for me, holding a bouquet of white roses, tied with a dark blue ribbon and a little sapphire-like stone hanging on the end. I didn’t need to see the card, I knew who the flowers were from, I knew what I forgot today! It was the day Raul and I met for a first time 7 years ago. It was on the same day, 3 years ago, that he left me without so much of an explanation.

6th of June, 2004 would’ve been a typical, Greek summer day, if it wasn’t my anxiety of meeting Raul for a first time. The plane from New York had a delay and I was pacing back and forth on the cold airport floor, restless, tense and so did my heart, counting the minutes. He found me few months earlier through some online community. At first it was an exchange of jokes and rather childlike flirt, until he told me he is coming to Athens, to work for the Olympic games. Then we saw the opportunity to make something much more out of the relationship we had. The conversations suddenly changed from innocent to bold and provocative. I wasn’t looking at him as just online messages to spice up my day, he was to become a reality, a very attractive reality, considering the pictures I’ve seen.

It was annoying how a simple delay made me nervous, made me doubt the way I look, but it was the first time to accept in my life a complete stranger, it was the first time I let myself fall in love with a picture, with the idea of what would be like if I could hear his words whispered to my ears, instead of seeing them typed on a screen. I’ve imagined over and over the moment when he will cross the exit gates, I’ve made up million times the conversation we will first have, but when the time came it didn’t match any of my scenarios. I didn’t expect to witness a magnetism, I didn’t foresee the first kiss where no words will be needed. I wasn’t ready for the sway of his lips and I lost myself in love, in passion, in madness I’ve never felt before. Four years of violent delights cooked with sugar and vanilla!

When the violent end came I wasn’t ready either, after 1460 days I still didn’t have enough of him, I wasn’t ready to let go, not yet. On 6th of June, 2008 we were supposed to leave for a trip to Paris, but we didn’t. He left and I still don’t know why. Alex and I were friends for ages, he never really liked Raul, but when he came after my phone call, he didn’t say ” I told you so “, he was there to support me, he stayed day after day. He didn’t mind my sadness or the tears. He didn’t leave me alone when the bells of loss would ring and bring back the past in days like 6th of June. Even when we crossed the line of our friendship and turned it into an intimate relationship, he didn’t demand anything, he accepted the ghost of Raul. He didn’t try to vanish the bells, he just made sure the sound of them wouldn’t harm me.

Today for some reason these bells are sleeping, strange, almost pathetic that I forgot … But maybe it’s time to give a chance to summer boy and to show him that the past no longer matters. I looked again at the white roses in my hands, for a second there was a thought to open the envelope an to read the note, but instead I dropped the flowers in the garbage bin and I dialed Alex’s number:
– Hey, sunny boy, are you ready to take me dancing tonight and celebrate that happy day you were talking about?

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Bundy –  Ted Bundy, American serial killer

Nino – Greek singer

Violent delights, violent ends

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triump die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume”
~ William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)

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*Any resemblance to real persons and events is purely coincidental.*

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Image by Sonam Mandal

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© 2011  Broken Sparkles

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The notebook

***Any resemblance to actual persons and events may be coincidental :)***

London was not on my list ” To go to ” for this year. It was supposed to be Paris. With him. This is what we were planning for the last 8 months, it was to be THE TRIP for both of us, but I guess it wasn’t meant. The fairytale I thought I was part of went in a totally wrong direction, only to discover that my prince has no royal blood at all and after all he is just a human being, one that never keeps any made promises.

London was my protest, my way of saying : “I’ve had enough. I’m fed up of broken sparkles!”. I booked a ticket, a hotel and I started dreaming of seeing palaces, hearing stories of kings and queens, walking on the ground where centuries ago crowns, heirs, affairs, conspiracies were filling the walls with mystery, hoping after few days there, I will feel royal in my soul again.

“London Eye” by Blaga Todorova

When the airplane was nearly to land and I could see London Eye right in the middle of the big town, touching the opposite riverside with its shadow, my heart wanted to scream :” Hurry up! Let me go and see it all!”. It took me few minutes to adjust to the English accent that I somehow find very attractive, intriguing. And though my English is very good, the first few question the guy from the border police asked me, made me think: –“Do I know this language at all?” and like he caught my thoughts, after my answers about the purpose of my trip to London, he said a bit amused: –” And don’t worry, it takes a little to catch up with the way we speak here. Cheers! Enjoy your stay Miss.”

–“I certainly will”- my lips murmured and I went to look for the exit of the huge airport, to look for the traces of royal blood and of course for the bus station where X26 will take me to Kingston and my hotel. An airport officer with a smile of a playboy, calling me “sweetie”, like I’ve known him for ages, directed me to the bus station.

X26 was scheduled to be there in 30 minutes, so I sat on the bench and took out the notebook I carry with me everywhere. I use it as a diary, writing some of my poems, sometimes about my day or just loading the paper with emotions too private or inhuman to be shared with anyone. I had inside a sticker with the address of the hotel I was to stay at, my online reservation for Madame Tussauds’s museum and few other stickers with useful information about the transport and the attractions. I read one more time the address, penciled in the date and that I’ve arrived happy and excited, impatient and ready to inhale glimpse of this civilization. I drew couple of ladybirds which looked funny with the blue ink, but someone told me that ladybirds bring good luck and I guess I wanted to have few of them with me right now.

I didn’t see the time flying, 30 minutes were up before I notice and X26 suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I quickly put all the things back in my bag and got on the bus. Kaleidoscope of pictures followed as the bus was passing by the different neighborhoods. My eyes enjoyed the colors and the structure of the buildings, the continually changing weather and the sky – once clear and blue, once dark and with clouds. I’ve never seen so many clouds in one place, changing positions and shape so fast and unexpectedly and though at times it looked like rain will break loose, next moment the gray would move to make the way free for the sun to appear and say smiling: ” Peek-a-boo”.

“Kingston” by Blaga Todorova

Kingston got my full attention. The balls of white and purple flowers hanging on most windows, the coffee shops next to Thames and the line of bridges, the red phone cabins and people type Rupert Penry-Jones* walking on the streets, it felt so nice. I found the hotel very easy, it looked exactly like on the picture on the internet site, white building freshly painted, with the big, blue sign Travelodge – Kingston Central. Reception desk girl was very helpful, the room was plain, clean and comfortably looking. I unpacked my bag, refreshed myself and decided to go out around Kingston, maybe have dinner as it was nearly evening. I looked for my notebook to see what was the name of the restaurant friends told me to go to and … the notebook was not there.

I got panicked, trying to remember the moment I was in a hurry to get inside the bus, when I was trying to tidy all my belongings that I had out on the bench at the airport. I was sure, I forgot it there. I thought of someone finding it and reading my writing, abusing my private feelings. Uh! Well, what’s done it’s done! The notebook was gone and I wasn’t going to let it ruin my mood. So I just left the hotel and went for a walk, trying hard to forget.

I had a dinner looking at Thames and few swans in the water playing a game only they knew the rules of. The sun was long gone, it was almost dark and the wind was chilly. I headed back to the hotel taking pictures of the river and the lights. It was a huge surprise when Emma, the girl from the reception told me:

— “Miss, there is someone waiting for you in the lobby bar.”

I looked at her with a silly face I guess, because she smiled.

–I know nobody here! Are you sure is for me?”

–“Yes! He said, he has something of yours, there, the blond man with the black t-shirt.”

My notebook! He found my notebook. That was it. Couldn’t be something else. And I nearly run to the table he was sitting at. I spoke with quiet voice, looking at his back a bit afraid to go on the other side of the table and face him:

–” Excuse me, my name is Blaga and they said you are waiting for me.”

He turned around so I could see a man probably 35-40 years old, exactly the Rupert-Penry Jones type I was talking about earlier, the blond hair, the warm brown eyes, the strong and tall, well sculptured body, the playful smile and the royal attitude. Not perfectly handsome, not with some extreme beauty, but charming in a sexy way.

–“Hey, I think this is yours. Am I right?” – and he handed me the notebook with my initials on the front page. The first thing in my mind was to hope he hasn’t read anything, apart from the hotel address and my name. I felt awkward thinking he might have read it all.

–“Mmm yes, that’s mine and I thank you very much for bringing it to me!”

“Swans in Thames” by Blaga Todorova

Later on in bed, I thought that I should’ve invited him for a drink, to say thanks, instead of just looking confused, even he understood that. I closed my eyes to hold for a little while the smile on his face when he introduced himself, just before he left : ” It was nice to meet you, my name is Adam.” And then his face was gone to be replaced by the next’s day visit to Hampton court – palace of stories and delights, the place where my favorite royalty Henri VIII have lived once upon a time.

I slept really deep and good that night, I woke up with a smile. The breakfast was quick, I wanted to be on the bus to Hampton court sooner rather than later. Once seeing the palace, so magnificent, I forgot about everything, nothing else mattered, just my presence there. I saw a queue to get an entrance ticket, but I lined patiently, savoring the pleasure that will follow when I step on the king’s ground. Not long after, I thought I heard someone calling my name, but then I knew nobody, so I just ignored it, probably I’ve heard wrong. Until I felt a hand on my arm and again the pleasant voice: “Hey, Blaga!” Turning around made me think of a line in a book a read recently : “…sometimes kismet happens …” Well, it does….

–” Adam? What are you doing here?”. The man I was trying to send away last night, now was standing right in front of me and this smile of his … it made me wonder how much a human’s heart can take seeing such a shiny face. He did look happy to see me, I must say, it was more than obvious.

–“I work here, at the palace. Today I have the day off, but I came to do few personal things.”- he took my hand, after saying all that and pulled me away from the queue.

–“You don’t need to wait here for a ticket. I’ll get you one if you just give me a second”- and next moment, before I manage to even sigh, he handed me a folder he was holding and went inside the ticket office. I saw him talking to the sales-girl and shortly after he was back next to me, giving me “Complimentary Hampton court entrance ticket”. I was there, not reacting or thinking just standing stupidly in amazement.

Until he spoke again: –” And if you like I can show you around, it will be my pleasure. I promise, you will have the best guide”.

–“Yes. I’d love that. I’d love to see the palace with you!”.

Did I say that? I couldn’t believe it. Writing about it now, I could continue with: “And the rest is history”. But it’s not exactly history, it’s more like a memorable beauty, a day I’ll probably file in this section of my mind where everything is always bright. He was an excellent guide, there was no place, room, painting, building, item or anything in the whole palace he didn’t know the story about. I completely satisfied my thirst to gain knowledge about my favorite royal attraction, about the part of history I most love.

“Fountain Garden at Hampton court” by B.Todorova

As I completely enjoyed his presence, the little signs that he is there and that he likes it, I wasn’t thinking about my diary and about how much of it, how much of me he knew. I was thinking about him and I walking on this sacred ground. About him standing behind me, inch away from my body, making me to look up and see the clock in the heart of the palace at Clock court, explaining about the passion of Henri VIII for scientific learning, telling me what each dial was used for. About the way he laughed when I was making funny faces sitting on the royal table, asking him to take pictures of me, the way he showed me the hidden face in a painting from Rubens, which you could see only standing in a particular position when looking at it.

Or about the story of lady Frances Teresa Stewart, one of the Windsor’s beauties who refused to be king Charles II’s mistress, because she had her values and beliefs. I remember looking at her face on the painting, admiring her courage, letting Adam’s voice to take me back to 1665, letting his fingers to draw on my hand the image of her innocent charm. This room with the ten portraits of the Windsor beauties became my favorite room, not only because of Belle Stewart’s story, but because of the way he represented it to me, holding my hand whilst living the past.

Adam introduced me to almost all people working at the palace, he took me to every room, to every garden, to every hidden place there, showed me secret ways to reach the Queen’s bedroom, doors to get out of the palace and I must say, I’ve never felt so royal in my life. There was this moment, we were at the Great Fountain Garden, standing next to a fence looking at Thames and at the hundred of clouds, dancing in an unreachable rhythm, when I said, more like whispered: –” I’m sorry for I was so rude last night. I am thankful that you got my diary back, I was just worried about how much you read from it. Thanks again.”

He spoke nothing for a few long minutes, then he turned my face to look me in the eyes, saying:

–” I read it all and I don’t regret that I did, because do you know what I saw there?”

–“No!”- I answered quietly, afraid to raise my voice, to hear his answer.

–” Come with me! I’ll show you!” – and he nearly dragged me to a statue, not faraway from where we were.

–” This is the statue of the three Graces. On the paper, under the ink of your pen, I saw you as one of these three Graces, the Grace of charming and beautiful soul!”

I was again there standing stupidly quiet, not being able to react, wondering how he does it,  making me loose my words, just like this, with the blink of an eye.

–“Can we go and see the maze now?”- I finally opened my mouth to speak.

Silence. Silence again. And then … Check mate! This is what the expression on his face looked like after my reaction, after my sudden desire to go and see the maze, when he had his heart wide open and laid in my hands. I could feel he wanted to throw me in Thames, but he smiled and said: –“You want the maze! The maze it is !”

When we finally reached the center of the maze and there was nobody else around, he asked: –” Do you have a nice time?”

–“Not only nice, lovely time and I can’t thank you enough for that!”

–“You can. There is a way.”

–“How?”

–“Come with me tonight, on a date!”

“The Three Graces – Hampton court” by B.Todorova

P.S.

I’m sitting in the lobby of the hotel now, happy with the day I had and impatient for the night ahead, waiting for Adam to come and pick me up any minute. Yes, I said “yes”,  mostly because he proved me wrong about few thoughts I had coming here. I came to London without any connection to the “world of trust”. I thought the presence of royal spirit might change this, after all elegance and beautiful manners are children of kings and queens, but Adam showed me that grace and love live in our hearts and they come out when all we want is to see the person next to us constantly happy, smiling. Sometimes few words and a hand to hold you is just what you’ve been dreaming about. It’s sad when you don’t receive these words and this hand from the person you love, but often, fate can surprise us and let us heal the broken sparkles…

This story might not end with “And they lived happily ever after”, but there will be a drink by the river, a “Cosmopolitan” for me, a beer for him, a walk under the lights on one of those lovely bridges I’ve been admiring all day, long conversations, because talking to him is divine, a laugh, maybe a plan for tomorrow, few silent moments and a kiss … definitely a kiss …

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* Rupert Penry-Jones is an actor playing in BBC “Spooks” series, which is my favorite English actor. I love his pale skin, the blond hair and the warm brown eyes, the attitude, the accent … everything …

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© 2011  Broken Sparkles

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Memories * The End*

*All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental.*

Alex and Bella meet – last part

Isabella slept during the whole flight to New York, after the night with insomnia and memories, the minute she got on the seat she couldn’t hold her eyes opened. She woke up to hear the announcement that due to the bad weather conditions, the plane will not land on JFK, but on New Jersey’s international Newark airport. The pilot and the crew were apologizing for the inconvenience and assuring the passengers they will be well taken care off. As she was waiting for her luggage, she dialed the publishing house to let them know about the delay.

In the same time, Alex waiting near her for his suitcase, being on New Jersey’s airport for the same reason Bella was, he heard her saying: –“Hello! Can I please speak to Mr. Joey Amaba?”. That name immediately pricked up his ears, his body and mind stood alerted, waiting for the rest of the conversation, he listened to Bella carefully.
–“Oh, he is not in! Can you please let him know, my name is Isabella Valor, I was supposed to arrive in New York today, but there is a delay because of the weather and I am in New Jersey now, but as soon as I arrive I will call again. Thank you very much!”

Bella was a bit annoyed with the flight situation, with not being able to find Mr. Amaba and as she was thinking about it, two policemen and a man showing her a badge with FBI sign on it came close to her and she heard the man saying:
–“Miss, my name is agent Alex Castillo and I am with the Federal bureau of investigation, could you please follow us?”
–“I don’t understand!- Bella said in surprise, wondering what was going on, why the police would come to her and why this man would look so angry with her? She didn’t even know him. In fact she didn’t know anybody here, but she followed them silently.

They took her in a room with a table and two chairs only. Like in the movies, she thought. Like I am the bad guy and they brought me for interrogation, great, her brain wouldn’t stop thinking and panic got to her. She heard agent Castillo asking the two policemen to leave them alone and then he asked her:
–“How do you know Joey Amaba?”
–“Joey Amaba is my publisher! I am about to publish a book and work for his publishing house. I’ve never seen him in person though, I’ve always communicated with his assistant.”
–“So you want to tell me that you have never seen this man here?”- said Alex and put a picture on the table.
Bella looked down and bad pain chocked her, with Charlie’s face in front of her, the emotions from the day she last saw him were not too late to come back. Hatred and disgust. How much someone needed to keep all the rage locked, she wondered.

–“This is not Joey Amaba!”- she looked Alex in the eyes with firmness and her voice couldn’t be any colder. The thoughts were running, chasing the ends of the bits that will become a puzzle once she figures out what was she doing here, why this man, for unknown reason furious with her, was showing her picture of Charlie and what has Joey Amaba to do with all this?
–“Don’t lie to me”-Alex snapped out at her, hitting the table. -“You just said you haven’t seen Mr. Amaba in person, right? How do you know that this is not him?Are you trying to cover this monster?”

He could kill her right now!Alex thought he would jump over the table and just squeeze her neck and she was sitting there, looking at him heartless.
–“This is not Joey Amaba!”- Bella said again, trying to not raise her voice, trying to keep calm. And then the tears came again, those nasty tears, with broken taste, that she remembers so well.
–“This is Charlie Damilo”-she continued quietly. -“We were supposed to get married, nearly two years ago and this is when I last saw him.”. She lifted her head and looked at Alex, who didn’t know how to react on her tears. He sat down exhausted, like all the torture this girl was feeling, accidentally moved into his body and listened to her story. Now he understood why they couldn’t find anything about Joey Amaba. First, he was in Europe and second, it wasn’t his real name. He apologized to Bella for his bad tone and explained to her who Joey Amaba was, all the things he has done and how lucky she was to get away from him. Bella was blaming herself for being so naive again and when agent Castillo asked her for help to catch Charlie, she agreed without second thoughts.

She went to New York on the next day and to the appointment Joey Amaba’s assistant arranged for her to meet with the publisher. She looked absolutely calm when Charlie appeared and made him feel nervous, because he expected her to be worried, instead the police arrived 5 minutes later and arrested him, the look on his face, betrayed and hurt, gave her a small payback.

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The cold sun was trying to get to the curtains of the penthouse of hotel Claridge Paris. It was cold day in December, but today was looking bright outside. Bella felt lips on her neck and heard: –“Good morning birthday girl!”
She smiled and got close to Alex saying : –“Good morning baby! Let’s go and get my present!”
Alex laughed, she was so funny, his Bella was lovely early in the morning. A month ago he asked her what would she like for her birthday and she said that she would like him to kiss her under the Eiffel tower. He couldn’t believe he actually did this, brought her here only for a kiss, even though he would give her much more than a kiss when they go to the tower. Alex smiled thinking of the little blue box with engagement ring he had in his pocket, he kissed her again and said: –“Let’s go to get your present!”.

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Bella never published her poems, but Alex offered her to stay in Pasadena. He introduced her to very dear friend of him working in the local newspaper and Bella is now a journalist there. Alex left the bureau and got a job as a coach in the junior football team in Pasadena high school. Charlie was sent back to Philippines, he is now in jail and it will be for many more years. Mr. and Mrs. Rico Valor went together with Alex’s parents on a trip to Puerto Rico, after Bella and Alex got together, and they so much loved the small country, that sold their hotel in Santa Pola and moved to Puerto Rico. Helena finally met in person her internet sweetheart and they are now married and have one of the best cooking TV- shows. Dina took part in a beauty contest, she didn’t win but the photographer of the contest is now her photographer and husband …

As for me … I’m here, smiling and living in a world surrounded most of the time by people like Charlie, but I have faith and I believe in all good things. I’m waiting for my “Alex” and my “happy end” with a kiss in Paris and I know, they are somewhere out, waiting for me too and until then … keep dreaming all of you that came here to read the story!

THE END

"Les Amoureux du Sacre Coeur" by silxy on deviantart.com

© 2011  Broken Sparkles