WRITING IS HEAVEN

Well, hello there! It’s been some time, as you may (or may not) have noticed.  Just finished my second english novel Laura must die. It took me more than a year to write, correct and publish as an ebook that you can download in this site. A whole year. This has been a period of a huge transition in my personal life, with a significant impact on my professional life too. Either way I’m back, a little wiser and a lot more refreshed, and I’ll be around for a while.

There are so many people who cannot show emotions and feelings very easily. Many times they are misunderstood as being cold or unfeeling and pay the consequences when, all the while, they just want to be open and expressive like everyone else. Sometimes, words don’t come easy and we prefer to write what we feel.

Writing is magic, specially when it comes from the heart. It can touch us, move us, enlighten us. It’s the tie that binds one stranger to another, often in friendship, sometimes in love, always in understanding. Tonight I want to write about life and the choices we have to make. Yes, I know, hardly an original theme.

“Nobody understands love”, some people admit. It seems to be universal, timeless. Yet, it’s also very individual, filtered by our own lives and expectations, but I´m a compulsive romantic and that’s why I like to write about love. And in this blog, like in any good story or poem, there’s an underlying message you could do well to seek.

I’m a dreamer and a fighter at the same time. It’s true. But dreams have wings, and they are often clipped by the ravages of reality. Many things changed since last month. I feel stronger. Where did I find the strength? In the weight of the darkness and the longing for light…  And in people. People like you and I who have experienced life, good and bad moments, and shared their feelings with me.

A special summer is my first post. I hope you will enjoy the reading.

imagesCAPUT8IS

I

We met one night in Puerto Banus in Spain. I had his telephone number by chance as last summer he used to come alone to my ex boyfriend’s bar. Sometimes he invited me to join him for a drink and one day, as we chatted about everything and nothing, we stared into each other’s eyes and started another conversation. A conversation that was going on in secret, had no words, but we both understood. I wanted to know him better and decided to call him. I haven’t forgotten his charming smile and the way he looked: casual and interesting, sporty and sweet, all that at the same time, if that is possible. Even if I was very selective about who I let approach me, I was feeling lonely at that time as my Spanish boyfriend and I just parted a week ago and I needed some fun to forget. Or was it maybe because the summer was coming earlier this year and I decided to live it intensively? He invited me for dinner and asked me to bring a friend as he was coming with his Canadian friend, Bill. I immediately thought of my dearest Mexican friend, Ariadna. In her despair to reach some miserable pleasure in finding a man who’d demand nothing beyond drinks or sex, she accepted, as she always did.

The restaurant was nice; Andy and I said only a few words to each other during dinner, the typical banalities of social occasions. We had champagne and enjoyed live old French music. He knew I had been  separated from my husband for two years and I also explained that I was single by then, so this personal information would lead on to greater confidence and closeness. On the surface, that was all but, in my heart I knew that a lot more would result from this cool encounter. Then, we decided to go to La Notte, a disco bar not too far. We started dancing but, a few minutes later, his sense of male initiative, told him he had to kiss me. We started exchanging respectful kisses in full public view. I opened my mouth just a little to let his tongue enter and exchange soft wet touches with my own tongue. I knew my kisses were sweeter than wild honey but, that my passionate nature could scare him too. Besides, in a few things, I was not his type, too sexy, maybe and also very practical. He’ll have to accept me the way I was. I never been, nor ever would be, ashamed of whom I was and the way I lived, it was the way life was lived in Marbella and I wouldn’t live it in any other way.

The story of this love affair started over a dinner on a particular Saturday at La Chozita, but the real beginning was surely two days later, after a short trip in Charly, his boat, when both naked, in a gesture of total abandonment, a man and a woman started to feel these stunning moments of penetration, engulfment and release… This is one of the most sublime moment at the start of a love affair: when a man  gets free access between a woman’s legs and gently prises what is between them.

A few days after, Andy went back to England and they didn’t see each other for almost two weeks. They both went on with their own lives, a few messages on the telephone sometimes:

– Hi sexy lady, have a great day…

Nothing else. She might not love him yet, but he had given her a kind of passion that had been increasing each time they made love. Just for that, she could have stayed with him, always. When pleasure added to additional elements  such as gentleness and strength, laughter and intelligence, Andy revealed to her as the man she had always dreamed of and never truly believed she would ever find.

Therefore, from this moment on, there is no more “I” in this narration. Instead, there is an alluring young woman called Florence. As a profession, she is a writer but she is not me, that must be clear, though we live in the same body, she and I. Of course I talk to myself, I need expert advice sometimes (!!) and if I’m writing this story today, it’s only because as a writer, I write in order to make sense of my life and my emotions. I deal in values, in absolutes and in nuances. But most of all, I’m innately engaged in the search of perfection…

 That is Florence’s story. She fell in love with a certain man one day in summer and did strange and unaccountable things because of him.

I’m trying to remember his voice; his tone was very sincere when he said…

– I realised from the very first moment I saw you in that bar that you were an astonishing woman, but you can at times be dangerous to know.

I liked the sound of that, but answered:

– Every woman is a moon and has a dark side which she never shows anybody.

 There have been a few men who never guessed that about me until it was too late for them. I never let them think I was a common person, a pretty plaything with legs apart… Too sorry about “these poor minds” and their male vanity…

He wanted to know everything about me. How many men had been devastated by my love, when was the last time I made love in a beach and so on… But these questions couldn’t be answered wholly sincerely then, Florence only shared her secrets with her intimate journal and sometimes with her dearest friend Ari, who’d never judge her…

But Andy’s casual questions were not so casual, he wanted to know the truth.

There was a man, called Ernesto, I had known and loved for more than a year ago, the one who leased the famous bar where I met Andy. He was different in his appearance and temperament, got long blond hair and blue eyes, but his outward aspect was just one of his attributes.  What really impressed Florence was not his charming personality, but his artistic talent writing love letters. Now I’m sure I had wrongly believed at the time he was talentful, but it’s too easy to come to these conclusions when it’s all over. To make matters even worse, but I won’t write about the whole story just to control my emotions, he behaved very badly as he kept the Mercedes Florence bought six months ago and had no intention to give it back. That’s more than insulting, but I’m a woman of proud and independent mind and I refused to be hurt by this idiot anymore as I forgot him so completely today. Even though I was reluctant to keep him as a friend, I went to his apartment for a last try as I wanted the car back. He was standing there, half naked when I rang the bell and he opened the door. His Russian prostitute was there too. He immediately felt trapped, but said nothing and shut the door off on my face.

As a reward for insulting him about messing around with a prostitute, this same afternoon, he denounced me at the police. I had to go in front of the courts and pay 300 Euros for it. That’s how justice gratified him and that’s far too good for him now. But I want to write about his secret, a secret that will suffocate him if some day he reads this book. We had no sex together for almost a year.  Now I realise how hard it is to depend on anybody’s  pleasure and I remind myself I am not a young girl anymore who discovers for the first time that men are untrustworthy, but he betrayed me and I’ve never forgiven him. Today I know there are two types of men, those who masturbate and liars. It feels amazing when you finally realize that you no longer need or want the person who walked away from you. Relationships take two people, not one person being faithful and another acting single. So don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened!

-Take a last look at me . I do not want to see you ever again.

I said it smiling and suddenly realized that he was just a man, like any other man. He had been a lover, then he became an enemy to hurt. His punition was the mortification of a woman who stopped loving him. Night and day, sleepless nights and tiring days, he’ll have to ask himself how this had come about, why had fate conspired against him that way… He told me that he adored me, begged me pardon for losing my faith, but in my heart I could never forgive him. My life didn’t end, my relationship did and I promised myself I’d be more cautious in future.

So let come back to Andy and this fantastic new love affair. I was wrong about men, they are not all the same. I still don’t know many things about him, but I gave myself to him as never did before. I want to write about our first night together in the small house he rented in Calahonda and how I fell asleep in his arms until  I was gorged with love or how we woke up together in the morning. I hoped the sensuality of these first hours would last for an eternity.

It was late when we fell asleep, but Andy woke up refreshed like a giant. You know how men wake up in the mornings… I came out from a brief sleep to find his hand between my legs and welcoming the new day again and again.

I called him my personal doctor and it amused him to know that he was my Dr Pleasure and I, his patient. Even if some parts of my body were still unexplored, I let him explore my mind, my heart, my soul, or any other part that interested him. I suppose it was part of his therapy. The unmentionable fact is that these were perhaps his lucky days after all, but certainly mine too. Of course he was a man, like all men he wanted to climb on in any women’s belies he could, trying to assert his male pride and his desire. Florence understood that pretty well. She had no quarrel with that, she adored being rolled on her back and dominated. Naturally, in a general way of things it delighted me to know that he saw my body as a desirable object, to be possessed for his own pleasure but, what he didn’t realize yet was that it was me who possessed him each time we made love… It seems  complicated to understand but, it isn’t: In the art of love, I drew his vigour and his vitality into myself and then, later, transformed it into works of literature!

I felt released and renewed, born again. We both knew this relationship was not just based on sex. This love was like no other we had known in the last twenty years. When we were together I felt myself enclosed and protected by the strength of his mind and the strength of his body. I could lie naked in bed with him, his hands holding and caressing me and fulfiling my longing. After a month of being loved by Andy and loving him, our affair was hotter than at the beginning. One month with him and yet the time had passed so fast that it seemed hardly more than one day. Impossible, I said to myself.  At nights when I slept alone in my own house while he was in Birmingham, his city, I felt asleep thinking of him and wishing he was in my arms. When I slept, I dreamnt of him, tender dreams of Andy coming naked to my bed, dreams of him leaning over me and kissing me. I was sure all this was true because he told me so, not just once, but many times. He told me that, but only when he was drunk… I don’t breath a word when he tells me that he loves me, I just answer “me too”, because he would take my confession as a weakness and could use it against me. Or maybe not. Who knows, there are no rules in love. There is only one thing we ever learn from it, which is that we learn nothing from it at all.

Andy thinks me frivolous because of the way I dress. He wants me more formal but, formality does not suit my present mood. I feel so sexy and want to take any advantage of it. I like to wear short skirts that reveal the shape of my legs and small tops that suit my well-developed breasts even if he thinks that people judge me by the way I dress: “she’s asking for it today”. It’s not true, the look of my face doesn’t encourage men to look at me and I don’t know why he is so jealous. There must be a new beginning between us, not a continuation of old ways so he’ll feel more secure. He needs to be more secure. A new trust has to grow between us and while it happens, she wanted Andy to know that she was his equal in love and he could expect her respect and her honesty. There are depths in dear Andy I have never suspected. Even at the times of his greatest needs, there was a cold savagery inside him that used to protect those he loved.

– The problem is that you’re too pretty…

Even though some people like to say they are born an original and won’t die a copy, I think that when a woman tries to please a man, it can act as a real  aphrodisiac. I’ll try to dress more elegantly for him in public or what’s the same, will undress only for him in our bedroom. He will love me all the more for it. Can you imagine the scene in your mind’s-eyes? I want him there with me. I am quite naked and I want him naked  beside me. I close my eyes, stroke my belly and imagine his hand is touching me. I open my legs and touch myself. I pretend his fingers are inside me, it is so very thrilling to imagine my other hand stroking his stiff part while I explore his obsessions… Every part of my body remembers our love-making. My eyelids still feel the touch of his kisses, my breasts the caress of his hands and the hot touch of his tongue. Between my legs I still feel his fingers, dabbling in my wetness and in the palm of my hand I retain the image of his male part. I want him to be here holding me in his arms again. I am hungry for his belly on top of mine as he drives into me… I look under the sheets to hold his sleeping part, it is small and soft, but not yet completely dry. As I hold it tenderly, I feel it growing thicker in my palm. I play with it very gently so as not waking him even though I want him to lie on my belly once more. There he is,  hard and powerful again. He whispers my name in a whisper of adoration… No. I’m slipping again into the mistake of copying extracts from my journal and this can only give a half-truth of love. To understand myself, I need to step away from my own personality. I must see Florence as a different person, not as myself.

With Andy, love is so natural. My arms around his neck and my cheek against his cheek, this is why I love him,  he takes me whenever his mood tells him, no matter where we are. I must correct, I love his calm assurance and this is part of why I love him too.

I have survived the madness, but I am amazed by what I have done. I am amazed by the thoughts of doing such things could penetrate my mind and overwhelm my heart. I am amazed by my passionate nature and by the generosity I can give myself to him, even when my heart has been broken so recently. He has filled my soul with the desire to live and love and respond to him. The only men I allowed to make love to me were the men I adored and respected. Perhaps it is hard to understand, but the simple fact is that I can’t share my love anymore when respect desappears. For Florence, love was a very primitive emotion, she wondered if she really liked men at all or if she only saw them as prizes to be captured. Was he her prize? No. She wanted to be his prize, she loved when his touch was so determined, one might even say decisive, when he was taking her for his pleasure. She guessed that he was trying to prove something to himself. He was proud to win her. He guessed that she’d like to say she loved him, but she was not sure if he wanted to commit after such a short time, after all, he had just parted from his last girlfriend, a month ago. Apart from words, he was willing to commit himself by his actions; he was always determinate to crush her under his male domination but, what was strange and intrigued her the most was the fact that  he was always in controll with his own emotions.  Well now, dear Andy, she said to herself, so I am your prize, that is what you believe? You love me secretly and dare not admit it. You try to psychoanalyse me away from loving other men, but you must be brave and accept that I’m no one’s prize, Cheri, not yours, not Andy’s, not anybody’s. I am free and independent and I love whoever I please to love. I let you adore my beautiful body, maybe one day I may decide I´ll love you, if the mood takes me. There are things to learn first, important things about me and about yourself.

These are the things I want to tell him when I don’t want to give way to my feelings, but it’s just the opposite, believe me. In fact, I feel that my entire happiness is in his hands and it scares me, a dangerous position to put myself into, but it is love between us yet it is more than love, it is an enchantment.

Andy wanted to know if I had many boyfriends.

– How many, he asked me. Ten, twelve, more?

Florence was not the kind of woman to allow her physical desires to control her, but she was not unaware of them either. She revealed him that her first lover had been a woman. She was seventeen at that time. The woman who had taught her love was a charming married Chantal but, Florence’s parents were very strict and she didn’t want to endure moods and questions at home, so she decided to cut with this relationship. Conventional wisdom says that a girl’s first time never leads to an orgasm but, for Florence it did. When Florence was eighteen, it happened again, she couldn’t resist it despite her astonishment. Her name was Nathalie and she was her best friend.

At nineteen she fell in love. This was the first time a man touched her. She get used to the tenderness of his fingers and tongue between her legs but, the penetration frightened her a little so after a few years, her boyfriend wanted a real woman’s version of love and even if they were engaged, that affair too, ended.

Andy was demanding to be told a lot more but,  approaching that subject was not that easy.

You  are my last love and it is beyond perfect. When I met you, she said, I said hello to the possibility of forever.

She never questioned him about his past… She had never given it a thought. What really mattered to her was that he would feel so much for her that he couldn’t be interested in another woman at the same time. That would deceive her cruelly and it would be exactly the same for Andy, there was a fearful and painful joy in loving her, but he was afraid she could never really love anyone whole-heartedly. He was wrong. This story had developed so quickly that he felt he had no much influence over her life, at least for the moment, and this displeased him. Love is a complicated and many-coloured picture but, it is often possible to recognise certain designs that are repeated again and again. These are the natural patterns of a person’s life and they are never quite the same for each of us. But I have at least seen the outlines of my own nature, I’m in love and I’m happy. What songs and stories or long-forgotten words may I discover again?

It is late and I cannot sleep. But I must go on, dear reader, as you too, who are part of this story, will judge what is right or wrong in it. Just read. I would not be honest if I don’t confess more about myself as I have promised to be truthful in this story. My thoughts, tonight seem especially turbulent, why this is so, I cannot say. Tomorrow I will banish them, but tonight they pray upon my soul. Perhaps it was because of the sea tonight, calm and hot in the darkness at San Juan’s, perhaps the wine we all had or the sweet romantic words of the fine tune while dancing in the sand or maybe the memories that set my body trembling when I saw all these candles fluttering in the sea, mine was so small and helpless before the waves extinguished it… How like that flame I feel sometimes, but I also feel so young and to be young is to be filled with passion and to run headlong toward madness. A candle in the sea to blame myself for the choices I made and ask for a change in my life, that’s why all these people are there tonight. It’s always time to retrace our steps. It’s also time to  become aware of one’s own mortality. It was difficult to believe her father was about to die and instead of being shut away in a cold and lonely hospital room, he’d rest in this dark sea forever.

When Florence was twenty-seven she met her future husband. A look, a smile, a gesture, it was love at first sight. After a month, she was pregnant and married him. When I saw my daughter Jessica, the very first second, I was overcome by a violent wave of some strange emotion I had never experienced before. I didn’t want more children, but to my surprise, when I knew I was going to have another baby, I started feeling the same protectiveness fierce towards this fragile new being that was depending on me for survival. I thought my days will be safe and comfortable then. My husband was not the security personified as most of Italians in the Coast, but at least, with him, the bad wolf had gone away from my door: food on the table, clothes, travels… It was a kind of happiness but, in fact, after a few years, we only managed, for the sake of our two children, to rub along together tolerably well. Florence had prepared herself to be disappointed about him over the years, she knew that her nature was to see things painted with colours more intense than they ever really were… I don’t know when I first became aware there was something wrong between Otto and I, though I suppose I must have sensed it long before I finally admitted it even if I still kept ignoring that my feelings had undergone, finding excuses and trying not to face the subtle discord in our relationship. It took me around eighteen summers to realise that the best thing was a divorce. I know, I’m undeserving his forgiveness as no one will know how much he suffered because of me, despite he gave no outward signs of unhappiness for almost two years, after that he found a girl and today he might be happy again wherever he is .

I suddenly realised that I was a prisoner and that I wasn’t in this world just to make a man’s life more comfortable. I have heard that when a door in one’s life closes, another opens, and so it was for me. Now I want to try my wings. More than everything I know I’m a woman of deep and lasting passions, wild and impetuous, ruled by my heart instead of my head. And I like  being this way. Yet now, I know all life can give, even if I knew the world could be as dangerous as a deliberate lie…

Florence’s life had always been this way: a battle between her dreamy nature and the burden of her responsibilities. She had thought much about love in her life, but little about sex. Even the word was somehow foreign to her. Her fairy tales were full of romance and some romance instilled her with passion. She loved to dream of princes and fairy tales, a kind of love without sensual desire but, she had felt it with Andy. A slip into a new dimension. Determinedly, she tried to push the feelings of desire away: Andy is not my prince, I  liked what I saw  in him, but it would be  wrong to allow myself  a  mistake even for  a minute, mixing that carnal need with the romanic love that I want. Again and again these stupid thoughts, but her handsome prince spun her around the dance floor and when their movements asked for more closeness, he would whisper “Je t’adore” in her ear and she’d recognise Andy’s voice.

– You’re gorgeous- he would say with a welcoming smile.

Florence looked up to the face of her own sweet prince, he was tall and strong, with warm brown eyes and he seemed handsome to her. Inside and outside. He had to be sure of that. He was always looking for the best in people and tried to find something good in her too. That’s was probably another reason why he seemed so good to her. He was not a prince or a hero, simply a fast-talking man that had the good fortune to meet her a certain summer. She had a lot to offer a man. She looked much younger than her fourty-six. In fact, she loved to play with her youthful face, pale blond hair, green eyes and well-defined features saying she was only thirty-two. She had a shapely tall feminine figure and long legs, moved with grace and was very smart and full of energy. The way she walked was unique, with a natural charm that was captivating and  gave a lasting impression on people who met her. She could talk intelligently, cook and clean well enough, she was healthy, had all her own teeth (ha, ha!), loved children and animals and she had a great sense of humour. So, why did that list of virtues sound so depressing? Florence was angry at herself for fighting battles of self-esteem that she thought she had won or, at the very least, had stopped fighting over. She didn’t want any men coming to her for all these reasons, because for Florence, these were all wrong reasons. She couldn’t accept any of those primitive reflexs which could drive men into her arms. She wanted Andy to come to her willingly, even if  all the alternatives of civilization were open to him. That was the difference. She wanted him to want her the same way. Right or wrong, Eden or Hell. She would have given the blood from her veins to believe that he would have come to her no matter where and how they had met. And as she was writing this last sentence, she realized that he had also a lot to offer to a woman. She admired his intelligence, his integrity, which instinctively she knew was unassailable. She also discovered they liked so many of the same things, children, travels, sea, racing cars, a glass of icy champagne on a wintry night, and not to mention houses built on water…

Florence was both fascinated and frightened by her discoveries, for she soon found that even freedom had a price, the acceptance of responsibility for one’s choices… And her last choice was Andy. She still didn’t know if he was a fighter or a dreamer, she hoped both things. Her love was like something in a fairy tale, unburdened by reality. But she knew he could be scared and walk away: he could find her too passionate, too headstrong, too impetuous, ruled by her heart instead of her head. She was everything he was not and secretly wished to be, even if despised himself for wishing it, knowing his lack of courage to defy the world where he was born. As all men she knew he was weak and his weakness was even greater than his love for her, it had always been so.  She really hoped he was a dreamer and a fighter… Her grandma used to say: When there is no peril in the fight, there is no glory in the triumph. How right she was!

She’ll make him work to get her, he’ll have to prove that he could be her man.

Florence was lying down in bed with her blue-gray eyes closed and just as she expected, she started having those feelings about him again. Her “loving feelings”, she’d call them. She longed for the strength of Andy’s arms around her. Yet, never in her life had she been so aware of her senses and desires as she was now.

– Kiss me, always kiss me.

She gave him a wild and incendiary kiss. His mouth opened over hers and he slipped his tongue inside her mouth. Tighter and tighter she pressed herself against him, wrapping her legs around him and feeling the stiffness of his erection against her. He buried his face into the soft sanctuary of her blond hair. She felt beautiful and powerful, she was on fire. She needed to be closer now and opened her legs, urging him inside her. Then, he used his thick strong muscles from his thigh to begin a strong seductive rhythm of enjoyment and caresses. Florence’s eyes opened with desire and inarticulate cries of pleasure from the back of her throat. She stared up at him and in his face, she saw that mixture of control and pleasure that were so taunting and enflamed her needs. That’s the easy part. The reality is that the more I know him, the more he knows me, the longer we’re a part of each other, the stronger the love is.

How often did a woman feel like that? Once in a lifetime perhaps, but Florence  corrected herself instantly. It was twice in her case, maybe more. Life was such a struggle and Florence suddenly understood that she wanted to reach out, grab happiness. But everything had to happen naturally. Everything must take its normal course.

II

The elemental song of wind and sea were familiar to Andy. Starring the outboard handle with one hand, he kept the bow of the boat headed on a diagonal course into the sea. His other hand was holding hers. Usually, Florence and most of friends enjoyed sailing on Charly, but not that night. The wind had started without warning, catching us out on open sea when suddenly one engine stopped working. At first, it didn’t seem more than hesitations in the mechanical heartbeat, but then, those hesitations became noticeable: the second engine coughed, faded, caught and then died.

– Damn you, start!

Anxiously, the two other women on board scanned the coastline to their left. They both forgot to mention that they weren’t good swimmers and asked for life vests. Just at the opposite, Florence was a strong swimmer. By chance, they were not too far away from the port entrance and thought someone would come and help them. There was no point in being afraid. Suddenly, both tide and wind were running heavily against the boat. Andy stared toward the coastline again, wondering if the boat would hit the rocks. The engine made healthy ripping noises, but didn’t want to restart. Big waves were now battering against both sides of Charly. Everybody threw a worried glance toward the coastline. It was closer now. Too close. Andy thought they could be out of gas, but that wasn’t the case. Whatever was causing the outboard to fail wasn’t a lack of fuel. The boat was at the mercy of the tide and of the wind. Andy and Flo took a pair of skis and try to push the boat away from rocks, working as quickly as they could. It was a race to see whether tide and wind would shove them onto the rocks before some help arrived. Frankly, she didn’t think they would make it. Any hope of staying dry, cold water poured over her short and her feet were soaked. They both used the skis to pull hard against the rocks, Bill was doing his best in the other side of the boat. Florence has always been reasonably strong and physically competent, but she got hurt, a ski was broken and cut one of her feet. She didn’t say a word, as usual, trying to gain the reputation of a brave sailor. Finally, a boat came out on the open sea and pulled Charly till the port. A few minutes later we were approaching the mouth of Puerto Banus.

– Come on, let’s have a bottle of Champagne at Yanks… It was bad out there, but not that bad…

Only then he noticed the blood in Florence’s foot. For one hour that seemed like years, he divided his attention between the two other ladies, Bill, and his drinks. He didn’t pay any attention about their protests to drive her to an hospital. Tears of frustration were welling to her eyes as she tried to fight against her own body. You don’t want to be weak… Florence had spent a lifetime in a powerful body so that people automatically stepped back when they first saw her; yet that power couldn’t do a damn thing to help her now, she was bleeding, but it didn’t seem to bother him.

He had tried to reach Florence with words of comfort, but at this moment, with her sad eyes and brave smile, she could only realize one thing: he wanted to live and enjoy his last drinks more than taking care of her.  At this moment the man she loved wasn’t Andy anymore. Then, much after, once the emotions of the instant were off, even if she realized he was trying to take advantage of her gratitude by driving her to the hospital, she would regret having given in gratitude what she had been born to give in love and decided he was what he was, love was what it was, beyond her reach. Andy was, beneath his rough exterior, a man capable of tenderness, laughter and the kind of silences that made her feel peaceful rather than uneasy.  He was a promise of male sensuality that sent tiny streams of fire through her. I want to remember him with joy, for that’s how I will remember you.

He was literally head and shoulders above any men around him. Yet to her it was the other men who looked wrong, different, out of place, unreal. Andy had become the standard which she measured others. This realisation shocked her: what am I going to do with him? Each time I have him, I want him more… I know the answer: we’re going to kill each other in bed! You want to know something else? I can hardly wait! All I want to do is take you into my mouth and feel you growing as my tongue loves you…

This book is a present for Andy. There are whole chapters I want to explore. With you, only with you.

Then again those doubts that faded each time Andy told her he loved her came back to her with redoubled force. He was a honest man, a compassionate man, a kind man. If he didn’t love her, he would try very hard not to hurt her and one of his kindnesses would be to make sure that she wasn’t left to hear his soft declarations of love echo unanswered. That was why she always kissed his words away. He had proven her that she was an endless fire in his body, but somehow she had left his soul untouched. Passion, not love.

No matter if it was passion or love. Florence knew they were  man and  woman and they were created to live this radiant and timeless instant, between sky and sea. She wanted to ask him what he was seeing in the enigmatic sky but, she knew that she had no right to ask. Visions could only be shared, not demanded, a gift from one mind to another, one soul to another. She had taken too much from him already, more than she had any right to take.

I’ll build a special summer this year. I was restless, lonely, a bird without wings, a fish without fins, nothing fit and nothing was right before.

Florence remembered another summer that had started like this one, but ended so differently…

She found a young seagull, half dead from terror and pain.  One of her legs was injured. If she let her there, she would die. Yet if she kept her, tamed her, made her dependent on her, then she would be dooming her to a different, even more cruel death when she would release her.  Florence  knew this, but the seagull did not. She only knew each moment as it came.

I sense you don’t want to know the end of the story. Do you?

It would have been very easy to win her trust. She was gentle, intelligent, and adaptable as all young things are. She would have learned to run toward her voice, would have been a company… But Florence made sure that she neither saw  nor scented her, in time she didn’t limp anymore and left her there. The day after she came back to check on her and found nothing there, but silence. There was nothing sad in her leaving. Her reward for helping the seagull didn’t come from winning her trust. To have taken anything more from her in her helplessness would have made her less of a person. That’s exactly what happened with Ernesto and other men. They were like this bird of passage, helpless, given into her care only long enough to be rescued, healed and then freed. She had gone to them, shown them the way to heal themselves and then watched them slip from her hands without a backward look. Yet illusions could be very cruel. Then they had to be taken away. But now, dear Andy, you are everywhere, a part of everything. If I could, I would paint the sky and sea, and mountains, and they would all be you. If I could, I would ask the wind calling your name in all times and seasons, but I’m not an artist, I have no special way to tell you that you’re the other half of my soul. I love you.

III

– So you’ve been flirting with Janis ex boyfriend last Sunday at Silks?

That’s not true, and you know it. If you lived here and weren’t conducting our  long-distance relationship everything would be entirely different. I know you have such a huge commitment to your business and children. But it’s hard for me to commit to somebody I can only see ten days a month. It was a miscalculation on my part. Sometimes you don’t call me in two days and it makes me understand that you don’t take my life seriously. You have your personal family life with your children, and certainly with your work and friends but, you’re not living up to my expectations. I have old-fashioned values, I feel the weight of my expectations and ask me just how I’d handle  distance. You’re self-involved with another country and even if you like to imagine one day we could share a house in Spain, I’m not rushing over this occasion as, sometimes, I still see you as a hit-and-run man. That means the kind of chap who has the attitude: love me on my terms, darling, thanks for everything, farewell…   To tell you the truth, it was only this last Sunday at Silks that these ideas turned me moody, it irritated me more than anything else to see that most of the men there, were trying to flirt with me, but the only man I really wanted at this moment, was far away. I didn’t underestimate the effect I had on Kjell, but believe me, I’ve never been attracted by him since we met a year ago. I just didn’t want to damage his ego as a blond, blue-eyed, tanned, glamorous playboy! I had found no pleasure at all resting next to him in the beach as I was self-conscious that everybody was watching us and that after, they’d create confusion about our behaviour. Distance doesn’t ruin a relastionship, doubts do.

– Florence, behave, you have a lovely boyfriend…  Loretta and Gary said.

But Florence had also drunk too much that afternoon and was filled with a curious kind of excitement and pleasure as she always was when having sun or being near the sea. She didn’t realized that Janis still had feelings for Kjell, only after, she really understood that her behaviour had been wrong as she encouraged him instead of stopping him. In fact, Janis and Kjell have been dependent on each other for more than three years, and for Janis who was suddenly alone, it could be traumatic. She was jealous and jealousy was a pretty unbearable state to be in.

I know Andy won’t be angry with me as he trusts me. And yet there’s a but in his mind, I know him. I don’t live in perpetual mess and create mess in other lives, believe me. But I won’t let anybody pretend to drive my life and tell me how I have to behave, certainly I don’t relish the idea of not having to talk to any other man just because of you, it would be crazy.

– I didn’t want to talk about it on the phone because I was afraid you could misunderstand it all. Words can sound so cold when they are said. But I know you trust me, you’re not a judge or juror, just my doctor. Come close to me and tell me if everything is right here under my pants, darling…

Then she remembered his words a few weeks ago:

– I’ve been thinking about you so much. Do you really understand what I mean, how I feel? I’m serious about you. Say no to me now if you don’t feel the same way. Because once we start this, there’s no going back, not for me.

I feel as you do, I answered.

Tomorrow it’s Friday and Andy is coming for a few days. She wants him, wants to feel his hands all over her like always, nothing has changed. Taste his kisses, savour his passion. Ten days. It has been too long for them both.

– What is this?  he’d ask. Why are you smiling?

– Because I’m happy.

– This is only the beginning… I’m going to make sure of that, only happiness from now on, ok?

– OK.

Just one more day, she thought, missing him badly now. She wished he was next to her tonight.

IV

If I ever said I loved you, I meant it. I am not meant to lie. There is a hollowness that echoes within when I do. If I told you something wrong last night, it was out of anger and let me say that I am sorry.

I love you, but there is also a shadow side of love in everybody, a darkness that comes from the pain of love distorted, love unfulfilled, love unreturned, love unrequited, love unexpected, and love unpredictable. What I said was not directed at one person, not at you but directed at a situation that merely did not bent to my will. My inability to accept that you won’t come when I called you, that you’d leave me waiting all night only to wake up fully dressed for the dinner that I was not invited to, lying on a completely made bed, the morning light coming through the windows, my hand waiting still for hours on the unrunging phone.

I was stucked in an unguarded moment and the creature escaped faster than I could catch it, outrunning my reason, my mind, my heart, the untamed, enraged animal yearning for what it cannot have. But I know it now, next time, I’ll catch the creature, force it back into the cell where it belongs. I’ll try not to let it out again and this time, I’ll employ locks and stocks and barrels to keep it at bay. I can do it for you. I can’t forget the gentle moments that we had together. If you only think to reconstruct the past as it was when it began, the beginnings that we wanted to be a whole story, where we’d live happily ever after, and leaving out the bitter reality that we didn’t, just tell me. I really hope you’ll open your heart again to me. So, for now, all I want to say is that, even though it scares you, I’m not destructive, mad, bad or dangerous to know. Only a bit impatient. And I love you.

Watching the sky with you at Bill’s dinner,  I couldn’t see any satellite, but from the balcony of future and all other uncontrollable yet watchable events, I knew things will happen whether we would like them to or not. I  saw you and I as a natural selection, accepted that as a reality and as the result the world wanted us to be. When I accepted that I was merely an ordered system of the universe and our world seemed perfect to me.  But yesterday, I forgot nature. Forgive me and forgive nature, for those lapses of judgment, irresponsibility, rebellion, rage, that is part of all of us and nature too. See you in ten days.

V

There are so many people who cannot show emotions and feelings very easily. Many times they are misinterpreted as being cold or unfeeling and pay the consequences when they just want to be open and expressive like everyone else. Sometimes, words don’t come easy and I prefer to write what I feel.

Writing is magic, specially when it comes from the heart. It can touch us, move us, enlighten us, it’s the tie that binds one stranger to another, often in friendship, sometimes in love, always in understanding. Tonight I want to write about life and the choices we have to make. Yes, I know, hardly an original theme.

“Nobody understands love”, some people admit. It seems to be Universal. Timeless. Yet, it’s also very individual, filtered by our own lives and expectations. But I do understand love and that’s why I like  writing about it. And like any good story or poem (and this one is both), there’s an underlying message you would do well to seek.

Before all this happened, last week you texted me: I think it’s all going too fast. How far is too far, how quick is too quick? Difficult answer for somebody like me who has no limits…  Funny? Maybe, but humour sometimes, is the best way to discover hidden truth.

I’m a dreamer and a fighter at the same time. It’s true. But dreams have wings, and they are often clipped by the ravages of reality. Many things changed since that “special summer”. I feel stronger now. Where did I found the strength? In the weight of the darkness, the longing for light and in people. People like you and me who have experienced life, what’s good or bad and shared their feelings with me.

All the above describes LOVE. Quite a piece of writing, I know!  Hope it kept you interested. Some sections could seem a bit disjointed I agree, but that’s the way I enjoy writing.  I had a beginning, a middle, but is there an ending…?  The search continues…