Mention of Honor, storytellers contest organized by the Cultural Institute of Peru, Embassy of Miami, July 2005. Published in the book "Poets and writers of the 2005”
That morning she
woke with strong sensation that time was running out for her. She felt depressed and sad. It seemed that her life had become a tunnel which was sealed at one end, and that she had no choice now but to follow the dictates of her heart. She needed to find a
solution that would allow her to find her way out of the labyrinth in which she was trapped.
Her husband, as every day for several months now, just simply said "see you later" and walked off to work, without even looking at her.
although still living in the house, completely ignored her. Their studies, friends and parties were their world, and their mother was simply a person who had the food ready, the clothes clean and neat, and who cleaned up the mess which they carelessly left
all over the house.
She decided that a very cold shower would take away the sadness, and anguish that invaded her. She opened the shower tap and let the water run down her body for a while, but then feelings of anger overtook her, and she rubbed herself
very hard with the sponge, as if to erase in this way her sadness and loneliness. She felt like crying, and she did mourn gently at first, but then with sobs that came from the depths of her being. Her sobbing increased in intensity until the sobs became
piercing screams, hoping that that this would let her distress and suffering out of her soul, and she could find relief from her pain.
She felt much better, and as the water in the shower, and her tears bathed her, she repeatedly ran her hands
through her shining hair and over her face. Then she slid her hands down her breast and belly, and then very slowly down to her private parts and thighs. For long minutes she enjoyed the pleasure of being caressed, and had the strange feeling that by
touching her body, her hands were talking to her.
"You are an attractive woman who is only forty-eight years old and you have the whole world ahead. I know you are afraid. You are a married woman with children, and you worry about what people might
say. For that reason, you are afraid of breaking the patterns that have ruled your life so far.
Haven’t you noticed that your husband stopped loving you several years ago? Watch his behavior with you, which is cool and detached, as
if you did not really exist. It is true that he is still meeting his obligations to you and your children, and you are not missing anything, but tell me, "how long has it been since you heard a tender word from him? How long has it been since he cherished
you? How long has it been since you have had the pleasure of making love?
I know that you remember those days when you were everything to him. Yes, yes, he filled you with love and made you extremely happy. But tell me, was not he the one who moved
away from your life? Suddenly there was business travel, conventions, one week out of town, his arrival late at night, the smell of alcohol. And, without any justification, despite the immense love that you gave to him, came the change. That terrible
silence, that way of not answering your questions, that way of ignoring you, that way of not touching you as he did before. The longing desire you felt of wanting to be possessed by the man you loved; only to see him turn away, ignoring you as if you did not
exist, as if you were a stranger.
Come on! Wake up! Do you want to end up like a ship stranded on a distant shore, letting time and the rough weather destroy you?
No, no woman! It’s time to make a decision about your life. Fear not,
you still have many years ahead of you, because there is a complete new world out there, a world of love and happiness. Do not let it go! "
She came out of the shower and still naked looked herself in the mirror. She was beautiful!She knew she had always
been so, beginning from childhood and into puberty, because she was always the most admired flower of the garden. She had behaved with dignity, never allowing the leering men, who stripped her on the street with their looks, vulgar compliments, open, or veiled
innuendo and seduction attempts, to alter her decision to be a woman of integrity. She would save herself for the person her heart chose, for her husband. And when she was ready to take that decision, she would devote her whole life to cherish, adore and respect
But all that is going to hell now!!
Four years ago she knew him. He came home, invited by her own husband as a guest to dinner. From that moment on she felt a sort of attraction to the unknown. The beating of her heart heart told
her that there was a new life, and a future that, could mitigate the loneliness and barrenness of her present existence. He was immensely appealing, daring, good talker, honest, yet sweet and loving.
He was blunt when he told her that he loved her,
and that he would wait for her all his life, and, although he knew that things were not going well in their marriage, he would never take advantage of these circumstances to cause a break. He was patient because he knew that the day she felt that her life
was wrecked; he would be ready to rescue her. It was very simple; all she had to do was to have the courage to make a phone call.
She dressed, and after taking a last look at herself in the mirror, she went to the kitchen and made a strong cup of coffee.
Sitting down in a comfortable chair in the living room, she thought what the next step should be. After a few minutes, she walked decisively to the study, and picking up the phone, dialed a number, and when answered, said:
“Charles, I want
to see you tonight at eight o’clock. I have something very important to say”.
When he arrived at the office, he told his secretary, “I do not want phone calls or visits
for the next two hours, as I need to be alone”. He sat in his chair in the elegant office of the general manager of the company. His face showed the fatigue of long sleepless nights. He knew it was time to make a decision.
There was no logical
explanation for the changes that had occurred in his life, since he had that wonderful experience that would forever change his way of perceiving the feelings of a new love.
He felt remorse because he knew his behavior was causing extreme pain and anguish
for his wife. She was the ideal woman, beautiful, intimate sensual, affectionate, loving and in everyday life, loyal, faithful, dutiful, dignified and sensible. Never a reproach, never a scandal. She was always devoted entirely to him and the children.
But, what happened happened, and not knowing how, he was seduced by an intoxicating and unknown love. A love that filled and changed his life in a gradual way, until it asphyxiated him and took possession of his will, in a way that he was unable to
reject, or take back. An absorbing love that demanded unequivocally, all or nothing!
And so, he invented travels, conventions and meetings, in order to enjoy this secret love. He was ashamed to return home after each rendezvous, and he was afraid of
touching his wife, for fear, she would notice the scent of another love on his body. For that reason, he decided to become an iceberg, cold, aloof, dismissive, because this new passion imposed conditions that no reason could understand, or explain.
Now it was time to make a decision that could affect so many lives. It would be a mortal blow to his wife, children and family. Who would have thought that a man of fifty-two years, and married for twenty-eight of those, would break up a marriage that was
seen by everybody as a model.
The scandal could be of such proportions that it would force him to resign as general manager of the company, that he had run so successfully, and go into exile, in a far and distant land. That would be the only possible
way to start a new life, next to this wonderful person who would make him immensely happy forever.
Resolutely he took the phone, dialed a number and when answered, said:
“Charles, I want to see you tonight at eight o’clock. I have
something very important to say”.