Two years had passed by ever since Sergio had left for the city. He had left the small village that was in rut to look for greener pastures, so he said. Sergio was an ambitious young man who since they had met had never settled for less. From the way he described his dreams to things he wanted in life one could always tell that this village was not where he belonged. This was a small town with beautiful people but was characterised with lack of growth. Its people always worked but success was in the speed of a chameleon. The people had settled and many were comfortable but not him. Moving through the town she sighed, this was a sigh of relief from the past, the slow life in La Paz, the amazing things that were happening in her life including college which she had graduated as the summa cum laude, the new man in her life, the new job and she could not forget her supportive hard working mother who through thick and thin always came through for her.
Camilla 24, was raised in the town of La Paz and being the first child much responsibility fell upon her. She was practically the father and mother of their house. Not that her mother did not play her role but she was too busy and always working that Camilla felt obliged to pick up the pieces and help around whenever required. Her mother worked at a nearby school as a janitor and it was only through God she had managed to finish paying through Camilla’s high school and college education which demanded a lot of money for her tuition fee. Her father gone with the wind at the age of 12, she, her mother and her the two siblings were left to fend for themselves. This had taught her a lot in life. But two vital facts she had registered was that one, never to depend on men. Two, was that no matter how stupid she gets was to always remember never to fall in a ditch called love. To her this was an illusion, a fantasy, vanity just like what Sergio had left in search of.
Camilla still remembered the day he had left for the city like it was yesterday. He had ruthlessly left her stranded by the road her world torn apart from his departure. Sergio had tried his best to explain why he needed to leave but she had not understood no matter how much she wanted the best for him. And now here she was, a young successful maiden with a job that could support her and her family and a loving Seth who though not exactly a knight in shining amour was enough. She walked by the tree where they had built their little haven and even though she tried not to notice it, its presence could not be ignored. The wind was blowing hard and it was almost raining, so she decided to stand under the huge mahogany tree for a while hoping the fast coming rain would pass and she would go back home. No one was around but she felt like she was being watched. She looked around again to confirm and she let out a little laugh from realizing how paranoid she had just got. To be honest she was guilty. See, Camilla was dating Seth the new guy, to whom she had never mentioned Sergio, and so the moment she started walking towards the tree she noticed that she was opening a Pandora’s box. But with her curiosity…
This one held bitter-sweet memories. Memories she could not erase nor have the pleasure to talk about with anyone. Not that she did not have friends but there were some hidden parts of her soul that only Sergio understood. This was why she felt guilty. She was in a relationship with Seth but she felt like she belonged to another. She longed for a man who had made her broke her two vows. To never depend on a man and to never fall in love. A man who abandoned her without a second look and this made her hate herself because he had selfishly left her for the good life and lavish lifestyle sacrificing her for what she considered vanity. In her humble house of glass she could not only see how they were destined to be together but also how he had not fought for her neither given a solid reason to leave. Really Cam! What was more solid than going to hustle for a better life? But then why did she hear that he was getting involved with other people. Other women, older women. Hadn’t he promised her that on returning it would be them against the world? That he would carry their hurt and sacrifice and turn it into a kingdom. But why did she even believe him. He was young back then and had not even finished his college education when he decided to leave for the city. What fortune would he have built like that? Is that why he resorted to being with older women?
She was already soaked all over. But on her face, it wasn’t the rain. She wiped her face with the back of her hands and that’s when she realised she had been sobbing, her past was with her and it would always be with her as long as that tree blossomed. For a split second she hated it. And she hit it but that only brought her much pain. Not to her hand which she completely ignored, but her core which was breaking into two. It was like she was hurting herself with every willpower she spent denying the love she still felt for Sergio. Her heart churned from the realisation that she did not hate him nor the tree, yet she wanted to. The opposite was true because la rouge as they had named the tree, was the only proof that she had lived. Proof that for two years she had been in a telenovela. Happy and in love with Sergio mon Dragon before that sad day of his departure. She was dying to escape the feelings she had suppressed for so long. Feelings she saw as weakness and looking into space, her mind drifted and she remembered the good times.
Like that day he had brought her a hairclip from his grandmothers all dusty and old but she was the happiest from how goofy he had looked trying to pin it on her dress. His face always flushed when he was clueless and his small eyes widened with innocence and purity. She loved this about him, but she also loved how bad he was.
Sergio was an arrogant being in every sense of the word. Walked like he owned the earth or he expected people to kiss his dust. His aura alone always kept people at bay. It portrayed him as dangerous and very intimidating and this made him very unapproachable, but that was a magnet to Camilla. She remembers the day they met. She had seen him from the corner of her eye and brushed off the slightest thought of how good he was, before she could even think it. It was hard. She must have tried like a zillion times not to look at him but he was doing what she was afraid of. He had the power and that’s why with one last look to feed her eyes to satisfaction she had wanted to go but what she had not realized yet was that while she was still glaring, he had started moving towards her and before she could save herself he spoke. ‘Hi’, she almost swallowed her tongue, and weird questions started bombarding her mind.
Did he just say hi! Or maybe he just sighed,
Why is he here, and so near!
Is he really talking to me? No he ain’t talking to me, Omg what am I wearing?
She had not replied when she heard, “Okay beautiful just tell me what I can do so you can respond to my greetings.” Yes dummy he was talking to you, Camilla snap out of it. She composed herself and replied, “Perhaps you can tell me why you’re here.”
Wherever she got the courage to retort, but it worked.
To her, He was angelic in every way. A smooth face in a shade of caramel, tiny snake eyes that pierced her soul alive, a slightly sharp nose in perfect alignment with tiny light pink lips she could only now see moving and she wondered what it would feel like to be kissed by him.
“What?” He asked as she repressed the thought then replied what was totally out of the context. I’m Camilla.
What did you expect she wasn’t listening but studying him. He was an art and Camilla was at school. School of art, they say?
He smiled and replied Sergio, Sergio mon dragon. That was his name. And she saw it, the smirk that hooked her for life. He was perfect. Dangerously handsome, strikingly rogue and oblivious of how much he affected her. Or was he?
The sun was setting and the ocean pure blue was almost at the edge of the shore. Waves by waves went in sync with how mesmerized Camilla was. And as they walked, she almost toppled over a sand made hill when he caught her before she embarrassed herself. His grip was strong. Hands masculine with nicely cut short nails and veins that made him appear stronger than she actually thought he was. It was amazing in his arms. Now she wished she did lie on that chest that peeked through his tight muscle shirt which was also trying so hard not to give his strong physique a time to breathe by clinging very hard to it. She let out a little laugh for a split second, imagining the picture of a t-shirt holding on tight to him. She was crazy she thought.
Apart from the imaginations, she was also crazy about him and it was hard to hide it. His broad shoulders made him look like a gladiator which connected effortlessly to his lean neck and his angularly framed face. His taut jaws added oomph to his dark stare sourcing from the misty crystal balls that were perfectly matched with tiny golden marbles at the center. She could stare at him all day, she thought and that’s when she broke his gaze and looked down to get herself on her feet. And it caught her eye. He was in shorts and his legs were not disappointing either. Strong, long and muscular like a footballers. God! He was a specimen!
She exclaimed. He almost heard it when the atmosphere got interrupted by another huge wave that almost reached their feet. It was getting dark she realized, then dissolved her mind to focus on going home. But she wanted to stay in this moment, hoping that no one else existed apart from them. She wanted to talk to him through the night and until the next… let’s say few decades to come. She wanted to hear his stories share in his endeavors and be a part of his ‘team’ if there was any. Would he let her?
Of course he would not, she fretted. See, Camilla was pretty. But that was it. She was a quiet, old soul who believed in things happening at their own convenience. He on the other hand looked destined for a princess in the making. A rich, classic woman who would match his charisma and Sophistication. She was not made for him. Otherwise he would just get bored after a few days, let’s not kid ourselves, hours, and leave for his destiny. Like he had finally done. This sad conclusion woke her up from her reverie, realising the rain had stopped and she set for home swearing she would forget him completely. Naive Camilla, that was not it. Sergio was fire and it spread like a virus. Destroying every defense mechanism and infecting even the most protected parts. Flashes of that night at the shores, kept coming back to her. Talking to him taunted her. It had been like making music. Each sound better than the last. Elemental, with each complementing towards a common rhythm with an end so ecstatic forcing you to repeat. And for a moment there she was lost again in his thoughts. Evidently, Sergio had changed her. He exposed a side she did not know existed within. A side that was ready to be swayed by him. And that was not Camilla. No man would tell her anything leave alone care listen to. She was hard headed and a queen of her own kingdom. But Sergio ruled her world. She was his servant at will and she loved it. And on that fateful night he was there. Offering to take her back home to her mother’s. He wanted to assure she was safe. But who would expect him to care and yet he did.