IMG_0599Susana watched the clock constantly. Ten minutes had already passed after school was dismissed and Ana did not come out. Ten more minutes passed, and Susana began to despair. Something was not right, Ana might be two or three minutes late, but twenty minutes late was unusual. Susana looked for a place to park the car and began to walk towards the school office. She was nervous thinking about what could have caused Ana’s delay. Just as Susana was about to talk to the secretary, she heard Ana’s voice, “Susana, I’m here. Are we going home?”

OTONO-19Susana looked at her from head to toe, then without saying anything, she hugged her tightly and they both went to where the car was parked. When they were inside the car, Susana asked, “What happened? Why did it take you so long to get out of school? Are you fine?”

With much joy reflected on her face, Ana replied, “I’m fine and it didn’t take me long.”

Without understanding Ana’s attitude, Susana continued speaking, “That is not a good explanation, at least not for me! I was very worried about not seeing you waiting for me after school. You are always so punctual and eager to return home. Explain to me what the reason for your delay was? “

Ana took a deep breath before answering, “Do you want an excuse, a lie, or the truth about why it took me so long to get out of school?”

“Don’t be insolent Ana!” Susana replied with a high tone of voice.

OTONO-26With a smile on her lips, Ana said, “I’m not insolent. I am happy and I want to give you the answer that you want to hear so that you also feel happy. So do you want the truth, an excuse or a lie to justify my delay? “

Feeling that Ana was making fun of her, Susana replied “Tell me the truth.”

Ana took a deep breath again, before answering, “I was with Eduardo, he is a boy who is in the eleventh grade. We were just talking. I really like Eduardo and I think that’s why I didn’t realize the time that had passed after school dismissed. “

Ana’s response produced a cold sensation throughout Susana’s body. It couldn’t be true that Ana liked a boy. For Susana, Ana was still her little girl, her child, the reason for her existence, the center of her universe and Ana’s words were like hard blows she was receiving in her heart; finding it very difficult to accept that her child had already grown up.

OTONO-27Without saying anything, Susana started the car and started driving back home. Her brain was overwhelmed by her own thoughts. She refused to accept the reality that one day Ana would fall in love, get married and leave home. She was so engrossed in her own thoughts that she didn’t hear anything Ana was saying.

When they got to their house, Susana served the food while she said in a sad tone, “I don’t think I’m going to continue with my Zumba classes unless I can sign up for another time. I don’t like you riding the school bus on Thursdays. “

Ana responded angrily, “On Thursdays I will continue to come back home by bus, because it gives me the opportunity to spend more time with Eduardo. And I’m not hungry! “

The rebellion that Ana showed puzzled Susana, “Why are you angry, when the angry one should be me?”

OTONO-25“I asked you to take Eduardo back to his house. But you ignored me. Eduardo missed the bus because he was talking to me. I was good to you by telling you the truth. So, you can’t be mean to me. ” Ana answered, imagining Eduardo standing outside the school, alone and with no one to take him to his house.

The rest of the day Ana locked herself in her room. Susana dedicated herself to observing the photographs of her daughter Nora and Juan. Susana’s eyes shed tears from her heart; caused by wounds that would never heal. The pain for the loss of her daughter remained latent within her soul, hidden from the eyes of the people, drowned in time, and disguised among memories. As she looked at their photographs, Susana reflected on the situation and decided that she would not allow her fear of being alone to be an impediment to Ana’s happiness.

The next day, when Ana got out of the car to go to school, Susana told her, “Ask Eduardo if he wants to go eat ice cream with us after school. If Eduardo answers yes, tell him that I will take him back to his house. “

Ana froze for a few seconds after listening to Susana. Then she answered with a huge smile, “If Eduardo answers no, I will try to convince him and if I do not succeed, I will bring him by force.”

Then they both started laughing. Any tension that had been present between them instantly dissipated. Understanding and love prevailing. Ana’s heart beating with the strength of youth and the emotion of feeling in love for the first time.

OTONO-28Ana and Eduardo took advantage of their free time to meet inside the school. They made Thursday their favorite day. The school bus became their accomplice, since it allowed for inside jokes, laughter, and silly conversations; caressing each other with their eyes, feeling faint electric shocks within the rose of their hands.

One Thursday Eduardo proposed to Ana that they do not return home by the school bus. Eduardo told her that they could do it on foot and she did not have worry about it because he would accompany her to her house. During the walk home from school, they stopped at the park, where they decided to rest for a while, sitting on a bench. The wind blew gently. The birds sang. In the distance they could hear the laughter of some children who were playing.  Then their eyes met, and Ana thought that she would get lost in the honey lake, where she was reflected in Eduardo’s eyes. While Eduardo did not think about anything else, feeling trapped and without his own will in the emerald green of Ana’s eyes.

OTONO-29The atmosphere was perfect, as they slowly got closer to each other. Time stopped and the world ceased to exist when both merged in a tender kiss, without lust or perversion, where only pure love existed. It was the first time they had both experienced what it was like to give and receive a kiss. Feeling the intermittent tingling on the lips caused by the touch from the lips of the loved one; a sensation that invaded Ana’s entire body, like the effervescence of an Alka-Seltzer when it made contact with water.

Ana still had her eyes closed when Eduardo asked her, “Do you want to be my girlfriend?”

With slow breathing. Ana slowly opened her eyes; causing paralysis in all of Eduardo’s senses with her response, “No! I do not want to be your girlfriend. I want to be your wife. Eduardo, do you want to marry me? “



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