It is very common to hear that words are carried away by the wind, but actions from many occasions remain tattooed even in the soul. If we do not take care of our way of speaking, acting, or thinking when we interact with the people we love, we can cause wounds that remain open like living flesh embraced by the heat of the fire or marred by the salt of bitterness that corrodes the heart of those who have been victimized; consciously or unconsciously, we are the people that hurt whom we also love.
Without any precaution, Nora ran through streets and avenues with her vision clouded by tears. Her thoughts were nullified by the conflicting feelings that warred within her heart. Nora wanted to hate Eduardo, but her love for him was so big that she only felt sadness seeing him suffer. Nora was angry with herself because she wanted to stay by Eduardo’s side, even though he didn’t tell her the truth about her sister Ana, causing her a lot of pain and sadness. Nora ran aimlessly trying to escape from reality, to prevent the suffering she felt consuming her soul.
Unaware of the distance she had run, Nora stopped in front of a pedestrian bridge, which was being used to cross a highway. She walked to the center of the bridge and took a deep breath. The wind gently hit her face, her eyes fixed on the cars speeding by under the bridge; where she leaned against a light pole and continued crying inconsolably.
Nora’s eyes were closed when she heard Eduardo’s voice that made her heart jump inside her chest, “Nora, it’s not worth getting hurt because of me. I am not important enough to think that you want to jump off this bridge because of me.”
Nora opened her eyes showing the intensity of her sadness, which shown through her beautiful emerald-green eyes, “I’m not going to jump off this bridge. I did not come here to hurt myself; I have been hurt enough with the damage you have done to me. All I want, is to feel no more pain.”
Hearing Nora’s response, Eduardo approached her fearful that she would reject him again, “I love you for who you are.” Eduardo then grabbed both of Nora’s hands and placed them on his chest, “I loved Ana with all my heart, but she’s gone. Now all my heart belongs to you. Feel through my chest how much my heart loves you. At first, I was confused. I cannot deny that a hurricane of confusion formed inside me because you are identical to Ana. When Ana died, I almost died of sadness with her. But living with you, I learned to see you and love you for who you are. Please believe in me because there is no doubt that I love you. Nora, please let me prove it to you, give me a chance to repair all the damage I’ve caused you. I know you love me because I can feel your love just by touching your hands. I can feel your love touching your skin. I can feel your love by breathing the same air that you breathe. I know you love me like I love you. Tell me what I have to do so that you do not deprive me of the privilege of continuing to live by your side; to grow this love that we both have for each other?”
Feeling weak, Nora sank to the ground. Eduardo took her in his arms lifting her off the ground. Nora’s body temperature had risen, and she was burning with a fever. Nora didn’t answer, her gaze remaining fixed on Eduardo’s face while she lost consciousness.
Nora’s heart had broken in the midst of her desire to hug Eduardo until she melted into her love, forgiving everything that had happened. The fire that Nora carried inside her had overflowed, causing an emotional collapse that was causing her physical damage from being between feelings of love, disappointment, fear, suffering, resilience and acceptance of a reality that she did not want to face.
Nora spent the whole day with a high fever, talking incoherently, asking for explanations, and trying to hide her emotions that spilled uncontrollably through the tears in her eyes. Eduardo stayed by her side taking care of her. Susana was also with her. Nora was terribly affected physically and spiritually.
That night while Nora slept, she heard in her dreams someone softly saying her name, “Nora, Nora”. She then got up from the bed and walked over to a large mirror that was in her room. Standing in front of the mirror, she saw herself pale and emaciated. Nora reached up to caress her face, but the mirror image of her was fixed, hands down. Nora was surprised to hear the image of her speak to her, “Nora, I’m Ana your sister. Physically, we are identical. But the image in the mirror is not you.”
Stunned Nora reached her hand out towards the mirror trying to touch the person who was inside it. “Ana, the opportunity to grow by your side was taken away from me. I never had the chance to share with you, although I know you have always lived by my side. I wish I could cross to the other side of the mirror just to hug you. My heart is wrapped in pain. My spirit is restless. My thoughts destroy my brain. I feel guilty for a situation that I did not cause. I want to live, but I feel like I’m dying.”
Nora started to cry. But the silhouette in the mirror was smiling. “We are totally different in personality. Look at me, Nora. I am the reflection of what you really are; do not be afraid to love, to be happy or to forgive. Because when love is real, obstacles can be overcome, mistakes can be corrected, and happiness can be reborn even in broken hearts.”
“Eduardo loves you, don’t doubt it anymore. So, the next time you look in the mirror I want your image to reflect happiness. Yes, happiness to have found true love. I love you too Nora. Take care of my children, they need you. Someday you and I will be reunited with our parents and live happily ever after.”
Nora watched as Ana’s image faded into the mirror as she walked back to her bed.
The next day Irene, Susana’s friend, pressured by the twins who insisted on seeing Nora, took them with Susana.
Susana agreed to let the twins see Nora. As John approached Nora, he kissed her forehead saying, “Mom, I don’t want you to die again.” Nora opened her eyes because she was still asleep. Looking at the sad little faces of her niece and nephew, Nora calmed down and began to breathe normally because she felt that even breathing caused pain in her heart. Then Nora smiled reaching out her arms to hug them. The warmth of the bodies of the children removed Nora’s emotional imbalance, giving her inner peace.
Nora got her smile back. She shared the whole day with Susana, April, and John. Eduardo stayed with them, but Nora avoided talking to him. She even avoided looking at him. Feeling Nora’s constant rejection of him, Eduardo felt that his heart would break wrapped in pain. At dusk Eduardo said goodbye. Susana approached him, to hand him a letter written by Nora saying, “Nora wants you to open it and read it when you think that there is no more pain in her heart.”
Six months passed during which Nora established bonds of love with her niece and nephew, coming to love them as if they were her children. She learned to forgive Alicia by respecting her as her mother. She discovered the immense love that Susana harbored in her heart. She didn’t just enjoy the company of her entire family. Eduardo didn’t look for her anymore. Eduardo stayed away from all places where there might be a possibility of meeting Nora.
One SUMMER afternoon Nora was in the park feeding the birds that were near the lake. Suddenly, she realized that a shadow was reflected next to hers, so she turned to discover who was behind her. Turning around she discovered honey-colored eyes that reflected the sunlight, as they looked directly into her eyes. With a smile on his lips and a pleasant intonation, the young man said, “Hello, I hope I didn’t scare you. I saw that you were alone. I also noticed that you no longer have any more bread to feed the birds. Would you like to use the bread I brought to continue feeding them? Ohhh! I almost forgot. My name is Eduardo.”
With her heart racing and feeling great excitement, Nora replied, “Hello, my name is Nora. Yes, I want to share your bread to feed the birds.”
When Nora reached out her hand to receive the bread, she felt an electric current run through her entire body as she felt the touch of Eduardo’s hand. Eduardo’s heart also accelerated when he saw his face reflected in Nora’s eyes again, “You know you have beautiful eyes; where spring is reflected, just as autumn nests its color in your hair, but without mixing.”
In a tremulous voice, Nora replied, “My favorite season is summer.”
Nora carefully observed Eduardo’s face that reflected joy and security. She denoted that Eduardo had already forgiven himself.
While Eduardo watched Nora’s beauty in ecstasy, the sun began to color the environment reddish yellow. The wind blew softly covering their bodies with warmth. The birds sang. The water of the lake reflected the sky as the colors of summer sailed over its waters.
Eduardo approached Nora, caressed her arms, and looked straight into her eyes as he said, “I know we just met, and it may seem crazy to you but what would you answer if I told you that I LOVE you.”
With tears of happiness in her eyes, Nora replied, “I would marry you without hesitation.”
They both smiled, embraced each other melting into a tender KISS, while from Eduardo’s left hand the letter that Susana had given him months ago fell to the ground…
“Find me when autumn meets spring, without their colors mixing and regardless of whether winter is between them. I will wait for you until destiny shows you the way to start again, free of guilt. Because… I love you.”