~My heart has a story, my mind with memories.~
~Two destinations, two maddened hearts,~
~were snapped apart, like a broken star.~
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. As for me, it stayed in my heart.
The emotion of coming home, I was nearly deep in sorrow. I was sad. The work kept me busy, but the memory managed to create a blue mood even after five days. Reminiscing of every moment spent with Aaron. Those lovely blue eyes. That amazing smile. I’d left my desire with the man, who could have been in my arms only if it weren’t for the miles and miles of distances between us.
I listened to music, mainly sad songs, crying over my first love while lying in bed. I was almost at my wit’s end trying to up with this dream romance. I needed a change, so I called Mom and told her I would like to spend the weekend with her.
My fingers curled before pushing the tiny light of the doorbell. I put on a smile, simply to veil my sadness before I glimpse into those green eyes.
She opened the iron glass front door. Her bright green eyes dazzled. “O, Honey!”
My wounds instantly were nurtured in her Mama bear hug. “I missed you, Mom.”
“Oh, darling, I missed you too.” She coiled me tight. “You must be tired. Why don’t you freshen up? I’ll set the table for dinner.” Her pleasant smile took the painful sting out of me.
The whole house smelled delicious.
“Mija, ¿cómo estás cariño?” (Daughter, how are you, darling?) Aunt Bess greeted me from the kitchen.
“I missed you and your food, Aunty?” I hugged her. “Oh, you look skinny, Hija? You must eat now.” She’d prepare her pot roast, cooking for hours on the slow flame.
(Bess Gomes: She’s not only taking care of the whole house, but she’s always been with us when I was eleven. After Dad died, Mom had to go back to school to become a doctor, and so she hired Bess as my nanny, but she took care of me like her own daughter. She became part of Mom and me, as a family. There was no better word to call her family than an Aunt.
I wasn’t that hungry but didn’t have the heart to refuse Aunty’s comfort food. She’d made just for me to go to the market and prepare and cook for me to enjoy.
At the table, I mostly picked at my food.
“Jess, are you not hungry?” Mom asked. I pulled myself out of my daze and looked at her nervously. She’d stopped eating and looking at me with furrowed brows.
“Why do you say that, Mom?” I sat up straight and stuffed my mouth with a garlic roasted broccoli to avoid talking.
“You’ve been quiet since you got back.” She peered at me. “Did something happen?” She detected.
“No, nothing... I’m just tired, Mom.”
“Did something happen at work?”
“Nope, work is great.” I practically cheered.
“So, it’s about the trip, then?” She was mind playing me. I should’ve paid more attention. She knows me too well; that’s the scary part. Besides, I was so excited to go on the trip, and she knows that. Nothing impressive had happened between the trip and now. So here we are.
“So give me the insides.” She asked.
“You know they say, ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’”
“But did it stay in Vegas?” Bullseyes, she sneaked in, right through my eyes.
“And you know what they say. Mother’s know best.” She wrinkled her nose. She was right about the Mother—power.
“Okay, Mom, can we eat now...? Please.”
“Well, I’ve baked a bundt cake, so whenever you are ready to talk,” she puts her hand on mine, “I’m here.” She understood my heartache.
I never hide anything from her. I’ve always involved her in my life, and her opinion still matters to me. After dad died, we moved from Florida to San Francisco, all on her ability. We didn’t know anybody here. She’d me, and I’ve her.
It was the first time I was very hush with her. I was not ready yet to talk about Aaron.
Our table conversation included me telling her all about our trip, excluding the parts with Aaron.
Mom had a big reaction when I told her about how Alice ended her relationship with Ethane. An even bigger opinion when I told her about Alice’s relationship with Sage.
She was very happy for both Alice and Sage.
We both sat at each end of the sofa, reading a book.
“Hmm...” She replied, her eyes were still in the book she was reading.
“Do you miss dad?” She glanced up at me then closed the book on her index finger, planning to go back to reading. “There’s not a single day that goes by, and every time I see you, I think of him.” And I believe her. I may have elegances, grace, from my Mother, but I have my Father’s eyes that enhance my beauty.
“What’s going on, Jessie?” She removed her reading glasses.
“So something did happen; I can feel it in your silence. All the other stuff you were blabbering about was only to cover the real story. Am I right?” She exhaled out. “Jessica, you can always talk to me, darling.”
“I know, Mom.” I smiled at her and closed my book, and yawned, “I am going to bed.” I stretch out, then kiss her goodnight.
“Goodnight, honey.” She replies with a sweet smile.
When morning came, I stared out the window, the white chiffon curtains swaying with the faint breeze. The morning sun reminded me of my first kiss with Aaron.
‘Does Aaron think of me when he looks at the sun? Does he miss me—as I miss him?’
I shook my head at my thought. I think I’m going crazy.
I got ready and went downstairs. My Mom was sitting at the kitchen island on the barstool, drinking coffee, and eating her toast with scrambled eggs. Aunty Bess had freshly squeezed orange juice.
“Good morning, Mom,” I kissed her.
“Good morning, Aunty,” I hugged her.
“Good morning, Mija, I’ll make a plate for you,” Aunt Bess started to.
“No. I’m still full from last night.” Food was the last thing on my mind, but the orange juice looked refreshing at the moment. I poured a glass. Both were staring at me.
“What?” I shrugged.
“Are you not hungry again?” Mom asked.
I shake my head.
“I came to check up on you last night while you were asleep, and since when did you start talking in your sleep?” She took a sip of her coffee. “And who’s Aaron?”
I squirt juice into my glass. I cursed silently, then double cursed on my carelessness. Mom waited for me to answer.
“Jess!” She placed her cup on the counter and walked towards me, and sat next to me.
“I met him in Vegas. We’d such a great time, I was living in a dream, but then we’d to be apart since we live apart. I think I lost my heart to him, and I’ll never love anyone after him.”
“You’re still very young, Jess. You need to be strong and focused.” She cleared my hair and tucked behind my ear. “It rains with thunderstorms, but the sun shines again, and new colors of love will blossom again. You have to give some time.”
I hugged her so tightly, sobbing in her arms, “I love you, Mom.”
God cannot be everywhere, so he made a mother.
I checked my mail at the mailboxes when my eyes met with the building’s hottie, who’d just walked in, he smiled at me, but I never returned.
I locked my mailbox door and walked out of there. That’s how much the Love spell damaged me.
I’d stayed up all night, working on my presentation, and it led me to oversleep. But I was in full spirit the next morning.
“Good morning Ms. Hicks” I greeted her, the sweet little old lady, holding a trash bag.
“Good morning Jessica, going to work?”
“Ms. Hicks, do you want me to get anything from the market? I’m going there myself.”
“Oh. If you can get me tomatoes and basil, that would be wonderful, dear.” She said.
“That’s all you need? Anything you might want more?” I asked her, considering her age, she might remember something else she wanted later.
“For now. I wanted to make marinara sauce and some soup for tomorrow’s lunch.” She explained.
“Okay, Ms. Hicks, I’ll leave it outside of your door in the evening,” I said to her since she goes to bed early, and I don’t want to disturb her.
“Take care, Ms. Hicks.”
Instead of driving to work today, I called Uber instead of taking my car to work.
“Jessica, all good.” Robert, my boss, asked me. He seemed a little stressed.
“Robert, you okay?”
“Yeah, the Vice president is attending the meeting, as well.”
“So? What’s the problem?”
“It’s just.. he came unannounced.”
“Just one more body at the table, and relax; he’s only human, not a Vampire.”
“Haha... I’m confident you’ll do great.” He cheered.
After an hour and a half, the presentation was over. Both Robert and Patricia were happy with my portrayal. Everyone was going for lunch to entertain the VP, but I wasn’t feeling it, so I declined.
“Miss. Skyy,” The Vice President called.
“You’re joining us.” I wasn’t sure if he was asking me or telling me. But Robert, who was standing behind the VP, was nodding his head frantically.
“Um...Yes, Sir, I guess I’m.” I smiled.
“Good, I’ll drive you there.”
“Oh!” I said surprisingly. Again Robert was nodding. I wanted to roll my eyes at him.
“Yes, sir,” I said. The VP gave a small nod and took his leave.
Robert came up to me, and before I could scold him, “Whatever the VP says, you do it, whether you like it or not.” He instructed.
“I’m not a yes-person kinda girl. I’ve integrity.”
“It’s not like that Jess, Mr. Regan, is a very genuine and humble man. If you tell me, he’s the kind of man I can see you with.”
And just like that, Robert had burst my bubble. I started to notice minute things based on my delusions.
Mr. Regan: Full name Samuel Regan. Vice President of this firm. He had achieved enormous success, prestige, and fame. He was okay, I guess. OK, I admit that he may be the most attractive man I’ve met after Aaron.
So here’s what happened?
He was a gentleman. He opened the car door for me to sit next to him. He made Robert sit behind with Patricia in the back seat of the car.
Then in the restaurant, we were given a sofa seating at the half-circle booth. Regan followed behind me and chose to sit next to me.
Occasionally our knees, elbow, the hands would touch, and I made sure not to repeat my clumsiness. Regan gave more attention to me than others sitting at the table. I was a little cold since the A/C blower was right above me, and he gave me his jacket to wear.
Now and then, when I looked to my right, I saw him looking at me with a small smile on his face. Sometimes he would look away quickly when he realized he got caught staring.