Nostalgia is a Liar

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Chapter Twenty-One

Fall, 1983

Marisol and Pilar walk into the bar. It’s packed, football fans all in full voice as the Patriots won.

Pilar grips Marisol’s shoulder. Marisol is beaming with excitement, at the anticipation of meeting good-looking men on their night out.

Te lo dije… this was a bad idea, it’s too crowded Maricita”

Cálmese Pilar… it’s a pub… que esperabas?”

Marisol paves a way for them through the crowd to the bar.

Ola chico” she smiles at the barman.

He had a long, curly brown hair tucked into a ponytail; a silver hoop nose ring and a goatee to match.

“What can I get you darling?”

“Two Piña Coladas por favor

“Coming right up gorgeous”

He turns to make the cocktails.

An excited Marisol perches on a barstool, patting the vacant seat next to her. A less than enthused Pilar sits down.

Two blonde guys squeeze past a busty middle-aged man to get next to the girls. The one is about 6’4; dirty blonde hair, short and neat; pale blue eyes. He is a bit cockier and more self-assured, resting his elbows on the bar counter. Making sure to lean in closely to Pilar, so much so she could smell his cologne. He winks at her, to which she scoffs.

The other, also blonde with pure blue eyes; about 5’9 and definitely a lot shyer and more reserved.

He waves silently at Marisol.

The bartender turns to offer the girls’ drinks.

“Hey buddy, I’ll have what they’re having” the tall one interrupts.

“Coming right up my man”

And away he goes again.

“I’m Tomasz” he extends his hand to Pilar. She frowns, tucking her hands further into her lap.

Marisol reaches across and shakes his hand.

“Marisol… and this is my sister, Pilar… she doesn’t get out much”

This sparks a chuckle from Tomasz.

“That’s my cousin, Kamil… he’s visiting from Poland… so he’s English needs some work”

Marisol turns to face the shy Kamil with questionable English.

She offers a handshake, to which he cautiously obliges.

“Hi, I’m Marisol Jiménez”

“Kamil Wójcik… I speak some English… just not very good”

She smiles, “That’s okay. We’ve all gotta start somewhere.”

She motions for him to try the drink, after taking a quick sip herself. “Try it…”

He nods, taking a sip.

“Hmm… not bad...”

“You hate it” she giggles

He shrugs, “I dreenk it if you dreenk it”

The barman returns with their drinks.

“Hey…” Tomasz waves for their attention, “We’ve got a sweet table setup in the corner over there… why don’t you ladies join us?”

“Okay” Marisol bounces, hopping off the chair

“Maricita…” Pilar tries to interject.

But it’s too late, Marisol had already followed the two men toward the corner table. She had no choice but to follow suit.

The corner section was dark and musky. Marisol was already seated next to Kamil, the only open space was next to Tomasz.

His cringy smile made Pilar’s stomach turn.

“It’s okay sweetheart, I don’t bite”

Nie bądź dupkiem” Kamil warns his cousin

Co…” Tomasz plays at being coy.

“So, what finally brings you ladies out tonight?” Tomasz tries to re-engage with the table.

“We’re young, attractive women… we deserve a night out.” Marisol answers for the both of them. Pilar’s daggers a response in kind.

“I’ll drink to that!” he raises his glass.

Marisol eagerly cheers’ him, the other two slowly oblige.

“Are you from Boston, Tomasz?”

After swallowing a mouthful, he licks his lips “No, actually from upstate New York. Just thought I’d give kuzyn the All-American experience of a football match. And since there wasn’t any in NY, thought why not Boston…”

Marisol turns to face Kamil, “Are you liking it here?”

Tak… very friendly people…”

“Where in Poland are you from?” she tosses her head back, giggling, covering her mouth abashed “Like I would know if you lied…”

He smiles, “Malbork… very small town in Norden Pol’and…lots of castles and reevers…”

She holds her face up in the palm of her hand, “Are you a knight?”

His face is flushed as he smiles, “Nienie dość odważny…”

“O…Od… odwaz… nee” she tries to mimic him

Takodważny… brave…”

She shakes her head, “Nie odważny?”

He chuckles, taking a gulp of the sweet drink they ordered for him.

“You are… pretty… piękny…”

Gracias, tu tambien eres guapo

She takes another sip of her cocktail, “We are so silly, each flirting in a different language…”

She urges him to get up, scooching him to the side.

“Come… chico bastante rubio… let’s get you a real drink”

Hej…”

He was confused, but nevertheless got up and followed her to the bar.

At the bar, she looks back and gives him another dazzling smile. He could get lost in her emerald eyes. Her skin was glowing. He gulps as his eyes trace down from her full, luscious lips; down the curve of her neck; over the exposed skin of her shoulders, as she was wearing a strappy baby-blue t-shirt. His eyes stopped just at the beginning of her cleavage. She was not top heavy, but she had definitive curves. He gulps again.

She forces his gaze by tipping his chin with her index finger.

“What do you normally drink mi armor?”

Hej?”

“Beer?”

“Uh… piwo… uh… any…”

“We’ve got Żywiec…” the barman suggests.

TakDziękuję Ci…”

Nie ma za co” the barman reciprocates the thank you, “…and that’s unfortunately the extent of my Polish my guy”

Marisol giggles, “Better than mine…”

She runs her hand along his arm, “So, I’ve gotten you beer… will that make you relax…”

He could feel his heartrate increasing, as she leaned closer. Her other hand was on his lower back.

She smelled of citrus, water lily and sandalwood. He felt compelled to lean in and press his nose against her curving neck.

“You smell really nice…”

“Jenkuw…”

He chuckles, “Dziękuję… or dzięki for short…”

“Dzięki…” she pouts her lips, hovering just over his mouth.

“Why am I so nervous…” he gulps again, “I have kissed girls befor’re…”

“I’m sure you have cariño…”

The barman interjects, “Beers up my guy…”

Kamil was both relieved and in anguish. He wanted to kiss Marisol, but he also wanted the moment to be perfect.

He walks a few steps and grabs the beer from the counter. He takes two huge gulps.

A new track starts from the jukebox. Truly – Lionel Richie.

She hurries over and grabs him by the arm and leads him out to tiny, vacant spot in the corner closest to the music.

Bailar conmigo…” she drapes her arms around his shoulders. Her bright eyes sparkling up at him. He wraps his arms around her waist, lowers his head and presses his lips to hers.

As he pulls back, she stands on the tips of her toes, kissing him back. He grips her waist tighter. Her hands lacing through his straight golden blonde hair.

She opens her eyes to have a peek at this beautiful boy with his magical lips. His dark, black lashes fluttering as his eyes were closed gently.

Reluctantly she stops kissing him, smiling, biting down on her bottom lip.

His rosy lips were bruised from kissing. She stole another quick kiss.

“I feel like… I lov’ you… maybe… I don’t know…”

She gives him another peck, before kissing along his cheek and down his neck.

Yo también te quiero

He shakes his head, flashing a rare dimpled smile. “What dat mean?”

“I… love… you… too… te quiero Kamil Wójcik…mucho muchote amo…”

“Te… ke... erro” he mimics

She giggles, snuggling against his chest. Her hose nestled against his neck.

“How do you say it Polish?”

Kocham Cię

“Okay, this one… we do in Español?

He sniggers, “Te… amo…” whispering against her ear “Jestem szczęsciarzem

They sway along to the beat of the ballad playing almost ceremoniously now for them on the jukebox. Indicating the start of an epic romance. Two unlikely lovers stumble into each other’s paths, coming from worlds apart, meeting at an Irishman’s pub in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her palm was resting on his chest, while her head was leaning on his shoulder. She tapped along to the rhythm of the slow song, humming the chords.

He could feel the vibration of her voice reverberate through his chest. His heart was complete.

He presses a kiss to the top of her head, his hand slightly trembling as it rested on her lower back.

The track stops. Tomasz and Pilar stood in front of them now.

“Come on lovebirds, let’s ditch this joint. Get some fresh air and good old junk food”

“Junk food?” Kamil was confused.

Tomasz hands him his denim jacket, “Hmmm…”

They head for the exit.

The crisp autumn air hits Tomasz’ face as he steps out on the sidewalk.

“Actually, nippier now…” he heads down left toward the corner of the street.

Kamil drapes his jacket over Marisol’s shoulders.

“Ah, gracias mi amor…” she kisses his mouth.

Pilar pulls the sleeves of her jersey down over her knuckles, stroppy as she crosses her arms as a show of annoyance.

“I get Tomasz to give you jackeet?”

“No, no bother. I don’t know why Maricita came wearing summer clothing on a fall evening in Boston… silly child”

“Weader not so bad here… very cold in Pol’and”

“How long are you here anyway?”

“A mon’d…” he looks across at Marisol, puts his arm around her shoulder, “maybe longer…”

Daj spokój!” Tomasz yells from around the corner, “I found food!”

After getting hotdogs from the corner stand, they carry on walking in the park.

The two lovers walking arm in arm now, kissing and playing as they go along.

Pilar had seemingly warmed up to Tomasz. When he finally observed the cues prompting him to offer his leather jacket. She now wore it proudly, almost boasting. The jacket drowned out her tiny figure under its mass, but she wasn’t too concerned.

“Dey are gettink alonk better now?”

Mari smiles, “Hmmm… Pilar always has to make a show of being virtuous, but I think she fell for his bad boy charm the minute he looked her way.”

“And me? I have bad boy charm?”

“No…” she gently pushes her index finger on his pouting mouth, “… you are angelic and pure. You’re beautiful!”

“So, you don’t want a bad boy on a motorcycle… smokink and fightink?”

She twirls around, looping under his arched arm, and again. Dancing to no music. She falls effortlessly into his arms, as he holds her closer, swaying to the silence in the air. She hums the song from earlier at the pub. The Lionel Richie track. That would now become their song.

She sings slightly off-key, “Because I’m truly… truly in love with you, boy”

He beams. She notices a dimple in his chin she hadn’t seen before. She traces her finger along the groove.

“You’re perfect… why would I want anything or anyone else”

“You are perfect…”

“Kamil, you’re all the light shades to my dark streaks…” she grins.

“Well den I must lov’ you when you are darkest too…” he lowers his head, pressing his nose to hers, “but I only see stars in your eyes… and hearts in mine, when you smile piękna dziewczyna

“What happens tomorrow, when the sun comes up and regular life starts?” she asks, puckering her lips.

“Tomorrow… I lov’ you steell... and de day after, and anod’er, and again… for’rever

“And when you go back to Malbork, Poland… with your castles and rivers?”

He chuckles, “I go where you go.”

“I go to Braintree, with a house full of loud Latinos”

“Den I blend in… nie?”

“Oh cariño, you’re the quintessence of a bebé ángel… such viridity… you’d stick out like a sore thumb… my little sore thumb, still…”

“I steell go where you go… No matter de cost…”

Sisiempre

She kisses him, as though it would be their last. Her cold hands cupping his face.

“Your hands are cold…” he encloses his hands around hers, blowing warm air onto her fingers.

She stares up into his eyes. His crystal blue eyes, that seemed devoid of imperfection. Not a spec impure or out of place. Just blue. And the solid black of his pupils.

“I hope I always remember this night, remember us like this…”

He smiles, as he presses a kiss to their clasped hands.

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