Codename: Úrsula

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Sunday at the Seashore

When Lorenzo and Elena entered the small hotel restaurant for breakfast Sunday morning, the maître led them to their table. As soon as they were well accommodated, the old gentleman of the neighboring table greeted them good morning with a smile of admiration, speaking in low voice:

“You must be the lovebirds of the second floor. Well, I thought you both were much younger…” and looking at Lorenzo, “You deserve my most sincere congratulations!”

While Lorenzo, the old man and his wife laughed out loud, Elena flushed, with a shy smile, because they had just made love before breakfast. Looking at the grey-haired Lorenzo, the old man knew that he could not be under the effect of any drug for sexual performance for the simple fact that no man would take it in the morning, before lunch, late afternoon and evening, unless he wanted to die. And it did not seem the case of that man.

The truth was that sex was not a goal for them. They enjoyed being together, on that first weekend particularly, experiencing peace out of Green Palms, free from monitoring, stressful disguises and safety measures, talking, touching one another, kissing and enjoying each other’s perfumes as they did every night since Elena started to be Úrsula; sex was one of the possibilities to express their love, not a demand, a task or duty for vanity’s sake. To be truthful in the marriage, Lorenzo masturbated only. Elena had not yet been with anyone since divorce, years ago. It was natural that those first times had lots of sex whenever they were at the reach of each other’s hands. If they had sex the second or third time in late afternoon, before sleeping at night they would be still talking, kissing, touching and caressing each other without ending up in sex. Elena loved to kiss his resting penis good night. Lorenzo loved to kiss her breasts good night even after the third time on a day.

A proud Lorenzo thanked for the compliment and the talk, that evolved pleasantly, led them to join tables while they talked about the cities from where they came, occupations, common Italian origins of the two talkative men among jokes.

Afterwards, as they changed into bathing suits under embraces, laughter and kisses, they decided to allow less loving sounds to escape from that room before stepping outside the hotel directly on the sand to enjoy playing in salty water.

Something in them drew the attention from other people, because they played with each other and laughed a lot being obviously middle-aged people. When they got out of water to the place where they had left their beach towels, hand in hand or embraced, there were plenty of admiring gazes towards the man and the woman with diamonds in their eyes.

They had chosen a restaurant at the seashore for lunch. While enjoying a slow walk after feasting, Elena saw a beautiful modest church on the top of a small hill. It was quite warm, but she invited Lorenzo to see it. The white Jesuit chapel with doors and frames painted in a beautiful blue was closed at that time, but there was a notice board, exactly as she anticipated. It informed tourists on mass times.

“Look, Lorenzo, there will be mass today at six p.m.,” she looked at him, “we could come!”

“You don’t have to” he replied, with hand in his Bermuda shorts’ pockets.

“I don’t have to, but I would like it because it is your faith. Maybe the homily will be beautiful, please! We can have dinner in the same restaurant afterwards…”

Lorenzo smiled.


The homily of the Jesuit priest was very beautiful. Particularly, from Elena’s experience when she was Catholic, she admired Jesuit priests. On their way back to the car, Lorenzo held Elena in an embrace and said:

“This was very thoughtful. Thank you!”

It was a beautiful night sky full of stars.

“I liked very much the priest’s words. And if it is important for you, it is important for me.” she replied.

After packing for the check-out very early in the morning in order to arrive in Green Palms as unnoticed as they left in the old car, it should have been only reciprocal quick good night kisses. Elena felt greater tenderness coming from Lorenzo. After kissing her breasts, he looked into her eyes for a long while in silence. It seemed that the diamonds she saw there sparkled more intensely. His expression flattered her. She caressed his hair, slowly, looking him back, diving into those eyes of his. From that dialogue without words, both understood that whatever kept them together, beyond bodies, it brought them closer on that night after the Jesuit mass.


Lorenzo and Elena sang their duets listening CDs during the trip back to Green Palms, arriving at half past five in the morning with streets still deserted. Lorenzo stopped close to where Elena’s car was parked for the weekend in a small alley nine blocks from his building, in order that she did not need to walk those blocks carrying her luggage like the backpacker athlete that arrived to Lorenzo’s place for the beginning of the trip. Life had gone back to the routine of caution and safety measures.

When Elena parked her car in the open garage of her cozy house, she noticed that her ex-husband observed her at the porch of his house across the street. He noticed that I spent the weekend away… She opened the trunk to get the backpack and entered home.

Forty minutes later, someone knocked at her door and Elena was caught in surprise by the visit of her ex-mother-in-law.

“Hello, Elena, how are you doing?”

“Hi! I am fine thanks. And you?”

“Fine! Indeed, it is amazing how well you are aging!”

Elena smiled embarrassed, knowing that something else was about to come.

“I spent the weekend at my son’s. When I wanted to greet you, nobody was home…”

“Yes, I took the opportunity to enjoy the beach… But if you excuse me, there are a lot of jobs for me to do.”

“Yes, of course! I just wanted to tell you that, months ago, when you dated Lorenzo Marces, you should know that his wife nearly died of sorrow. So whatever you are doing now, think carefully; do not destroy other family in addition to yours… You see, I called her that time because I wanted you back for my son. And she called me yesterday wanting her husband back. You should focus in going back to your husband, not anybody else’s.”

Elena could hardly believe what she just heard. Pale, she asked herself how dared that woman to meddle in her life in such unacceptable extent four years after divorcing her son. Did she call Veitena before her first separation from Lorenzo?! Did Veitena call her yesterday?! Well, if she wants Lorenzo back, then he is no under immediate risk…

Elena struggled against the speechless state that dominated her for several seconds at that door, finding strength to utter only:

“OK.”

Elena closed the door while the ex-mother-in-law was still standing there, running to the backyard because her office, in part of her living room, would be too close to that woman.

Two hours had elapsed when Elena found the words she would like to have said to that woman at her door: “If you think I destroy families, then you should not want me back to your son. He deserves better, doesn’t he?” Why did it take so long for me to find words to say right at her face?! She looked through the wide glass window of her office to see if the ex-mother-in-law was outside his house in the garden. If she is there, then she’ll hear my delayed reply! There was nobody.

Four years after her divorce, she found herself in a dead-end situation: her ex-husband had informed her long ago that he would not sign any document to sell her house, registered under communion of goods as well as his. The houses had been bought years ago, when she was naïve. She did not want to endure the emotional costs of a lawsuit. She would never consider moving in with Lorenzo to put him at risk or under emotional pressure. The conclusion seemed quite logic. I’ll have to rent a place for me far from here!

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