Sometimes I wonder if I was dreaming or was stuck in a reality that I forbade myself from believing.
Everything was factual ...
Everything was real through my eyes, but all the things will come to an end a day or another.
All things. I wish I had a magic wand to alter that terrifying reality that I refused to face for some time now.
I wish I could come back in time and never fall in love with that man to just save my soul from suffering.
I wish I had never fallen in love to be able to never feel that my heart was aching so badly to the point that I thought it would crush any minute.
I could still not believe that Marvin and I were in love with each other, that he loved me more than I could imagine myself, to be cherished in my life.
Was it purely physical?
I barely know...
I hope it was more than that...
I would never imagine myself love someone with such intensity.
Despite my age, I was feeling love overwhelming my heart, all parts of it, filling it with joy and delight every time we met, we kissed, we hugged, we made love, we talked, we laughed, we shared unforgettable moments together on Esperanza.
How could I forget what I was feeling for him?
How could I forget that I had to leave him the day she would come home?
It was my decision. A decision that I’ve taken recently.
I took it a few days ago as I thought it would be the best thing to do before Mrs. Richardson’s arrival.
I have to leave his villa once she comes back. I couldn’t bear being around her for two reasons.
The first one was that she is his wife, after all, and each time I would look at her face, I would imagine her claiming him by her side.
The second one was that I couldn’t forget for a single moment how much that woman was kind to me, how she helped me when I got sick, how she was by my side in those terrible moments.
I was grateful to her for every help she brought and for that precise reason I couldn’t stay in her house.
No, I couldn’t.
It was too hard for me and it would be harder if I stayed there watching her kissing him or hugging him or even holding his hand.
I don’t even want to imagine how would be his reaction when he would see her.
I don’t want to see him playing the role of the loving husband, pretending that he is still in love with her ... this is what he told me.
I was afraid of losing him, but I can’t bear to know that he won’t do anything to be with me. I know that leaving his wife for another woman would never happen.
I wish I believed when he told me that he would figure something out, to be always by my side.
Deep down myself I know he loves me, and that I mean the world to him, but reality sucks.
Reality is that this man I was so in love with, is still married, and cares a lot about what he’s built so far.
Like I would blame him for that. On the contrary, I admire him for what he is.
Expectations are that we can keep seeing each other and find a solution, somehow, to what might come in the future as being a real couple, instead of pretending that we are not.
Like I am just Lisa’s friend. His friend’s biological daughter...and that’s all.
Like he is just my friend’s father. My father’s business partner and close friend...that’s all.
No. No. No.
Of course, there’s no such thing. We’re more than that.
We are a couple. A real couple, but in people’s eyes, we don’t exist as such and probably, we’ll never be one.
And sometimes, I keep thinking:
What if he was lying to me as was Tyler before?
My mind was tormented by rhetorical questions and I felt myself lost among them searching for a way to escape them, to free myself for that reality that I forgot for some time now.
I wished many things the day Mrs. Richardson came back from France.
I wished time had stopped.
I wished she would have never came back from her trip.
I wished I hadn’t to see her another time.
I wished I wouldn’t see how he had to kiss her when she came home.
I wished I hadn’t to welcome her that day ... it made me feel so bad and at the same time, making me hate myself even more.
How could I be with a married man?
How could I steal another woman’s man?
How could I have an affair with my friend’s father?
How could I desire a man much older than me?
How could I fall for that man? How could I?
Why did it happen to me?
There she was ... at home again.
We were all seated in the living room: Marvin, Lisa, Carla and I.
I decided to call her Carla whenever I think of her.
I decided to call her by her first name just in my head, because I think that now we’re almost equals. She’s become my rival.
No need to call her by Mrs. Richardson in my head, anymore.
I kept calling her Mrs. Richardson only when I conversed with her.
She seemed to have lost weight. She seemed slimmer than before and somehow weak.
She looked tired, but was happy to be with her family again.
Lisa was glad to see her mother and Marvin seemed to be happy, too. Not so much!?
He tried to look at me from time to time while we were gathered in the living room. I couldn’t stop smiling at him each time his blue eyes met mine.
Behind this smile, I was hiding the truth, the truth about how everything will be going on after that day.
I haven’t told him yet.
I haven’t told him that I decided to leave.
It was time for me to leave him, leave his villa, and go away.
Far away from all this.
Still, would I be brave enough to do that?
After having dinner, Marvin and Carla went upstairs while Lisa and I went to my room.
We sat on the edge of the bed and I decided that it was the suitable time to tell Lisa that I had to leave when Eric called her.
I wanted to tell her when she informed me that she had to go out with him, but I couldn’t.
She told me that it wouldn’t take so long and asked me whether I wanted to come with her or not. I told her that I wanted to give them some privacy and that I was tired and needed to rest.
When Lisa left, I lay on my bed and kept looking at the ceiling whence I started to have scenarios in my head about what Marvin and Carla were doing upstairs, in their bedroom;
What he was doing to her. Was he making love to her? Was he kissing her? Does he desire her the way he desired me? Was he telling her how much he missed her? Was he ...?
Stop, stop ... just stop thinking like that. Stop thinking for a moment. Just stop. Think no more. No more of him or of her, or of both of them. Stop Amy. I wouldn’t bear it any longer.
What could I do about that now?
I needed to breathe some fresh air. I knew what I had to do for that night. I decided to go to the beach for a walk and bring Max or Cookie with me.
I carried a flashlight and my mobile phone with me while heading to the beach.
Nonetheless, before leaving the house, I decided to go upstairs. I needed to eavesdrop on them to check what they were doing then.
I couldn’t resist. I needed to know what they were doing up there.
So I tiptoed until I reached their bedroom as I came closer to the door, trying to listen carefully to what was happening inside.
There wasn’t any sound coming out of the room.
I didn’t stay longer for fear of being caught so I headed back, tiptoeing towards the kitchen’s door.
Once I was at the beach with Cookie and Max by my side, my sandy hair was caressed by a soft breeze, making it a bit disheveled at the level of its tips.
Hopefully, I brought a scarf with me and put it around my shoulders to get warmer.
I walked some miles away from the villa then decided to sit in front of the sea, watching the shapes of the waves in the dim light of the night. Max and Cookie followed each step I took, and I liked their company.
As I watched the dark blue color of the sea water, my eyes pricked a few tears down on my warm cheeks, reminding myself that everything was coming to an end that night.
It was obvious that now our love story had to come to an end. It was obvious that he had to stay with her. He had to forget about me. He had to move on with his life.
He had to forget about what he told me on Esperanza each time we met.
He had to forget about what we shared in a short period of time, all the laughters we shared, all the glances we exchanged and all the words we promised.
He had to forget me ... forget that I existed in his life as I had to forget him, too.
Oh yes, I had to forget him no matter what it would take me to.
I had to forget that I loved him because it was too hard to carry on having strong feelings for him.
I couldn’t bear it anymore. Loving him hurts me. I have to find a way to forget him.
I have to try harder.
I must have stayed on the beach for one hour, I don’t quite remember as it was getting darker when I decided to go back home.
As I was preparing myself to leave, Max followed by Cookie, started to bark, before heading toward the same direction, as if they recognized a familiar face.
I turned on the flashlight, hands slightly trembling, and started to fetch for Max and Cookie, calling them over to come back.
“Max ! Cookie ! Come back here ! Who’s there!?”
Trying to identify the person approaching me in the dim light, when the blue of his eyes met the hazel in mine.
It was Marvin.
What the hell was he doing here !? He should be with his wife.
“Amy ! Didn’t I tell you not to come alone to the beach at night!? I was sure to find you here! ” he scold me.
" I wasn’t alone. Max and Cookie are with me! What are you doing here? ”
" I can ask you the same question! ”
" I needed some fresh air. Couldn’t sleep...at all. You? ”
" Same here. I ... I couldn’t sleep either and needed ... I needed to see you Amy.” His husky voice came so soft to my ears, as a whisper.
" You needed to see me!? Don’t you think you should be with ... your wife, instead of me!? ”
My voice almost broke up at the end as I struggled to finish my sentence.
" Amy, please! Don’t make it hard on you ... and on me. We both knew that it would be like that the day Carla comes back from Paris. She doesn’t know I am here. She was so tired that she fell asleep earlier. I won’t be talking about her. I don’t want to.”
He let his fingers run through his straight dark hair, and kept looking at me, his eyes so confused, not knowing what to do.
He, then, let his hands fall to his waist, and came closer to me, before holding my hands into his.
" What are you doing, Marvin !? We shouldn’t~”
He cut me off, not allowing me to finish my sentence as his lips met mine, in a gentle and soft embrace.
I already missed the taste of his lips on mine.
I already missed him ...
I’ve missed his scent of vanilla.
And I know that it wouldn’t be the same after that...
The whole time he was kissing me I couldn’t prevent myself from shedding a few tears. As he took my face in his hands, he stopped, wiping my tears off my cheeks, looking at me worriedly.
" What is going on Amy? It is about Carla, isn’t it? ”
" I ... I don’t want to talk about that. Please, Marvin. Just stop and kiss me again !” I begged him.
“Amy, look at me baby, before I kiss you again, let me tell you something important. You need to know that, I am going to tell her that I want to leave her. I want to divorce her. I promise you, I will. ”
The blue of his eyes darkened as the intensity of the words he just uttered made me realize that I wasn’t dreaming, after all.
It was so real. What is happening now is so fucking real.
Is he really serious about that? About telling Carla that he wanted to leave her.
Will he be able to do that!?
" What !? You can’t be serious! ”
I took few steps aback, still not realizing what he’s just told me.
" Why not! I am not lying to you ! I don’t want to be with her anymore. I want to be with you, Amy and you know that, don’t you? ”
“Of course I know that. But, Marvin... have you thought of what Lisa, Jason and George may think of this whole mess going on !!? And what about Mr. Johnson!? ”
" I don’t fucking care of what all of them may think ... I will handle it on my own. Stop thinking about what they the others think. Instead, think about us. About me. Fuck them off. What matters for me now is this” He gestures the distance between us to refer to himself and myself, before adding ” you and me. Us.”
I can’t express how much amazed I was, at the way Marvin was trying his best to prove to me that he still cares about me, about us. That he still wants me. In his life. That he wasn’t planning on letting me go.
I couldn’t believe it. Could it be real? Could it be as easy as he pretended?
I don’t know.
He kept looking at me for a short moment quiet as I was, before he breaks the ice.
" Amy, I won’t be saying this again. Are you still with in all this?”
He searched desperately for any sign I would make, as his gaze never left me. Instead, his blue eyes were telling me how much they love me, still need me and how much they missed me.
As for me, it was so obvious that I still want this man in my life. How could I not!?
It was important for me to let him know that I still want him.
Yes, I still want him in my life and I don’t want to lose him and I needed to prove this to him as I let my head onto his sculptered chest and wrap both arms around it. I, then, tilted my head up to meet his blue eyes, the ones that bewitched my soul the very first day, before I kissed him back.
He pulled me closer to his body, his arms grabbing my back in a tight embrace as he introduced his tongue into my mouth, to find mine waiting to meet his.
That night after we came back from the beach, I went first to my room, to be followed shortly by Marvin .
I was dreadfully worried if Carla could see us together coming back from the beach, but Marvin kept insisting that she was sleeping and that she was exhausted because of the long trip she’s had back to Santa Barbara, and that no need to resist him, he was planning to come to my room in either cases.
So I surrendered.
It must be around midnight. I tiptoed until I reached my room. Once I reached the door, I grabbed the knob as gently as I could before opening it to come inside, leaving the door ajar behind me, so that Marvin can come in shortly.
I didn’t turn on the lights, and once Marvin was in the dark room with me, we couldn’t wait any longer, as he grabbed me to his chest, and started to touch my back gently while I was caressing his chest to finally kiss him, after he closed the door quietly.
" We don’t have much time, so we need to do this quickly. Okay?” he whispered in my mouth while he stopped kissing me for a bit.
" Okay, I want you so damn much Marvin ” I whispered back in his half-opened mouth.
" I want you so bad Amy ”
He whispered back in my mouth, and pulled me even closer to his body as I felt his erection so hard against my lower part, making all parts of my body harden.
As we lay on the bed, he, first, unbuttoned my jeans to remove it afterwards, reminding me not to make any sound while I was removing his pants and boxers, getting his erection in my firm hand as I started to stroke it following a low pitch, making him moan.
Once we dressed our lower parts off, he let his hands all over my naked legs, to spread them slightly wandering his hand below my stomach when he reached that intimate part of my body, already so responsive to his touches.
" You’re so wet Amy ... Oh god I like the way you are so responsive to me ... I want to be inside you, I want to feel you right now...”
Marvin whispered in my ear as he was on top of me, ready to ride me as he let himself in me, gently moving in and out on a synchronized rythm, making me moan when he placed the palm of his right hand on my mouth, making the sounds I started to produce muffled.
Oh. my. god
It feels so good.
" I love you Amy ”
He said, his eyes never leaving mine as he was thrusting himself in me, leaving me completely lost into the blue of his eyes.
" I love you Marvin ”
Even if it comes to be the last time that we were about to make love, I wanted to keep inside my heart every single detail of these precious moments Marvin and I have been sharing for some time now.
We spent about twenty minutes together before he left me to go to his room. As Marvin was putting his pants on, preparing himself to leave my room, we heard an uneasy drawn-out noise, like a distant unidentifiable sound, before Max started to bark outside.
" It must be Lisa coming back home. I thought she was sleeping over.”
" Me, too. Maybe, she changed her mind.”
" Anyway. Let me check on Max. Sweet dreams baby.”
He kissed my forehead before he left the room. I felt, somehow, a bit worried as I kept thinking about the sound we just heard earlier.
What was that sound?
The next morning, I woke up on a knock on my door. Lisa was behind the door waiting for my permission to come in. As I let her in, she plopped on my bed, happy as a clam as she kept looking at my morning face.
" Morning Lisa ” I said, my voice a bit thick as I yawned.
" Morning sleepy head. Sorry to wake you up so early. The weather is fantastic outside. It’s sunny and I am happy and we’ve get to go swimming in the pool before going to work.” Her voice so enthusiastic, too much.
" What!? Swimming so early before work!”
" Just for twenty minutes please please please Amy! ” She begged.
" Okay okay, calm down Lisa. You’re very excited this morning you know that!? ”
" Yeah cause last night it was magical. I slept in Eric’s arms and we spent the whole night...you know ”
She blushed trying to explain what Eric and she were doing last night, which made me smile, before I remembered something when I asked her.
" So I guess, you didn’t come home last night, did you? ” I asked a little bit worried as I wanted to know what was the sound that Marvin and I heard last night.
If it wasn’t Lisa who made it, so who made it?
Oh, no. Fuck. I don’t want to think about that. No, I don’t want to think that it might be her: Carla.
" No, I told you, I spent the night with Eric. Plus, I told my parents I would be sleeping over, but I guess my dad knew I was going to meet Eric...anyway, that’s a little weird cause he didn’t protest and I think I knew why, he needed some privacy with mom.”
She winked at me then burst in tears, making me a bit uncomfortable at the idea.
I shook my head and pretended to laugh at what she said.
" What time is it? ”
" It is seven o’clock. Let’s quickly swim before going to work. Come on ”
" Just give me two minutes to get myself prepared. ”
As I quickly prepared myself, we then headed towards the swimming pool, and started to swim as the water was so warm early morning.
No sign of Marvin nor of Carla in the house. Quite weird.
But I didn’t care much as I kept swimming with Lisa.
" By the way, Amy, I am so happy that Mr. Johnson and you are reunited. I mean, who could ever believe that he is your father!?”
" Thank you so much Lisa. Thank you for your support.”
“Anytime. He seems to like you before he knew that you were his own daughter. Still you haven’t told me how your mom and your dad met, how all this happened before.”
" I know. I am going to tell you about this, you deserve an explanation. But before that, I want to ask you about something. Do you think that he’s planning on telling his wife Lauren about me? ”
I told her when we reached the corner of the pool.
" I don’t know what to think Amy, I don’t want to be harsh on you, but I need to be honest with you. ”
" Lisa I need to know in spite of everything. You know Mr. and Mrs. Johnson for so many years, so please tell me. Do you think my father will tell his wife about me someday or another? ”
" It’s going to take a moment before he does this. ’Cause his wife is a bit...possessive and this will be hard on him to tell her about the truth. I mean that you’re his daughter. This won’t be easy on either of them. Him, telling her about what happened in his past and her, knowing that her husband actually does have a child won’t be easy at all. Eventually, she’s going to ask him a million questions about your mom and about you. It is going to be complicated for a while, Amy ”
She said, approaching me before she put her arms on the counter, and added,
" I have never thought Mr. Johnson would have another child apart from the two he’s got already. Let me just keep my thoughts for myself. ”
" Why are you saying that!? I need you to be honest with me Lisa. ” I further insisted.
" Sorry, Amy, I didn’t want to offend you but he is in love with his wife ”
I kept looking at her. After all what she was saying was true. He seems so in love with Mrs. Lauren Johnson.
Nonetheless, he had an affair with another woman. At that very moment, a strange feeling overwhelmed my heart. I was seeing myself through my mother. I was that woman who made a man betrays his engagement. I was that woman who stole another woman’s man, a man who was not hers.
I was like my mother, except that my mom didn’t know that Philip was already engaged to another woman.
I was in love with a man who was not mine. Despite this, I was still in love with him and still wants him in my life.
I couldn’t allow myself of thinking that way. It was inconceivable to let myself sink.
Was I doing the right choice though? Was he worth it?
For a moment, I was concerned, couldn’t stop thinking of that coincidence. My mother and I went through almost the same situations.
One hour later, Lisa and I were ready to go to work. While she was driving, I got a text from my father inviting me to have lunch with him today in the afternoon.
As I was replying to him, Lisa’s voice interrupted my flow of ideas.
“Amy ! Hey Amy ! I am speaking to you! Who are you texting early morning?”
" It’s Mr. Johnson, I mean my father. I guess I get to be used to this. He invited me to have lunch with him today.”
“Nice. What time? ” She asked.
" Around 1 p.m. at Gustavo’s.”
“You will spend some time with you father, Amy. I am so happy for you. That’s good news. ”
“Thank you Lisa. I still can’t believe it, though ”
" You’re going to get used to it, baby girl ”
She turned to smile warmly at me before turning on the radio and started to sing.
We laughed at the same time because Lisa was singing other lyrics, not the ones being sung in the song.
It was such a relief to have her by my side. She was my sunshine.
I haven’t seen Marvin the whole morning today. I guess he is busy with meetings, but I was quite worried because he didn’t text me or called me the whole morning, and when I tried to reach him his phone went directly on voice message.
At noon, I started to prepare myself to leave and have lunch for the first time with my dad.
I was at Gustavo’s around 1 p.m. When I came into the restaurant my father was there, seated near a bay window, waiting for me.
The moment he saw me, his eyes widened out of thrill, and a big smile filled up the corners of his mouth as he stood up to greet me.
We hugged then we had a seat across each other. Philip called the waiter over to order our meals, and after that we started to chat.
He was somehow nervous and so was I.
Having lunch with my father was something I could have never thought it would happen someday.
" So Amy, are you enjoying yourself in Santa Barbara? ”
" Yes, a lot. I like the atmosphere here. I like the beach. I am fond of the sea so each time I have some free time I go and have a walk at the beach ”
" Go to know that. I am very happy to be with you here. I still can’t believe that my daughter is here, just in front of me. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do ”
" Definitely. Same for me too.”
" What about your studies?
Tell me more about Berkley ”
" Yeah I like it very much there.
I am studying accounting as you know, because I like that domain a lot. I know that it is a tough field and it requires a lot of commitment. I don’t know if Mr. Richardson told you that already, Lisa is my roommate at the campus.”
" I didn’t know about that. I thought you’ve been friends for a long time or something ”
" Lisa and I met on campus last year and we soon became friends ”
" She certainly told you that I’ve known her father for a long time. So our families are bonded. Plus Marvin is a close friend of mine.”
" Lisa told me already about that. And I noticed how close you two were. So I guess you’ve grown up together, I mean Mr. Richardson and you ? ”
" Yeah. Marvin was the son of my father’s business partner. So we met and grew up there together all along these years. ”
" I see, and what about your family? I am sorry I ask a lot of questions ”
" Don’t be sorry Amy. You’ve got the right to know. After all I am your dad, right. So let me tell you more about myself. I grew up here, in Santa Barbara. My father was a business man. I’ve never known my mother, she passed away when I was three.”
“Sorry about that ”
“Thank you. I had one brother older than me. So my father got remarried another time. My father was a hardworking and charismatic man and I’ve always admired him. I wanted to be like him, a committed and ambitious business man since I was a little kid ”
" My mother told me that you liked your job very much.”
“Yes, I do. I like my job even though it is ruthless and too much demanding.”
" I don’t know how to tell you this. I know about what happened between you and Mom. She told me everything. I still can’t figure out why you did this to her, I mean you loved her and you knew that she was pregnant, how could you~”
My voice almost broke at the end as I tried to pull myself together.
" Amy, I won’t be lying to you. What Mona told you was true, but believe me, I have been blaming myself every single day for not ... being able to search for both of you. I was stupid back then. A total jerk and I am so sorry for all what you’ve been through in your life, the fact that you were raised without a father~”
I could not listen to more lies, more bullshit, but at the same time, I wanted to believe him, believe what he was telling me from the look in his eye.
" Please Mr. Johnson ... Dad,”
As I pronounced the words, the first time I told him Dad, we got interrupted by the waiter.
I couldn’t find any words to add as all my ideas were gone. We kept looking at each other without saying a word.
After our meals were served, my father decided to be the first to break the ice.
" I just want you to know that I am deeply sorry Amy. Nothing will change what you’ve felt about me all these years, but let me tell you that now that you’re in my life, that we’re reunited, I am the happiest dad on earth to be able to share a moment with you and talk. And don’t call me Mr. Johnson again. I like when you call me Dad. ”
I smiled at him as he smiled back at me. I know we need more time to get more acquainted with each other. It is worth it though.
I wanted to forgive him. I wanted to get to know him and get to know my half-brothers and his wife.
" Amy, I am going to need some time to tell my family about you ! It won’t be easy at all, but I need them to be aware of who you are. I hope you understand. ”
" I do. I really do. I can’t wait to get to know more the boys and Mrs. Johnson, but I understand that we, all, need time to digest the news. ”
" I really appreciate it, Amy. You seem to be mature for your age. And by the way, just call my wife by her first name, Lauren. No need for Mrs. Johnson. ”
I nodded and smiled at him shyly. As times passed by, we had a good time, chatting over lunch speaking about general issues, when he got a business call, so he dismissed himself for a short moment.
Shortly after, I grabbed my purse, and searched for my cellphone. Once I got it, I looked for any missed calls or any texts sent by Marvin, when I found two missed calls and one text from him, sent twenty minutes ago. I couldn’t have known he tried to reach out for me as I put my cellphone on silent mode in order not to be disturbed by work calls.
As I opened the message box, I read what Marvin has sent me,
*I will be in Esperanza in about an hour. Meet me there baby. We need to talk.*