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Me: I’m terrible in judging characters…

Dave: Don’t be so harsh on yourself. You’ll learn in time that there’s more than black and white. And maybe, just maybe…

Me: I’ll learn to appreciate the shades of gray?

Dave: Hopefully. You see…we’re not good or bad, we’re good and bad. A good person can still harm you…just like the bad guy you so strongly disagree can help you, even try to save you… 

Me: Nah, that’s a trap! If the bad guy is trying to save me…

Dave: Yes, you’re very smart. And you remember. He’s not saving you, unless you’re a victim. And you chose not to be…

“She tried to relax and, at the same time, to keep the elegant posture. To be appropriate for the fancy restaurant she was dining in. Her feet were hurting from the high heels. Such a small price…she thought remembering how he smiled when he saw her in that dress. Matteo was somewhere outside, talking business trough his phone. She hated being alone…

The laughs caught her attention. They were outside, laughing loudly, kissing, cuddling…right in front of the fancy restaurant. Two kids…16 or 17…She suddenly realized that she’s only 18…The girl was wearing jeans and snickers (such a delight for her feet…she almost felt jealousy). And a big teddy bear in her arms. The boy was tickling the girl and she was running in circles, playing with him. When the boy was catching her, the girl was struggling, laughing all the time…just to surrender in the most passionate kiss.

She looked at them and the feeling of loneliness overwhelmed her. This is what I want…she almost whispered trough her salty tears. An elegant lady turned the seat to ask her if she’s alright and she faked a smile, blaming the spicy food for her tears. Then quickly she covered her eyes with black sun glasses.

-Take off the sun glasses.

He was there. She wondered if he saw her crying and she didn’t knew how to react. She did nothing, just waiting.

He smiled, taking a seat next to her. With slow, tender gestures, he took off her sun glasses.

-You’re crying…

-I’m s…s…sorry…my feet…I can’t stand the high heels anymore. Can’t wait to take them off…

-You want what she has? (pointing to the girl outside)

She wondered if he’s talking about the shoes or about something completely different. But there was a coldness, an irony she couldn’t stand. Her heart was racing and she felt like crying again.

-I only want you. You left me here by myself and I…my feet were hurting and I felt lonely.

-So you started to cry, just like a big crying baby…Oh, sweetie, I needed to take care of something. Now, let me help you with your high heels.

Before she could say anything at all, he was at her feet, taking off her sandals. The lady in front of them smiled, a warm smile.

-Is it better, sweetie?

-I’m in Heaven…Matteo, there’s no need for you to go outside when you’re talking businesses. I know how to keep a secret and I would never betray you.

-I know. You’re the most loyal person I ever met. Look…I tried to find the best moment…Carissa, I love you. More than that, I adore you…You’re like no one else…We’re right for each other. I told you once that I’ll give you a real diamond…I guess, what I’m trying to say is that I want you to be my wife.

He put the diamond ring on her finger. She looked at the ring with no reaction. It was beautiful, the big white stone was shining so bright. And still…she had so many doubts.

-Matteo…thank you, but I…I’m only 18…I wanna go to College…I can’t…

-I’m not taking no for an answer. My mother was 19 when she married my dad and they’re happy. You will go to College and you’ll travel to places you never knew before. You’ll have your own fairy tale come true…

She looked down and started to cry.

-Carissa…is there another reason you don’t wanna marry me?

-It’s that…you know what happened between us…and I’m still trying to…

He took her face in his palms.

-Look at me. I’m trying my best…I’m doing all I can, all there’s humanly possible…to make you forget that terrible night. I’m not a bad person, you know…I understand you’re still traumatized and I’m being as gentle as I can. What happened that night…has nothing to do with my feelings for you. It was a mistake, a horrible mistake I’ll never repeat. Don’t reject me, don’t push me away…Carissa, I’m offering you everything…all you ever imagined. All I’m asking in return…is a little trust.

-I trust you…

-Good. You know why I went outside before? I planed a surprise for you. I rented a house by the sea…yes, here, in Spain…we’re gonna stay a few weeks. And I invited my best friend from College with his girlfriend. I wanted to present them the amazing girl I’m gonna marry…and I thought you could use some company from another girl, since you lost Anna, your best friend. See? I’m always thinking about you, sweetie…(he leaned to kiss her) Your lips are salty…so, Carissa…how will it be?

She was left speechless. Overwhelmed by her own doubts, by her own emotions.

-Yes…

-Yes, what?

-I wanna…I accept the ring…and to be your…wife. But after high school…Not now, right Matteo?

He started to laugh.

-Of course, sweetheart. I’m not marrying a high school girl. Next year, in June, right after your exams. You’ll be 19, I’ll be the luckiest guy on Earth. Come here, it’s quit a challenge to convince you…of anything…

He took her in his arms and started to kiss her. People were looking at them and the lady in front of their table came to congratulate them. And soon, every one in the restaurant did the same. Matteo ordered champagne for everybody…people were nice, wishing them the best. She felt numb…wondering how or if she’ll ever get out…from the labyrinth she used to call “life”.

People noticed her tears and everybody took it as they were tears of joy. Someone asked her how is it to be so in love…She answered, in her best Spanish talk, that is unbelievable.

Indeed. Unbelievable…”.

Me: I think he honestly wanted to make it work. To make me happy. To save me, just like you said.

Dave: And all you needed was to save yourself from him. Isn’t it ironic?

Me: Sadly, it isn’t…it’s just…tragic.

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