“They spoil every romance
By making it last
what i knew to be
I didn’t know my life was going to start like this or end like this.
How about we go back to 60 years ago. The years my 20s began.
My name is Coral. Names are very, very important to me. They define a person. A person’s dignity and virtue. If someone was named ‘Fred,’ I don’t know if they would be the kindest person with the most dignity. When I hear the name Fred or Bob, I think of an accountant.
Names and Personality. That’s all I need. My name is pretty, although my personality is superior. That sounds petty but it’s true. My father named me Coral because he is a marine biologist. My mother agreed because she desired the ocean fully with her whole heart. I, on the other hand, didn’t love it too much as I grew.
Anyways, my family and I are going to travel to Ecuador for a week. Just one week.
A tropical beauty. (marine biologist work things)
A perfect week filled with adventures. Ecuador has mountains and hills and volcanoes. It’s a hidden beauty.
It was the winter in England, where I live. Although, it’s summer in Ecuador.
I started packing my items in a piece of luggage, “Father, should I bring a safari hat?” I questioned.
“No dear, we are not going off to some jungle. It’s just a quaint and fast business trip,” Father uttered.
“No buts. This is an exciting business trip, FOR ME. No adventures. You know better than that. You can just visit the village. It will be simple and fast, alright?” Father exclaimed, putting his coat on.
“Father, you know it will be hot there, you only packed winter items,” I noted, pondering.
“We gave all of our sandals to aunt Mary. We have none. So, we will have to wear boots.” Father explained.
“Ok then,” I replied, finishing packing up my items.
I made sure to bring my hair clips for my bronze hair, so I could put my hair in a bun; if it gets warm. Father doesn’t listen. It will be extremely warm there. He’ll be regretful soon.
Mother walked into my bedroom as I lifted my luggage.
“Oh, goodness. Your hair is all frizzy,” She uttered frustratedly.
“I tried to curl it, although it wouldn’t budge,” I exclaimed.
“Oh, this just won’t do.” She replied.
“Mother, look at me. It is warm there anyways. My hair will become more frizzy there. Did anyone forget that we are going to another part of the world?!” I stated.
“Oh dear, you’re the one who loves reading those climate and heat novels at the library, not us. We prefer reading about the ocean. I know you aren’t fond of the ocean but you will soon need to be because we are going to a place surrounded by oceans.” Mother explained.
“You didn’t hear my statement, did you.” I went on.
“Dear, I don’t have time for this. We will miss the plane. We will talk later.” Mother noted, in her deep english accent.
“Fine, then. You’re right. Let’s move along.” I acknowledged.
13 hours on the plane.
When we got off the plane, it was way hot. Oh, Bloody hell. A man took our luggages, as my father grasped a map and tried to find the location of the hotel.
Soon, after 3 hours of being the definition of lost, we found the hotel. It was more of a run-down hotel, that’s what my father exclaimed. I disagree. It expressed culture. England isn’t going to look identical to a tropical place. Nothing alike.
Mother looked like she was going to hurl. Both of my parents are very ignorant. I didn’t turn out like them, thank god. They have to look at the bigger picture. This place might not be so appealing to all, although to the heart it’s magnificent.
We decided to drop off our beige-colored luggages at the hotel and my father had to meet up with his work buds. That left Mother and I to shop. We discovered a crowded deli. Grasped pennies in lightweight palms.
Mother kept repeating the words, “Bloody Hell.” “Bloody Hell.” “Bloody Hell.” It’s a thing we, English people say. She kept looking at all of the Ecuadorian people, with pity.
“Mother, stop it!” I yelped.
“What is the matter?” she questioned.
“You. You are the matter.” I exclaimed.
“Me. How me?” she asked, looking me up and down.
“You’re looking at everyone like you’re better than them. You are acting like you’re better. How could you?!” I voiced.
“Cory. You cannot talk to me in that tone. You are making a scene. We can discuss this later on.” Mother anxiously said and I whispered to myself,
“It’s always later on.” and Mother heard but didn’t make a peep.
Mother kept searching for clothing and fancy traditional England wear. I was soon done with her. She can’t comprehend that tropical foreign countries aren’t going to have the same clothing as our home country. That won’t fit into her noggin.
Anyways, I left Mother alone to look for clothes. In other words, I escaped from her. In England, I have a full-time job as a journalist so I have a good amount of money.
Yes, I’m a journalist. I’ll explain more about that later.
I took my brown leather wallet out and grasped 2 folded dollars. I ran up to a bus driver and asked him to take me to Guayaquil. It’s one of the most famous cities in Ecuador and I saw it on my father’s map. He snatched my 2 dollars and then put his index finger up indicating that to get on the bus you need one more dollar. “One more dollar, oh ok,” I noted taking another folded dollar out of my leather wallet. He nodded and I hopped in. There were 5 rows of seats. Everyone who was seated stared at me when I hopped in. I sat next to a boy with a gutter uniform. I slid into the seat.
“Hi,” I exclaimed, smiling.
“Hi?” he questioned, in a Spanish accent. He had dark brown hair with sweet caramel completion.
“Soooo umm how do you like Ecuador?” I questioned attempting to make a friend.
“In Ecuador, we don’t talk on the bus with white people. We don’t talk to Americans in general and I’ve lived here my whole life.” He explained.
“Oh,” I noted, slouching my head down not making another peep.
“Well, I’m not from America,” I announced.
The whole bus tilted their heads back at me. I slouched even more down this time. Feeling a tad unaccepted.
“Where are you from, then?” He questioned.
“England,” I uttered, with a crooked smile.
“Oh, British girl.” He quietly said, putting his nose toward the window.
“See, I’m not trying to make any trouble, whatsoever. I’m not here to do that. My father is a marine biologist and he has a job here for a week.” I explained, again attempting to make a friend.
“Tourist,” he replied, like taking notes in his head. “You seem like a tourist.” he finished off.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Clueless girl…” he responded.
“Excuse me.” I defensively said.
“You’re clueless. It’s 1963. I’m Ecuadorian and you’re British. We can not talk anywhere. That is not allowed. So, please stop talking to me, now.” he exclaimed.
“I’ I’ I’m sorry. I was just trying to make friends here.” I sat back, slowly.
“You cannot make friends with me or any Ecuadorians, miss. There are many white tourists in Guayaquil. Be friends with them.” He explained.
“Ok thank you. I didn’t catch your name.” I noted, starting to get up from the seat.
“Amor. My name is Amor,” he noted.
“Love, right. Sorry, I’m not fluent in Spanish, only French.” I explained.
“Yes, it means ‘love’.” He explained.
“My name is Coral. But a lot of people call me Cory.” I beamed.
“Bye, Cory.” he waved in his Spanish accent.
“Bye.” I gleamed. I knew I would never see him again but it was a nice few moments meeting someone who could be a friend.
I think it’s horrible that just because we have a different skin color, we can’t have ANY interactions, at all.
Love Letter Freak
Three months later. Tuesday afternoon. Home alone. A knock on the door. I was laying on my champagne colored bed and heard the knock from all the way upstairs. A knock and then a bell ring. Another bell ring and another. I sprung from my bed sheets and skidded down the hard wooden steps. One more bell ring. It wasn’t tea friends because mother doesn’t have tea parties on tuesdays. It wasn’t Aunt Mary because she was out golfing with my uncle. I pulled the door open, in the time of blink. It was the mailman in his dark blue uniform who was holding loads of mail. “Thank you! Thank you so much!” I beamed, taking the mail out of the mailman’s arms.
“No problem, have a good day!” The blue-eyed mail-man replied, running off to the next house.
It was Amor. Not him in person obviously, it was a letter. A letter from Amor. A sealed purple letter with a stamp of a horse galloping. On the front of the purple letter was my name. ‘For the lovely british Coral- the most adventurous girl i’ve ever met in my 19 years of life’
He probably wrote it months ago but it just got here now. Mail is funny like that. I opened the letter quickly, ripping the sides with my bare hands. Inside was a light brown card with my name on it in calligraphy.
Inside the envelope was a message for me-
I have tried writing this letter about 20 times and it just keeps ending up in the trash..
Being across the country from the most genuine person you know is that worst type of pain and now I know how it feels. I know how it feels to truly miss someone’s company. I miss hearing you say the word ‘lovely’. I miss how you don’t give those pity stares. I miss your laughter. I miss you.
I think I’ll stop there before I have to rip this one, as well.
My heart gleamed. It was the sweetest love letter that I had ever received. Wait, was it a love letter or was it just a you know, friendly letter. Besides, he doesn’t even love me. He just misses me. I miss my grandma doesn’t mean that I am in love with her and that I can’t live without her because it’s obvious that I can live without her. I’m living right now. Okay, I’m ranting. Maybe, I should just ask him if it’s a love letter. You know, very casual. Like maybe-
I love this letter idea so much! Thank you for calling me a genuine person 🙂
Also quick question…is this a love letter type of thing or you know a friend thing.
Sounds pathetic. I’m not a pathetic person, not even close.
But if I’m actually not pathetic then why am I spending my time thinking about this. It falls into the line of pathetic behavior.
Let’s just write the letter.
I got your letter……..well I guess that’s self explanatory.
I just wanted to say that it took me a long long long time to write this letter, as well…
Although, my favorite part of writing this letter was thinking about what to say on one page. The thing is that I have so much to say. So much to tell you. So many details of my life that I want to put in this little card.. I miss you as well and wishing you love and gratitude from England.
This card is not going in the trash!!
P.S. I thought the stamp was lovely.
The Grocery Store
2 weeks later
“Aunt Mary, can I come to the grocery store with you on this fine morning?” I inquired beaming, all clothed. Aunt Mary was washing the pots and pans. Sometimes Aunt Mary just leaves her home and decides to spend the weekend at my house, randomly. It’s odd but whenever she does, she always cleans. Everything. The dishes. The toilets. The carpets. She even cleans the dust paneer. I never ask her why but I always just wonder with curiosity. “After, I finish these dishes. Every spect of them has to be clean.” Aunt Mary uttered, concentrating on the dishes.
“But that is what maids are for.” I exclaimed.
“No, no, the maids already do too much.” Aunt Mary replied, shaking her head.
“Aunt Mary, haven’t you noticed that every time that you come here, they always leave. It’s like you stole their jobs.” I responded.
“Oh please.” Aunt Mary scoffed. I gave her a glare. “Wait seriously.” she replied, with a worried face turning off the faucet.
“Yes, aunt Mary! So now can we go to the grocery store?” I questioned.
“Yes, dear, yes.” Aunt Mary uttered brushing off her face with a kitchen towel. We walked all the way from my house to the grocery store. I was wearing my plaid mustard yellow dress. My dress was not matching my bright blue tap shoes but it would do. Aunt Mary didn’t give a bloody hell of how she looked. Mother found that absurd, me, well I found that hmmm how should I say it, lets just say I idolize that behavior.
We soon got to the grocery store. There were seven empty grey carts lined up in the front of the store. Aunt Mary rushed to grab one and as she did a man, about my age rushed over to grab the same cart. “Oh, I’m sorry, sir.” Aunt Mary exclaimed.
“It’s alright. You can take the cart. There are many left for me.” he smiled. He seemed rich. Like extremely well to do.
“Well, thank you.” Aunt Mary beamed as she straddled with the cart over to me.
“Well, he seems like a gentleman, very sweet.” Auntie Mary pointed at him.
“Aunt Mary, don’t point!” I yelped, he heard me.
“Oh dear, now you’re just making a scene.” Aunt Mary uttered placing her hands on her waist.
“Can we just go inside?” I inquired.
“Aunt Mary, you can’t point at people, like that.” I said with my head straight down, hands on the cart, looking at the slippery floor.
“And why is that?” Aunt Mary replied with an attitude.
“I don’t know, you just can’t.” I uttered.
“I just pointed because he was such a gentleman, that is all.” Aunt Mary established.
“Aunt Mary, you are married. To my uncle of all people.” I voiced. “Oh my, are you serious, Coral. Are you serious, I was pointing at him because I thought you two could chat.” Aunt Mary smiled.
“That just makes me vomit.” I gulped.
“Coral, look at me.”
I stopped the cart in the middle of the aisle and faced her.
“Yes?” I questioned, rolling my eyes.
“You are 19, and you haven’t even held someone’s hand. Not even once. See that makes me sad.” Aunt Mary said.
“Ok, but seriously. Why him? He’s rich. I can see it.” I stated, looking back at her.
“And what is so wrong with someone who’s well to do?” Aunt Mary voiced.
“Nothing, it’s just I don’t want to be with someone just because they have money. Personality is key, you know that.” I exclaimed.
“Just because he’s rich doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L-I-T-Y.” Aunt Mary explained. I rolled my eyes. “So go chat.” she pointed over to him. He had blue eyes and dark black curly hair. Part of me wanted to listen to my aunt and part of me thought of someone else. Someone else. Yeah. “Go!” She said pushing me.
“Ok, but no pointing! I mean it.” I uttered getting pushed over to the next aisle, letting go of the cart.
“Hi.” I said.
“Hello.” he exclaimed.
“Um so my aunt wanted me to come over here.” I replied.
“Yes, I can see that.” he waved to my aunt.
“So um my name is Coral.” I exclaimed, putting my hand out to shake hands.
“Like the ocean, lovely” he smiled, shaking back.
“You like the word ‘lovely’?” I questioned, beaming thinking about Amor.
“Well, ‘lovely’ is a lovely word, I guess. I’ve read the whole dictionary, like 5 times and ‘lovely’ is one of my favorites.” he uttered.
“Since you read the dictionary, 5 times, how many words are in the dictionary?” I inquired.
“270,000. But only 171,476 words are currently being used but you must’ve learned that in grammar school.” He blurted all at once. I was shocked, almost speechless.
“You’re like a human dictionary, aren’t you?” I uttered with a blank astonished face.
“I’m a bookworm. My most favorite feeling in the world is feeling that adrenaline while getting sucked into a book and not knowing how to stop flipping the pages.” He exclaimed, enthusiastically.
Okay, now I was speechless. “I’m sorry, am I talking too much?” he questioned probably because my cold face was blank and as white as a ghost.
“No, No, you’re fine. I just um have to go back to my aunt. She has a difficult time with um picking out-” I looked at the fridged section. “Yogurt.” I exclaimed.
“Yogurt?” he questioned.
“Yes, yogurt. She’s allergic. Once she had a whole allergic reaction and her face was bright red and flushed. She could hardly take a breath. We had to go to the local hospital and everything oh it was just a mess.” I lied.
“That’s just awful.” he exclaimed.
“Yes, that’s the opposite of lovely. So I better make sure we don’t end up in a hospital again.” I started to rush over to Aunt Mary.
“Okay, you do that but just one second.” He grasped my arm.
“Yes?” I inquired.
“If you want to hear me blabber about books more, here’s my address. If not, just throw it in the garbage.” he gave a little note of numbers and letters from his pocket. “Thank you, I’ll keep this in mind.” I grabbed the note from his hand and gently folded it into my pocket and gleamed.
I skipped over to Aunt Mary who was attempting not to look over at me and trying to act casual but she was doing the exact opposite.
“So, how did it go?” she questioned with enthusiasm.
“I got this.” I showed her the tiny piece of paper and she snatched it.
“Is it a phone number?” she questioned.
“Does a phone number say ‘maple street?” I questioned with sarcasm.
“You do not have to be so rude, Coral.” she exclaimed.
“No, I have a right to be angry.” I yelled.
“And why is that?” Aunt Mary said.
“Because I did not need to meet someone else. I did not need to meet him but you forced me.” I voiced.
“And what is so wrong with that?” she questioned.
“I already like someone else, Aunt Mary!” I stated and there was a pause.
“And who is that?” Aunt Mary questioned.
“Amor.” I said.
“Amor?” she questioned.
“Yes, amor.” I said.
“And how do you know him?” Aunt Mary questioned.
“We’re pen pals, I guess. We send letters” I exclaimed.
“And where is this ‘Amor’ from? Do I know him?” Aunt Mary inquired.
“No, no, you don’t know him. Only mother does and she doesn’t really like him. No, she really really didn’t like him.” I explained.
“Why is that?” she asked. “Because she’s, mother. She’s like that. She doesn’t like anyone. Not even you and she’s your sister.” I voiced and Aunt Mary ignored me.
“Tell me about this boy, you met.” Aunt Mary said, starting to go to the cash register.
“He’s a normal person. He speaks spanish. He works in the gutter shop.” I voiced.
“Wait, go back, go back. He speaks spanish?” Aunt Mary inquired.
“Yes, Yes, he speaks spanish.” I said.
“Oh, No, No, no.” Aunt Mary stated. “You can not be with a spanish boy.” Aunt Mary explained.
“Why?” I questioned.
“Because our family does not date spanish boys. No one. Oh, bloody hell.” she stated.
“Aunt Mary you sound like my mother, no, even worse my father.” I explained.
“No, No, see, if you were my daughter and we lived on a tropical island or in the US, I would allow you to be with a spanish boy. But see your family has grown into a mindset that they are better than everyone. Most people in the UK think that.” Aunt Mary uttered.
“No, I believe you are describing the French people.” I exclaimed.
“All of us. We all think we’re better.” she replied.
“But we’re not.” I gave the yogurt in the bag after the employee scanned it.
“Exactly. Coral, I’m sorry but you can’t be with a spanish boy.”
“But that’s not fair.” I voiced.
“Possibly in year 2000, things will be different but not now. Things are not different now. Things feel impossible but they’re fixable. In years to come, Coral, this will be fixable. Not now.” Aunt Mary voiced.
I just said “Ok.” because truly I wanted to yell and scream at her.
I get where she’s coming from but it’s unjust. I saw her glancing at me from my peripheral vision and she said, “Life will always have some unjust decisions and rules in it. That is why it is called ‘life’.” she explained. It was like she replied to my thoughts. No, it’s just she knows me too well. When I make a face she knows exactly what is going through my thought process.
We didn’t make one word while walking back home. Not a single one.
color to my eye
Three days after I heard a ding dong and I assumed it was another letter so I hip hopped down the stair railing and opened the door. It wasn’t mail. It was Alexander.
“Hello!” I rolled my eyes.
“Well, hello.” he responded with his english accent.
“And how did you know my address?” I questioned leaving the door open indicating that he was welcomed.
“You have a lovely house.” he exclaimed, ignoring the question.
“You didn’t answer my question.” I started going into the kitchen and he followed.
“Yes, a very lovely house.” he exclaimed.
“Oh stop that, just tell me!” I voiced.
“Your aunt.” he said.
“I assumed. She is always up to mischief.” I replied by starting to cut an apple.
“So why did you come?” I inquired.
“Because I got the feeling that you threw my address in the trash.” he responded.
“Well, I guess your feeling is correct.” I said chewing on the apple.
“Why?” he asked.
“That will not be discussed. I have all this information now so you can go.” I exclaimed, very professionally.
“So are you using me for information?” he inquired.
“Precisely.” I smiled.
“Wow.” he exclaimed in not such an amazed way.
“Okay, I’m sorry. But I already have someone else in my mind.” I voiced.
“I realized that.” he stated.
“Yeah, so can you please get out of my house. I don’t want to be rude but-”
“Ok, let’s make a deal. We go to one restaurant for brunch. One. Just to get to know each other and if you have an awful time, you can never see me again, talk to me, nothing. Never.” he questioned.
“Fine.” I said, annoyed with the skin of the apple still gently grasped in my fingertips.
“Okay, my car is outside.” he said walking toward the door.
“Okay, but one condition. If I have a horrible time, you can’t talk to any of my family members. My aunt. My guinea pig. Anyone.” I voiced.
“Guinea pig?” he inquired.
“It’s an inside joke.” I chuckled.
“I won’t even talk to your grandparents.” he guffawed.
“Their Dead. But nice joke.” I stated.
“Oh uh. I’m so sorry.”
“Yeah, okay.” I huffed.
We hopped in the car and soon we got to the restaurant. When I got out of the car, I slipped on my dress and Alexander caught me.“I don’t need you to catch me. I can catch myself. I’m not a cinderella.” I walked in front of him holding up my dress. Sometimes, I wish girls could just wear pants but if I wore pants, every woman in this town would make rumors about me. Which is, of course, absurd.
I approached the man behind the counter. “Hi, so me and him want to get a table, please.” I exclaimed not knowing what to call ‘Alexander’.
“Shouldn’t your husband get a table for you?” The man asked.
“First of all, he is not my husband, not even close. We’re not even friends. We just met, okay. Second of all, I don’t need ‘him’ to order a table for me. I can order my own table.” I snapped. The whole restaurant became silent and the waiter pointed to a table in the far back of the restaurant.
“Thank you!” I voiced walking towards the table. I heard Alexander say something to the front desk man.
“Please, don’t call me her ‘husband.’ Not every woman has a husband, my friend.” he said, patting the front desk man’s back and laughed in my head of course.
“I’m sorry. I just assumed.” the man said, stuttering.
“My point exactly. Don’t assume.”
We sat down at the table and Alexander said, “Well Coral, you just put on a show.”
“Well, meet my personality.” I blurted. A new waiter came to our table shaking. “Hi!” I smiled at the waiter.
“Uh, hello. Um. So did you figure out what you would like to eat for your meal?” the waiter queried.
Alexander whispered to me and said, “You’ve scared everyone.” and I smiled.
“I would like chocolate chip pancakes with syrup on the side. Do not forget the syrup!” I stated.
“Okay. Okay. Okay.” Exclaimed the waiter, writing ‘do not forget the syrup’ over and over in large letters on their little waiter notebook which of course made me laugh. “And you, sir?” the young waiter questioned.
“Just some french toast. Make it crispy.” he stated, watching her hands shake.
“Okay, thank you.” the waiter said abruptly, starting to walk away.
“I love making people scared.” I giggled.
“I see that.” He laughed.
“So, what do you want to know? I’m a flipping book.” I noted.
“I’m not sure if that’s the phrase.” he exclaimed.
“Oh bloody hell, Am I actually in a restaurant with some boring bookworm or someone who actually understands sarcasm. Because someone not understanding sarcasm is a deal breaker for me.” I chuckled.
“Okay, fine. First question. What inspires you the most in the world?” he asked. “Well, of course my writing. I’m a journalist and an author. Talking about my writing is one of the only things in the world that gives me pure happiness.” I exclaimed.
“Well, reading is one of the only things in the world that makes me feel happy.” he murmured.
“I have a question for you. What is your favorite color? There is only one right answer.” I replied.
“Well, blue obviously.” he chuckled thinking he was right.
“Oh bloody hell, seriously, BLUE! Do you like the ocean?” I questioned.
“Well, yeah.” he nodded.
“Oh my goodness!” I laughed and shook my head.
“What is wrong with the ocean? It has turtles and dolphins.” he exclaimed.
“And sharks.” I guffawed.
“So you don’t like sharks?” he asked, suspicious.
“Who does?” I questioned.
“Okay, well what is your favorite color?” he interrogated.
“Well, of course champagne?” I uttered.
“What color is that?” he quizzed.
I pointed to my dress. “Oh no, that is rose gold.” he laughed.
“It is not. It’s champagne.” I kept pointing.
“Colorblind at its finest.” he chuckled.
“I also admire the color, green.” I voiced.
“Like grass?” he asked, with an odd expression on his face.
“Do you have something against grass now?” I guffawed.
“Well, if you have something against the ocean, I can most definitely have something against grass.” he explained.
“Oh no, grass is much more refined. It is simple and practical. The ocean, oh well the ocean is sandy, that is all.” I voiced shaking my head with disagreement.
“So now you like ‘practical’,” he responded.
“Who doesn’t. In ‘practical’ there are no surprises and everything is planned. I don’t mind the practical in life.” I stated nodding my head.
“That does not sound like you.” he voiced.
“And who says you know me, Mr.” I announced.
“Who doesn’t say.” he guffawed.
“I’m surprised.” I exclaimed.
“You thought that you were going to hate me, didn’t you?” he questioned.
“No, fool. I was just going to say that I didn’t think you would be able to handle my personality. Which I guess is a start?” I stated.
“A start?” he asked.
“Yes, because sometimes you can’t handle a simple antic which partially gets on my nerves.” I explained.
“And this other person that you liked before me can handle an antic?” he questioned.
“Yes! Very much so.” I beamed. “What is that?” he said pointing to my napkin.
“A list.” I murmured.
“Pro and cons of you!” I beamed.
“Of me, let me read.” he said, snatching my napkin. “Pros- Knows how to handle a conversation well. Slightly Charming. That is all. Cons- Has the same name as Alexander the Great which was one of the worst leaders in history and who had a major downfall. CAN NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER WHICH IS VERY VISIBLE!!! Has blue eyes (blue eyes are not my cup of tea.) for your information.” he read. “You think I’m charming.” he smiled.
“I think I have to add blind to the list because you obviously are. I think you are missing the world ‘slightly’.” I voiced.
“Your food is ready, miss.” said the young waiter anxiously.
“Don’t call me miss. It makes me feel like a piece of old meatloaf. Call me, Coral.” I brightly smiled.
“Coral it is.” the waiting said with a crooked smile of his and I nodded with a big smile. “So uh, here’s your food, Coral and you are-” pointing to Alexander.
“Alexander. Not Alexander the Great of course. That man wasn’t even that great.” he chuckled talking about my pro and con list.
“Well, uh alright.” the waiter said with a nervous voice placing the food on the burgundy clothed table and then walking away, rapidly.
“Well, he’s frightened.” I guffawed.
“To be fully honest, I’m not surprised. He strikes as a person who gets scared easily.” Alexander replied.
“Why do you like french toast so much?” I said chopping down on my pancakes and staring at Alexander’s plate.
“Well, the french toast has been around for ages. Since BC to Joseph French who first brought french toast into stores in 1724. French toast is an extraordinary meal.” Alexander uttered, enthusiastically.
“I admire how much you can keep in that brain of yours. My brain only can process one thing at a time. Although, you speak as a blink goes by.” I admirably said.
“Well, thank you.” he said while chewing on the french toast.
“Okay, well. I think our little restaurant thingy is over now.” I said starting to get up holding up my dress.
“Wait, no, don’t go yet. We just got our food.” he exclaimed.
“As you can see I’m already done. I’m a fast eater.” I replied.
“I’m sorry. I had a lovely time so possibly just possibly I’ll take your address out of the garbage. Just possibly.” I responded, grabbing my purse.
“You had a good time.” he smiled.
“Yes, yes, a lovely time, human dictionary.” I beamed. He smiled.
“Well alright then. I’ll see you soon.” I voiced.
“Oh, wait you forgot your list.” he said but I was already gone.
It was a lovely time, it really was. But I love someone else. Someone who I can trust. Someone who literally has the name of love. You know who I mean. You know.
I didn’t have a car so I just decided to walk home, slowly on the brick road. Dragging my clean black tap shoes. Tapping on the road. When I got home, I ran into the kitchen garbage but it was empty. empty. Someone must have thrown the trash out. It was gone. The address was gone.
A doorbell ring. Two knocks. It was the mailman. Another knock. I ran down stairs, urgently.
“What is it?” Aunt Mary questioned while she was reading the newspaper, with confusion.
“I don’t know!” I said, opening the door excitedly.
“Here is your mail once again, Coral!” said the mail man with his same motor tone voice.
“Oh my, thank you so much Gary. I could just hug you right!” I cheered.
“That won’t be necessary! I’m a germaphobe.” he voiced, but I hugged him anyway. And there it was, another purple envelope with the same stamp, the horse stamp. I shut the door, shut and ran upstairs, fast. Almost tripping on the steps.
“Oh that girl. That girl is something else.” Aunt Mary whispered to herself, laughing. I closed my door and threw the envelope on my bed covers.
“Ok, Okay. I can do this.” I said. “I can do this.” I said once again, ripping that card open, anxiously.
Dear my Coral,
I am quite delighted that I’m not the only one who had to write this card about a thousand times. Coral, I would like to take this envelope thing a step forward and possibly see you again. If that is fine with you. It’s just writing letters to each other is not ideal and not such a lovely idea.
I threw it in the trash. Yes, I threw it in the trash. You know why, because I don’t want to take it a step forward. I don’t want to. I don’t want to. I have no idea in the world why. Amor is a great person. Wonderful. Lovely. But I I. I don’t know. I don’t want to mess this up. And in that moment I thought of Alexander. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Alexander. Oh for goodness sake why does he have to ruin everything. I should have control over this but I have no control, whatsoever.
I’m not writing back. I can’t. It would just be wrong. It wouldn’t be right to write back because I still don’t know what I and Alexander are. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. Ugh god I hate this. I hate this so much. I haven’t written a single thing in my novel for months because I have been so coped up with all this drama. And I hate drama. Any type of drama. Theatre drama, literature drama, town drama, friendship drama, relationship drama. All of it. But I guess I am in drama. My life is a drama. To my father’s affair to relationship status to everything and anything more.
Why can’t I have a simple life in a cottage like Beatrice. Beatrice. Beatrice the princess. If you don’t remember Beatrice, she was the princess I made in a short story when I was on the hill with Amor.
Life was so good then, why does the storyline always have to fade?
Why am I fading? This world is as magnificent as it is terrifying.
peacocks find their own food
The afternoon of next, I was feeding the starving birds near the local pond. They usually eat straps of banana strips by the garbage so I decided to feed them. It was a very windy day, most definitely not a day to wear a sundress.
“You all love bread, don’t you.” I murmured to the birds, they chirped and a smile glided on my face. Sometimes I feel for the birds. Yes they can fly. Yes, they have family. Yes, but they have no voice. All they can do is chirp.
If I ever formed into a bird, I would most definitely be a peacock. They always stand tall. I admire them. Peacocks don’t beg for tiny bread crumbs, they find their own way to survive.
I took my burgundy sketch book out and a pencil with a sharp tip. I started sketching one of the pigeons chewing on one of the bread crumbs. I got lost in the drawing. It was like I shifted into the pigeon as it calmly looked around for more food. “Here it is, you little birdie.” I said tossing another piece and another.
They started fighting over the food. “Hey, Hey, calm down. No fighting.” I yelled. They stopped because I threw the whole bread on the floor. “Oh, whatever.” I rolled my eyes, closing the sketch book because I had no more desire to draw the birds. I stared at them, they were calm again.
It is like they suddenly turn bipolar when they don’t get what they want.
Suddenly, while I was watching the pigeons a person slid onto the bench.
“Well, Hello. It’s a fine day, isn’t it. Just lovely.” said the voice. When they said ‘just lovely’ I knew exactly who it was. I looked over and of course it was Alexander the Great.
“Quite lovely.” I responded, at the edge of a laugh.
“What’s this?” he questioned snatching my sketch book.
He started swiping through the pages.
“You draw? Wow! Is this a drawing of me?” he questioned.
“No, it is not. It’s from a random person.” I coughed. It wasn’t of a random person. It looked like Alexander’s face crumbled into nothing.
“You like pigeons?” he questioned, flipping on my recent drawing.
“The exact opposite”
“Then, what is your most favorite bird?” he questioned, gleaming.
“Well, if I had to choose, most definitely a peacock.”
“A peacock.” he guffawed.
“Yes, a peacock. Is there something wrong with a peacock?” I inquired.
“No, No, it’s just people usually see peacocks as birds who boast,” he replied.
“My reason for liking them.” I voiced.
“Ok, I have to go. I’ll see you tomorrow!” he said, skipping with cheer.
“Wait, I need your address.” I yelped but he was gone.
I looked at the pigeons. They looked back at me. “What!” I yelled at them. They kept looking at me.
“I don’t have any more bread. Be a peacock. Find your own bread.” I voiced walking away with my shoulders, low.
The next morning,
Ding dong. Ding Dong. Ding Dong. Ding Dong. Ding dong. Pillow pushed against my ears. The bell kept ringing. I was hoping it was not another letter. “Mother, can you get that?” I yelled. I heard her gently opening the door. I got up and looked at who it was from the stair railing. “Oh, hello. Are you the milkman?” mother questioned and I rapidly ran down the stairs because it was not the milk man or the mailman. It was Alexander.
“Hi!” I said with confusion, out of breath acting like I just ran a marathon.
“Well, hello.” he said.
“Who is this?” mother questioned.
“I have no idea.” I lied.
“Yup, were strangers,” replied Alexander, going along.
“Oh, well, um ok then.” said mother and then there was an awkward silence in between.
“Mom, I can take it from here.” I said, trying to say in other words, please go drink tea or read the newspaper but just go.
“Oh, no. No, I want to know who this ‘not the milkman is’.” said mother.
“My name is Alexander.” he said.
“Yes, we met at the supermarket and he helped me find the most fine yogurt you could have.” I lied once again.
“Well, alright. I’ll go then.” said mother, going off to the kitchen and when she finally left the room I asked, “Why did you come here?” with anxiety.
“I didn’t know your mother was home and I had a surprise.” he voiced and then he walked inside. Right behind him was a peacock.
“You got me a peacock?” I questioned, with surprise.
“Your favorite bird.” he responded.
“Thank you so so much! This is much better than a hamster. How did you get a peacock?” I asked, running toward the peacock.
“A circus, possibly.” Alexander said.
“You stole a peacock from a circus?” I inquired, uncertainly.
“Correct.” he responded.
“You can not just steal things, Alexander. That’s a felony.” I yelled and there was a pause but then I said, “But it’s sweet like sugar.” and a smile gilded onto his face, and mother heard as well.
“I need to tell you something serious.” he said, with a face that expressed concern. “What is it?” I questioned.
“Not here.” Alexander replied, grasping my palm, outside and shutting the door.
“Coral, oh, Coral.” he said, shaking his head. “Yes?” I questioned, beaming.
“I don’t think we should do this.” he said.
“Wait what.” I said, astonished.
“I just don’t think this is going to work.” he responded.
“Hold on, one minute you’re stealing a peacock for me from a circus and the next you are saying that we are not going to work.” I exclaimed, angry.
“That’s the thing, I have to do these spontaneous things like stealing a peacock for you to notice me.” Alexander voiced.
“Oh bloody hell are you serious.” I said, starting to raise my voice.
“Yes, I’m serious. Coral, there are so many things that you don’t know about me. So many little details that you don’t know. See, do you know my parents’ names?” Alexander inquired.
“No.” I said, embarrassed.
“They’re dead. I never knew them. I don’t even know their names. See, Coral, those are the little things. So, me or him?” Alexander voiced.
“I can’t choose that. I can’t choose.” I said, with adrenaline filled in my lungs I inquired to myself.
“You’re the only one who can choose. You, Coral, just you.” he said, whispering, looking toward the peacock and looking back at me.
“I hardly know you.” I said, starting to tear.
“Although the thing is Coral, I still love you, but can you love me?” he inquired. I’ve never loved someone. I’ve never had a boy’s hand. But here I am. Choosing. Choosing my soulmate for everlasting.
I’m not a peacock after all.
the color blue
A new mind- Alexander
My heart was daggered.
A few times, I would see Coral feeding the pigeons while drawing in her sketchbook. If I looked closely at the sketch book, I could see that she ripped out the drawing of me. Although I never saw her with the peacock; I guess she returned the peacock after all…
We saw each other in the isles of the grocery store but then we both rushed away to another isle.
I soon realized that she moved on when I saw her laughing and smiling with her aunt. I realized she moved on when she wouldn’t run away while seeing me. She would glance at me. Ask how I was doing and then move along like I was in the past. The thing is, I’m still stuck in the past. I couldn’t move on. You don’t find a person that amazing everyday. I would leave books at her doorstep each month. Anonymously. I would tie the novels in a burgundy cloth. Shakespeare in January. Charles Dickens in February. Ralph Elliso in March. Anne Frank in April. Harper Lee in May. Jane Austen in June. J.R.R Tolkien in July. George Orwell in August. Scott Fitzegerald in September. Lousia May Alcott In October. Virginia Woolf in November. William Blake in December. And I just knew she read them all. The Little Women Book from The Invisible Man from the Pride and Prejudice from The Lord of The Rings.
Even with a whole year of daggered hearts I still wasn’t over her. As much as I wanted to I wasn’t over her. But then, one day I saw something. It was the first day of December. A breezing day. I was dropping off a William Blake novel, and there was a letter from Ecuador. I’ve never even heard of a country named Ecuador.
This is a special card. Very special. I miss you so much and I saved up and bought a plane ticket, to see you. There’s something inside the card for you. 🙂
Then it started to talk about sickness and in health and I started to get worried. They never signed their name either. I ripped up the letter and there it was. A ring. A shiny ring. It must have been of fortune because it looked like it. I felt the color blue. Coral was marrying someone else. It was over for me. My books and peacocks didn’t mean enough.
But I didn’t let that get in the way. I left the ring on her doorstep but then snuck the letter in my pocket. Maybe I was a monster for doing that but I couldn’t let her go off and get married. She was 20 years old. Anyways, I know her, she doesn’t want to get married at 20. To be fully honest, I was helping the guy from Ecuador from a broken heart.
The next day, the ring was gone. She had taken it. But the thing is, there was a knock on my door. My hard wooden door. I know her knock. She only does 2 knocks because she thinks 3 over does it. She’s very meticulous about her knocks on doors.
At that moment, I had realized she thought the ring was from me which wasn’t my plan. I put new fresh brill cream on my black hair. I then opened the door wide.
“Hi.” she said softly. And like I said, it was her. Coral. But she looked different.
“We meet again.” I said, trying to act surprised.
“I know it was you who left those books on my doorstep.” she voiced, walking inside.
“Oh, was it?” I asked.
“Yes, Yes, it was. That cloth of the books. It’s one of your favorite colors.” she said, gleaming.
“And yours as well.” I gleamed.
“I prefer green but yes, one of my favorite colors.” she said.
“So, you liked the books?” I questioned.
“I read them all before you gave them to me. They’re classics. The only one I hadn’t read was ‘Little women.’ Oh, how I love that novel. From the bond of the sisters. From how it was written. It was nothing but lovely.” she said.
“Jo March kind of reminds me of you.” I exclaimed.
“I agree.” she said, hopping one of the seats in the kitchen.
“And who am I?” I questioned. “Laurie.” she said.
“I’m Laurie?” I questioned.
“Yes, you end up with my sister. Not me.” she announced.
“Who is this?” my grams asked, in her wheelchair. My grandmother is blind so she can’t see anyone.
“Coral. She’s a friend.” I said.
“Hello.” grams waved. Although she waved in the wrong direction.
“I have a question for you.” said Coral and she took the ring out of her pocket.
“Yes?” I asked.
“Did you put this on my doorstep?” Coral questioned.
“Guide me in this conversation. Tell me what this she’s talking about.” Grams voiced. Coral put the ring in Grams fingers. “A ring.” said Grams, astonished. “You gave this girl a ring. I don’t even know her. What type of a grandson does that?” Grammy questioned.
“Alexander did you leave this for me?” Coral repeated.
“Alexander. All I know is a Leo. My grandson’s name is Leo.” said Grams and she revealed my secret and I scoffed.
“Wait what.” Coral replied.
“Can we go outside? You know some fresh air” I questioned and when we walked outside, grammy rolled her wheelchair and peeked outside the window, even though she couldn’t see a thing.
“What is she talking about?” Coral interrogated.
“You know, she’s older. She forgets things.” I said attempting to brush off the topic. I could tell Coral was full of rage so I told her. “My real name is not Alexander. When I gave you that peacock, that day. I wanted to tell you. Remember I said and I quote, “I have so much to tell you.” I exclaimed.
“Yes, yes, that day went on repeat in my head for months. But what is your point?” she asked, nodding.
“My point is, I was going to tell you.” I noted.
“Okay, so why didn’t you. Is your name that bad, is it Bob or Fred.” Coral asked. “I didn’t tell you because I thought you would think I’m weak, which I am.” I murmured. “Oh.” she said. “But now I guess I can tell you. My name is Leo Harlow.” I announced.
“I didn’t ask about your zodiac. I meant your name.” Coral responded.
“That is my name, Leo.” I repeated.
“Oh, I’ve never heard a name like Leo. Unique. Both my parents are Leo’s. So, I assumed you were talking about your zodiac. But why does that name make you weak?” she inquired.
“Because my parents named me ‘Leo’.” I explained.
“Oh god, I’m so foolish. I could just kick myself right now. You changed your name because it was too difficult having the birth name your parents gave you.” Coral said, annoyed by her own self.
“Yes.” I said.
“That is not weak at all. That is strong. I would have done the exact same thing.” Coral beamed.
There was silence but then Coral said “I just wanted to let you, I accept the ring. I’m ready to marry. I’m 20 and this past year, I truly found myself. It was dark in my mind for a while but I have thought things through and I’m dearly sorry for crushing your poor heart like that. It was awful, just awful so I accept.”
I didn’t respond. My face was pale white. But a tad fleshed for how I did not give that. Oh god. Oh god. Oh god. What should I say?
“That uh ring. You uh want to marry? Me?” I questioned, stuttering.
“Who else would I marry?” Coral, beamed.
“Well, the boy from Ecuador.” I said then there was a deep silence.
“How do you know about him!?” Coral became defensive.
“A letter. I saw a letter at your doorstep when I was dropping off books. I opened it and inside there was a ring.” I announced.
“You didn’t want to marry me?” coral said in her soft chilled voice. A voice I never heard from her before and I could tell her heart became shallow.
“Oh god, I’m such an idiot. Bloody hell. I come prancing over to your large mashion.”
“It’s actually my grandmother’s.” I said, interrupting her.
“Well you live in it.” she said while I shrugged.
“How could I just come here and say yes to a marriage that you didn’t even want in the first place. How could I? I’m not this type of person. Not at all. I don’t worry what people think about me, but look at me now, worrying.” Coral replied.
“I thought you moved on.” I said.
“I did. But then I got this ring. This stupid ring and I had realized that I was truly, in love with, you.” she said. “Just you.” she voiced.
“Coral, you know better. We can’t get married. You’re 20. Only 20 years old. I know you so well that you don’t just jump into things. You most definitely won’t just hop into a marriage. Anyways, there obviously is someone else in this world who loves you. The person who really gave you that ring.” I stated, starting to argue.
“Amor. He gave me the ring.” Coral sighed.
“Coral, you will forever be my favorite person but if we ever get married, I don’t want to start it like this.” I exclaimed.
“I understand.” Coral said, pausing between her words.
“Just to let you know, I kept the peacock.”
“You did?” I questioned, astonished.
“Of course I did, Leo. I mean Alexander.” Coral responded and then she left.
We were the definition of over.