Never in my twenty-three years have I expected that one trip where everything seemed to go so wrong, in a heartbeat would turn into one of the most beautiful and unforgettable moments of my life...
But where should I start? Oh, right. Now I remember.
“Well, well, well” was Val’s greeting the night before. “How’s that you took your sweet time to get back home this late?”
“Evening to you, too” I answered, and I couldn’t help but let a giggle out. “You know me, elskede. I enjoy the cold more at night.”
Well, that’s not completely a lie. Indeed I’m more of a winter person, especially during the night. But during the last five years we’ve been living in Mendoza, I’ve been always the one that got home very late twice or three times a week after college, even more in winter.
“Yeah, yeah, I know that line by heart. How was school today?”
As I was telling her about my teaching practices in the morning –she was beyond happy knowing about it– and classes in the evening, she kept pacing back and forth in the kitchen as the sweetish and spicy smell of tomato sauce took over the room. ‘I may know where this is going.’
“You don’t know the half of it, Agus” she said, startling me. “But if I didn’t tell you before, congrats for your fantastic lessons. I knew you could do it so well and dynamic...”
As she went on praising me –maybe overpraising me–, I was wondering what she had been up to lately. She seemed very excited, bouncing from time to time, giggling out of nowhere... But what could I do? Seeing her that happy was a very warm feeling, the flawless medicine to any bad day... my home. ‘How did I get so lucky to have you?’
“Earth to Agustina!” she shouted, and God, what a cold as ice shower did it felt. “Did you hear me?”
“Sorry, were you saying?”
“Damn, you’re the worst, y’ know?”
“Yeah, and you love me for that.”
And right there, in a heartbeat, she grabbed me by my waist and crashed her lips on mine. Affection, passion and love for one another... all of that poured on that kiss.
“I hate it when you’re right” she whispers near my mouth.
“Yeah, yeah, yet you still didn’t spill the beans. Otherwise, why the Valentina’s Special?”
“I already told you that!” she protested. “But you completely zoned out for long few minutes.”
Damn, she got me there. ‘Well, when you smile that smile... I can’t not zone out.’
“Though I’m not complaining about that...” Where was she taking me to with those words? “Girl, at least give me some attention when I say tomorrow I’m taking you for the best HOLIDAYS of your life!!!”
“WHAT?! Did I hear right and clear? Going on holiday tomorrow???”
“Not again you pretending you don’t hear me” she said, rolling her eyes. “Why would I lie about something like that?”
“At least warn a girl first!” Even though I wanted to be mad at her, I just couldn’t bring out my furious side just like that. However, suddenly I started feeling a knot in my stomach, my chest tightening, my head burning in pain. “You know I need time to pack stuff and everything, don’t you? How do I even know which clothes to pack when I don’t know where we’re going? Just tell m--”
Suddenly, her strong yet soft arms pulled me into her body, and I couldn’t resist that strong magnetic force. As usual, the honey scent from her dark brown hair took the best of me as I placed my face on her shoulder.
“Mo chuisle, I’ve got you.” Her voice sounded so soothing over my neck, and it was as calming as her tender touch. “You’ve nothing to worry about, trust me. Okay?”
I slightly nodded over her shoulder, so that only she could notice.
“We could call this off, if that’s what you want or if you don’t feel well.” Well, that was unexpected, yet the way she said those words was not surprising to me. God, I hated it when she sounded that disappointed.
God, why the hell did I give her that impression? Of course I would start crying because of that! How could she think I didn’t want to go on a vacation during winter break?
“Val, I... I want this” I stuttered, trying to get my shit together. “I want to go on this trip with you. I... I’m sorry I overreacted earlier. I... I’m so sorry...”
She didn’t answer. Instead, she held me tighter than before, her embrace so gentle, steady and warm. Again, my face found its way toward her shoulder on its own. None of us spoke a single word during five minutes or so. The room was filled with the uncomfortable sound of my sobs though.
“You feeling okay, darlin’?” she softly asked. “Take all the time you need.”
“Yeah. Thank you.” Her forehead landed on mine as she tenderly caressed my cheek. “You know how to make me feel better.”
“You know I’d raise hell just to make you feel the way you deserve.” Her breath became ours as her lips landed on mine. “Anything for you.”
But instead of speaking, I decided to show her all my love for her. As my hands made their way all around her body, our lips were dancing in sync, the kiss so passionate, so full of affection, so familiar yet surprising at the same time. God, did it feel so right.
“You’re incredible” she whispered near my ear. “And even though I’d like very much to keep this going, we should stop, then eat dinner and rest. We leave tomorrow in the morning.”
Before I could let out a cry of complain, she teasingly brushed her lips over mine.
“Don’t worry, love. I’ve already packed some clothes and other stuff. We can continue packing before going to bed, okay?”
By the way her eyes were sparkling as she spoke, I knew she meant it. Spending some quality time with her before sleeping would be so nice. And I already felt at ease with the idea of going on holidays together. After years of hard work and study, we deserved a break from the loudness of the city and the rush of our academic and laborious lives.
“But first, I wanna taste a slice of Valentina’s Special” I said, my gaze piercing into the pizzas in the oven. “Wanna make the honours?”
“Of course, my lady” she answered, bowing in front of me.
“You’re too cute when you bow like that, aren’t you?”
I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. Damn, this girl was really something else.
“And you’re the worst, Agustina.”
The night before getting on the road for our holiday, I had the most beautiful dream, one that somehow felt like an epiphany, the exact mental image that would play and replay in my mind almost nonstop during most part of the five years Agus and I had been dating, maybe even before getting officially together. And while I was dreaming of that probable yet-to-come moment, all while holding my girl close into me, my eyes filled in with the best kind of tears. Deep inside, I knew that moment would come soon.
“I promise you this holiday will be full of surprises, joy and the best of memories, vakker” I whispered in her ear. “I love you so, so much.”
In response, she tenderly squeezed my hands over her belly and pulled herself closer into my chest. Dear Lord, was she the most amazing and beautiful woman.
“Sweet dreams to you too” I said, and before shutting my eyes down for the night, her heart beating in sync with mine, I softly kissed her forehead.
“You have no idea of how much I missed this” I told Val while looking at the “oh so” heavenly beautiful landscapes at our left through the bus window. “Even though you took my favourite seat, you know.”
As usual, Val rolled her eyes at my comment. “Yeah, but you got up later than me, so you lost your privilege.”
“I might have got up later than you, but I made up to you by making the best damn breakfast of the century.”
No way could she beat that.
“Well, I prepared and brought our lunch because no way will we stop somewhere to eat by noon.”
Shit, she got me there.
Mountains, snow, wind, vineyards... and much more could I see from my spot, my head resting on Val’s shoulder as she held me close. Of course, there were mates, laughs, some light kisses, jokes... until I fell asleep, her shoulder working as my favourite pillow.
“Don’t you dare to snore near my ear, kid” she said in such a low voice only I could hear.
“Mhhmjrnw I... don’t snoooreee.” Yeah, that was the lie of the millennium.
“Riiiiiiiight.” Still, I could feel the soft touch of her lips and her laugh on my forehead. “Keep telling that to yourself, silly.”
Peace. A feeling I wasn’t so used to during the last years, although when I had one at some point, I tried to make the most of it, especially in company of my woman. Yet, on the way to our hometown, with Agus’ head on my shoulder as she was soundly sleeping, I felt at peace like never ever before. Maybe because lately it had been hard for us to enjoy ourselves as we had been very busy with work, college and practices. Maybe because it had been hard for me to see her overstressing and overthinking most of her actions and decisions over these five years. But that first day of our holiday, as the magnificent landscapes across the country claimed my eyes and Agus’ arms were tightly holding onto my waist... even if it was just a fleeting moment of calm and peace, it was something I wanted to savour and enjoy as much as I could.
“You’re worth waiting for a moment like this to finally come” I whispered as I covered her with a soft, warm blanket. “But the best part is yet to come, you’ll see.”
Of course, it didn’t take me long to fall asleep too. Too weird, right?
I didn’t know how much time I was passed out, but I’d say I had a very good, cosy, warm sleep on Val’s chest. Needless to say I was so tired even without having done much. And well, I could tell Val really got her well-deserved sleep after everything she had done for me... uhm, for us. Aww, did she look so cute my heart could explode...
“I don’t know if you can hear me now” I whispered very low, though internally I was trying not to laugh “but you’re twice beautiful when you’re snoring.”
Surely she would wake up after that.
“Mmmh what?” Figured that. “Wait, I didn’t snore!”
‘Suuuuuuure you didn’t.’ I couldn’t help but give her a wink and a giggle.
“Says the one who slept over eight hours long nonstop.” Ouch, that broke my heart, and she knew that. “Stop being dramatic and kiss me, would you?”
Huh? Someone woke up very thirsty, right? Game on, Valentina.
“And why exactly should I kiss you?”
“Well, you’re going to be my future w--”
‘Future what?’ As she was saying those words, a lot of thoughts invaded my mind. But before she could even finish that sentence, a loud, broken, scary cry from the driver’s cockpit startled us... all of the passengers.
“PLEASE, FASTEN YOUR SAFETY BELTS RIGHT NOW! I REPEAT, PLEASE FASTEN YOUR SAFETY BELTS!”
WHAT THE FREAKING HELL WAS BLOODY GOING ON???
Yeah, I was really about to lose my mind by overthinking every possible scenario. Was there any problem with the brakes? Wasn’t there enough gas? Would we fall? ‘No, no, no, no, please no.’
Noticing my uneasiness, Val placed her hands on mine and gave them a soft squeeze. “Min skatt, don’t overthink it. I’m right here with you.”
For a fleeting moment, I felt a little calmer. Until I heard screams downstairs as the bus seemed to lose control of its speed. ‘I was damn right!’
Immediately, Val pulled me as much close to her as she could. Yeah, she was scared too, she just didn’t want to show it though. “I love you so much, Agus. I’m sorry this trip turned out to be a complete mess.”
Too late to keep holding my tears back. Without thinking twice, I went for a short, sweet and passionate kiss. If the worst would’ve happened, at least I’d have had that hypothetically last memory.
“Val, none of what’s going on is your fault. Don’t feel sorry, älskling.”
Slowly, the bus started swinging from left to right and so. It was a better option than missing the turn to the left and fall down into the river.
And before we could say or do anything else, everything... literally everything, went dark...
Fear. A feeling I hadn’t been familiar with for quite a time. When some kind of invisible force aimed not only to break in the effortful balance I had reached at some point after the most painful years of my life, but also get the closest people to me caught up in the fire. But never had I experienced the kind of fear I felt when the bus, its brakes malfunctioning, overturned left off the road. Just thinking of how the turn of events would ruin what I hoped would be the best holidays with Agus, but mostly of how many lives would be put on the line, including mine and Agus’...
Although I didn’t do anything to cause the accident –well, none of the passengers were to blame–, I just couldn’t forgive myself if something even more terrible could’ve happened. As the bus had fallen onto its left side, right where we were placed, the two of us didn’t get any serious physical wound, and it was easy for us to get out of the huge vehicle.
“What will we do now?” she asked, her expression so mortified, guilty, as if internally she was overthinking every single event or possibility in deep detail.
“Don’t, Agus, please.” I reached out for her hands and pulled her closer for a fleeting moment. “I know this gonna be so, so hard, but we’ll try to help these people get out of the bus. We’ll do this just fine, trust me. Okay, schatje?”
“Of course I trust you, Val” she answered, her voice broken. “It’s just...”
I knew what she was implying. Having lost her best friend and her mother in a matter of a few months many years ago had been very hard for her, didn’t I know it.
“You don’t want it to happen to other people what had happen to you seven years ago.”
“If I just had the chance to do something to help them and their loved ones but didn’t grab it...” It was getting harder and harder for her to hold back her tears.
“You can do this, darling. We can, and we will.”
After a few seconds holding her tight in a reassuring embrace, we got right into work. Surprising and fortunately, we were not alone. The bus drivers and three more passengers, who happened to be a firewoman (Joanna), a nurse (Rafael) and a psychologist (Andrea), joined forces with Agus and me and helped with the rescue of the rest of the tourist that couldn’t make it out of the bus on their own. Yes, it was a stressful situation for everyone, but we pulled it off as best as we could as we were practising CPR, making some calls, reaching the passengers’ families and looking after the wounded and weakest until the ambulances would arrive at the scene and take them to the nearest hospitals. ‘Please, get well soon y’all. I’ll be praying for all of you and your loved ones.’
Suddenly, I felt Agus’ hands tenderly squeezing mine. “I hope they’re okay, too. We did what we could, though.”
I could see how fragile, broken she was feeling, as if all her effort was vain. “They’re really grateful for your help and bravery.”
And then, she cracked a soft, shy smile. Lord, she was really incredible my already melt heart was melting all over again.
“We can’t thank you enough for your help, guys” Agus said to the three professionals who had volunteered to help us on the rescue.
“This was all you, ladies” answered Joanna, looking attentively at us. “We just did what we do best.”
“I second that” Rafael added. “You managed the situation like pros.”
“These people...” Andrea seemed at loss of words.
“They already love you two” completed the nice firewoman. “Maybe as much as we do.”
Well, that was very touching I was speechless. They were way too cool!
“Come here, you weirdoes.” Agus’ eyes were glowing as she was looking at those three wonderful people. The five of us got wrapped in a very warm group hug, so effortlessly it would seem we had known each other for years.
“Too bad we’re stuck here” Joanna complained. “After this, I’m craving for a good meal.”
“We’re near Santa Fe, though” said Rafael without looking away from his phone. “It’s the nearest we are to a city.”
“I’d rather cross the Parana to Entre Rios” suggested Andrea. Then, she turned to look at Agus and me. “But I’m down for whatever you choose, girls.”
The other two nodded in agreement.
And that was when Agus stepped up to speak. “Actually, we’re both from Entre Rios and have visited Parana a few times, so we know the city well.”
“Yeah, we can call a cab that will get us there” I added. “I know some of the cab drivers from Santa Fe, and they are pretty good.”
Well, I didn’t expect to put that irrelevant knowledge in practice, but... who would’ve known my turbulent experience in Santa Fe would have its benefits after all.
“So, how are you feeling right now?” asked Joanna, as the others were drinking their sodas. “You know, after the accident.”
It had been over two hours since the drastic turn of events. Man, was that huge, even if nothing more serious happened, thank God.
“Honestly? I’m still in shock that I don’t know how the hell I’ve managed to help the other passengers...”
“Well, I can’t say I’m surprised you did help them.” The way Val was looking at me as she was talking... “Remember that 16th September night when my evil ex took me away from our monthiversary dinner?”
Wow, that was kinda too forward! If otherwise, why those shocked looks from our new friends?
“NO WAY!” exclaimed Andrea. “But how did it happen in the first place, if you two were having dinner together?”
I had always been uncertain about why I found it very hard to share that story with people other than closest friends. It was something I had kept to myself for almost five years... But looking at those three people, talking easily to them... I felt I could trust them with such a very personal memory.
“You don’t need to tell us about it right now, Agus” reassured Rafael with a concerned look. “Whenever you’re ready, we’ll be here to listen to you.”
Always the caring girl, Val softly squeezed my shoulder. “Whatever you choose, I’ll be here for you the whole time, elskede.”
Inhaled... Held my breath... Exhaled... Again and again and again...
“I think I’m ready to share this story with all of you” I said, finally. Val nodded, and then reached out for my hands.
And so I started telling them what had happened that night. How much fun we had been having before and during dinner. How well everything had been going until she decided to go back to her house and look for her present for me... and never came back to the pizzeria.
“As if I don’t see your stubbornness everyday” I commented rolling my eyes as the others laughed.
“I know you love it.” How the hell did she dare to wink at me? Hmm.
After that, Val went on telling them how Javier had followed her and finally taken her just a few steps away from the pizzeria’s main door. How much I had freaked out as she had been out for so long.
“Believe it or not, this girl at my right was the head of the operation: saving the monthiversary as we decided to commemorate that day” she said it with such an energy and good vibes. “She planned the rescue, recruited a professional rescue party by herself and faced the devil himself on her own.”
Ooooookaaaaaayyy. That was too much sugar.
“But it was you who actually hit the final blow on him before...” Suddenly, I stopped before digging deeper into the most dreadful moment of that night. Again, I couldn’t fight back my tears.
“Agus...” Val’s strong arms covered me like the warmest blanket existing in the whole universe. “It’s okay, vakker. I’ve got you.”
Even with my eyes very wet, I could see the looks on our friends. They were very understanding, kind, patient, caring...
“You two are the bravest girls I’ve ever met” said Joanna, reaching out for my hands. “Especially you, Agus.”
“I think this story you’ve just told us is enough for you to prove your love for each other” added Rafael. “Although it wouldn’t be necessary because it’s very obvious you’re crazy for one another.”
Man, that sweetness was getting out of hand.
After a few minutes of chat about life in general, Val suddenly stood up.
“If you excuse me, I’ll be right back in a few minutes. I need to take care of something”
Very subtle, Val.
“Shouldn’t you follow her?” asked Joanna, a little worried.
“Nah, but I think she’s up to something... This reminds me of that time when...”
How the hell did I manage to sneak to the bathroom that easily without them asking what was going on? Not that I wanted them to question me, but... Nevermind, that was not the point.
I didn’t know what came over me as we were telling our new friends about our story. If it was the way Agus were talking about the first time we went camping or our first holidays as a couple in Mendoza... Or any good or bad memory from the past eleven years. Lord, I had never seen her talking about that stuff so freely, optimistically, vividly, happily...
Yet, all of that led me to question myself: was I really ready to take the next step? Was it too soon for us? Were we too young? What would she think or say? ‘If only I knew what to do or how to do this.’
And then, as if it was a sign from the universe, I got a group video call. From my family and friends in La Paz.
“I’m not sure if I can do this, guys” I complained. Obviously.
“You’re doing it, big girl!” exclaimed Barbara, always the tough cookie of our group. “No time to back off, you heard me?”
Very subtle, girl-friend. You should be grateful I was behind a screen.
“Don’t mind her” commented Cecilia, her smile always contagious. “I know you can do it, sunshine.”
“Thanks for the moral support, but how the hell will I get to do this right? How do I know she will accept?”
“Val, just be yourself and remember the good, bad and weird times you two have spent together.” My mother was the best, always good with words.
“She will say yes, and you know it” added Nicole, one of Agus’ friends. “Just appeal to how you both feel for each other. Maybe she’s just thinking of this as much as you are now.”
“You’ve been meaning to ask her for quite a time, kiddo” said my father. “And you share such a strong connection and love for one another... it makes me sick.”
“Jorge!!!” Well, mum’s cry made me laugh a lot. “Don’t you see your daughter is about to have a major meltdown? I mean, she’s gon--”
“MUM!!!” Whoa, what a scream I let out. “I’ll be alright, I promise. But I gotta go now. I have to take care of something. Love you all.”
“Okay, sunshine, we love you too” answered Cecilia, smiling. “Break a leg and go get your girl.”
“Will do.” Before hanging up, I waved goodbye to all of my friends and my parents.
Well, that was the confidence boost I needed. There was just one thing to do before the grand finale.
While Val was gone, I spent the rest of the night talking with my new unexpected friends. I was so surprised by how easy and natural it felt to hold a conversation with them, as if we had known each other for years and years.
“...And that’s the most embarrassing and funny thing that happened to me during the five years I’ve been with Val.”
“Bet you have more, right?” Andrea was giving me that look...
“Sorry, but you’ll have to wait and see, guys.”
Right then, my phone rang up. Couldn’t help but wide smile.
♥VS♥ Sorry I’m takin so long, but I’ll make it up 2 u, min skatt
♥VS♥ Can u wait 4 me at Parque Urquiza, near the river bank?
♥VS♥ It’s across the bar
♥VS♥ I miss u already, elskede♥♥
“I know that look when I see it” said Joanna. Lord, help me with this girl.
“Well, I think I have to be somewhere else right now.” Fucking blushing Agustina.
“Don’t worry, we’ll be fine here” reassured Rafael. “Don’t leave your lady hanging.”
Duh, of course they’d realize it was her. Silly me.
“See you later, guys.” And just like that, I walked out of the bar toward Parque Urquiza. I didn’t know what to expect, but knowing Val...
“I need to let you in with something, if you don’t mind” I said to our new friends after a little small talk, Agus nowhere to be seen. Probably they had already figured what I was going to tell them, and honestly, that wouldn’t surprise me at all.
“Judging by the look on your face and how weird Agus was acting a few minutes ago...” Of the three of them, Joanna seemed like the kind of girl who loved messing with people.
“We may or may not have an idea of what is about to happen” completed Andrea, who seemed excited about it. “Tell us EVERYTHING!”
Smooth, Andre. Thank Jesus I was in a good mood.
“Well, this is what is gonna happen tonight...”
And so I started letting them know about how much I loved Agustina, how happy we made each other feel, how strong and resilient she was, and how she motivated me to become an even better person every day... How much I couldn’t wait for her... for us to become forever. God, my eyes were hurting so much because of me holding back my tears for so long. “I’m sorry I’m letting my emotions get the best of me.”
“I’m not crying...” sobbed Rafael. “It’s just an I can’t wait for the big day to come in my eyes.”
“Perhaps we don’t know each other that much, but I can tell we gonna be the best squad ever” said Joanna, with great optimism and a wide smile. “I already feel so close to you, especially to our group’s cutest couple.”
“I second that, Jo” added Andrea. “I’m so, so happy for both of you.”
Crazy to realize my fears and doubts about this whole thing were nothing as my best friends and family back home had given me the push I needed and my new gang had been nothing but supportive with me and Agus as well. Yeah, the moment of truth had arrived.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m damn ready!”
The night was so peaceful in that part of Parana. Not so much movement at sight and any other sound than the rustling on the trees and the cold, soft breeze, only a few couples who might have stories to tell to their future children and their children. Even though I had been waiting for Val to show for quite some time since I got there, I was really enjoying my time near the river bank. Looking at the great, immense Parana River, I reminisced about how much I had enjoyed my childhood and part of my teens, always thinking of the good memories with mum, my childhood best friends and, of course, Val. And at the same time, I couldn’t help but daydream about how my future with Val would be like. Would we still be together? Stay in Mendoza? Move back to La Paz? Emmigrate to another country? Maybe get married? Have kids? If so, how and how many? Personally, I wouldn’t mind very much about it, because as long as we had each other, our lives would be as interesting as full of love, and that was the most important thing for us.
Seriously did I think about us getting married? Oh, that reminded me of our whole story; not only the one that started after she came back to La Paz running away from a negative experience in Santa Fe, but also and especially that on about how we first met, the trips we would make with our families, the uncountable sleepovers, Christmases and new year’s days, birthdays parties... the night of her first camping with mum and me, in 2013 when I realized I had feelings for her, which only grew stronger and stronger as I was slow dancing with her, although I would never talk about it with her for many reasons...
Not until years later, two loses that had shaped my path, and a comeback that I had believed would be my worst nightmare, yet turned out to be what I really needed to help me save from my own demons and finally love me for me... and most importantly, to realize that I hadn’t lost her at all, and that our old feelings were still there, only that since there they grew stronger and stronger, and that we were grown up enough to talk about them without holding anything back.
Yeah, maybe I was getting too ahead of myself, but... someday I’d like very much to marry the woman that had always held my heart and loved me for me. The one I had fallen in love with not once, but twice. The one I’d love to see the world with. The one I'd love for the days to come and beyond...
But how could I think of all of that after having just survived a bus accident just a few hours ago? It might seem quite selfish. Hell, I knew that. It really sucked having been through such a scary and nearly tragic experience, even more for those who might have ended up in ICU rooms. However, I was able to see the silver lining of the events of the night: I had got the chance to be back at home –though La Paz would have to wait a little more than planned–, meet and befriend such amazing and kind people as Joanna, Rafael and Andrea... and a moment for myself in an environment I was so familiar with.
Yet, there was something missing there... someone missing...
...Until I heard footsteps behind me, along with clear as water notes of honey.
“Already missing me?” Val asked me, her voice so soft and relaxed.
I turned to see her... Lord, she looked so, so beautiful in the moonlight in her soft, warm and elegant red-and-white-striped cardigan and her light blue jeans, her round green eyes so bright and alive. How couldn’t I have noticed that before?
“Val... I... uh...” Shit, I couldn’t even form a full sentence. And she laughed at me. Ouch.
“You’re cute when my looks get you speechless.” And she gave me a wink. Subtle, Val. “But seriously, how are you? You know, after everything that happened today.”
Thank you for asking that, girl. Seriously.
“Uh, just thinking positively about it.” My gaze turned to the Parana, its calmness and immensity. “You know, I’ve been wondering about everything we’ve been through for the last twelve years and what the future holds for us.”
I nodded, still looking at the river.
“Maybe this is not the right moment to tell you this, but I’m glad we are here, Val.”
And I kept talking and talking about anything in my mind, not even glancing at her for once. How long was it going on? Anyways, I thought I was bloody boring her...
Until I stopped to turn and look at her... and my jaw suddenly dropped down and broke into pieces as I realized what was really going on before my eyes.
Valentina, down on one knee.
Her face, the brightest and prettiest I had ever, ever seen in her.
Her hands, holding a small blue ball-like box.
Inside of it, the most gorgeous and shiniest white gold emerald ring my eyes had laid on.
“V... Val?” Not again with that, Agustina.
“Agus, I think you know how much you mean to me, how much good, joy and fun you bring to my life, and how much you push me into a better version of myself. But I couldn’t just let the chance to remind you of that pass by on a moment like this.”
No, you didn’t make me cry, Val. Nor your speech. It was just a my answer is YES on my eyes.
“When I left you for the first time” she continued though –because even though I already knew the whys, I didn’t want to cut her off–, “I thought my life would be the same, but you know how it turned out to be... I felt like there was a piece of my heart missing, and years later I knew what it was... it was you...
“However, I don’t regret any of my choices, no matter how painful they were for me, for you... for us... because everything has led me back to seeing you laughing, smiling, even making those cute sounds when you sleep. I may have left you once, but I’m not making the same mistake ever again, because I don’t even want to imagine living without you more than I already have...
“I deeply, fully, wholeheartedly love you, Agus. I always have. And I’d love nothing more than tell you and show you how much I mean it every day –though I already do, you know. So what do you say? Will you join me to honour our love and marry me?”
I love you. I had heard Val tell me these exact words almost every day, but never ever had they left me as speechless as the night she proposed. Maybe because I had been thinking very much about it as much as she had? Or maybe because we were in our homeland and the moment felt perfect for it?
Only one thing was certain, though. And it was:
“Yes, Val! A zillion times YESSS!!!”
Without wasting any more seconds, I helped her stand up and pulled her so close to me our bodies became one. A wave of electricity and warmth surrounded us.
“You have no idea how happy it makes me feel. How happy you make me feel.”
Then our lips met and danced together in perfect sync, as if they were made to fit in together. And it felt like home. Being in the capital city of Entre Rios, the Parana River and its greatness cheering on us lije in the old days, and having met new wonderful people during this trip while helping others in need... I would never forget that night.
“I can’t wait for the day I can finally call you wife” I said, the best kind of tears wetting my face. “I love you so, so, so much.”
That time, it was her who pulled me in for another kiss, and another, and another. Every time, growing more and more passionate, intense and full of affection and love. No rom-com best kisses would ever outdo ours.
I wasn’t certain of what we’d do from the following morning on, whether we’d go to La Paz and see our people –and maybe introduce them to our new gang– and get married at one of our special spots in town immediately. But I was very sure of one thing: Valentina Suarez would never, ever, leave my side and would always show me how much she loved me, as much as I would do the same for her.
“I promised you a trip full of surprises, elskede” she said after reluctantly breaking the kiss. God, I was already missing it so bad.
“And it’s only begun.” And again, I got lost in her sweetish, soft kisses, her careful, electrifying touch, her therapeutic embrace... “So what’s next for us?”
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