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Remembrances of Paris

Contributing Authors: RuNe 
A chance encounter becomes much,much more.

“Pardonnez-moi, Mademoiselle I would like to book a direct flight going to Manila tonight if possible.” she shyly inquired of the woman at the ticket counter in her limited French.

“Oui Mademoiselle, let me check our schedules,” the pleasant lady at the counter said smiling at her.

“Merci.”

“Mademoiselle, I’m sorry, but we don’t have any available direct flights going to Manila tonight. What we do have is a five-hour stopover in Singapore going to Manila, and the earliest scheduled is tomorrow night. Would you like me to book you on it, mademoiselle?”

“Oui, Je vous en prie.” She felt sadly disappointed.

She got out of the ticketing office half an hour later. Outside she looked up at the blue-gray sky of France, thinking maybe it was going to rain.

“Please wait for me, Papa I’m coming home.” She silently pleaded.

She didn’t notice the chaos and bustle of the comings and goings of people around her as she started to walk. She just wandered aimlessly without any direction in mind till she reached the Parvis Norte Dame.

She sat on one of the iron benches in front of the cathedral near the fountain just staring into space. Tears started to flow as she thought about her father.

Her mother, whom she had never known, had died giving birth to her and her father who was a carpenter raised her alone, for as long as she could remember.

Her loving father was diagnosed as having a second stage colon cancer when she was sixteen. The only other family she had were sick, and she didn’t know what to do or where to get the money to support his medical treatments.

She had decided to stop being just a working student and applied for any full-time job available. One of the employment agencies had hired her and assigned her to the Australian Embassy as cleaning staff. Within the year she was well liked by all the embassy employees, whatever the task no one ever heard her complain.

She was known for being a shy, quiet and kind-hearted girl by everyone she worked with. She just worked harder than the others, minding her own business accepting all the extra income she could get from her job by working extra hours. Everyone at the embassy knew her story and why she worked so hard.

One day an embassy officer approached her, asking if she wanted to be her youngest son’s nanny. She would be earning more, ten times what she was getting from the agency for her current job but the problem was she would be working in France.

If she agreed, all necessary papers would be arranged immediately, and she would leave the Philippines as soon as her visa was approved.

Her father was the reason why she was working and the salary she would receive as a nanny would ensure that her father’s treatments would continue, so she accepted without thinking. She asked her best friend and neighbor since childhood, Robert to take care of her father while she was working overseas. She would regularly send money for the treatments. Robert told her to do whatever she thought was right. He would support any decision she made. He and his mother Perfecta would take care of her father’s treatments as long as necessary.

ooOOoo

Working as a nanny, she was allowed by her employer to take culinary courses in her spare time. When she completed her studies, she was encouraged by her employer to accept cooking engagements for small dinner parties that their diplomatic friends were having. That way she could send even more money for her father and still save for her plans when she returned home. She wanted to open a small café back home, the likes of which she saw everywhere in Paris.

She dreamed of her father getting better, and that they would work together to build their dreams.  She wanted her father to visit places he had never been, and take vacations anywhere he wanted with her. If her father got tired of vacationing she would buy him powered tools so he could build furniture or whatever he wanted to make.

Everything had gone smoothly while she worked in Paris for the past five years when she received a phone call early yesterday morning from Robert.

“Josie, he is asking for you to come home, as soon as possible. I don’t want you to be alarmed but he stopped every scheduled chemo treatment for the last twelve months, he threatens not to cooperate if we don’t stop the treatment. He said it’s just a waste of your hard-earned money. This past eight months all your remittances were not used for his chemo; only for vitamins and his food. He misses you, Josie, he needs you here with him. Maybe this is the time to come home.” We will wait for you, was the essence of the conversation.

She immediately told her employer that she was needed at her father’s side. Her employer who knew her well never asked why. They had always understood her situation, and they encouraged her to go home immediately.

She packed her things, and within forty-eight hours she would be going to the airport and be on her way home. She couldn’t live life without her father. He was the only family she had ever had, and he was the reason why she worked hard in a foreign land. Saddened by the thoughts, she cried.

"Help him to be strong; I still want him with me. I don’t know how to live life without him,” she prayed while sitting exhausted on the bench.

oooOooo

“Bloody hell! What on earth is she doing crying in the dark? She should be home at this time of the night.” A voice carried to her ears in accented English.

A man stood up from the bench on which he sat and walked towards her.

Fresh from a flight from Ireland and frustrated from his earlier trip and the new flight schedule, he was stressed out. He had decided to take a walk in the park to cool down his, but it was yet too early to sleep.

He was smoking and trying to decide whether he should have dinner at a restaurant or going back home to cook and then sleep. When he was in Paris, he didn't like to stay in hotel rooms, so he kept an apartment here.

When he saw the girl take her seat a few benches away, his eyes remained on her.

A haunted look crossed her lovely face. A strange look for such a young woman, it intrigued him as he stared at her.  Now standing in front of her with her head drooping and her sobbing he realized that she was not aware that he was standing there.

He wanted to touch the girl’s beautiful long thick curly black hair but stopped himself. What am I doing standing here like a stupid moron? Maybe I should just go home and cook dinner.

He wanted to comfort and protect her and assure her that he was there to help, but how? He stopped and didn't want to acknowledge the sudden feeling of possessiveness when he heard her utter a prayer for the man she loved.

This is not a girl but a young woman in pain, he realized. What a lucky guy, he thought. Some man has a woman who truly loves him. Her shoulders started shaking harder, and the sobbing became louder. Feeling her pain, without a second thought he knelt in front of her and gathered her in his arms to comfort her. With a heavy heart, he kissed her on top of her head.

“Shhhhhhhhh… chéri …. ma chéri…” His soothing voice comforted the young woman, who responded to his embrace and cried even harder.

“Shh… chut! ma chéri, tout va bien aller.”  The young woman raised her head tears still lingered in her dark eyes. She seemed to sob less.

Dumbfounded by the impact of the woman in his arms had on him, he just stared back at her. He wasn't able to take his eyes off her face with its full red lips devoid of any artificial color wondering if they were as sweet as they looked. He wanted to reach out and touch her lips with his.

Damn! You’re going to have one of those tortured sleepless nights thinking about this beautiful creature, he told himself. Unconscious of what he was doing, he gathered her again in his arms as she cried more. They just stood there together embracing, holding each other tight for comfort.

“Shhhhh… ma chéri… ”

Trying to control his emotions, he reached out for his hanky and wiped her tears. Those large rounded dark eyes stared back at him. He lowered his head and brushed his lips against hers, again enfolding her in his arms.

“Shhhhhhhh… ma chéri enough, il est tard et ce n'est pas un lieu sans danger pour les femmes. Tell you what ma chéri, you can tell me all about it over dinner.

I will make us a nice dinner. If after you still need to cry, my shoulders are available to you. I am a good listener as well as a good cook. I live just a few blocks from here. You’ll be safe with me if you would just trust me, that is.” both his English and French thickly accented voice, lightened up the situation.

He stopped as he realized what he was doing. Holding her at arm's length, he looked at her again. She didn’t seem French maybe a Latina. Why hadn't she said no? He was now starting to doubt his self-confidence.

“Excusez-moi. Je m’appelle Claudius Arnold, Parlez-vous Anglais?” He inquired in French in case she didn’t know English.

“Yes,” she replied shyly, still staring at him with the beginning of a smile in her teary eyes.

Releasing a loud sigh of relief, he thought, man you’re getting old these were the longest minutes of your life. Smiling like a silly boy who had just won the pie eating contest, he offered her his hand.

She nervously smiled back and took it with her shaking cold hand and started walking with him. He was enjoying this. They walked together not even realizing that they were still holding hands.  The warmth of his hand made her relax and enjoy the walk. The few people they passed by stopped and stared at them thinking, what a lovely couple.

They ended up on the left bank of Paris from Norte Dame Cathedral on rue de Rennes. They got inside of a luxurious residential building where the doorman greeted them as they passed by on the way to the elevator. Pressing fifteen the man beside her smiled and introduced himself to her again.

“Josette Perez,” she shyly told him her name feeling comfortably at ease now with the man beside her. He nodded his acknowledgment of her name; twinkling eyes smiled back at her, and she smiled back.

“Why the French name for a stunning Latina looking woman? How old are you, Josette?” Claud asked the woman beside him, still fascinated and looking down at the hand he still held. He took it under his arm as he looked back at her.

She nervously looked up, and her eyes meet a beautiful pair of soft emerald green eyes. She now realized that the long curly hair was not blond as she had thought in the dark but a rustic red that reached his shoulders, even his lashes, eyebrows and beard were red.

She was not used to men looking at her, it made her even shyer. She turned her eyes to look down at this handsome, rich man’s hand with its long slim fingers that still held her now warm hands, as she whispered her response.

“This coming December I will be twenty-one. I’m from Manila, and my father named me after himself. I didn’t know it’s only a French name,” she answered his questions.

“That’s the reason why you look Latina?”

At her age, other women are experienced, but looking at her delicate face lined with a streak of stubbornness and innocence she looked younger than her actual age. They stepped out as the elevator opened to his floor.

“Bienvenue à mon humble abode ma chéri, let me start our dinner.”   

He ushered her into an enormous living room furnished with luxurious furniture. The kitchen was also equipped the same way as the rest of the house, this was a dream kitchen.

He seated her on the center high stool at the marble top counter, and he opened the two-door fridge and got a bottle of Shiraz from the chiller and poured them both a glass.

“What could I possibly salvage here that we can use to make a decent meal?”

Feeling ecstatically happy for the first time in a very long time, he bent over looking into the fridge. He took out a bundle of broccoli, lettuce, white onions and a frozen tenderloin as well as the appropriate spices. He washed the vegetables and put the meat under dripping water. He efficiently cut the vegetables, steamed the chopped broccoli, put spices on the toweled tenderloin and grilled it to perfection.

He then prepared an onion soup which by the looks of it should taste good too. He did all of this like a professional chef doing an impressive demonstration in front of her.

He scooped a spoon full of the thick soup and gently blew on it till he judged the temperature was tolerable then brought it to her mouth. As she opened her mouth to receive it, her eyelids closed and she savored the taste.

“Hmm… superb! You can cook, it tastes heavenly.” She replied after tasting it with her eyes still shut. A smile formed on her kissable red lips.

He just stared at her for the long moment, and a feeling of exhilaration overwhelmed him.

“I can always cook for you, free of charge if you’re always that generous in giving out praise,” he replied.

He laughed out loud as he served the dinner and seated himself beside her.

He looked at this beautiful woman in front of him as they ate in companionable silence, a feeling of contentment washed over him.

They ate, and he started to talk of trivialities while she just smiled and nodded. She had a big appetite, not like other women he knew who were starving themselves just to be model like. Claude enjoyed her company and the food for the first time in years.

“Done? Still, want to cry?” He asked.

“Thank you, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to cry after that wonderful meal. It wouldn’t do you justice. You are a superb a cook. I can offer my services in washing the dishes for you,“ she said as she gathered the dishes.

“No! This is my house, and you’re my guest. No dishwashing for you ma chéri, anyway it will only take a minute for me to do the dishes.”

As he took away the dishes from her hands, she just watched him do all the work.

“Come, I’ll take you home.” He offered after wiping his hands on a towel.

“You don’t have to take me home. I’ve already imposed so much on your time and energy. Thank you for the wonderful dinner. I’d like to walk some more to burn some of the calories and do some window shopping maybe I could still find a treasure.” She raised her head smiling at him while standing and retrieving her coat and handbag.

I really don’t want to leave she thought. This is a man who I could learn to love and to respect. He has been a perfect gentleman, and he is so handsome. What does he feel I wonder? He seems attracted to me or is that only my imagination.

“May I come along?" he said. “I also have to burn off some of this meal.” He just wanted to be with her, to enjoy her company.

Claud started to analyze his attitude towards this woman. A few hours and dinner with this woman didn’t make him know her, but it felt as if he had known her for years. He had not felt this comfortable with a woman for ages. They hadn’t talked about their personal lives, but she intrigued him.

Since his divorce, he had known many women. He had bedded, wined and dined them all before moving on without looking back. None of those relationships had lasted long enough to forge any sort of friendship bond, least of all any emotional ones. She was unlike them all; not at all the type he usually dated.

What were the differences between her and all those others? She indeed was not like his ex-wife. A very sophisticated and beautiful woman but shallow, uncaring of the feelings of others, materialistic always judging their friends before she would allow them to socialize with any of them. Thankfully they had divorced after he realized the kind of woman he had married.

This woman in front of him was not like that. She was also lovely in a more natural fashion. She looked innocent almost virginal. Just looking at her you could tell she was the type who could live happily without the material things in life. Smiling and generous-hearted.

She was wearing an old clean, yet very simple plain yellow shirt, a below the knee A-cut washed denim skirt with old red Doc Martin boots halfway to her knees. She smelt so fresh and natural without a trace of perfume.

Enchanting! That’s how he felt, mysteriously enchanted by this beautiful woman.

She, on the other hand, remembered her promise to buy her father his power tools, and his failing health. Her eyes welled up with tears at the thought.

“Bloody hell! What now? What did I just say?  Don’t worry about it. You’ll be home in no time, Josette. Your lover can wait, I hope?” Claud, in his panic seeing the tears fall, said out loud.

His heart stopped when he saw the pain in her eyes, new tears poured down her face. He couldn’t deny any longer the feeling of protectiveness and possessiveness he felt towards her. They overwhelmed him as he gathered her into his embrace.

“Lucky, bastard!” he murmured

“There is no lover, Claud. Tomorrow I return to Manila where my father is dying.”

The only man she knew personally other than her father was Robert, her best friend but he never made her feel the way she felt with this stranger. What was going on inside her? Her stomach kept rumbling, and her heart was racing. What had happened to her from the time he kissed her and during the time they were together? She felt that she didn’t want to go, but she had to leave before it is too late.

This man was wealthy and powerful. She was not she worked as a servant to rich people. He was educated and worldly. She was just a poor workman’s daughter without culture and without education. What could he possibly see in her, or was he just looking to have a sexual encounter?

She was agitated. She had just told him that she needed to take a walk so he wouldn’t insist on keeping her here. She needed time to analyze her feelings. She’d never felt like this before.

“Pardonnez-moi. I didn’t mean to cry. I just told you I wouldn’t cry anymore. If you really meant it going with me for a walk maybe we should go now, while we still have time,” she said her fingers busily wiping away her tears as she raised her head to look at the handsome man standing in front of her. “If that is what you want.” She whispered shyly.

Feeling ecstatic, he smiled and took her hand. “What are you thinking?” he asked as they stood face to face.

“Nothing,” she whispered.

“Want to share what happened just now? We can a have coffee before we head out to the night market?”

“Maybe I should just go home.”

 Desperate to make her stay a little longer, he didn’t want her to go away this soon. He needed time to get to know her better. “No!” he said and pulled her to him and kiss her hard on the lips.

She looked up at him with her dark eyes, and her lips parted to return his kiss. She felt her body fold into his as she blotted herself against him. Feelings she had never known coursed through her as she passionately returned his kiss.

Claud wrapped his arms around her and embraced her feeling her lithe body pressed against his, her breasts against his chest. His hands stroked her back and caressed her. He lifted her into his arms and carried her back to the sofa.

Sitting her down he sat next to her, and they resume their passionate kiss. Their tongues dueled in a battle of love as they savored each other.

Her heart throbbed as he kissed her. She felt dizzy and breathless. Her mind and body were engaged in a duel the mind telling her to get away and the body clamoring for more of these feelings. She felt her core melting and her secret place getting wet and yearning for something, she didn’t know quite what.

Suddenly she pulled back. “Claud, I’m scared.”

“Why are you scared, Josette?”

She hung her head down and blushing she said, “I have never been with a man before. I don’t know what has come over me. I hardly know you, and I desire you. I am confused.”

“You mean to tell me you are a virgin,” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Oh, my little darling. You make me feel so honored and privileged. Josette, I have been with many women during my life. Yet, I don’t think I have ever desired a woman more than I desire you. You make me see something in your eyes that I have never seen before. A woman who cares for me. Not for my money or position or anything else, just for me the man.”

She looked up and smiled at him while taking her long fingers and caressing his cheek. “You are so handsome. I could look at you all day.”

“Darling, come with me let me take you to my bedroom. I want to love you and to make love to you. Will you let me?”

She looked at him in bewilderment. Thoughts raced through her mind leaving it in chaos. Her body yearned to be with him safe in his embrace. Her mind shouted that this was wrong. What would he think of her? What should she do?

“I’m scared, Claude.”

“I promise you I will be gentle and loving. Don’t be scared.”

Effortlessly taking her into his arms, he carried her into the bedroom.

Standing her up in the dim light of the bedside lamp he slowly undid the buttons of her shirt revealing a plain white bra cupping a pair of small breasts. He kissed her while unclasping her bra and discovered a perfect set of succulent tits capped by little rock hard nipples.

She felt insecure and unsure of this good-looking man in front of her and of herself. His hot breath in her ear, nibbling at her earlobe his mouth now lower as he kissed her neck, and finally,  lower still he reached her naked breasts. He fondled them in his hands teasing and rolling her nipples in his fingers before taking her rock hard nipple between his lips. His tongue licked each in turn, and she felt his teeth scrape her tender flesh.

When he sucked on those dainty morsels, she could not help herself and moaned.

She almost passed out from the intensity of the feelings that shot through her body. Her knees felt weak. My god, she thought what is happening to me. I never realized that it could be this good.

“Oh! Claud that feels so good, please don’t stop.”

“He looked up at her and smiled, “I don’t intend to stop. You have the most delightful nipples I have ever feasted on.”

His fingers searched for and found the zipper on her skirt which he lowered. It slid off her hips and pooled around her ankles. Lifting her up once more he deposited her on the bed. She was wearing a white thong which concealed her mons. He smiled when he noticed that it had a damp spot at the V of her crotch.

She could not take her eyes off of him as he removed his shirt revealing a broad chest and muscular arms. He undid his belt and let his slacks slide off, and finally, he removed his boxer shorts.

Her eyes popped out when she saw his cock standing erect in all its glory. OMG, he is such a powerful man. He looks like a god, and here I am simple plain me. What does he see in me? I am small and dark I have small breasts and a little behind how can he desire me, yet the signs are there that he does.

“Claud, it’s so big. Do you think I can accommodate that inside me?”

“I’ll be gentle little one, trust me.”

Lying down next to her he wrapped her in his arms. He felt her body tremble against him as he resumed kissing her while toying with her firm nipples. With each touch, she gave a little whimper. When he pinched them, the whimpers turned to moans.

It felt that each of his touches was sending an electrical current through her whole body which converged on her most intimate place. She was aware that her pussy was gushing with her juices.

Sliding his hand down, he slipped it under the waistband of her thong and found her mons which he cupped in his palm. He made sure not to enter her but gently massaged the area.

“Oh, Claud what are you doing to me. I feel as if my whole body is feverish from your touch. That never takes place when I touch myself there.”

“Josette, I want to see you. To see all of you. May I remove this last barrier that lies between us?”

Blushing she softly whispered, “Yes.”

He moved to the foot of the bed and rolled the thong off of her, as she assisted him by raising her hips.

She brought her hands down to cover herself, becoming suddenly self-conscious of where she was and of what she was doing.

“You are gorgeous! One of the loveliest women I have had the pleasure of meeting. Remove your hands so I can see you in all your beauty.”

Her hands slowly moved away, and her pussy was exposed for the first time to the gaze of a man. She blushed wondering, “Will he still like me after I behave this way.”

He slowly spread her legs marveling at the smoothness of her thighs and the lovely indentation at the apex formed by the V of her legs. He loved her darker skin and thought how different it was from the paleness he was accustomed to.

Gently he brushed the skin of her inner thighs with gentle strokes staying away from the treasure he longed for. He lightly feathered her skin and smiled when he noticed the goosebumps his actions were causing.

She delighted in his gentleness and more than ever her body yearned for his touch. Every inch of her felt aroused by the tenderness he was lavishing on her.

Lowering himself, he licked and kissed the length of each leg till finally, his face was just above her mound. He licked on either side of her small pussy lips while he inhaled the aroma of her heated interior. Using his fingers, he spread her open and let his tongue enter her pink folds. He lapped at the juices which coated her pink inner flesh. She tasted fresh, and he savored each drop as he made love to her virginal pussy. Slowly he inserted a finger and sought for her g-spot. Finding it, he gently stimulated it as he felt her tense her body.

She felt his velvety tongue snake into her needy flesh and lap at her core. She could feel herself gushing juices as she never had before. Her hips heaved and drove her pussy into his mouth as his tongue roiled in her flesh and she thought she was going to die of joy. When his fingers started to play with her clit, she lost it, and her orgasm left her dazed and panting.

Claud stretched out next to her and caressed her body lovingly while she recovered.

When she had regained her breath, she turned her body to face him and said, “Claud that was so intense. I have never experienced a release like this. Never!”

It felt as if her insides had melted and erupted from her in a huge liquid wave provoking feelings of pleasure such as she never had experienced. Her heart had melted, and she thought so this is what making love feels like.

She felt his member against her body, and she shyly reached down and took it in her soft hand. She marveled at how it felt both soft and hard at the same time. Her hand could not fully wrap itself around it. She let her fingers slide up and down its length marveling at the feelings and yearnings it caused within her. Rubbing the tip, she stopped in bewilderment.

“Oh! It’s wet,” she exclaimed. “Uh… did you…”

“No, not yet. That is precum, it is just there to help lubricate you should we go on to the next level.”

“I really would like to, but I am afraid. There is also something else I want to talk to you about first. You are the first man with whom I have ever done something like this. However tomorrow I leave to return to Manila, and I will probably never see you again. This makes me very sad, and I already feel the sadness of leaving you even while here in your arms.”

“Don’t feel sad, Josette. I want you and I would keep you with me if I did not feel that it was important for you to go see your father. I would go to Manila with you if I could. My obligations, however, require me to go to Germany for a week. I want to see you again and will be in the Philippines in three months. We could, if you wish, meet there and see how it goes. You can also write me or email me, and we can keep in touch till then.”

Her spirit soared at those words. He wanted to see her again. Maybe he did care for her.

He jumped out of bed and took his business card from his wallet and showed it to her before putting it into her purse.

“There you have all my contact information. Please let me know where you settle once you return and how to reach you. Now that I have found you I don’t want to lose you.”

My god, can he mean that? Do I dare give him all of me? I desire him so much I hope I'm not a fool.

Regaining her side they cuddled and kissed.

“Claud, are you still hard?” she asked after a few moments.

“See for yourself,” he said taking her hand and bringing it to his erection.

“It’s so big and hard,” she murmured stroking his length gently in her hand. “Claud, my body aches for you, love. Make love to me.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes please before I lose my courage. I want to feel you enter me, feel you in me and try to give you pleasure with my body.”

He rolled her onto her back and parted her legs and placed the head of his cock at the opening of her pussy and rubbed it through her pussy lips to lubricate it.

His fingers parted her, and he gently inserted the bulbous head barely into her. He saw the grimace of pain on her face. She was so tight it felt as if he would split her in two if he entered her. He just kept still until he felt her opening up to him as she relaxed.

Ouch, that’s big. Will he be able to do it without ripping me apart, she thought. I want him so much in me. I want to feel his hard member deep in my body as deeply as he is getting into my soul.

“Now! Claud now,” she moaned as he saw her face relax into a smile. “Please, all the way I want to feel you completely in me. Make my body yours.”

Pushing forward, he felt his cock slide into her tight sheath. Her heat and wetness wrapped itself around him. He slowly thrust in and out as he watched the transformation taking place in her expression. Her large eyes widened in surprise as a smile spread across her face.

“Oh! I did not expect it to feel this heavenly,” she said as she raised her legs and wrapped them around him using them to pull him tightly against her.

She felt as if she was sucking not only his member but even his soul deep into her body, into her heart. She wanted this moment and these feelings to last forever. She wanted him so badly that it almost hurt.

He reached under her and wrapped his massive hands around her small tight behind and pulled her even closer to him till his testicles were on her backside.  He was fully encased in her marvelous sheaf, and he could feel her cervix against the tip of his cock with each thrust he took.

The expression on her face changed to one of total abandonment and lust, and he could feel her whole body quiver with desire. She was clasping his cock as tightly as a vice as it started to throb. Her juices were flowing, and their heat was driving him crazy. However, he held back as he wanted her to come first.

“Yes! Claude... I’m going to come, my love. Faster you marvelous man. Faster.”

“Come for me now, I can hardly hold back.”

With that her body spasmed and her back arched off the bed as he felt her milking his cock as it, in turn, flooded her with his essence. They remained locked in position as he rode her through a succession of orgasms till she let her legs drop and collapsed flat on her back.

Sated they lay in each other's arms relishing the afterglow that permeated through their bodies.

This is a man I could love she thought. No this is a man I do love. I am never going to be the same after this. He took me to heights I did not dream existed. Why did it have to happen now that I have to go away? I could spend days, weeks, and an eternity lying in his embrace. She felt her eyes get moist but fought back the tears. She had told him she wouldn’t cry anymore.

“Thank you,” they both said simultaneously between kisses and then burst out laughing.

They lay there trying to sort out their emotions in silence until they both fell asleep.

She woke up, and it took her a few seconds to realize where she was and what had happened. Next, to her, Claud was sleeping. She got up and tiptoed back to the living room, gathering her clothes as she went. Getting dressed in the faint daylight that was coming in through the window, she debated if she should wake him up.

Finally, she decided it would be better if she just left. She found paper and a pen and wrote.

Claud,

You have made me a very happy woman. At last a woman and not a silly girl. I will never forget you. I leave now as I feel that I am not worthy to be with you. If God wills maybe someday in the future, we will meet. However, for now, I will never forget this night.

Mahal na mahal kita.

Josette

She gathered her suitcase and silently left the apartment. On the sidewalk, she hailed a taxi and headed out for Charles De Gaulle Airport.

ooOOoo

Claud woke up and stretched out his arm to find he was alone in an empty bed. Rushing to the living room, he saw her note on the table and read it with sadness in his heart. ‘Mahal na mahal kita.’ Opening his laptop, he googled the words to find their meaning. “I love you very much.” Why did she have to write that?

His sense of loss was terrible. He looked at his watch and realized that even if he went to the airport, she would be gone before he got there. He thought that at least she would write him soon and he would fly to Manila to join her.

Meanwhile, Josette sat on the plane lost in thought. Had it really happened or was it all a dream. No, not a dream she decided, but a dream come true. Sadly only a dream as she knew nothing would come of it. Her eyes were moist, she reached into her purse to get a tissue and her fingers closed on the calling card he had placed in the bag. She stared at it for a long moment and then tore it to shreds. No use to dream about what would never take place. I was only a one night stand for him. He will soon meet a woman of his class and education, and I will be just a dim memory for him.

oooOooo

Months went by, and Claud got no news from Manila. He searched phone books, googled her name not a sign of Josette Perez. Dozens of J. Perez, all of who he called but no one knew of Josette. He told himself she either must have given him a false name or she was not in Manila itself. He started on searching the suburbs of Manila; Binondo, Dilao, Ermita, Malate, Pandacan, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Miguel, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, and Tondo, all to no avail. No one could give him information on Josette Perez or on her father, Jose Perez. His dream seemed to have vanished into thin air.

Life resumed as well it must, but he found that he derived no satisfaction from any of the women he dated. Each time he went out with another one all it did was raise a vision of Josette in his mind, and none of them brought him the joy he had found with her.

He finally hired a private investigator in Manila and gave him all the facts he had about Josette and told him to continue the search. He would pay a substantial sum of money but only if she was found.

Two and a half years later he had abandoned all hope when he received a call from the detective who told him he might have a lead.

A man named Jose Perez had passed away from cancer in a Manila hospital, and he was the father of one daughter identified as Josie Perez and two grandchildren. He was given an address, but no phone number was available.

Having a business trip to Manila the following month he determined to discretely find out if it was his Josette and lay to rest his dream. If this woman had children, she must now be married.

The last thing in the world he wanted to do was cause her any pain.

ooOOoo

“MUMMA! MUMMA!”

“Claudia, sweetheart, please don’t run.”

She stooped and gathered the child in her arms.

“Pweeeaseee,” the child begged. “Ice Cweem.”

“Where is your brother, sweetheart?”

“Inside mumma.”

“Now what can he be doing inside my little sweetheart?”

“TV, mumma.” She said while still giggling.

Josie turned to her friend, “Robert, get inside and let’s have a snack first before you go home.”

Her daughter smiled at Robert and wriggled down to the ground, and ran to him. He reached down and scooped her up into his arms.

“Daddy! Daddy!” she says smiling at his broad face.

One night her daughter got a high fever. She was not at home at the time. She was taking care of her father at the hospital. In her fever-induced delirium, she called Robert, daddy. Since that time she started calling him her daddy and her twin brother Claudio soon followed suit.

Roberto gave her daughter hugs and kisses that never failed to make her giggle.

“Miss you, Daddy, do you have something for me?” she said kissing Robert.

“Not today sweetheart. You know that I love you, don’t you?”

“Ohhh… yes Daddy, love you more.”

She put her head on his shoulder and hugged him. Touched by the exchange between her daughter and best friend, Josie, looked away with tears in her eyes.

Robert had asked her to marry him for years now, but the memory of Paris was too deep and too intense. She had gently turned him down, but he remained her best friend.

Claud watched all this from the café across the street as the three entered the house. Pain shot through his heart, realizing how much it hurt to see her with another man.

Turning to the café owner, he asked him if he knew Josette and her husband.

“No, sir, and that is not her husband. That is Roberto who has been her friend from childhood. He has asked her many times to marry him. However, she has always turned him down. It’s a pity. That woman needs a husband.”

“Wait a minute!” He excitedly said to himself. “Redhead!”

He crossed the street and knocked on the door of the small house.

“Claudio, get the door.” He heard.

He stood in shock looking at the miniature carbon copy of himself who opened the door.

The child stared at him wide-eyed as if to say “Who are you? Why do we have the same hair?”

“Who is it, sweetheart?” He heard her inquire.

The door opened wider, and her smiling face looked at the child before looking up at him.

Her smiling face turned to a whiter shade of pale.

“Claud” she uttered breathlessly.

He stood there staring at her. All his feelings for her came rushing back. He wanted to kiss her right then and there.

Looking straight into her eyes, and with a smile on his face he said, “Josette, we need to talk.”

 

Thanks to JefferyB for his insight and editing.

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All names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. All characters portrayed in this story are over sixteen (16) years of age.

Christian M
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