The return to the Forgotten

... .. I looked at him, just to make sure I was in his arms.
Convinced of that, I was relieved, and again pressed to his chest. I had no idea where we were, but I just knew that we stood embracing, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Around was complete emptiness and complete darkness, but for some reason I wasn’t afraid. I knew that I was with him and it made me invulnerable.
I so wanted him to say ... I wanted so much him to hear me, but every time I tried to say a word, my voice came out too weak, and it simply dissolved in the air, not allowing the silence to disappear...
At the moment, I closed my eyes and clung to him more strongly in the hope that he will understand me without words. It was so nice and peaceful in his arms, and I felt so protected and loved, that I could stand like that an eternity.... eternity in darkness.
Having opened my eyes, I shuddered. The darkness vanished ... however, as he did. I stood alone in the scorching rays of the sun and I could talk again. But what I say now? What can you tell when it's too late...?

1. The Return to the Forgotten

On the street was raining, it was a cool spring rain. The whole city was plunged into a romantic and, at the same time, a sad mood. Small drops of rain fell on the buildings of the city, surrounding them with an invisible veil of which were reflected, almost imperceptible, the rays of the sun. A large and beautiful rainbow hung over the city.

I was riding in a taxi and was watching all that beauty. Seeing the rainbow, I could not help smiling. That beauty for a moment filled with joy and happiness my soul troubled by doubts. At least for the moment all anxiety vanished and I felt the same easy and carefree as a child, when the world was like a beautiful fairy tale.

"Here is a small traffic jam, perhaps, something happened on the road," I heard the voice of the driver and returned to reality. A sense of joy from seen rainbow disappeared, and I again began to suffer from the torment of doubt. Thousand of thoughts have pierced my head and were tearing me to pieces from the inside. There were so many questions and no answers. "Why should I believe him again? Why don’t I have the strength to leave him, forget him once and for all?" After all, deep down I knew that he had deceived me again, that he can’t be trusted. I wanted to hope that he broke up with - the other, but for me it was from a number of impossible missions. At this thought, I shuddered and tried to get rid of it, though I knew that it would return again and again.

"Other" - with pain, with anger and hate I thought, but the next moment I thought - why with hate? I didn’t know her and have never seen her. Maybe, she doesn’t even realize that she was also being cheated, that her feelings were also played, as well as mine.
"God, let the fact that I forgave him again, wouldn’t be the biggest mistake of my life," I begged silently, knowing that my pleading will be followed by silence. My thoughts were interrupted by the ring of my cell phone. Seeing on the phone's screen the name "Lucas", I couldn’t help smiling. My soul sank into joy just like the moment when I looked at the rainbow.

- Emma, where are you? We all are, already, in Amanda's house, waiting for you - I heard a pleasant and beloved voice coming from the phone.
- I will arrive, soon. There is a traffic jam on the road, it seems some kind of accident - I replied with a smile.
- Are you okay? - Lucas asked with concern, whether due to the fact that I said something about the road accident, or because he felt the anxiety in my voice.
- Yes, everything is well ... honestly - I said automatically, though I knew that he wouldn’t believe me. He knew me too well for the eight years of our friendship and he was already able to recognize any note in my voice.
- Okay - a bit mistrustfully, he said - let's talk, when you arrive. I kiss you.
His last words sounded so gentle, that I almost felt his kiss on my cheek.
- I kiss you, too - I smiled.
After this conversation, the rest of the road, I tried not to think about my problems and to forget everything, even for a few minutes. So, without realizing, I was already standing before the closed door and was waiting when someone will open it to me. When the door opened before me appeared a thin, red-haired girl with blue eyes. Her little red lips stretched into a broad smile.
- Emma, finally you came - almost with enthusiasm, she said, and hugged me as if we haven't seen for ages.
- Happy birthday - I said into her ear as she hugged me. At that point, I something realized,
- Oh, - I said guiltily, and Amanda immediately took a step back.
- What happened? - Almost frightened, asked Amanda.
- I forgot the flowers in the taxi. Sorry, I’m such a mess - I said, feeling like I'm starting to burn with shame.
- Come on, important thing is that you didn't forget yourself - she said with a smile and then added – Come in. Besides, Lucas congratulated me on behalf of both of you.
- What would I do without him? - I asked myself, thinking that Lucas asked me to buy just the flowers as he bought the gift, but even the flowers I managed to forget in a taxi.
- I don't know. Which year, I tell you that he's your happiness, that you have to be with him. But you don't listen to me, and you date with someone, who then breaks your heart - Amanda's speech was so hot that I couldn’t insert a word - You already know each other for 8 years - continued Amanda - What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for your teeth to fall out? Maybe then you'll decide? She turned to me and stood in front of me, closing the road. Caught unawares, I even winced.
- So, what do you say? - She asked seriously.
- What can I say? In my defense I'll say that we have chosen the gift together with Lucas - I said jokingly.
- There! Well, with whom I speak, anyway nobody listens to me - with anger, she almost cried out and turned to leave. I was amused by her reaction. I grabbed her arm, trying at the same time not to laugh.
- Wait a minute! Well, no offense! You know that this topic is closed. We are very good friends, almost like brother and sister...
- Yeah ... brother and sister - cut me off, Amanda - better shut up or I 'm not responsible for myself.
- You know, for such a small and fragile girl, you're too angry and aggressive.
- You haven't seen me in work - she said proudly.
- Okay ... ninja, tell me better what John gave you on your birthday? - I asked, hoping to change the subject. At my question Amanda's eyes lit up. She smiled broadly and enthusiastically responded,
- Remember I told you that I saw earrings with pearls in a jewelry store, that I liked very much, so, John bought them for me. Can you imagine? They are so beautiful! I'll get them and I'll show them to you - and with those words she almost disappeared out of my sight.
I walked into the living room and looked around. In the apartment was quite a lot of people, and I knew almost all of them, but I still felt strange until my eyes fell on a man who was standing near a table with drinks and was talking to an unfamiliar to me, girl. He was standing with his back to me, but I could find Lucas anywhere, because for eight years I had studied him well. I looked at him and wondered who that girl was with whom he was talking to. Also, I tried to imagine what he was telling her, as she was listening to him with such interest that, seemed that she was even glowing.
I involuntarily smiled, because it wasn't the first time I ever saw such a gaze of women, when they were talking to Lucas, and I understood them perfectly. After all, a handsome tall brunet is the dream of almost each second girl. Besides his black eyes and a piercing gaze which sometimes was breathtaking, could conquer a lot of female hearts, but at the same time, they could also break them.
- Well, here - I heard the voice of Amanda's. Turning, I saw that she was holding those same earrings, about which she spoke.
- They are beautiful. Why are you not wearing them? - I asked.
- I will put them ... later - with a sly smile, Amanda said.
- I see… - I smiled - then maybe we all should go?
- Don't worry! I won't show you to the door - she said, while was transferring her glance from me to someone behind me. As soon as she finished speaking, I felt like someone put his hand around my waist and I instantly turned my head to the side where, I felt that someone was standing next to me. I wasn't surprised to see Lucas, as I get used to the fact that he, frequently and without a word, embraced me. His big eyes were looking at me with interest.
- Hi, beautiful. You came and haven't even approached to me to say "hello" - he said, a little reproachfully.
- Simply, I didn’t want to disturb your sweet conversation with the beautiful stranger... In any case, she is a stranger to me...
- Are you jealous? - A bit prickly, he asked, having time to wink at Amanda, which, obviously, was enjoying my conversation with Lucas and was burning with impatience to find out my answer to the Lucas' question.
- Of course - calmly and confidently I replied, as if it was a natural answer to his question - You're my best friend and I need to know who she is and that she won’t hurt you...
- I'm not a little boy to hurt me - immediately replied Lucas. - But you are small and defenseless.
I wanted to object, but when I was with him, I really felt like a little girl. I wasn't sure why that was happening - whether because of his high growth, whether due to the fact that he was four years older than me and he always took care of me and protected me ... but, maybe for both of those reasons.
- I have you to protect me - finally, I said.
Our conversation was interrupted by John, who came to us,
- How do you get here? - He asked me.
- Slowly - I smiled.
- We have already thought that you won't come...
- How could I miss the birthday of my best friend - I said, looking at Amanda, who embraced John - By the way - I went on - You made a great gift to Amanda.
- I tried - with pride, John said.
- Well, what you'll give to John for his birthday? After all, it's very soon - Lucas asked Amanda.
- I know the perfect gift for both of you - I continued - It’s time for you to make a little John or a little Amanda.
- I also thought about it - Lucas has supported me - You've been married for 5 years, it's time to have children.
- And for you, it's time to take up the mind and make up your own families - John has immediately shifted the direction of the conversation.
- It is high time - has agreed Amanda - Emma you are 27 years old. What are you waiting for? And don’t look at me with your big ... brown eyes - she said angrily, feeling my gaze on herself.
- You tell me, also, that I'm already old - I have outraged - and generally, why do you run into me? Lucas will soon be 31 and he’s still not married...
- Well, thank you - I have heard Lucas' a little dissatisfied, voice, but I haven’t had time to tell him anything, because Amanda wouldn't let him to get into our conversation.
- Not old - she said as if she hadn't heard what I just have said about Lucas - Simply it's time to find a good guy and get married? And please, let him be not such a jerk as your ex – André!
I looked at Lucas, begging him with my eyes that he stood up for me and supported me.
- What? - He asked surprised, like he didn't hear what Amanda has just said. - What are you looking at me? I agree with Amanda, he's a jerk...
- That's it! Enough is enough! - I interrupted them - Let's finish this conversation. This refers to all of you. And you - I said angrily to Lucas - You're still calling yourself a friend. You said that you will protect me...
- That's right. I protect you ... from him.
I felt how Lucas began to get angry, as the muscles on his arm, which he hugged me, strained, and in his eyes there was anger. There was a feeling that if André was at that moment in front of him, then he was ready to kill him. "It's good that he's not here", I thought.
- It's ok ... Calm down - I said quietly and covered his hand with mine.
- Yes, let's close this topic. Besides, everything is already in the past - calmly said Amanda.
- Sweetheart - John has told to Amanda - let's go and talk with other guests while they haven't run up. And you have fun, will talk later - he has told to us, and then they with Amanda have left.
I slowly lowered a hand of Lucas. Having released from his embrace, I have turned to him to say that I don't like how he gets angry every time he hears the name of André. But, I didn't have time to say anything because I saw as the girl with whom he has spoken earlier, was approaching to us.
-Your friend is coming to us - I whispered.
- What? - Asked Lucas blankly, but I didn’t have time to answer because the next moment she already stood near Lucas.
- Hi. I am Brittani - she presented and gave me her hand.
- Nice to meet you, I'm Emma - I said, shaking her hand.
- Brittani's a nurse, she works with me and John – explained Lucas, who was a bit surprised by what was happening. However, his words were more like an excuse.
- Yes, I have recently transferred to the surgery department, where I met such good doctors as Lucas and John - she said with a broad smile, patting Lucas on the arm, which caused my smile. But only Lucas wasn’t smiling, it seemed that the whole conversation irritated him.
- I understand - I said - Well ... then I will not bother you and I'll leave you...
Lucas looked at me with a gaze that said something like "you'll regret about this ." I knew that he wasn't pleased with what I said and that I was going to leave, but it was necessary for me. I wanted rather to run away there where wouldn’t be so many people and that girl was a very good reason to do it. Besides, I was right. I saw how Brittani wanted to remain alone with Lucas and I was a great hindrance for her at that time.
Lucas wanted to object, but I was saved by a call of my mobile phone,
- Sorry, I must answer - I said and quickly headed to the exit of the apartment. I so hastened to leave that, even, didn’t look who was calling and I immediately responded.
- Hi honey - I heard a familiar voice.
- Hi, André - I said, without even specifying who was calling.
- Where are you? Still at Amanda?
- Yes, why?
- Simply, I thought that you have already freed and we could celebrate our reconciliation.
- It's very tempting but today it won't work. I can't leave from holiday, I just have recently came...
- And of course for you, friends are on the first place - added André, and I just couldn’t believe that he has said it.
- What, I'm sorry? - I asked astonished, but in response, I heard only silence. Apparently, he realized what he said and that I was hurt. - But don’t you think that you have no right to speak in that tone of my friends? I love my friends, and you know it perfectly, and they will always support me in difficult times...
- Unlike me ... Is that what you meant to say?
- No ... you said it - I answered though I thought about the same. His was never been there, when I needed it and he knew it. That's probably why he was so angry.
- Then I'll pick you up and I'll drive you home - he said quietly, thus changing the subject.
- It's no need - I said quickly, remembering the reaction of Lucas when we talked about André. And André himself began to get angry and was clenching his fists just at the mention of Lucas. I don't know how it happened, but my best friend and my boyfriend just couldn't stand each other.
- And even that, you do not want! Lucas certainly is there too and he will take you home, because he doesn’t leave you on a step - as in the proof of what I thought, André almost shouted to me in the phone.
- Enough! I can get home on my own, without someone's help, and maybe you will not hold me scenes of jealousy, you do not have this right...
- Okay, okay. Take it easy. Let’s not look back ... we have just made it up. Let's not quarrel - tried to calm me André.
- You started it - I mumbled.
- Sorry ... I didn’t want. Stay with your friends ... have fun, and we will meet tomorrow - he said and, without waiting for some response from me, has interrupted the connection, leaving me in utter confusion.
I was standing near the railing, staring somewhere to the bottom, in the space between the floors, though, all I could see was a huge black hole. Suddenly, I felt great fatigue, not physical but emotional, and it was so strong that I just wasn't able to stand. I took a few steps from the railing and sat on the steps.
André's words rang in my head mingled with words of Lucas, on how they felt about each other. And, my doubts about the correctness of my recent decisions had begun to torment me again. Then to all of this were added Amanda's words about André and I had finally remembered the familiar to me feeling when I was torn between friends and André, though it wasn’t always like that.
When our relationship with André, had just started, everything was different - then we all were friends. It seemed that it was an eternity ago, but since that time had passed only a little over a year. How much can happen in one year...
Suddenly I remembered how we met with André. I always knew I shouldn’t meet with the guys on the street, that nothing good will come out. But he was so cheerful, and last but not least, handsome that I couldn't resist our acquaintance. Besides, his green eyes have captivated me at the very moment when I first looked into them.
Everything was so beautiful - flowers, romantic dinners, night walks under the moon, beautiful words and promises, in short, everything was like a fairy tale. And what girl doesn’t dream about a fairy tale? He wasn’t like other guys I have met. However, prior to the meeting with André, generally, all the guys seemed to me uninteresting and even boring. My relationship didn’t last beyond one date. For me, all dates were a waste of time - where you have to sit with a stranger and talk to some topics that you are not interested in and during which, you curse yourself for not having stayed at home.
But when I have met André, it was all so sudden and fun that I haven't even felt as time was passing by. I didn't know what was happening to me and where I was ... until the moment when it was over as suddenly as it began. How can it be that one day, the person just disappears? Simply, he doesn't come, doesn't call, doesn't write anything ... as if he never existed in your life, as if all those four months of your relationship were just a dream - a beautiful dream that has passed and you woke up, returning to the reality.
At first, I was worried about him, I thought that something was wrong with him or his family until ... one day, a few weeks after his disappearance, I saw him in the park ... with a girl. Of course, one would have thought that it was his sister or friend, if they weren’t holding hands, hugging and kissing.
I perfectly remembered the piercing pain that I felt when I saw them. The pain from which the earth shook under my feet and everything became gray, as if someone tore out your heart and trampled it right before your eyes - it was the pain of betrayal and treachery.
I couldn’t understand - didn't I deserve some sort of explanation or farewell, at least something. What was I for him? Just a toy?
I was completely crushed and exhausted due to lack of sleep and nights in tears. It seemed that it would never end, that I won't survive all that, but ... I had Lucas. All that time he was there for me ... I don’t know how I would survived that time without his help. You can tell that he fixed me and taught me to smile again. He had never seen me so broken, and probably that's why he couldn’t stand André and didn’t want to see or even hear his name, however, as all my other friends.
Lucas was furious when he found out that a few months later, André showed up and, after long conversations, explanations and courtship, I forgave him. I was still too weak to reject him, to forget and leave him in the past. All his entreaties effected on me as hypnosis and I believed that he regretted that he left, that in his life was no one except me ... I believed him or, simply, I wanted to believe him in order to calm down and in hope that the pain from my chest will disappear.
In the end, I gave another chance to André and to our relationship. But, that was my heart who couldn’t forget all that had happened before, couldn’t forget the pain that I experienced when I saw him with another girl and those memories were torturing me. I always suspected that he had someone else, that he cheated on me and I couldn't banish those doubts away.
Jealousy was killing me slowly and painfully and along with me, our relationship was dying too, despite the fact that André assured me that he wasn't cheating on me, that everything was just in my imagination and I simply didn't trust him. But how can you trust someone who has betrayed you once?
Then, I decided to calm down, convincing myself that all those were just my suspicions and I tried to ignore the fact that he worked too hard, that we rarely saw each other and I often spent the holidays alone. I decided to trust him and do not ask him about anything until I spent New Year's Eve alone. Well, not quite alone - in the company of friends, but without André, who unexpectedly had to go to his parents for the holidays, leaving me without a clear explanation why I couldn’t go with him. None of my friends asked why he wasn’t at the party, but I felt their compassionate gaze over me, and especially the sight of Lucas that burned through me as if it was saying «I warned you." All the holidays, I couldn’t get rid of the thought that André was with the other, who was obviously more important to him than I was. That was the last straw in our relationship, and I knew that I could no longer fight for them. For me, it became clear that I didn't want any more of those relationships.
After the holidays, when André finally returned from his parents, I came to him and told him that our relationship was over, because I knew that he didn't spend the holidays with his parents, but with other girl. I told him that in the hope that he will deny everything, but he didn't say a word and that silence was more eloquent than any words. I remember how I stood up and headed for the exit. My legs were shaking, I practically forced myself to go and not to fall. I saw nothing, my eyes were filled with tears. I was just praying to leave that apartment as soon as possible, so I couldn't change my mind and return to him.
He remained seated, but when I reached the door, he shouted after me "I love you." For a few seconds, I froze in place. My soul was torn by doubts: to stay or to leave. But, I found the strength to lift my arm, to reach the handle, to open the door, and, even, not to look back.
The first thing I did when I got out of the apartment, I ran to Lucas. I wanted him to hug me and to say that everything will be ok. I didn’t remember how I got to his apartment, but when he opened the door, I rushed into his arms and wept. He tightly embraced me, without asking anything until I calmed down and told him everything. After he had listened carefully to me, he just said quietly, "my little girl" and just from those words I already felt better. He didn’t reproach me the fact that he told me that this will happen, and didn’t promise that everything will go away, he just was there and held my hand, as always.
How can I explain to Lucas that I have forgiven André once again and that, in spite of parting with him, we never stopped to talk. André just wouldn’t let me do that, in spite of the fact that he didn’t stop me when I left him. He didn’t stop calling me, despite the fact that I didn't answer his calls, he continued to send me flowers and leave a voicemail messages on how he regretted about everything. I don’t know how, but he made sure I agreed to meet with him after our breakup in order just to talk. And that's how began our "friendly" relations, which consisted in the fact that we sometimes met in the city, talked about various things, but never started a conversation about our relationship ... until today.
And, now, I sat on the stairs and thought, "Am I such a big fool, that I believed he loves me, that I'm the only one for him?"
I remembered all that he said to me today, almost word for word. We sat in the park and talked about something, when he took my hand, looked into my eyes and whispered, "Forgive me, forgive me. I know that I caused you a great pain, that I hurt you and it's killing me. But I love you, I really love you and I need you, I miss you.
Hearing his words, I felt like my heart began to break into two parts, one of which wanted to believe in the words of André and the other one was afraid that I would suffer again, and the second part was much stronger than the first one. I slowly pulled out my arm, and barely audibly I said,
- I don’t want to talk about it. Everything is in the past...
- No, nothing is in the past - he interrupted me - nothing is in the past. We're here, we love each other, and would be a mistake not to give us another chance.
- I don’t want to go again through something I already have survived , I don't want ... - I almost cried out in fear that he won’t hear me and that his words could convince me - ... I know that you cheated on me, even though you didn’t confess, I know that you spent the holidays with her, and left me alone ...
- I'm sorry - suddenly he whispered, for the first time admitting that I was right - Sorry...
I don't even know what I felt at that moment. On the one hand I was relieved that he finally confessed, but then again, I was pierced by the searing pain of betrayal, because of which I couldn't breathe and the tears quietly rushed to my eyes.
I was right, and my nightmare just became a reality. I looked at him through my tears and I couldn’t say anything else. André moved closer to me, gently squeezed my hands between his palms and looking into my eyes, he said,
- I know that I was wrong, I know I'm an idiot and that I offended you, when I was supposed to defend you. But, honey ... I love you so much. When I lost you, I realized that I don't need anyone but you, I realized that I lost a part of myself - he made a little pause, breathed, and went a little quieter - as soon as I realized that I lost you, I parted with ... the other - saying the last words, his voice trembled as if he was hurt about it. But at that moment my feelings were too hurt in order to draw attention to that. I looked at him in amazement,
- This should please me somehow, calm down? I understand that if we wouldn’t break up you would now be together?
- No - he said quickly - I just want to say that I understood that I can’t live without you, and that I don’t want anybody but you. Forgive me, please forgive me, - he almost prayed - I had a few months to realize what I have done. But I promise that this time things will be different. I changed and I won't cause you any pain. I promise. Don't turn away from me. Give us one last chance.
I didn't know what to say or what to do. There was a feeling that my brain exploded into thousands of small pieces, and I couldn't put them together so that I could at least somehow think clearly.
My heart was beating in a furious pace and it seemed like a minute later it will jump out of my chest. This time, the idea to be with him again, see his smile, his eyes were a thousand times stronger than the fear to feel the pain of betrayal once again. But despite that, I was ready to argue, except that André wouldn’t let me do it. Before I could say a word, I felt how his soft lips touched mine very gently, leading me away from all the doubts and anxieties. I gave up. I didn't want to argue with him anymore, didn't want anything to ask, I just enjoyed his kisses which I missed so much.
- The last chance - he whispered, for an instant having come off from the kiss.
- The last chance - I whispered in reply, and again felt the taste of his kiss on my lips...

My memories were interrupted by the sound of an opening door and agitated Lucas' voice.
- Emma, I've been looking for you for a half an hour. I thought that you have already left. Your cell phone is not responding...
- I turned it off - I said quietly, while Lucas came over and sat beside me on the stairs.
- Why? - He asked more calmly.
- I don't know, probably it happened by accident.
- What are you doing here? - He asked with interest.
- Thinking...
- About what?
- Oh, just about everything. Nothing interesting and important - I lied, removing my gaze from him to the side. Lucas gently touched with his fingertips to my chin and turned my head to him. He looked into my eyes,
- Are you okay? Nothing has happened? - He asked
- Everything's fine - I said, lowering my eyes.
- Emma, I know you. Something happened, but you don't want to tell me...
- Everything's fine - I said again, hoping that he would believe it. Of course, it wasn't good, because I had no idea how to tell him about my reconciliation with André. I was afraid to tell him, I was afraid of his reaction.
- And don't look at me like this - I said in an offended tone.
- How?
- Like I'm guilty of something - hearing my words, Lucas smiled.
- Okay, my culprit - he said, getting up off the stairs and holding out his hand to me - Let's go.
- Where? - With interest I asked, grabbing his arm. He gently pulled me to him and the next moment I was standing next to him.
- Home. I'll take you, once your car is being repaired - he said.
- And Amanda won't be offended? - I asked guiltily, because I really wanted to leave.
- Amanda will be offended if she sees you how you sit here on the stairs, so we'll better go. But first ... I'll say good-bye to Amanda for the two of us, and you wait me here.
- Ok - I said with relief, glad that I didn’t have to explain to Amanda why we were leaving. I grabbed my purse and was already at the start, I had only to wait for Lucas.

On the street a bit darkened and it was damp. The rain hasn't stopped even for a minute, but on the contrary, it seemed that it has only intensified.
We were riding in the car and were listening to some very sad song, though I haven't heard a word of that song. I was looking through the window at passing cars, at people, at the trees. Because of the rain and because of dusk, it seemed that the city was plunged into a kind of mysterious secret that fascinated and which wasn't able to be solved by people.
- What are you thinking about? - Asked Lucas.
- Nothing, just looking at the street. This weather fascinates me...
- Well, I almost forgot that you love rain...
- And you don’t - I continued and after a short pause, I asked - Your new girlfriend wasn't offended that you left so early?
- I don’t think so. She left me her phone number, so I'll call her ... when I'll want.
- Call her! She's beautiful and not shy - I suggested, though in reality, I didn't really like the idea that he will call her. Lucas smiled at me.
- Are you jealous? - With a satisfied mien he said.
- No, I'm not - I answered quickly.
- You are jealous, you are - he began to tease me like a child and I, without hesitation, behaved myself as a child, too - I showed my tongue to him and turned away quickly, so that he, God forbid, hadn't time to do the same.
- Ha-ha-ha - he said, satisfied - What, the truth hurts your eyes?
- Ha-ha-ha - I mimicked him - No, just sometimes you act like a little boy...
- Oh, look who's talking! - He exclaimed - Who forgot the flowers in a taxi? Tell me!
- Well, I ... I just thought of something and I got out of the car ... and in general, it has nothing to do with it! I just want you to find a good, beautiful and intelligent girl who will love you more than life. And I don’t think that ... - and at that moment I hesitated, as I have forgotten her name, but Lucas has helped me in time,
- Brittani...
- Thank you - I thanked him and went on - that Brittani is the right girl for you.
- Why? - Lucas asked with interest - You don’t even know her. You saw her a couple of seconds and didn't even talk to her...
- Call it a women's intuition - I said, in response Lucas just grinned and his reaction angered me.
- And, in general when you'll learn to build a lasting relationship with a girl?
Surprised, Lucas turned his head toward me, forgetting that he was driving and that he had to watch the road.
- Here it's getting already interesting. Can I hear more about it?
- Of course, just don’t forget to look at the road. Okay?
When he looked away from me and turned the sight back on the road, I continued
- Remember how many girls have you had, but you never dated with any of them longer than three months. First, you didn't like her nature, then her behavior at the parties, then, you didn't like the fact that she didn't have sense of humor ... I can continue this list forever. You have to grow up and realize that the perfect girl doesn't exist.
During my speech, Lucas has never interrupted me, but when I finished, he looked at me with corner of his eye and in a the teacher's tone said,
- First of all- I had good reasons to break up with them. Secondly - some of them left me, and thirdly - my perfect girl exists - he said, and looked at me as if those words were meant for me, and for a moment I even embarrassed.
I listened to Lucas and his words made me smile. Sometimes, he really seemed to be a little boy who believes in fairy tales. His endless optimism, was giving me the confidence, too, that everything will be alright and that everyone can find their perfect match.
- You're an incurable romantic - I whispered. He smiled and took my hand as carefully and tenderly as always.
- You are the same romantic - he said - you’re waiting for the prince for all your life, just you haven't found him yet. In addition, André tormented you by his behavior and his infidelities, but most importantly it's all in the past.
From his words, I felt like a wave of fear and anxiety hit me, because of which I even felt sick. I remembered that I still haven't told him about my reconciliation with André and every time he was pronouncing angrily André's name, I more and more didn’t want to tell him. I knew that I should ... should tell him, but I was so afraid of his reaction, that words just froze in my throat and I couldn't say anything.
His hand was still holding mine but now it seemed to me that he held it not so gently, but on the contrary he squeezed it badly, as if he already knew that I was hiding something from him.
I carefully pulled my hand out of his, pretending that I needed it to remove the hair behind my ear, but Lucas didn't buy that.
- What is it? - He asked. He looked at me with his black eyes, and I almost started shaking with anxiety. I've already wanted to tell him, but, suddenly, he stopped the car and I realized that we've gotten to my house.
- Here we are - I said with relief, ignoring his question, already. I wanted as quickly as possible to get out of the car, get into my apartment and avoid this conversation with Lucas at least for one night.
- I'll go to you to take my jacket - said Lucas, and my plan about escape failed.
- Of course - I said, and even tried to smile.

- Your jacket is on a hanger - I said to Lucas, entering the apartment. I walked over to the couch and turned to him. He was already holding his black leather jacket in his hands.
- It helped me greatly, almost, rescued me from the rain a couple of days ago - I smiled.
- I missed it, it's my favorite jacket - said Lucas as a child, who talked about his favorite toy.
- And mine, too - I agreed - We've chosen it together.
For a few moments the silence has reigned in the room, and we were just looking at each other.
- Well, tomorrow will be a hard day - I broke the silence - so, go home, rest and get ready for a new week and new operations which you will do...
- You know, I have a feeling that you want me to leave faster.
He was so right, that I wasn't able to object, but I only looked away to the side.
- That's it! - He exclaimed - Now you'll tell me everything. You know that you can't hide anything from me. You can always talk to me, to tell what happened...
- I know - I said, almost inaudibly.
- Well, what happened? - Asked Lucas, and I didn't even know how to start my story. I turned away, I took off my coat, put it on the back of the couch, and still standing with my back to Lucas, I asked,
- Do you promise not to get angry?
- Have you killed someone? - He asked jokingly. I turned to him and tried to begin to tell him how I reconciled with André.
- Well, today, in the park, I've met with André - after this sentence, I looked at Lucas, at his reaction. His face became serious, it seemed that he was ready to hear anything, and I decided that that was the perfect moment to tell him everything.
- So ... we had a long conversation about this and that, then the conversation turned about our relationship ... André, very strongly asked me to forgive him, he promised that things will change, he said he loves me...
- And you believed him! - Lucas yelled, from what I flinched. I wanted to say that he was right and that I believed André again, but in return I just kept quiet. Lucas already guessed about everything and I didn’t have to explain to him about what happened.
- Emma! - He exclaimed - How can you trust him after what you went through because of him? He almost killed you! How do you not understand that?
Lucas harshly made pair of steps toward me and, despite the fact that I knew he wouldn’t cause me any harm, I did a couple of steps back. I looked at him. He was furious.
- Calm down - I said quietly - I know you dislike him, but try to understand that I love him. I decided to give him another chance, last chance. I believe that he has changed...
- People don't change, Emma! - He shouted - He stayed the same as a year ago, the same jerk!
- Enough! - I have already cried out - It's my life and my choice and it's nothing you can do about it. Got it?!
- Of course, this is your life so you can destroy it as you like without worrying about what are feeling your friends and family about this.
- And what does this mean? - I asked in perplexity.
- Do you think that we don’t care what you feel and what are going through? You think it was easy to look at a person you become after he left you? It wasn’t you but a faint shadow of you. Do you think it was easy for me to see your tear-stained eyes?
I remained silent and was listening to him. I knew the pain I suffered from the separation, but I never thought what my friends and family felt about what was happening to me. For some reason, I was sure that they didn't know all that I've experienced.
- Then you, again, reconciled with him, in spite of everything - Lucas continued his speech - but we have accepted it, we didn’t tell you anything, though we didn’t like that you were back together. And what happened? He cheated on you again. Do you understand it?
Lucas to such an extent was screaming and rushing through the room that at one point I thought my neighbors would call the police.
For an instant, he fell silent and stood in front of the commode, on which were placed frames with photos of my parents, my picture with him from the wedding of Amanda and John, their photos and other pictures which depicted the precious memories to me.
As he was looking on those pictures, I quietly walked up to him, I stood beside him and carefully took his hand. His hand was shaking with anger. At first, he didn’t respond to my touch, but after a few moments he gently squeezed my hand and then I began to speak.
- Lucas, my dear, please, understand me. I don’t want to be torn between two fires. You're my best friend, he's my boyfriend and I want you both to be with me. I don’t want to lose anyone of you ... - My speech was interrupted by the fact, that Lucas released my hand and stepped to the side. I understood that he wouldn’t accept or understand my reconciliation with André. I couldn't think of anything to convince him that everything will be fine, that everything will be different, I couldn’t think of anything so he didn't distance himself from me, so he was still beside me.
- I didn’t think that you are so naive - Lucas said - Well, you first time believed him, then you believed him a second time, but the third time - it already passes all the boundaries.
His words have infuriated me.
- What's wrong with that I'm trying to keep my relationship with him! - I asked with an elevated voice, - What's wrong with that? Sorry, but I can't leave people as calm and easy as you...
- What do you mean? - He asked, surprised.
- I mean that you can't build a long lasting relationship. I told you in the car. You are not trying to save your relationship with anyone. And you still talking about André, at least he's trying to ... - but I didn't have time to finish my thought, as Lucas walked quickly over to me and, when he closely approached me, he said with a hard tone,
- Never, do you hear me, never compare me with him - as I was scared of his act so I said without thinking,
- What? It's not pleasant to hear the truth, is it?
- Shut up Emma, please! - Lucas yelled at me - You don’t know what you're saying. You don’t know anything about why I haven't had a long relationship. But I've always been honest with my girlfriend, I've never cheated on her, and I didn't behave with her as he behaved with you...
Astonished, I couldn’t move, but I only could ask him in a low voice,
- Please Lucas, try to understand...
- I don’t want to understand anything and will not even try to understand - in the raised tone, he replied to my request- I don’t want for me to see again how you'll cry, how you'll be tormented by jealousy and how he will cheat on you again. I'm tired. Do what you want, I will not take part in it - and with that he grabbed his jacket, which he had previously put on the back of the couch and quickly moved toward the exit.
I stood and watched him go and I couldn’t move, or at least say something. My eyes filled with tears and a storm began to rage in my soul. This was our first serious quarrel.
Before the door, Lucas stopped, turned to me and in a hurting cold voice he said,
- When he'll cheat on you or he'll leave you, don't come to me for consolation - he said, and with that he left the apartment, loudly slamming the door.
From the sound of a slammed door I involuntarily flinched and tears, like a free river flowed down my cheeks. I was standing rooted to the same spot where Lucas left me, trying to comprehend what happened a moment ago. But instead of realizing until the end what had happened, I just cried. I knew that this time our quarrel was too serious and that we won't make it up as easily as it used to. I knew that Lucas could understand and forgive me almost everything, but I also knew that he will not understand or accept the fact that I and André were back together.
"What if we won't make it up?" - The idea slipped my mind. Because of this possibility all inside of me shrank with pain, and suddenly there wasn’t air to breathe. "It can’t be," I reassured myself, "he will calm down, he'll understand and everything will be as it was before. After all, it simply can't happen that I with Lucas would never reconcile, it can't happen that we'll break up because of anything, it just can't happen. "
Finally, realizing that it was time for me to budge, I slowly walked toward the door and when I reached it, I locked it.
I tried, at least somehow, to move around the apartment, but my whole body suddenly became so heavy that I hardly had the strength to get to the couch and collapse on it. It took several more minutes before I realized that Lucas had gone very nervous and angry, and that in such a state he sat behind the wheel. At that moment, I felt like a wave of alarm for him passed through me. Knowing that he won't answer, I called Amanda. After I said hello to her and have answered the question about how I got home, I decided to ask her about what I wanted to.
- Amanda, I have a small request to you - I said, and without waiting for her to ask "what request," I continued - I want you to call Lucas and ask him where he is and if he's alright.
- Why? What happened? - She asked anxiously.
- We had a little fight, and when he walked away from me, he was very nervous. I worry about him.
- Why did you fight? - She asked without hiding her curiosity.
- I told him something and he went mad - I muttered, hoping that she won’t understand what I just have told her.
- And what exactly did you say to him? - She asked, having heard, after all, my mumbling.
- I'll tell you later...
- Only one thing could infuriate Lucas - Amanda suggested, not paying attention to my last words - is André.
I said nothing in assent, and not having heard from me a word, she asked,
- Is this true?
- Yes - I answered briefly.
- And what exactly did you say to him about André? - She asked with fear, and after I took a deep breath of air in my chest, I blurted out in one breath,
- That we are back toghe ... - but I hadn't even had time to finish the sentence as I heard a loud cry of Amanda in my ear.
- What!? Are you insane?
- Amanda don't, I beg you. I had a very tough day today. Let's leave all the teaching for tomorrow. Please - I almost implored her.
- Okay - she said calmly.
- Call me, please after you talk to Lucas.
- Well - she said, and the phone call was interrupted.

I was sitting and waiting for Amanda's call, but when half an hour had passed and she still hadn't called, I was ready to call her myself. From this thought I was stopped by a knock at the door. The first thought that came into my head was that Lucas came back. The severity of the body was gone, I jumped out of bed and ran to the door. Without hesitating a second to look through the peephole, I immediately opened the door.
On the threshold was standing none other than André with a bouquet of flowers in his hands and a big smile on his lips. Seeing him, I felt disappointment and joy simultaneously. The disappointment was from the fact that it wasn’t Lucas and joy came from the fact that it was André. A few seconds later, the disappointment disappeared and I gladly, literally, jumped into his arms.
- I’m so glad that you came - I whispered.
- Here's what I call a joyful meeting! - He exclaimed happily, clutching me in his arms. – I’m also glad that I came, though I wasn't sure that you are already at home.
- I'm already home - I whispered, having time to think with horror what would have happened if he had come an hour earlier.
- We'll keep standing like this? Embracing on the threshold? - He asked quietly, and I instantly unclasped my hands and stepped back.
- Sorry. Please come in - I said, and at that moment I heard how my phone rang. Saying nothing, I ran to the phone and answered the call.
- So, I spoke with Lucas. He's already home. Everything is fine - I heard the voice of Amanda.
- Thank you - I said with relief.
- He guessed that you asked me to call him. I had to listen to such a tirade on the phone ... He is very angry at you, Emma...
- I know - I said - Thank you. We will meet tomorrow and will talk.
- I can’t wait - she said - See you tomorrow.
- See you tomorrow - I answered.

When I finished the conversation with Amanda, I turned to the door, where I left André, but he wasn’t there anymore. The door was closed, and André was already standing beside the couch.
- Who called? - He asked.
- Amanda - I answered.
- What did she want?
- We agreed to meet tomorrow ... - I began to lie, but then I saw André’s look and I knew that he won't believe me, so I decided to tell him the truth - In general, I strongly fell out with Lucas and asked Amanda to call him to find out how he reached home - I was talking as fast as I could, so André couldn’t interrupt me.
After André listened to me, the silence hung in the room. I was looking at him and was waiting for his usual reaction when it came to Lucas. He was always angry and jealous and we fought a lot because of my friendship with Lucas.
André came to me and handed me the flowers that he hadn’t had time to give me and with a quiet and tender voice he said,
- Don't worry! Sweetheart, you and Lucas have never quarreled for a long time. Several days will pass and you will make peace.
I felt like my eyes widened in surprise. I didn’t expect that from him. I was shocked in a good way, and I thought, "has he really changed, or at least tries to do it." Suddenly, my soul became calmer, even if only for a while but still calmer. I took the flowers, and with relief by the fact that I managed to avoid another scandal, I said,
- Perhaps you're right, it will be the way you said.
- Why did you fight? - André asked, sitting on the couch. I sat next to him and no longer afraid of his reaction, I decided to tell him all.
- I told him that we are back together, again ... - and there I don’t know why, I suddenly stopped and was unable to squeeze any more word from me. Somehow, it seemed to me that I will let down Lucas if I'll talk with André about our quarrel.
- He doesn't trust me - André said calmly - and he has that right, but I'll prove that I've changed, that I will never cause you any pain.
I smiled and pressed my hand against his forehead,
- Are you sick? - I asked.
- Why? - He asked in bewilderment.
- Simply, I can’t believe that we're talking about Lucas and you're not angry, but on the contrary - you are defending him.
- Emma! - He exclaimed – I’m talking to you seriously and you still perceive it as a joke - he said a little angrily.
I thought it was even funny. He was like an offended child. I immediately tried to calm him down,
- Honey, I don’t perceive it as a joke. Simply, your behavior seems strange to me.
- From this day forward, I'll be only this way - he smiled and I couldn’t resist kissing him, but quickly, so he wouldn't have time to respond, otherwise we wouldn’t stand up from the couch for a long time. Immediately after the kiss, I quickly got up and said,
- You know, I'd probably go and put flowers in water. I don’t want them faded quickly...
- No, it's not fair - almost pleaded André, grabbing my arm.
- Not fair - I agreed - to the flowers.
- You are very bad...
- I know - I said contentedly, and then took the flowers and headed to the kitchen.
Entering the kitchen, I saw a vase on the table and, again, thought of Lucas, because just yesterday I threw the flowers presented by him. I couldn’t help smiling. Lucas has always liked to make presents, to arrange surprises without some reason. He always knew how to turn any day into a holiday. Suddenly, I felt a slight sadness of the fact that we had a fight. I poured water into a vase and put the flowers in it and taking a deep breath, I tried to calm myself, "Everything will be fine," I whispered, "everything will be fine." "We've never quarreled with him for more than one day, we went through a lot, good and bad, but still remained good friends," I thought.
Reflecting on our friendship with Lucas, I hadn’t heard how André entered the kitchen. He came up behind me, his arms wrapped around my waist squeezing me in his arms.
- What are you thinking about? - He asked.
- Nothing interesting - I lied. André didn’t comment on my answer and I was glad.
- What shall we do tonight? - He asked, gently swaying from side to side as if he was dancing, thus forcing me to move in his rhythm - Would you like to have dinner somewhere in town?
- No - I replied without hesitation, because I was too tired to go anywhere - let's stay home, sit here together - just you and me.
- I was hoping you'd say this - he said with satisfaction between the kisses, which he gifted my neck.
That evening, we did so. We had dinner at home, then embracing we watched TV until late at night. It was so nice to lie again in his arms, to feel secure, to feel safe. That evening I tried not to think about anything else, not remember. I just lay on his chest and I felt nice and peaceful...

In the morning, when I opened my eyes, I just lay a few moments trying to remember what day it was, where I was and what happened yesterday. Looking around, I saw a familiar wall to me - it was my room. The sunlight passed through the large window and lighted the room with soft, white and warm light. "Is the rain really over?" I thought.
Approaching to the window, I saw that the sky was no longer crying and that a large, smiling sun was looking down at me. I smiled happily back to the sun, and then sat on the bed and tried to remember how I got into my room. My last memory was that I was watching TV with André.
"André» his name sounded like a bell in my head and I remembered absolutely all the events of yesterday, well, except the fact how I got in my bed. The first question that rang in my head was "Where is André?"
To my delight, the answer to my question didn’t keep itself to wait and André entered the room.
- Good morning - he said with a big smile.
- Good morning - smiling too, I replied.
- How did you sleep? - He asked, sitting down next to me.
- Very good. I don't even remember how I got into my bed.
- I brought you when I saw that you fell asleep. You even snored - he smiled.
- It's not true! - I almost screamed - I don't snore - I continued in a low voice and it sounded like a childish excuse.
- But I like it. Snoring you are even sexier...
- Ha - ha, very funny. Stop mocking me.
In response, André smacked me on the lips,
- I love when you're sleepy, you're like a child - he said with such love that I embarrassed smiled and said nothing in response.
- Will you have breakfast? - He asked after a few seconds of silence, and I nodded my head in agreement.
- Well, then change your clothes and come to the kitchen - he said, then he left the room. I silently held his gaze, then looked back at myself and realized that I was still in yesterday's dress.
When I was about to get out of bed, my eyes accidentally fell on the clock, which stood on the bedside table beside the bed. Seeing the time on that clock, my mind was horrified. I was late for work, very late, very ... At that point I woke up completely. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom, on the road taking off my dress. "How could I oversleep? It is strange that Amanda hasn't called yet to yell at me that I'm late for work ", I thought on the road to the bathroom.
With the speed of light, I took a shower and got dressed in something that the first came to hand. Having approached to the mirror, I looked for a few seconds at my reflection to make sure that I was fine, having time to think that I need to cut a little bit of my dark curls. There are, after all, the advantage of the curly hair - no need to waste a lot of time for their styling, it took only a little bit of mousse or gel for the hair to outline the curls and that's it – I was ready to go.
Entering the kitchen, I saw that André was completely absorbed in the covering on the table. He tried so hard that I felt sorry that I couldn't enjoy the breakfast cooked by him.
- Please, sit down at the table. The breakfast is ready - he said, seeing that I was standing in the doorway.
- Honey, I'm very late for work - I tried, somehow, to hint that I couldn’t have breakfast. He looked at me a little surprised, and then he asked,
- Maybe, at least you'll drink a cup of coffee?
- Okay, but just very quickly - I said, coming to the table.
- I thought that you don’t work now, well, until they make the repairs - he said, handing me a cup of coffee.
- Today we have to get new furniture and see how the repair is progressing. There is almost everything ready - I said while drinking coffee. - Honey I'm sorry, but I really have to run. Amanda is waiting for me ... - I said apologetically.
- Sure, go. If I knew I would wake you earlier.
- I know, it's not your fault - I said, getting up from the table - And you? Are you working today?
- I have some evening meetings with clients, I have to show them some houses. I struggle with them for several weeks - André said, coming up to me.
- Capricious clients? - I smiled.
- Yeah - he said, and hugged me tightly - I'll miss you all day.
- I'll miss you, too...
André kissed me and I wanted so much to stay at home at least for a little bit more. But my dreams were shattered by a phone call.
- It's Amanda - I said, seeing her name on the phone screen - I have to go - I said, interrupting her call. "She will kill me," I thought.
- Bye, dear - I bid farewell and walked with quick steps to the door, saying along the way,
- You'll close the apartment, I left my keys in my room, on the bedside table.
When I reached the door, André called me out,
- Emma! - I turned around - I Love you - With a gentle voice he said, and my heart felt very warm and pleasant.
- I love you too - I said, and to avoid the temptation stay at home I quickly left the apartment.
Coming out of the taxi, I stopped on the sidewalk and looked at the two-story building across the street - my favorite building in the city. There I felt at home, despite the fact that it was the place of my work.
I was looking at some transformed view of the building after repairs, at the sign "Ice and Flame" above the entrance into the building and I thought how I love my job, how I love my restaurant.
"Restaurant", I thought proudly, "Could it be that it will soon become a reality?” When I with the girls decided to start a business, we wanted very much to open a restaurant, but we knew that we couldn't afford that, so we decided to open a small cafe initially. With the help of family and friends we have succeeded, not without difficulties, but we succeeded. We had to go through a lot and gain a lot of experience so, after four years to implement our dream and to turn a cafe into a restaurant. A very short time remained before the opening of the restaurant and we were all excited and nervous, but it didn’t go to any comparison with a sense of joy and anticipation of the fact that it was going to happen.
- Are you admiring? - I heard a voice behind me.
Having turned around and having seen Leila, I felt a great joy and relief that she was there and, without hesitation, I almost jumped on her neck. I hugged her so tightly, as if it was the first and last time.
- You'll strangle me - she whispered.
- Sorry - I said, unclasping my arms - I'm so glad to see you. When did you come?
- This night. Our plane was late for 2 hours. Can you imagine? We landed at 3 am, and until we get home ... In short, I almost didn’t sleep...
Her melodious voice sounded like music in my ears. I missed her so much...
- In general, I'm glad I'm home - she smiled. - Well, how are you? Why are you standing here? - She asked.
- I'm just trying to make sure that it is a reality and that we are opening a restaurant - I replied.
- It's a reality - she smiled - though we still have a lot of work to do..
- It's true...
- Okay, let's leave the work for a few minutes - she said - tell me better what you you did with my brother. Amanda told me that you had a fight with Lucas. What happened?
- When she had time to tell you? - I asked surprised - You have only recently arrived.
- This morning - she smiled - a phrase that you had an argument was instead the phrase "good morning". You know how she worries for you and Lucas...
-I know, but really, couldn’t she wait for me to tell you? - A little offended I asked.
- But she didn't tell me why you had a falling out, she simply said that it happened ... So tell me what exactly happened.
- I don’t know where to start - I said, completely honestly, looking into her blue eyes. I was really hoping that she will understand me. Compared to Lucas, she always has perceived everything more easily than he did. Although Lucas was 3 years older than Leila, it sometimes seemed that she was the eldest child in the family, because of the explosive character of Lucas. Despite the fact that they were brother and sister, they were so different in character and appearance.
- Tell me everything how it was - she suggested.
I took Leila by the arm and led her across the road. It seemed to me that if I would walk, it would be easier for me to tell her everything.
- I just told him that yesterday I reconciled with ... André - I said quietly, almost whispered. Especially quiet, I uttered the name André.
Hearing my words Leila stopped - she stood rooted to the spot in the middle of the road.
- What? - She asked quietly, but the silence sounded like a thunder in my head.
- Leila, we stand in the middle of the road. Let's move away on the sidewalk until there are no cars - I suggested, and without waiting for her answer, I pulled her arm. We were already standing in front of our future restaurant, when she asked me again.
- What? What did you say? You are reconciled with André? How? When? Why? - She asked question after question.
- Too many questions - I said quietly, but she wasn't waiting for that answer.
- We made it up, yesterday ... - I began to speak, but was immediately stopped by the question of Leila.
- But why, Emma? After all that how he had behaved with you, after you've already survived everything, you again tied the noose on your neck - the same calm tone she said.
- It's not quite so - I tried to argue.
- Not quite so? - She asked surprised. - Apparently you have forgotten everything.
- I remember, I remember everything ... simply, I love him. And we should fight for the love, isn’t it?
- We should - she said confident - if this is a really love, mutual and pure love.
- What do you mean? - I asked surprised.
- Honestly...? I don’t think that there is love between you. This is some kind of obsession, I swear Emma. Sorry, but this is my opinion. Maybe you don’t understand it now, but the time will come and you will realize that I was right. Well, it can't be that love has caused such pain - Leila spoke so confident and calmly, that I almost believed her, but I quickly came to myself.
- Leila, I know that none of you like him, but I love him ... I can’t make you love him, but I ask you to support me and accept him for me, because it is very difficult to be torn between all of you and André ...
- You know that we will always support you. But I don't want to support you in something that destroys you...
- This time things will be different - I whispered as I felt how the tears were slowly but surely marching to my eyes, from the fact that at that moment I felt absolutely unprotected.
- May God give! - Leila said, hugging me, and that was what I most needed at that time. After a few seconds, I felt that someone else was hugging me and Leila.
- Girls, I'm so glad that we are all together again - I heard the voice of Amanda. When, after a few moments, we were freed from the embrace of each other, Leila said with a smile,
- I wasn’t here only 2 weeks...
- But, it seemed an eternity - Amanda replied immediately. - Well? Are you about to go inside or you'll leave all the work just for me?
- No way - Leila smiled - I just find out the latest news.
- Of which you shouldn’t speak until I tell everything myself - I slightly reproached Amanda.
- What, I wasn't supposed to say anything? - With a childish expression said Amanda - I didn't think that it was a secret.
- It's not a secret, but...
- Well, that's fine then - didn't let me finish, Amanda. I looked at Leila. She smiled and shrugged.
- Okay - I said, moving my glance back at Amanda - Next time I will say that it's a secret.
- It would be better if you make it up with Lucas and you won't tell me anymore such news like today - said Amanda and I had no choice but to agree with her, because I wanted it, too.
- And one more thing - she added - Today at lunch I'm waiting for details about your reconciliation with André and about your argument with Lucas. I want to know everything...
- Okay, I'll tell you, but now it's time for work - I said.

Once we went inside, all the talk on personal issues was over and every one of us started to do their work.
Amanda ran to the kitchen, where she spent most of the time, both here and at home. I hadn’t seen yet a person who would love so much to cook, to keep busy in the kitchen all the time and to come up with new dishes. She could stay in the kitchen all day, and if she was upset or angry, it was impossible to get her out of the kitchen. But, just then, she was cooking masterpieces.
We were familiar with Amanda since childhood. Our parents have lived and still live in the neighborhood. We attended the same school, then I went to university, to the Faculty of administration of hospitality, and she enrolled in the cooking school. Despite the fact that we were busy, we always found time to meet and tell each other the latest news from our lives, or just to complain about something.
Approximately in a year of study at the University, Amanda told me she met a great guy, who then studied at the Medical University. If there is such a thing in the world as "meant for each other", it could be said about Amanda and John, because from the moment they met, they never parted anymore. Sometimes, I even envied them, in a good way. It was always nice to look how they treated each other with love and care. Perhaps it can exist such love, which completely plunges you in a world of happiness and pleasure, and doesn’t require from you any effort or struggle for your happiness.
When, a few months later, Amanda told me that she with John was throwing a party on New Year, I realized that they had a serious relationship. It was at that party, when John introduced me to his friend and colleague from the university - Lucas. As it turned out later, John and Amanda were hoping that I and Lucas will fall in love, but unfortunately for them it didn't happen. But, to my happiness, that night I found a wonderful friend. Then we talked with Lucas all night and it seemed that we had known each other for a long time. In general, we immediately became friends, even though they say that there is no friendship between a man and a woman.
After some time, Lucas introduced me to Leila, who turned out to be a wonderful person - kind, understanding and caring. Lucas is very lucky with his sister, however, as Leila with her brother.
And then, with time, we all developed a very friendly, almost related, relationship, and each of them for me became as a brother or sister whom I have ever had.
I looked at Leila, who was looking through all the accounting records and was calculating some amounts. She was so fascinated by that, that I involuntarily smiled. "Yes, the finances are her passion", I thought, then looked at the clock to check that the delivery of furniture wasn’t too late.
Making sure that I had in reserve a few more minutes, I decided to go outside and call Lucas. I madly wanted to talk to him, hear his voice, to know how he was, but at the same time I had no idea how to start a conversation after yesterday's argument.
I was standing in the street and was spinning my mobile phone in the hands, not daring to call him, as I was very afraid that he wouldn’t answer my call. Having stood on the street for 5 minutes, I finally decided and dialed his number. When I heard the beeps, I immediately became nervous, just at the thought that he might at any moment respond. But, the beeps were still going, and Lucas wasn't still answering. The only thing I heard at the other end of line, it was the answering machine of his mobile phone. I dialed his number again, but the result was the same.
Suddenly, I was so hurt that he didn’t answer my calls, that he didn't want to talk to me, because I have always supported him in everything, and now he just turned away from me. "Or maybe he is just busy? Perhaps at this point he makes some sort of operation to the next patient, and then he will call me ", I thought, trying to calm myself.
My thoughts were interrupted because of the truck which was driving up to the restaurant and having realized that it was the same truck with the furniture that I was waiting, I immediately switched to the job and the next few hours I was fully engaged in work. I was so absorbed with work that I simply didn't have time to think about something else. All my feelings remained somewhere behind and I was just glad that I was occupied by my favorite job.
When all the employees went to lunch and Amanda suggested we take a break in our work and have a snack, I reluctantly agreed because I knew that she won't leave me alone until I agree. She prepared a delicious lunch as usual and we were sitting at a table and enjoying it while I waited when Amanda will begin her questioning. The first question wasn't long in coming.
- Well, tell me what happened yesterday - she said impatiently.
- What is there to tell - I said - I and André are back together, again.
- This we know - Amanda said - you know our opinion about it, I won’t repeat it to you. It's your choice, and perhaps you are ready for the consequences. I am interested in what happened with you and Lucas.
- Yes, I want to know it, too - Leila agreed.
- He was very angry - I gasped, recalling his reaction - he was furious. And now, it seems that he doesn't talk to me and doesn't respond to my calls...
- Give him some time - quietly said Leila.
- You have to understand him - Amanda has already started to defend him - he needs time to calm down, to get used to the idea...
- I just don't understand why he had such strong reaction to this. It is not right - I began to speak, but somehow my words began to totter and it seemed to me that no one understood me - This is my choice, my life and he has no choice as to live with it. I don't tell him with whom to date and with whom not to. Yes, I have suffered, yes André had behaved not in the best way, yes, it so happened that he cheated on me, but now it's all in the past and it's only up to me to decide to be with André or not ...
For me it was such a painful problem that at first I didn’t want to talk about it, but when I started talking was no longer possible to stop me. I was so mad at Lucas, that words themselves seemed to fly out of my mouth...
- ... Doesn’t he understand that by his behavior he doesn’t let me be happy - I went on and having realized that I raised my voice, I made a short pause, took a deep breath and said quietly - He is selfish.
- No, this is not true - Leila, immediately stood up for him - You know Emma that this is not true. He was never selfish, especially when it comes to you...
Leila was talking and was looking into my eyes. At some point, I felt so ashamed that I just wanted somewhere to hide or to escape. But since I had nowhere to run, I instinctively hid behind my hands. Leila was right, Lucas is not selfish and never was, and I was very sorry that I said those words.
- I know - I whispered, still hiding behind my hands - I know he's not selfish, I'm just angry at him.
- You must understand that Lucas was with you through all the pain that caused you André - Amanda said, removing my hands from my face - Because...
- Don't - Leila said quietly, trying to stop the speech of Amanda.
- Why? - Amanda asked surprised, looking at Leila. Then she moved her look back at me - Let Emma know why Lucas now is behaving this way - she said.
- What is it?! - I couldn't stand it anymore, because I didn't understand what was happening and what I should know.
- You must understand that we all were hurt by what happened to you. But in particular it touched Lucas. It seemed that your pain was his pain. He was very upset when he saw you so broken...
Every word of Amanda penetrated right into my soul. I knew that Lucas was worried about me, but I never thought that it has touched him somehow in particular, as Amanda said. I never felt that I hurt him. For a moment I imagined what would I feel if I was in his place and my heart sank just at the thought that he could go through all the suffering which I passed through.
I wanted so much that Amanda stopped and said nothing more, but I didn't have the strength to stop her...
- ... He knows better than anyone what you went through. And do you know what he went through? What cost him to put you on your feet and, at the same time, to have the strength always to smile next to you? And, only when he was with us, he was as broken as you were...
I listened to Amanda and didn't want to believe in what she said. Is it possible, that I unwillingly had caused him so much pain? A lump stuck in my throat and it darkened in my eyes. The next second I realized that I was crying. Tears silently ran down my cheeks.
- That's it! Enough! - Leila told Amanda, with a little high voice - You have brought Emma to hysterics...
- I'm OK - I said almost inaudibly, as a lump from my throat went nowhere; it stayed there and was overlapping the air to my lungs.
- I didn't know - it was the next thing I whispered, after which Leila sat next to me and hugged me.
- We know, but it was difficult for him, too. You know how close you are. You feel his pain and he feels yours...
- I know. But what could I do? - I asked, and this question was more addressed to me than to Leila or Amanda - I love André, I want to be with him, but I don't want to be torn between him and Lucas.
- You know - I addressed to Leila - that I really love Lucas, he is a huge part of my life, part of me, but ... he will have to live with the fact that I have reconciled with André.
I looked at the girls. They exchanged glances, but said nothing. On their faces I read that they disagreed with me. After a few seconds of silence, Amanda asked me a question that I didn’t expect and that drove me to a dead-end.
- So ... are you saying that you're willing to lose Lucas for the sake of André?
They both looked at me and waited for an answer, but I didn't even want to think about such a possibility. I didn’t want to choose between them, because they were both dear to me. I don't want to lose Lucas, I can't lose him, I can't, I can't ... it's all that sounded in my head.
I lowered my head and didn't answer to Amanda's question. A few minutes, the kitchen of our restaurant was reigned by a complete silence.
Hadn't heard the answer to her question, Amanda simply, silently, was staring at me. She didn't say a word, however, as Leila, but that silence was louder than any words.
- Well - Leila broke the silence - Wipe the tears - she said to me - and let's not be sad anymore. You didn't even ask me how I’ve rest, where I've been, what I've seen! Aren't you interested?
- Of course we are interested - I with Amanda answered with one voice - We listen to you very carefully. Tell us.
Leila began telling how she and Ryan rested and I honestly tried to hear what she was saying, but my thoughts all the time flew first to Lucas, then to André ... The main thing is that in the end, I realized that Leila was pleased with the way they rested.
- It's all very interesting - Amanda said - but you don’t tell us the most important thing. Did Ryan ask you to marry him or did he not?
- No, not yet - Leila smiled, but in her smile was something ... something sad.
- I don't understand Ryan - Amanda said - What does he expect? You are together for such a long time. I was sure that he planned this trip to make you a proposal. Why didn’t he do that? - In complete bewilderment she asked.
- I don’t know - Leila said calmly - maybe he's just not ready yet and I don't want to put pressure on him.
- The main thing that you have each other - said Amanda who also noticed a shadow of sadness on Leila's face. Leila didn't respond to the words of Amanda, she just smiled and nodded in agreement.
After our lunch break, we all went back to work without stopping for conversations anymore, the fact that made me very happy because another conversation on the topic of Lucas, I wouldn't already survive.
In the evening, after work, I decided to visit my parents. I wanted to talk with my mother, to tell her everything; also I wanted for a few moments to feel like a child, because only there it was still possible. I've always liked to sit in my room in my parents' house, where was my secret refuge. Since I moved into my apartment, nothing has changed in my room in my parents' house. It was the same room of a little girl who dreamed of becoming an adult as soon as possible, who dreamed to meet her prince on a white horse and to live with him happily ever after. But as the years passed and I became an adult, I began to realize that the life isn't a fairy tale, that the prince doesn't exist and that, if you want to achieve something, you have to fight for it.
That evening, I told my mother what had happened. She wasn't thrilled, but she didn’t criticize me either and she was as caring as always. I knew that she disapproved my choice and that she always wanted that I and Lucas were together, but this hadn’t happened.
My mother knew that I suffered because of André, but she didn't know the whole truth, she didn't see all of my pain as Lucas saw it, and maybe that's why she took this news more calmly.
- Darling - she said with a sweet and loving voice - I want you to be happy and if you need André for this, then let it be so. Just be sure that you are with a right man.
I haven't had time to answer, because my father entered the kitchen - he was the same merry and cheerful as always. It seemed that he hasn't changed over the years. Only a light gray on his hair betrayed his age.
- What are my girls whispering about? - He asked, having sat beside me at the table.
- Oh, about various things - I smiled - about work, about love.
- About love? - He asked - It's interesting. And, what do you have in plan of love? Are there any changes?
- There are. I reconciled with André - I said briefly, as if ripping off the bandage quickly, in order not to feel the pain from removing it.
Dad, in amazement, looked at me for a few seconds, then he said,
- I hope you know what you're doing and if you've decided, then let it be so - he said, and I was ready to heave a sigh of relief, when suddenly my father, very seriously, added - but if he hurts you again, his foot will no longer be in my house, even though you like it or not.
I looked at my father, but I didn't object anything to him, as I knew that if he said so, then it would be impossible to convince him back. I just sighed and took a sip of tea that my mother has prepared, and, despite the fact what my father said, it was the first time for the whole day I felt calm and I even thought that everything will be fine.

The reunion

Life went on as usual. Because of work, the days were passing so quickly that I didn't have time to look back as the week has already passed. As the days were passing, it seemed to us that the work will never end and we won't be able to open the restaurant on time as planned. We had for a while to forget about our loved ones and about our friends and to concentrate fully on the job.

At first André wasn't happy about this, but then he realized that the sooner we'll settle down everything, the sooner I'll be free, and we'll spend more time together. Several times a week, he stopped at a restaurant just to ask if he can help us somehow and I was incredibly glad, despite the fact that, at first, the girls didn't really want to talk to him. But, gradually, Leila and Amanda started to get used to the fact that he came and little by little the ice began thawing between them and a couple of times we even had dinner together. I was so pleased that I could sit at one table with my friends and my boyfriend and not to worry anymore that someone will say something about André, or that he suddenly will take off without explanation as it has happened before, leaving me under the close gaze of my friends.

In general, everything would be good if it wasn't for the fact that we haven't made peace with Lucas. We haven't talked and haven't seen each other since our quarrel. He avoided and ignored me in every possible way. He didn't answer to any of my phone call or to any of my messages that I was sending him almost every day. With each passing day, I was afraid more than ever that I lost him, that our friendship came to an end and it was killing me. But, I didn't want to and I wasn't going to put up with the idea. I had to talk to him and if he doesn't answer my calls, I'll just go to his house and he wants it or not, but he'll listen to me. "That's what I'll do," I thought, before the voice of Leila brought me back to reality.

- What a beauty! - She said enthusiastically, standing in the door of the restaurant.
- Have you noticed that, just now? - I asked with a smile from behind the bar counter, where I stood.
- Just, when you told me about your idea how will look like the restaurant’s room, I must confess to you honestly that I didn't think that it will turn to this beauty.
- Well, thank you for telling me this now - I said quietly.
- Don't get upset - she said, coming up to me - I just couldn't imagine how it will look like when one part of the room will be the ice and the other - the flame. But now, when almost everything is ready, when the furniture is already in its place, I'm delighted with the result.
- Well, we must also decorate everything with the elements of decor, flowers, and when, it will be already the appropriate lighting, you'll fully see what came off from the idea. I spoke with the designers, and we decided that on the "flaming" side will be the decorative elements in the cold style and vice versa, so there was no sharpness between the parts of the room ... and, on the second floor will be the same.
- You had to study for the designer - Leila said with a smile, after having listened to my impassioned speech.
- Is still not too late - I smiled and after a few seconds of silence, I asked - Did you talk to Lucas about me? - In response to my question, Leila shook her head regretfully,
- Sorry, but he doesn't want to talk about it and just hearing your name, he starts to get angry. I can't convince him to talk to you. I'm sorry - she said softly.
- You think it's the end of our friendship with him?
- I do not know, but I hope it's not...
- I hope so, too - I whispered, feeling like I'm almost ready to cry.
- You know, I think it's time to go home, it's already late. Only we are left in the restaurant - said Leila, getting up- So let's close everything here and you go to your André, and I'll go to my Ryan - the last words she pronounced with such tenderness that I couldn't help smiling - Otherwise, he will soon forget how I look like.

The first thought that flashed through my mind when I woke up the next day, it was the fact that it was Saturday and there was no need to hurry in the morning. I still had the possibility to luxuriate in my bed, though I woke up at half a seven in the morning. I turned my head and saw that André was still asleep. I involuntarily smiled with joy from the fact that I woke up next to him. He slept so sweet that I didn't want to wake him up, so I decided to go to the kitchen and to have breakfast.

I turned on the radio in the kitchen, made the sound quieter not to wake up André, and listening to music, I began to prepare the breakfast. When, a few songs later, the morning news began and the leading has greeted all the listeners, recalling that was Saturday, April 27, I froze near the stove for a few moments, remembering the significance of this date for me. Finally, having remembered that, I started to curse myself for the fact that I almost forgot what day it was. I cursed myself all the way from the kitchen to the bedroom.

"How could I forget? How? Lucas probably is already going there, maybe he is already there "- I thought, while was trying to get dressed faster. On the way to the exit, I stopped in the kitchen to write André a note. "I had to leave. I'll be back soon. Love you. Emma "- I wrote quickly the first thing that came into my head.

Having bought the flowers in a boutique near my home, I caught a taxi. While I was driving, I was hoping to have time to get there, until the moment when Lucas will be already gone. I knew he would be there in the morning and I was very afraid to miss him. On this day, I was always with him, and I still couldn't believe that I have almost forgotten this day. At that moment, I didn't care that he wasn't talking to me, I just wanted to get there as fast as possible and to be with him.

I left the taxi and walked along the road on both sides of which were standing large trees that seemed to create an invisible corridor. Behind the trees was stretching a plain, on which were neatly arranged white plates.

I took a few more steps, turned left and stopped. In a few meters away from me, was sitting Lucas in front of one of such plates. On my soul it became easier, I finally saw him. My heart began to beat faster with excitement. I took a deep breath to calm my nerves and with slow but confident steps I headed in his direction.

I stopped next to Lucas in front of the headstone, on which was written "Catherine Emily Shayne. 13.01.1948-27.04.2007. Beloved mother, sister, friend ...»
Having read this inscription, I as always haven't even felt how the tears have filled my eyes. I stepped forward and laid the flowers on the monument. Then, I sat on the grass next to Lucas, who all this time hasn't even glanced at me and hasn't said a word to me. We sat in silence for several minutes, and then I finally heard his voice for the first time this week.

- I thought that you won't come - he said quietly and without looking in my direction.
- I couldn't not to come - I said as quietly.
- I can't believe that it has been four years since my mother died - almost in a whisper Lucas said and in his voice I could feel the same pain that he felt four years ago when he found out that his mother died from a heart attack - the person who gave him the life and raised him, a person whom he loved more than anyone else in the world.
- Do you remember this day four years ago? - He asked.
- Of course I remember - I said, and in my mind have flashed the memories of that day in all the smallest details...
I could remember how Leila called me, sobbing into the phone. I couldn't understand a word of what she said. It took some time for her to calm down and to tell me what happened.
- Emma, my mom, my mom ... - she repeated again and again, not finishing the sentence to the end. I knew that something had happened, but I could never imagine what Leila said afterwards,
- Mom died - she said quickly, and again burst into tears. Having heard her words, I was numb. The first thing I thought was that I had not properly understood and, after a few moments, I quietly asked,
- What did you say?
- She had a heart attack, doctors couldn't save her, it was too late. Emma! What do I do?! - She asked helplessly, but at that moment it was me who couldn't say a word. Tears were streaming down my cheeks, I didn't have enough air to breath, my legs buckled, and I sat powerlessly on the floor beside the bed in my room.
I knew that I had to pull myself together, to find the strength for Leila and Lucas, but it was so hard. I made a couple of deep breaths and then I asked as calmly as possible,
- Leila, where are you now?
- At my mom's home... with her ... - and Leila burst into tears again without finishing the sentence.
- I'm coming to you - I said through my tears.
- Emma, I can't find Lucas - she whispered, and I froze in horror.
- He doesn't know? - Almost in panic, I asked.
- No - Leila said weeping - Can you find him? Please! His mobile is not responding.
- Of course, I'll find him, you just wait for us. Okay? We'll soon be with you ...
- I'm waiting for you - she said, and only the short beeps could be heard, already, in my phone.

After that conversation, everything was happening like in a nightmare. I knew that I had to find Lucas and to tell him everything, but I had no idea how to do it. And how, at all, can you tell such news?! After all, no one thinks about death until it is so close to you, that even seems that you can feel its icy cold. Death is a integral part of life, even if we don't want to admit it. We all know that it exists, that it will come after us someday, and yet every time it happens, we are not ready to accept it.

I didn't even want to imagine what Leila was feeling at that moment or what Lucas would feel when he'll find out, and perhaps it is impossible to imagine, this can only be felt. Probably we always think that our parents will live forever and they will always be with us and we don't tolerate even a little thought that someday they won't exist.

I didn't know how to tell such news to Lucas, but I knew that it would be a huge blow for him. Because, all these years he with Leila grew up just with their mother, who was also a father to them whom they never knew.

Having arrived at the house of Lucas, I realized that I couldn't tell him. I stood in front of his door and wasn't able to knock at it. I stood in the stairwell a few minutes trying to calm down and to stop crying, but it was almost impossible.

Having gathered with the forces or at least I thought so, I knocked on the door. I was hearing his footsteps in the apartment and how they were approaching the door. Those seconds seemed like an eternity. I breathed deeply, not allowing myself to cry again. When he opened the door and saw me, he smiled broadly, without suspecting what I was going to say. Having seen his smile, my heart stopped, not allowing me to breathe and the tears flowed stream down my cheeks. I just could say,
- Your mom ... heart attack ... she ... she's gone - I said almost stuttering, and then I stopped, giving Lucas a few moments to realize what I just told him.
His face became marbled opaque, it was impossible to read on it any pain, sorrow or loss, anything. The Lucas' gaze became cold and empty.
- Where is she? - He asked quietly.
- At home. There's Leila - I whispered.

On the way to the house of Catherine, we weren't talking. In the car was a complete silence and melancholy, and in the street was dark ... it was already late.
Having arrived at the location, Ryan opened the door. Without saying a word, he with the tears on his eyes, hugged Lucas as if he was his brother.
- Leila's in the bedroom - he said quietly and Lucas without saying anything, went to his sister and mother.
I was left standing in the doorway, unable to step over the threshold. Ryan came up to me and said quietly,
- Come into the house. I'll make you a calming tea. I'm sure you need it right now.
I with Ryan were sitting in the kitchen, and I was trying to imagine what was happening at that moment in the bedroom and all I could imagine was that, how they both mourned their beloved mother.
- Can you believe that this happened? - I heard the voice of Ryan - can you believe that Catherine is no longer with us?
- No - I answered through my tears - It's all seems to me like a terrible dream.
- To me too - he said.
- How did you know that...? - I began to ask, but I paused in the middle of the question because I couldn’t pronounce the terrible word, which was hovering in the house.
But I didn't have to finish as Ryan understood without words what I wanted him to ask.
- I was with Leila. We came to see Catherine, but instead we found her in the bedroom on the floor, unconscious - he swallowed hard, remembering the events of the evening, then he continued - When the doctors came, it was too late. They couldn't do anything.
Ryan looked at me with a completely lost glance,
- Leila is completely broken. I can't even tell you and explain you what happened to her when she found Catherine ... when the ambulance doctors have declared her death ... They wanted to take Catherine to the morgue, but Leila didn't let them do that.
- It's good that you were with her - I said without strength in my voice.
- How has Lucas reacted? - Ryan asked.
- Calm, too calm. He said nothing, he didn't cry, he just asked where Catherine was. I don't know how to help him - I whispered - I'm so afraid that he won't survive this, that he will close in his little world, and I won't be able to do anything about it - I said helplessly, because that's how I felt at that moment.
- You're already helping him by the fact that you are here now - Ryan tried to cheer me up.

I don't know how long we sat in the kitchen, until Lucas and Leila came up to us. It was impossible to recognize them. Leila was crying all the time, although it seemed that she had no strength for that and Lucas remained silent. He had the same cold look and he kept staring into the emptiness. I felt so scared that he will remain forever in that emptiness, that he will never be the same Lucas I knew...

When, later, Catherine was taken to the morgue, Ryan convinced Leila to go home. In general, it was not necessary to convince her, since she was completely exhausted and it seemed that she didn't understand what was going on - she just followed Ryan as an obedient child.

After Ryan and Leila have left, I came up to Lucas and sat down beside him on the sofa. He didn't even budge, and he continued to stare into nowhere. I was just sitting next to him in silence, not knowing what to say and if it was necessary, at all, to say something at that moment. I just wanted him to know that I was with him and that he wasn't alone in that silence.
Suddenly, after long minutes of silence, I heard his weak voice,
- I didn't even have time to say goodbye ... didn't have time to tell her how much I love her ... - despite the fact that he spoke absolutely calm, his words were impregnated with an immense, incurable pain.
- She always knew that you love her - I whispered, holding back my tears.
- I am left all alone ... I don't have mother anymore, no one ... will ever call me "son" ... - in the same quiet and calm voice, he said. Without hesitation, I took his hand and sat closer to him.
- You're not alone Lucas. You have Leila, for whom you are incredibly needed right now and you have me - at that point, he turned to me and I have stopped, having seen his eyes filled with pain. He was so helpless and defenseless that I wanted at least for a few moments to spare him from that agony so that he could breathe a sigh of relief, and that he could feel again the warmth in his soul. Everything inside me ached with anger that I couldn't help him and that all I could do - was just to stay with him.
- Lucas, my dear - I said, taking his face in my hands - I know that no one will ever replace you mom, and that the pain of loss will always be with you, but you should know that, whatever happens, I will always be with you, always. You'll always have me....
Lucas didn't say anything to this. Instead, he put his hand over mine and slowly took them away from his face. Lucas squeezed my hand between his warm palms, leaned over them and for the first time - he began to cry.... He was crying like a little child and all my attempts not to cry have evaporated. I freed my hands and hugged him as tightly as I could and the next moment we were already crying together...

... Since that day, every year, on April 27 we've began the day by visiting the grave of Catherine. And now, four years later, we were sitting once again at the grave of Catherine. Today, Lucas wasn't crying, but in his voice and in his glance was the same pain of four years ago. Like 4 years ago, I took his hand,
- I will always be with you. Remember? - I asked. Lucas smiled and gently squeezed my hand.
- I know - he said, finally looking at me, and not on the horizon.
- You know? - I asked, a bit surprised by his confidence.
- I know ... because I'll never let you go - he said and his words were like an elixir for my soul.
- I don't want you to let go of me - I said gladly.
- Come to me - Lucas said with a smile, pulling me to him and I fell into his arms. - My little girl - he whispered.
His voice was so gentle and caring, that I felt like a child in his arms. At that moment, I felt so good and calm, that I didn't want to start talking about our quarrel, but we needed to talk and to figure out everything.
- So - I began talking - you're no longer angry with your little girl?
Lucas looked at me a few seconds and smiled,
- I can't be angry at you for a long time and, generally, I can't get mad at you - he said, after which I got rid of his embrace and was again sitting next to him.
- Then, why didn't you answer to any of my phone call, why didn't you want to talk to me? - I asked with interest. He intently looked at me as if he wanted me to read the answer in his eyes.
- I had to get used to the idea that you're again ... with him - the last word he uttered with a special toughness.
- And? - I asked - Did you get used to the idea?
He shook his head,
- I'll never get used to this idea, knowing how much pain he has caused to you - his voice was becoming harder and I began to fear that we will quarrel again.
- Lucas, my dear, you know how I care about you. I don't want to lose you. Please don't leave me. I won't be completely happy, if you won't be a part of my life anymore. I'm not asking you to love André or to accept him. I only wish that we were friends and we were communicating as we used to... - I was talking so fast, to have time to say what I gathered in my soul for the whole week. I wanted to say something else, but Lucas pressed his forefinger to my lips.
- Shhh! - He hissed - I could never leave you...
- I'm sorry if I caused you any pain... - I tried to say to him through the finger the words I didn't get to tell him. After all, it was the most important thing that I wanted to tell him since Amanda told me about how Lucas felt when he consoled me after my separation from André. In response, I heard his hissing again.
When he finally removed his finger from my lips, I asked
- Friends?
Lucas burst out laughing,
- Of course we're friends. Is it possible that after eight years of friendship you thought that you'll get rid of me so easily?
- Yeah - I grumbled.
- Don't even wait - he said with a smile and I felt an incredible lightness in my soul.
- You'd better tell me, are you ready to open the restaurant? - He asked, changing the subject.
- Everything is almost ready, for 99.99% - I said - We open up on Monday evening. It will be a small dinner for friends and family. Will you come?
- Of course! I can't miss an event like this. But ... - he made a brief pause - I will come not alone - he said, watching my reaction.
- And with whom? - I asked surprised.
- You'll see - he said calmly.
- Tell me now, please. You know that I won't be able to sleep until Monday because of my curiosity - I begged.
- Well, then I'm very sorry for you - said Lucas, shrugging his shoulders.
- Will you come with Brittani? - I began to guess, not paying attention to the fact that he didn't want to tell me with whom he will come.
- I won't tell you - he said quietly.
- So, that's for sure Brittani - I said, nodding my head - Are you together? Are you dating?
- If this is true, what then? - He asked.
- Nothing - I answered quickly.
- Do you think I believe you, now? - Exclaimed Lucas - I'm sure you do not like her.
Without even wanting to, I made a very surprised and innocent face.
- Just a little - I whispered.
- You're impossible, Emma - Lucas said, rising from the ground - Have you in general liked any of my ex girlfriends? - He asked and without waiting for my reply, he went down the path. I got up quickly and ran after him.
- Lucas, wait. I'm kidding - I said when I overtook him - I just don' know her, yet. Well, I'll talk to her at a party and I will like her. I'll like her very much! You'll see! - He abruptly stepped forward and stood in front of me.
- Do you promise? - He asked
- I promise - I said confidently.
- Okay - he said calmly and freed my way. He took my hand and we walked along the path - Only, I won't come with Brittani - he added suddenly, after a few moments of silence. I looked at him with the rounded eyes from astonishment.
- And don't even ask who she is, I still won't tell you.
- Okay - I breathed displeased - I'll wait for Monday.
- Well, that's fine - he smiled. - Maybe we'll go somewhere to drink a cup of coffee?
- I'd love to, but I have to go home, then to go to the restaurant.
- Yes, Leila told me that you'll go to the restaurant today - he said.
- By the way - it dawned on me - Where is Leila? Hasn't she come, today?
- Of course she came, you just missed each other - he explained. - Let me take you home - he suggested.
- Okay - I gladly accepted.
When I got home, I saw that André was waiting for me in the living room.
- Hi - I greeted him with a smile, coming into the apartment.
- Hi - he answered not very joyfully and I realized that he wasn't pleased that I left without telling him where I went. And he surely wasn’t happy that I turned off my mobile. I approached him and sat down beside him on the sofa.
- What is it? - I asked, as if I wasn't realizing that he was angry.
- Where have you been? - He asked calmly, staring into my eyes.
- I visited the grave of Catherine - the mother of Leila and Lucas - I answered to his question in the same calm tone - Today is the fourth anniversary of her death.
Hearing this, André slightly thawed out. He leaned over to me and, after he kissed me, he asked the question which was concerning him the most,
- Were you alone?
- No - I said calmly - with Lucas. We made it up.
Although he tried to keep this from being seen, his expression changed.
- Clearly - he said quietly - Is this why, your mobile was switched off?
I sighed,
- Please, just don't do a scene of jealousy because of Lucas. We have already been there...
- Why have you turned off the phone? - He asked again, not paying attention to what I said.
- André, I was at the cemetery and didn't want someone to call me while I was there. I always do that, on this day - I was explaining, while André stood up from the sofa and began nervously pacing the room.
- You should have told me where you were going...
- I wrote you a note. I had no time and. So, I was about to forget this day ... André, can you stay in one place, please?! - I tried to say as calmly as possible, but I felt that I was beginning to get angry.
He stopped in front of me and was looking down at me. His gaze was piercing and persistent.
- Why did not you wake me up? I would go with you.
His question angered me completely. As if he didn't know why I haven't woke him up, and why he couldn't go with me? As if he didn’t know that nothing good came out of his meetings with Lucas. It would be awful, if I would have ruined this important day for Lucas, and then he would definitely never forgive me.
I took a deep breath, stood up, so we were on the same level and, despite the fact that everything was seething inside me, I said calmly,
- I beg you, let's not quarrel. You promised me that you will no longer be jealous of Lucas.
- I know, but I find it hard to do it.
- But why? You know that we are friends. Friends who have been through a lot...
- It's because you have so many in common, and that you are so close, I can't not to be jealous of him. I don't trust him...
- But I trust him - I responded quickly - and you have to trust me - I said and without waiting for his answer, I hugged him tightly.
- I love you - I whispered in his ear.
- I love you too, more than you can imagine.
I leaned back a little and looked at him, smiling broadly,
- Really?
- Really - he said and then he gave me a sweet kiss, after which I didn't want to have to go anywhere.
- You know, I have to go to the restaurant - I said, having come off momentarily from his lips - Do you want to go with me?
- I would be happy - he answered - but, I have to meet with my brother, and then pick up your car from the repair.
- I totally forgot about it. So, soon I'll be on my wheels - I said smiling.
- Soon, very soon - he smiled in response.
- Honey, I'd love to talk you a little bit longer, but I have to go .
- If it's necessary, then you go - he said quietly unclenching his arms.

Having arrived at the restaurant, I discovered that the girls were already waiting for me with the latest news about my reconciliation with Lucas. I didn't even ask them how they found out this so quickly, as I was already used to the fact that, recently, the news were reaching them faster than I had time to tell them.

Since we had almost everything done in the restaurant and we had only to wait for the delivery of the new tableware, we have allowed ourselves to relax for a couple of hours and just to talk, because we had what to discuss. I told them how we made it up with Lucas, but I maintained silence on the small scene of jealousy that André gave me, because I didn't want to hear from Amanda something like, "I told you that he won't change."

After I told them everything briefly, I asked Leila about what I couldn't find out from Lucas,
- Do you know by chance, with whom Lucas will come to the opening of the restaurant?
According to the first reaction of Leila - to the fact how she looked at me surprised, I realized that she didn't know at all that Lucas will come with someone.
- I hear about it for the first time - she said.
- Probably, it's Brittani - I heard the voice of Amanda.
- I think so too - I agreed.
- Who is Brittani? - Leila asked, puzzled - I think I've lagged behind the events.
- She was at Amanda's birthday party - I said - as I remember she is a nurse and she's working with Lucas and John.
- And? - Asked Leila.
- And it seems that they like each other - Amanda added. - In any case, they were talking very sweetly...
- And she was looking at him with such sweet eyes, that it’s clear from a mile away, that she likes him ... - I commented.
- And you probably don't like that she likes him - Amanda said a little punning.
- It's not the point - I wanted to explain, but I was interrupted by Amanda's question.
- What's the matter, then? - She asked and her blue eyes were waiting with interest for my answer.
- I don't know, something is wrong with her- I said quietly.
- Everything is all right with her - Amanda said calmly - but is something wrong with you and Lucas...
- Amanda, stop - immediately reacted Leila, understanding in what direction our friend was taking the conversation.
- Is that possible that no one sees what I see?! - She exclaimed.
- Amanda, I listened to your speech about that I and Lucas should be together, a hundred times, probably, and every time we've come to only one conclusion...
- That you are two idiots - she said with an absolutely innocent smile. I took a deep breath, trying not to get angry.
- No - I said calmly - That we are friends.
- But you were once in love with him! - Amanda cried out and, in one instant, the blood in my veins boiled over with anger.
- Don't mention about it now! - I cried out in response - It was a very long time ago and I've already everything forgotten. And you promised me that you will never remind me about this! We are not together, and perhaps we have reason for it...
- You have ... - Amanda muttered under her nose so that I couldn't hear her, but unfortunately for her, I still have heard her.
- What did you say? - I asked because I knew that she didn't say that for no reason and probably her words had some meaning. What did she mean? That only I had good reason not to be with Lucas?
- Nothing - she said quickly.
- I've heard...
- Nothing - she repeated - I swear, Emma, just forget it.
- Don't you know Amanda? - Asked Leila, who all this time didn't interfere in our conversation with Amanda - She just blurted out, and that's it...
I looked at the girl with disbelief - first at Amanda, then at Leila and in spite of my suspicions about the fact that they were hiding something from me, I didn't want to ask them about anything else.
- Know what ... I don't want to talk about it anymore - I said angrily standing up from one of the tables of our restaurant - I'd better go and do my work and I advise you to do the same.

I was so angry with Amanda that she reminded me that I had forgotten long ago. I could not believe that she told me this, especially now, when I was with André. Why is so necessary to remind someone about something that has long passed and what should remain in the past? "And what if André could accidentally hear about it?" I thought, imagining his reaction. He will not forgive me, and if he will, he, for sure, will want me not to communicate with Lucas anymore.
"... And if Lucas finds out about this?" - it dawned on me with horror and somehow I was afraid of his reaction more than the reaction of André. "I wonder what he would say, knowing this," I thought, wishing just for a moment to tell him everything.
"No! - my inner voice said - He didn't know this then, and especially, he's not going to know about it now. "

I barely managed to drive away all the memories, thoughts and assumptions and to plunge into work, but when I did it, I forgot about everything. I calmed down and by the evening I was almost not mad at Amanda. So, when Amanda offered to take me home, I agreed without hesitation.
For a few minutes, we rode in silence, after which Amanda said softly,
- I'm sorry. I didn't want to tell you this, but it burst out itself somehow.
I looked at her guilty face,
- Okay, let's forget everything. I don't know why I reacted so strongly to your words - I said.
- I promise that I won't remind you about it anymore- she said.
- Just like today? - I smiled. Amanda didn't say anything at my words but she just smiled in response.
- I want to ask you about something - she suddenly said - I want to ask you to go with me to the doctor.
Hearing this, I looked at her surprised.
- I think - she said - that I'm ... pregnant.
- Seriously? This is just great! ... Wait... You think?
- I took a couple of pregnancy tests, but they are negative...
- Then why do you think that you're pregnant?
- I just feel it ... and I have pregnancy symptoms. I want to go to the doctor to know for sure.
- Okay then, I'll go with you. And, does John know about it?
- No, I don't want to tell him until I'm sure. What if I'm not pregnant and I'll just give him a hope for it. You know how he wants children... I have an appointment with the doctor next week.
- Well, then we'll wait till next week - I said, still remaining surprised by the news and by this possibility, because if it was true, then their life was going to change completely. They will become parents and they will definitively grow up, and our life, probably will change, too. We'll all be aunts and uncles, and we’ll help to rise the next generation.

With this positive thought and in a good mood, I opened the door to the apartment, but instead of entering the apartment, I froze in the doorway. The light in the apartment was turned off, but instead, in the living room were flaming lots of candles, which were spreading a gentle and pleasant aroma. In the center of the living room was standing a table which was beautifully set and on which were standing two long candles and between them was set a small bouquet of flowers.

Moving away from the shock, I entered the apartment and went to the table, enjoying a romantic atmosphere. I leaned over to inhale the fragrance of flowers and when I got up, I saw that André was standing in front of me, as if he has just appeared out of thin air.
- Surprise - he said when our eyes met and it was nothing that I could say at that moment. I had no words, I had just emotions. I began smiling, my eyes were filled with tears of happiness, and I was feeling like a kid on Christmas.
- Won't you say anything? - André asked, noticing that I haven't said a word, yet. Instead say something, my legs took me to him, and my hands embraced him,
- Thank you - I whispered.
André took a step back from me, peered into my face and said in a soft voice,
- I know that this is not enough, that one romantic dinner is not enough to tell you how much I regret what happened in the past ...
- Don't ... - I tried to protest, but he immediately asked me,
-Emma, don't interrupt me, please. I want to tell you this - I nodded that I will be silent, and then he continued,
- I know that I caused you a lot of pain, I know that is impossible to forget it, but I'll do my best to make amends and I'll make sure, that in your memory will remain only good memories of us. Now, I want to promise you that we'll have a bright future and I'll never - he took my face in his hands - do you hear, I will never fail you again. I'll always be there for you, when you'll need me...
His words took my breath away. It was so important for me to hear them from him, to be sure that everything will be fine, that we won't be apart anymore. I pressed my finger against his soft lips,
- Don't say anything more. That's all I wanted to hear from you.
He leaned toward me to kiss me and the next moment I felt the taste of his kiss, which was tender and passionate at the same time. One hand of André grabbed me by the waist and the other fell into my hair, but still it seemed to me that he was too far away from me, that he didn't hug me so tight as I would like. Perhaps, he also felt the distance between us, because the next moment, his hand, which was in my hair, slid down my back and met with his second hand on my waist and at that moment he pulled me to him.
He picked me up, took a couple of steps to the bedroom and suddenly stopped,
- Maybe, you're hungry? - He asked with a smile and in response I shook my head.
- Well, thank God, cause I was afraid ... - but he didn't finish, since I covered his mouth with a kiss and he already didn't waste a minute...


Tag der Veröffentlichung: 02.09.2012

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