historias y humor: The Offer

Os presento hoy una de mis historias inéditas, una historia que es casi real:

                                               THE OFFER

            My story today, which is indeed purely fictional, but which might very well have been true, partially based as it is on true facts, has a lot to do with climate and the climatic change. Like in climate, brusque, sudden changes of ‘weather’ occur, but the changes being more or less predictable on the whole, it wasn’t too difficult for me to put them down on paper; but like the climatic change, it goes over a lengthy period of time and, its effects being quite unpredictable, I didn’t find it so easy to put them into words. There are in the story two characters, who I’ll just call A and R, in order to protect their identities.
            When my narrative begins A, an attractive blonde in her early thirties, taught English at the university in a southern town of Spain, and R, a tall good-looking American, five years her senior, was a cultural attaché in the US embassy in Madrid. My two friends first met at a Congress that her faculty department had organized and to which R had been invited to deliver a lecture on university education in the USA, and I’m pleased to tell you that from the very moment I saw them together, I thought that they were made for each other. Their frequent sidelong glances, the way they smiled when their eyes met, their complicity, everything pointed to a strong, mutual attraction. Anyway, at the reception that was held in his honour, they both experienced some curious ‘climatic phenomena’ that they confessed to me much later. In fact A, who had instantly fallen in love with R, abandoned herself for a moment to wild thoughts in which he appeared as a ‘tornado’ that invaded her innermost unexplored ‘territory’ and eventually dissolved itself in a torrential ‘rain’ that bathed her virginal ‘forest’. R, on his part, fantasized about climbing those round white hills of hers, letting the ‘hurricane’ of his ardent kisses sweep their dark red summits.
            Soon however, this ‘raging storm’ subsided, and A and R resumed their pleasurably calm polite talk about this and that. They drank a ‘penultimate’ toast to their newly acquired friendship and a desirable future encounter and, at the end of the evening, they each returned to the routine of their daily life, she to her home city to take care of her seriously ill father, to her classes and to prepare her exam to get tenure at the university, and he to his office in the embassy to deal with the loads of cultural events that were his responsibility.
            They met again not long after that in Madrid, where she had brilliantly passed her tenure exam. Again they dined together, this time to celebrate her success, and again they dreamed about a happy life together. But it was not to be and, the dinner over, she went back home to take possession of her post and go on looking after her father, whose health was fast deteriorating, and he hurried to his flat where his packed suitcases lay on his bedroom floor all ready to accompany him to his new assignment to an eastern country, the first of a long series of posts in faraway countries where he was to visit lots of exotic places and meet lots of interesting people.
            Time rolled by and it was not long before they lost contact altogether, but almost thirty years later, I happened to meet R, who had already retired, travelling to A’s native town in the faint hope of finding her still free. We talked amiably enough on the train and he told me that he was conscious of having lost his chance and that now he was worried thinking of the lonely years ahead without a companion to share his life with. I told him that I hadn’t seen A for a long while, but the last time I ran into her she was still single.
            Meanwhile A, who had recently taken early retirement and finally lost her father, was also thinking of the gloomy years that awaited her alone, with no husband or children to love and be loved by and, though fully resigned to her loneliness, she was beginning to dread that with the passing of time her body would become a barren desert that the ‘climatic change’ would inevitably bring about.
            She was therefore rather excited when she received R’s unexpected call and hurried to meet up with his friend, who she had never forgotten, and have lunch with him in a fashionable restaurant she knew, where they served you well and gave you good food. She was all in raptures as she listened to his lively account of the fascinating adventures he had lived abroad all those past years, and was especially thrilled when he told her that he had never married and had not forgotten her either.
            It was a cloudy day, but at a given moment, when they were already having their dessert, a bright ray of sun broke through the black clouds and shone for an instant on his noble face, allowing her to see in more detail his battered cheeks and snowy temples, and it was then that, on an impulse, quite uncharacteristic of her reserved nature, she invited him openly to spend the ‘autums and winters’ of the rest of his life at her side, enjoying her company and love in the mild climate of the south, and was really delighted when he readily accepted  her offer.

2 comentarios :

  1. Great story.

    It's sad they didn't seize the day when they were in their prime, only to regret it later (despite the happy ending).

    1. Right you are, but 'that's the way the cookie crumbles.'