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CHAPTER I Roma Enamorada

The irrepressible rain was falling in Salamanca, Madrid. Slowly and intensely, it was freezing

every person who walked the streets, deep down and outwardly. I have constantly said that

rain is the most romantic thing I can find among all the wonders that the Earth offers us.

Salamanca was soaked, so everybody was at home, the old-fashioned fireplace on or the

heater on full blast. Few were in the streets, accompanying the weather, and by few I mean

only two ... the only people in the rain. A tall girl, with long brown hair that covered her back,

pale skin and a big smile full of satisfaction. She wore a yellow ochre coat, almost as bright

as her eyes, and large leather boots that reached above her knees. She was gazing across the sky, the trees and everything around her, and so... she looked so lost in the cold streets. But she saw him, her focal point. His smile matched the rest of his face perfectly and radiated as much joy as she did. He was wearing a coat that was just as long, but blue-violet. He was taller than her. His green eyes were forming a look full of sweetness, while his smile was as charming as the one Charlotte Bronte once described. They both looked at each other, laughed and hugged. She suddenly sneezed.


–Are you okay?, Alejandro asked laughing.

–I’m better than I am normally, Gina smiled very satisfied.

–It occurred to you to go out now, we could have get together earlier, he exclaimed.

–It’s the best time, she said.


Both of them walked towards a covered place –one of those coffee shops that serve 24 hours, whether it rains, thunders or snows. They ordered the usual: 2 hot cheese sandwiches. A milk tea for the lady, and a lucuma milkshake for the young man. Although both always ended up sharing the milkshake in the end.


– How did the casting go?, asked Alexander.

–You know ..., she answered, letting out a slight sigh with the scent of lucuma and milk.

–I want to hear it come out of your mouth, he said, laughing.

–You want to laugh at it, said Gina, expressing a big smile.

– I just want to listen, he replied.

–Believe me, Ale[x]. I will find the ideal project and you will see my name in shining lights,

among my favorite Broadway musicals.

–I'm sure, Gina. I can imagine that. I'll turn on the television at 10 p.m. and I'll see you sitting

in a red chair talking about you.

– You will see me while you eat cinnamon rolls. You will be as warm as usual.


At 23, Gina had more dreams than cash, and an immense need to give everything to the

world. And there was Alejandro who, according to everyone, would encourage her in all his

illusions. He kept her imagination alive by making her float among pink clouds. As he rose

higher and higher beside her at the same time.


–Yesterday, they called me from the bar, said Alejandro, interrupting the pleasant silence.

–And when will your presentation be?, she asked excitedly.

–Not soon. People seem to want to hear less cheesy stuff and more sexual promises.

–But you are very good. Your poems are not corny; they are creations that Whitman himself

would recommend.

–I want to think that, Alejandro said after giving a few laughs.

–We should do something different. I want to go where my spirit takes me, Gina added

without losing her characteristic smile.

–You have just started your vacation. You haven't been to the agency for a day and you want

to do something new already. I don't know how I can keep up with you, he said while

laughing.

–I have to do something, maybe travelling.

–How difficult is it to stay still?, Ale asked with a smile.

–I will stay calm when I achieve my magical purpose.

–I'll be calm when they give you a leading role, Alejandro laughed.

–I want to see your face when I win the Oscar and you are sitting in the front row.

–With a large bouquet of flowers and the same cell phone with little memory, recording

everything.


They both laughed for a few seconds. Alejandro and Gina paid, left the cafeteria and went

straight to the next stop, a food truck in front of Gina's house, managed by friends from

college. They sold junk food in huge portions, but also very, very good coffee, as well as tea.

Alejandro ordered a tall American coffee, for a change; and Miss Smiles, a cinnamon tea,

—not usual in her menu of the day.


"There are women who go through life carrying glitter in their hearts."


–You'll know about it… That's exactly why I told you to get together today!

–If it is a new story, I am ready and I have a lot of free time to read it. I could do it right now.

–I like your enthusiasm, but save I for later, because it is something better.

–You know that my imagination is not yet as immense as yours, so I beg for some clues,

Alejandro said, laughing.

–Try to guess. You can do it by yourself.

–I don't understand how you cheer me up so quickly. Since I met you, I stopped taking the

vitamins, Alejandro said, laughing.

–You will not need to recite at the bar or work in the cafeteria during the holidays, because

you will be very busy.

–There's no way I'll be busy if I don't have a job anymore, Alejandro replied without losing

his sense of humor.

–Well, this will make you change your mind.

–What do you have to tell me, Gina?

–I'd rather you read it.


After saying this, the girl with hair looking like sun’s rays took out of her pocket 2 sheets of

cardboard and gave them to Alejandro. The guy hastily unfolded them and read jokingly.


–Air Gland… Alejandro Meyer… Flight number 392, gate 5… Seat B14… Destination…

Rome? Gina, what is this?

–What do you think?, said Gina, without taking her eyes off the unemployed poet’s face.

–Are we going to Rome?, stuttered Alejandro, perplex.

–We are going to Rome!, yelled Gina in an uproar, jumping like a child.

– Gina, what is this about?, asked the guy, who was already quite used to those little

surprises, every time he got together with his friend.

– I want you to come to Rome with me. I have a wish to fulfill there. Wouldn't you like to

come?

– How could I not come with you? I have no plans this week, exclaimed Alejandro before

embracing her affectionately.


They hugged each other again, again and again. They did it every time something good

happened. They did it every time something bad happened. And when they needed it. They

had no choice but to pretend the non-existence of such a strange rain, transforming it into the mildest setting with the help of such pleasant talk. As time passed, the days turned into

weeks, and they welcomed the journey.

֎֎

Do you think that Paris is the only city of love? I tell you that between the Apennines and the

sapphire Tyrrhenian Sea, you will find a magical city, where love has been crowned with

laurels of glory.

֎֎

It was the rain season in Rome. There were strong winds. However, its beauty was easy

to appreciate on every corner, from street to street, on every stone in the city.

Everything was genuine and particular, and exquisite yet. The ruins would take you

back to the golden age where wonders were created. The gleaming piazzas adorned

the city. Live music was the soundtrack of this story. And that singular aroma of

espresso, every morning, was concentrated in the street.

“Here is Rome and here is my advice. Keep your mind open. Cultivate your imagination

and prepare yourself to fall in love.”



Jimena Yengle is a 21-year-old multidisciplinary artist and "dream manager".


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