in the search for happiness

My journey searching for love

Five days later, after sunset, Anna and Linda went to the party venue, which had been held in the stately home of one of Armands friends. The house was full of high school students, all dressed up to look older than their age. Armand went to Anna and introduced her to everyone as his girlfriend who studies at the university and Linda helped them in their acting and Anna had warned him not to do any stupid act such as hugging or kissing her.

His friends were stunned by her beauty and they finally showed respect to Armand because he wasn lying about that he had a girlfriend or maybe he does. Soon the party started Linda has found accompanies and it was a boy her age and they seemed to be harmonious together. But it was for Anna who felt completely alone everyone were having fun together enjoying the beautiful moment of innocent love that makes her feel sad when she remembers her time with Martin. Although it was just an illusion, she felt nostalgic for it because it was her sincere feelings. She sat on the balcony alone in the dark, watching everyone and wishing them happiness in her heart, but suddenly Armand cut off her isolation and told her that he was looking for her everywhere, he felt that she was sad and decided to console her.

”You know, even though I really want to be one of them, I don like to lie to myself, I lied to them in order to become someone important and not marginalized, but that makes me hate myself even more, so Im going to spend my time with you, you
e the only one who knows my truth without falsehood, when I am with you I act completely relaxed, I do not feel embarrassed and do not try to pretend to be someone other than who I am, with you I feel as if I am naked, ” said Armand.

”What is this perverted talk? Did you drink something? ” Anna replied with astonishment.

”No, I don mean that, I mean I don need a curtain to hide myself from you, Im acting so stupid and naïve with you and I never think if youll think me a useless stupid person, I know exactly how you think thats why I love spending my time with you, you are just like a mirror in all my cases, I can hide anything from you ”, Armand said expressing his feelings honestly for the first time.

”Thank you for your touching words, since you cannot hide anything from me, then tell me who is that beautiful redhead that your eyes never left? ” Anna asked curiously.

Armand laughed awkwardly and rubbed his brow before answering her: ”I knew youd notice, actually Ive been in love with her for a long time, but I didn have the courage to tell her, Im really a coward and Im afraid of being rejected, ” said Armand with a sigh.

e not the only one sitting in that waiting chair, I know that feeling. If they asked me to throw myself out of a plane and parachute, it would be easier than this confession. We
e not afraid of being rejected, we
e afraid of being rejected by the person on whom we built so much dreams and feelings with, we are afraid that every beautiful thing we built will be destroyed, so we prefer to stay in the waiting chair, in pain and enjoy delusional feelings, than to be destroyed and leave in us wounds that will not heal ” Anna said smiling, but her eyes telling a deep sadness.

”Do I understand from your saying that you love someone? ” Armand asked her curiously.

”Of course I am, and do you think me as a machine without feeling? But the one I love doesn know anything about me, sometimes I think that I was the only one who was delusional, but I was sure that I was delusional because he only saw me as someone who loves to spend time with him, like a friend or a sister or something like that, but I am sure that he has forgotten my facial features and maybe even my name, sometimes I curse him in his absence but what is his fault he did not give me any hope, he did not ask me to be his girlfriend, but I was the one who chose to love him and imprison myself in his love, it is really strange to imagine that there is someone who sleeps and wakes up to your memory, breathing your love, and you do not even know its existence, it is strange and scary as well, it is scary that a person suffers because he loves you, but you are not at fault for his torment except that his heart chose you. Do you know what bothers me the most? They are those who have had good fortune and loved someone who feels the same way, these people mock our pain if they see us in pain, they simply ask us to forget and move on with our lives, but they don know that we are imprisoned because they did not experience this feeling, but what I like about it is that our feelings are sincere and will always remain the same, so I pity the lovers, when they quarrel and leave each other for simple reasons suddenly they forget all those feelings they used to share, but our feelings never disappear, ” Anna answered, her sadness overpowering her and making her tears fall.

Armand gave her a handkerchief and then said: ”Im sorry to make you cry, I didn mean to make you sad, but what I said is likely to be true and right, it is true that we are afraid that everything we have built of sincere feelings will be destroyed, but waiting is fatal, little by little drains all your soul until it leaves you an empty body, so we must be brave and try our luck, you know, even if we are rejected, that does not mean the end, but rather the beginning of a new challenge, the first time we challenge our fear and the second time we challenge how sincere we are in our love, so we must keep trying to win the love of our lovers in the second challenge, do not give up Anna, and do not be deceived by waiting, it is the trap of cowards, ” Armand replied, stimulating her.

”I really don know if Im ready to fight for what I want, Ive never tried, in fact Im afraid of confrontation, Ive always evaded the challenges Ive faced in my life, so you see me still on the waiting bench, many trains passed in front of me and I didn get on it for fear of what I shall face in the future, I suppose this is my curse, Fear ”, Anna replied being touched.

”Then I think that confronting your fears will begin with your search for your love. Be encouraged. I really see you as an example of courage. I have never known a braver girl in my life than you. Being able to smile every day without losing the magic of your smile is a victory in the face of lifes cruelty. ”

”You really made me shy with your words, your encouragement will make me cross mountains and deserts; so I must go before I take courage and do what makes me regret it. Thank you for your sympathy, but its late and I have to go, ” Anna said and her face was red shyly.

”No, you don have to go now, the party has just started, and tomorrow is your day off. You don have to get up early, stay a little longer, please, ” Armand replied insisting on her to stay,

”No, Armand, I have to go back now and Im tired, you too should take the opportunity and get close to your girl right? ” replied Anna.

”I guess you beat me, but let me call you a cab, shall I call Linda too? ” Armand said.

”Don call her, let her have a good time, I don want to spoil her evening, just tell her Im gone, ” Anna answered.

Armand walked her outside and waited with her for the car to arrive and then went back inside when she got in the car, Anna smiled goodbye to him but her sadness returned to her when she was alone, leaning her head on the car window watching the gentle rain showers, the car only went a few meters until Anna asked the driver to stop and let her to continue walking alone. She loved the calm atmosphere that prevailed in the streets of the town at that time, the silence was interrupted by a slight rhythm of the quiet sound of rain, she walked under it indifferently, feeling as if that pure rain washed her from sorrows and worries, in that moment she feels as if time has stopped and as if the world has disappeared and there is nothing left but her there, in that moment, she feels completely alone, with her strength and weakness, she does not care about her condition, whatever it is, just wants to enjoy that moment of peace, imagining the sound of a emotional music playing in the background The rain stopped and Anna returned to reality and her sorrows returned with her. She walked towards her house with hurried steps, wanting to enter her bed to sleep and forget, but when she was going up the stairs, she passed by her neighbor Nanas house and heard the sound of laughter from behind her house, ”Guests at this time? Sick old woman will not be able to serve those guests alone, I should help her ”, Anna said to herself.

She knocked on the door, and Nana answered her from behind to enter for that the door was not locked, Anna entered and headed to the living room where Nana was sitting in her own chair carrying a cup of caramel tea,

”Hello dear Anna, you came at your time, ” Nana said speaking to her with a bright smile,

”Im sorry Nana for interfering with you, but I heard voices from behind the door, so I knew you had guests, and I wanted to help you, ” Anna answered, removing her coat and hanging it,

”Ah, thank you, dear, but your decision was right, my guests today are your guests, ” Nana replied,

”Excuse me? You said guests are for me? ” She asked being surprised, and then she turned towards the sofa to find Martin sitting there drinking tea and giving her a gentle smile and. This situation was such a shock to her that she almost fell to the ground, as she never expected him to return, and she could not hide her conflicting feelings at that moment, which appeared on her face, which suddenly turned yellow.

”Dear Anna, are you alright? ” Nana asked her, feeling worried when she noticed the discoloration of her face,

”Yes, Nana, Im fine, I just didn expect his surprise visit to me and at your house ”, She replied that rubbing her hands.

”It is my fault that I came without an appointment and late, but Mrs. Nana insisted that I wait until your return ”, Martin answered, looking at Anna, but she gave him an angry and annoyed look,

”Never mind, my son, Annas guests are My guests too, ” Nana replied, noting the tension between them, ”I see you two children are upset with each other, I don want to interfere in your affairs, but today is a day of joy. You should not remain spiteful towards each other, so be happy tonight, ” Nana said speaking them both.

Anna sat beside Martin, and his eyes did not leave her, he gave her admiring looks, if his eyes had spoken, they would have uttered all kinds of words of love, but she was avoiding looking at him, afraid that she would forget her anger at him, and afraid that he would reveal her love for him, and Nana was watching them like a referee in a fateful match between two rival teams and tried in various ways to soften the atmosphere between them,

”I see, my children, that you need to stay alone, I feel that inside both of you there is a long talk, so I will go to sleep and leave the house at your disposal, you can break everything on it, but just don break your hearts, you know that things are replaceable but hearts are not ”, Nana said joking with them, but she meant every word she said,

”Nana, what are you saying, I can do something like that to your house, Im not angry or anything like that, its just that Im tired and I know its getting late so well go and let you rest, ” Anna said, looking up to Martin suggesting to him to get up with her.

”Its true, madam, its too late, sorry to bother you at this late hour, thank you for having me, ” Martin replied.

”Its okay, son, I haven had guests for a long time, and I haven talked to a handsome young man in years. It was a pleasure talking to you. You reminded me of my youth ”, Nana joked.

When Anna was about to leave, Nana called her to her room, while Martin stayed outside waiting for her, ”Yes, Nana, did you need me anything? ” Anna asked her curiously,

Nana took out a box wrapped in gift paper and told her that it was a gift from her, ”This is my gift to you, dear Anna, please open it now. ”

Anna opened the box and found that dress which Martin had bought her that she had thrown in the trash before, ”Isn that the dress I threw before? ” Anna said in amazement,

”Oh dear, I was that day on my balcony and I saw you when you threw it I noticed your sadness and hesitation when you decided to throw it, then I knew it was important to you so I asked one of the children to bring it back to me, I cleaned it and perfumed it and kept it for you because I knew it would be the best gift ”, Nana replied.

Annas eyes welled up and almost shed tears because of what Nana had done to her. She thanked her and then left the apartment.

Martin was sitting in front of her apartment, his back against the fence, staring at the mirage in front of him. He was wearing a long black coat that accentuated his slender stature. From its opening, a black shirt accentuated the muscles of his athletic body, his hands in his pants pocket, waiting for Anna to come. Anna stood in the stairs watching him with mixed feelings, part of her wanted to run towards him and fall into his arms, and another part wanted to admonish him in the harshest terms. Her troubled thought was interrupted by Martins stare at her, and when he noticed her presence, he straightened his stance and smiled at her, asking her to allow him to speak to her. Anna avoided looking at him and opened the door to her apartment and then invited him in without looking at him. Martin followed her and closed the door behind him. Anna took off her shoes and coat and went to the bathroom to get a towel with which to dry her hair, meanwhile Martin remained in the hall waiting for her to come, but he could not bear this silence between them and initiated the conversation. ”Anna, will you come out here and have a little chat? I know you
e upset with me, so I want to clear things up, ” Martin said, pressing her to come out.

Anna remained silent and then came out of the bathroom and asked him to sit while she prepared a hot drink for the two of them, but Martin gently grabbed her by the arm and asked her to sit with him, and that he wanted nothing but to talk to her. She shivered all over her body when Martin touched her, and suddenly she forgot all the reproaches and the words she wanted to say. Martin sat her near him, holding her hands gently and tenderly. He caressed her hair, lifted it from in front of her eyes, and put it behind her ear and Anna was looking down, feeling awkward.

”Won you talk to me? Im in front of you now, so tell me everything you hide in your heart, ” said Martin, as he gently raised her head toward him.

”I had a lot of talk in my heart. In fact, I was preparing myself for this day and prepared many conversations. I even reproached you every day, and then forgave you every time I put my head on my pillow. I promised myself that I would reproach you and wipe the ground with you if you came back. Now, as you are sitting in front of me, my tongue is knotted and suddenly I find myself forgetting all my anger. But sadness never leaves me, I know I shouldn think of you in a way you don want, you
e right, you never gave me any hope that we could have feelings other than friendship, or maybe you don even see me as a friend, just someone you like to spend time with when you feel bored, thats why you don come to me until after a long time__ ” Anna didn finish her words because Martin interrupted her when he surprised her with a kiss on her lips that made all her feelings explode at once to fall with her burning tears. At that moment time stopped around them and she felt that those kisses lasted for days, because it was her first kiss. Martin put his forehead on hers and took a deep breath as he gently wiped her tears, then stroked her hair and brought it close to his face, smelling it as if he was getting high. Then he held her tightly in his arms,

”I know everything that crosses your mind now and then. I know I was exploitative and made you suffer from over thinking, and I deserve all the blame from you, and you can punish me however you want, but just allow me to stay near you, even for a few minutes. You know, Anna, that I did not want things to reach this point between us. Since I saw you I couldn get over your charm, I saw in you what I was missing, the innocent smile in the face of the cruelty of life, this life made me lose all that is beautiful, and made me forget how to smile, but you gave me back a part of what I lost. Believe me, Ive tried to keep myself from getting attached to you, but I find myself running back to you whenever I feel the urge to be happy. You know, just as an addict goes back to his drug, Im coming back to you. Whenever I want to quit and repent, I find myself compelled to come back to get high and get drunk with your charm, and then regret it when I wake up, thats why I run from you. I am a coward, Anna, I am afraid that I will perish myself in your love. So I ask your forgiveness for all the mistakes Ive done and forgive me because I hurt you ”, Martin said with a sigh and a sadness he had never shown while holding her.

Anna felt her stomach upset and was uncomfortable with what had just happened to her, things have become more confusing, she pushed him away from her and stood away from him and started walking back and forth uncomfortably.

”You don have the right to do this to me. You don know what you just did. You made things worse. You don have the right to make me feel all these troubled feelings. Sometimes you give me false hope and sometimes you leave me alone and then you come back like it was nothing, and now you kiss me passionately as if Im your girlfriend. You don have the right to do this to me ”, she said, yelling at him.

Martin tried to hug her to calm her, but she refused to approach him. ”Anna, calm down, please. You
e feeling so agitated just because its your first kiss ”, said Martin, trying to comfort her.

”I know that and thats why Im mad at you, I didn imagine my first kiss would be like this with someone who plays with other peoples feelings. I wanted to have a stable relationship with someone who I love and he loves me, someone who is serious about his relationship with me, not like you enjoy your free time with me and then go and leave me again. You treat me like a nightclub girl, or like a prostitute you found standing in the street. You insult me with this ”, said Anna, angrily, and she couldn take it any longer and collapsed on the ground in tears.

Martin couldn do anything to calm her down, knowing that whatever he would say or do would make her even more angry, but he didn want to leave her in that state. He went and took out a small box that was in the inner pocket of his coat. He placed it in front of her and opened it to reveal a strange figure and the box began to play a beautiful tune. That box was a music box, in which was a model of a small wooden doll, the same wooden doll that appeared to be carrying with the hero of the movie Gladiator. As for the music that was played, it was the famous piece of the same movie ”Now We Are Free ”.

When Anna heard that music, she suddenly stopped crying and turned her eyes towards the music box, holding it in her hands, examining it with passion, completely immersed in thought, as if she had gone to another dimension. As for Martin, he kept watching her silently and was overjoyed because he was able to get her out of the clutches of sadness.

”I watched the movie, and I really liked it. When I wanted to come back I asked that it be made especially for you because I know its value to you. I wanted to make you something that would keep the memory of your father close to you; I know that you have nothing of it but the memories that unite you. So you can consider this gift is an epitome of your memories. I really hope you like it, ” said Martin, sitting on the floor in front of her.

Anna, however, did not pay any attention to what he said, but was completely lukewarm in contemplating the music box in her hands. When the music stopped, the box closed itself automatically. Then she turned to Martin. She wiped her tears and then said, ”Now Im in a mess, crying like little children. You really know my mood. I forgot all my sadness because of this music, I really don know if I should thank you or scold you, ” Anna said.

Martin laughed and then asked her if she had forgiven him but Anna asked him to stay the night with her and then she would think later if she would forgive him. They sat on the sofa, lying together in their arms. They wrap a fleece sheet and Anna listens to the music box and plays it whenever it stops. As for Martin, he was holding her in his arms. His eyes are closed and his head rests on her head. He smells her perfume and kisses her head.

”Are you going to go again and be away for a long time? ” Anna asked him,

”I really don know and I don want to know, I just want this night to last forever. I hope time stops at this moment and never moves, ” Martin answered, whispering.

”Martin? What is the nature of your business? ” Anna asked him curiously,

”I told you before that Im a soldier ”, Martin replied,

”I know that, but what do you do as a soldier what are your duties? ” she asked him again,

”My job is only to carry out orders, ” Martin replied,

”Do you mean that whatever they ask of you, you must do? If they ask you to leave your family, you will have to obey these orders? ” She asked curiously, looking him in the eye,

”Yes, thats exactly what I do ”, he replied whispering and looking tired,

”So its because of them that youve been staying away from me, right? ” Anna asked him again, but he did not answer her this time. She called on him, but he didn answer her either. And when she checked him, he was falling into a deep sleep, exhausted by fatigue. Anna kept watching and memorizing the details of his face until she too felt tired and fell asleep under the music box. What a beautiful scene they make together sleeping there in peace and what a happy ending for them, only if it was the end of this story, because the real story will begin since this moment. In the early morning Anna woke up on the noise made by Martin who was preparing himself to leave, she jumped from her place wondering why he is leaving at this moment, he answered her that he had a call from his boss and that he must leave immediately, she begged him to stay more but he apologized to her, kissed her on the forehead and went out, few seconds Anna run after him to the street and called on him, he stopped and turned around starring at her running towards him and hugging him,

”When will you come back to me? ” she asked him feeling sad,

”I don know Anna, I can promise you anything ”, he replied,

”Will you try to come back? ” she asked feeling hopeless,

”Anna, don wait for me, don follow me, live your life, I will make you miserable thats all, you will be sad next to me ”, he answered her with words that contradict his feelings,

”You can order me, you can control my actions I will do what my heart tells me to do ”, said Anna refusing to obey his words,

”Anna, don make me more concerned more than I already am, please Anna, I don want you to be hurt because of me, please don follow me ”, said Martin with tears in his eyes leaning towards her to kiss her but he left before he does, and left Anna standing there crying her heart out.

Making that scene like a sad love movie one, where the main characters make departure under rainy weather and a sad music playing in the background. She kept on watching him until he hide out of sight, then she went to her apartment, sat on the floor and burst into tears, but what could she do rather than crying or imagining, at that moment she knew that disable people shouldn fall in love because they will just get hurt, it appears to her that even love needs power to have it, and she curses herself because she is the one who caused her this sorrow.

I want you all to remember your first love, I know that the majority of you had very sad memories about that very first experience, you cried every night; you lost your appétit, and you can remember how to be happy. That first love we had was selfish, for we want to own that person, to own his heart, his smile, his words; we want to have all of him, we feel sad and jealous or even angry whenever we saw that person smile or talk to someone else, we feel a fire ignites inside our hearts, and we even want to hurt that person just because he gave others what we want. Did my words make you remember that period of your life? If your answer was yes, then I am glad to tell you that what you felt wasn love, it was a possessiveness, a very selfish feeling that consumes your soul and burns your heart, eats your brain and curses you with insomnia, because love, my friends, is the opposite of possessiveness, it is a generous feeling, it heals your heart from feelings of hatred, it makes you wish well for your beloved, rejoice for his happiness and grieves for his sadness, you seek to make him happy even if it is at the expense of your own happiness. This is why our first experience of love was sad, as for Anna, she was between the two feelings, one she wished that he would be happy wherever he was and another time she felt intense hatred and wished that death would take him on its wings if it was not destined for him to be hers. This contradiction drives her crazy, and waiting weighed her heart with worries until everyone around her noticed the changes that had occurred to her, as she had noticeably lost weight, and her wild smile began to fade little by little, and all the time her mind wandered in thought. Diego could not remain silent and remain idly by watching her wither and slide into the abyss, so he tried to open the matter with her, but before he spoke to her, he noticed that her attention was drawn to the radio while they were broadcasting the news of an accident to the army personnel where many died, Anna raised the sound of the radio while she listened to the announcer reading a list of the names of those killed in that accident.

”Since when do you care about the news of the army? ” Diego asked curiously,

Anna noticed his words and tried to hide her interest in the matter, and hung up the radio. ”No, Im not at all interested. Im just curious to know more about what happened, ” Anna answered hesitantly.

”Anna, my daughter, whats going on with you this period, you are not at all normal and I worry about you, are you sick? Is there something disturbing the peace of your life? Tell me everything that is bothering you, I promise I will find a solution and always be on your side, ” said Diego in a worried tone.

”Nothing is happening with me, Diego. Im really fine, ” Anna replied with a fake smile.

”That is enough for your lies; what nonsense do you think of me as a little kid, don you see how youve become? Youve lost weight, your face is pale and your eyes are full of dark circles, you
e withering day by day, ” said Diego, shouting angrily.

His words made her look at him in amazement, wanting to speak but unable to do so, her tears suffocated her and she spoke in broken words like a child trying to talk when crying, rubbing her hands and twisting her fingers pushing herself to not cry while talking,

”If I could find a solution to my crisis I would talk to trees for it, but believe me Diego, my problem is beyond the ability of any human ”, said Anna in sad words, breaking through bones to reach hearts and contaminate it with this sadness,

”Is it about Martin? I know how it feels like to feel the first love, talk to me about it Anna, share with me your sorrow, maybe I can help you with my experience ”, said Diego,

”Yes it is about him, I didn talk to you about him before and this is why you don know anything about him, hi is a soldier, he comes often to meet me; we spend some time together, for few hours then he leaves with no trace, at first we were just hanging out together but later I start having feelings for him, I didn know if he feels the same or not, and what made is worst is that I have no way of communicating with him, and I don know if he will come back or not, that makes me thinking all the time about him, and that is what bothered me, until he showed up again from nowhere, he confessed his love to me then he left forever, and he told me to forget about him and to move on with my life, but I couldn , and he does not have the right to order me to forget him, he put me in this situation and he left me drowning alone, I hate him for doing this to me, yet I love him sincerely. I am trapped behind the bars of dungeon of regret, and inside the walls of love, and all these contrasting feelings driving me crazy, I want to admonish him and I want to hug him, I want to hate him and I want to love him, but I a stuck in here and I can do anything ”, said Anna expressing all her feelings,

”Ah, I see what you are trying to say, I don lie to you when I say that I never experienced such a thing, I am really sad for you, but I will not let you suffer like this and all I do is watching you, no dear Anna I can do this, so I advise you to follow him, you don know if he will come back, and you can stay in your place just waiting for hope does not exist, waiting is fatal, and I can watch you dying slowly, it is hard for me to tell you this and send you away from me but, you have to go after him, if he does not want to be with you then you go after him, and when you find him you can decide whether you want to punish him or to forgive him ”, said Diego,

His words made her face bright and that sadness suddenly left her face and a slight smile appear on her lips, ”Are you being serious? Can I really go? But how, I don know where to start searching ”, said Anna feeling lost,

”Didn you say that he is a soldier? If that is so, you should apply for the military service ”, said Diego,

”Me, in the military service, how is that possible? They will not accept me ”, said Anna in amazement,

”Listen dear Anna, my nephew graduated this summer and he will apply for the military service, no need to be very skilled or having a wrestler body, your undergraduate degree will help you get in, so write an application letter with all the required papers and give it to me, I will hand it to my nephew and he will send it with his file, you should start working on it now before I change my mind ”, said Diego in funny way to make her smile,

The happiness she felt that moment was as big as mountains; she rushed towards Diego and gave him a big suffocating hug because she has no words to describe her happiness and gratitude to him, at the same time Armand enters the shop to take the sketches as usual,

”Are making a hugging party without inviting me? ” said Armand then he join them and hugged them both,

”No, not you too, get off me both you will suffocate me, I am an old weak man, my heart will stop at any moment ”, said Diego joking,

”What is the occasion of this hugging? Tell me and share the happiness with me ”, said Armand,

”I can describe it for you I am just having one of my best times now ”, said Anna,

”So I think I will be a fun killer now ”, said Armand,

”Why is that, what happened? ” Anna asked curiously,

”Well I came to take the sketches but I have bad news, people in the edition house are talking and the word is spread among all of them, the editor wants to stop your work because he didn like the last issue, he said that he will examine the new sketches by himself and if they were like the one before he will not publish it and will announce the decision to stop printing the comic permanently ”, said Armand,

What Armand just said didn affect her, but she smiled like she cares about nothing, she told him that she already knows about that, and that she was told that from the editor himself, but she didn care about his threatens and kept on working the way she loves, because this comics are her way to express herself, and she told him how she prefer to stop publishing the comic over changing its content. Armand was impressed by her decision even though that he was sad that he will never read it again,

”Don worry, I will find another way to keep working on it Mr. Ulf ”, said Anna comforting Armand,

He said goodbye to them and left the shop, and Anna asked Diego to let her go back early this day so she can prepare her application file, he gave her the permission to leave and she left the shop with her heart filed with happiness, and as for Diego he felt a little bit sad because he will not see her for a long time or maybe forever if she goes.

In this moment no one will imagine the happiness inside her heart, or you can, try to remember the happiest moment you ever experienced in your life that makes you take the dumbest decisions, remember this part because its the moment she will change her life by taking the bravest decision she ever made; But whats decided with no previous planning will surly lead to serious consequences. She was blinded with her love not thinking of anything but to find a way to get closer to Martin even if it was at the cost of her life.

”My name is Anna Ruiz, 20 years old, live in (Ainsa, Spain), graduated from Ana Isabel Carbjales Leon University, Huesca, Spain with a bachelor degree in biology sciences, I certify that I have all the qualifications required to join the Spanish army and I sign this paper to confirm my application for the military service ”.

This was the letter for Annas application to the military service, she never thought that she would do such dangerous thing; she always locked herself in the safe zone, she likes to challenge herself but the fear of Matildas reaction makes her step back every time since ever, she felt chained even when she is away from her, she hears her voice and sees her furious eyes; but this time she dare to face her this time she will break her chains, she will dust away the dark fog between them and she will be released from her; all that she do is for Martin, although their relationship seems wrong but his love makes her stronger and fearless, she always waited for the boost that will help her with her fears and finally it comes, he was that boost for Anna. Tomorrow morning she went to the shop and gave her file to Diego, he told her that he wishes her to stay with him but he will never dare to stood in her way of happiness, while they were working Annas phone rung and it was the edition house, she answered and the secretary told her that the Mr. Manuel wants to see her this day,

”Diego, I have to go now, the edition house called me they say that the editor wants to see me ”, said Anna feeling confused,

”What he wants from you? I don think that it would be a good meeting this time ”, said Diego making fun of Manuel,

”I think he will make me sign the decision of ending the comic ”, said Anna feeling both sad and guilty,

”Anna, you should be strong, you knew that this day will come and you prepared yourself for it, don worry things will get batter, just remember one thing to never bow to anyone under any condition ”, said Diego encouraging her,

”Yes Diego I know that, it is just that I feel guilty about what will happen to your shop, for sure is that when they stop it your business will be damaged, I am really sorry for that ”, sad Anna feeling sorry,

”Don say that Anna, it is true that your comics made the shop famous and made a good benefit for it but I will know how to stand on my feet again don worry about me dear, I faced mush more worst things than that ”, said Diego smiling,

Anna thanked him for his supporting and she left the shop after saying goodbye to him with a hug. After two of hours riding in the bus she arrived at Andorra city and she goes directly to the edition house she entered the place and the secretary took her directly to Mr. Manuels office, once she entered he hanged the phone immediately with anger and he ordered her to sit, his face was red of anger and he started scolding her telling her that he did worn her before and told her that if anyone send him one single reclamation about the comics he will stopped,

”I gave you a second chance and I send you a warning but you kept on doing what you like, what does this mean? ” said Manuel dropping her sketches on the desk,

”I am sorry sir, but I don know other way to write, I couldn change the type of the story and you are free to do whatever you want with it ”, said Anna in calm tune,

”Of course I will do whatever I want with it, do you think I will take my orders from you? This is the end of your work ”, said Manuel cutting her sketches into pieces,

Anna didn like the way he treated her sketches, and he made her angry, she stood up and took the glass of wine and spilled it on his face leaving him speechless by her unexpected act,

”Do whatever you like Mr. Fat man, you know what, now you can tell that writer who doesn like competing with me that the arena is now empty for him alone, so let him spread his poisonous ideas in it as he likes, and I hope that this will bring you abundant money, but I am warning you, don ever try to humiliate me and my work ”, said Anna angrily shouting on him, then she left the office slapping the door so strong that makes everyone in the building hear it, and as for Manuel, he didn understand what just happened.

She left the building feeling completely different, she felt strong and happy for this; it was her first time she stood up in front of someone mistreating her, or the second time if we count Rosa. On her way walking she met Armand by chance, and he was walking with a redhead girl,

”Anna, what a surprise to see you here, I am really happy to see you today. May I ask why you came? ” said Armand asking her curiously,

”Hi Armand, happy to see you too, well nothing specific, I met the editor and he decided to stop publishing my work ”, said Anna smiling happily,

”But why you seem happy? ” Armand asked surprisingly,

”Because I make him learn a hard lesson, and I will be happy about it for a very long time ”, said Anna laughing,

”Are you still talking to your ex Armand? ” said Armands friend angrily,

”Oh no, sorry dear I didn introduce myself properly, I am Anna , Armands old friend, and that day we were just acting, and I am not studying at the college, in fact I am supposed to be teaching you ”, said Anna,

”I am sorry, I didn introduce you to each other, Anna this is Laura my girlfriend, Laura this is Anna my old friend as she said before ”, said Armand,

”I am sorry for being rude, I didn mean what I said, forgive me please ”, said Laura apologizing to Anna,

”It is okay dear no need to apologize, congrats for your relationship I wish you all the best for the future, I will leave you now to enjoy your time together, bye ”, said Anna,

”Wait Anna you just got in, come with us ”, said Armand inviting her for lunch,

”No please, last time I did that was not a nice time, I have to go back early anyway, Diego is waiting for me, see you later and have fun ”, said Anna then they took apart.

While walking the way to the bus station, she passed by the shop from where Martin bought her the dress, and she remembers her time with him back then, ”I am coming to you Martin, just wait for me ”, she said talking to herself passionately dreaming of the time they will meet.

After two days Anna received an accept letter from the military minister and an invitation to the nearest military base to take the final test, she was both exited and scarred about this huge step she will take and wondering about if it is it the right thing to do and does she need to tell Matilda about it or just leave and show her that she has no power on her? But a young girl who spent her life running from life challenges doesn know how to make right actions or how to stand in front of her fears, and by time that only made her self-confidence shaken to the point of not making a decision without referring to someone, and as predictable she went to her neighbor Nana to ask for her opinion; when she approaches the door her heart pounds as her phone rings and display a strange number on the screen, she answered and heard someone in tears in the other side and the voice is familiar to her, ”Linda! Is that you? ” Anna said anxiously, ”yes Anna its me, Im in the hospital please come granny is not well ” Linda replied crying.

She rushed to the streets running after cabs begging them to stop for her and her mind playing dark scenarios about what she will see in the hospital and all the way she couldn stop blaming herself thinking that this could be a bad sign about the decision she made, ”Oh lord! I beg you if you are punishing me for my decision please heal her and I will not leave, Oh lord please don test me with her, she is innocent of my mistakes ”, said Anna crying and praying,

When she arrived to the hospital she found Linda standing on the hall way next to the room where Nana was resting, she rushed towards her and hugged her crying, she asked her what happened to her and Linda told her that she suddenly felt a pain in her heart then she fall down, the doctors said that her condition is instable and her heart could stop at any moment,

”She is awake now you can talk to her but don show her you are sad please, she shouldn be affected by any emotions, I will call my father to ask him when will they arrive, I will join you when I finish my call, and one more thing she is the one who asked me to call you, she wants you to be next to her ”, said Linda before leaving to make a call.

Anna wiped her tears and rearranged her look faking a smile in order to not make her uncomfortable when she sees her, she gently opened the door and entered her room and Nana was asleep, she approaches her quietly and she sat on the chair next to her bad watching her sleeping peacefully,

”Linda is that you dear? ” said Nana when she felt someone next to her,

”No, Nana, it is me Anna, I came once I heard about it. How are you feeling now? Are you in pain? I can call the doctor if you are not feeling well ”, said Anna,

”Ah, it is you dear Anna I was looking for you, don worry I have never been better than today, don worry about me. You look sad dear and you have a lot of talk beneath your tongue, feel free to talk ”, said Nana smiling and her voice was weak,

”I came to check on you dear nothing else, and what could be more important than you ”, said Anna holding Nanas hand,

”I told you before dear that I am old but not fool, you can fool me, I have lived your whole age three times, I know when someone is hiding things in his heart, dear Anna your eyes are expose you, for that the eyes are the mirror of the soul, they never lie, so tell me what is disturbing your peace? ” said Nana,

”To tell the truth, I was coming to you to ask for your opinion about something and to take your advice. Do you remember that man you met before? Martin was his name, so there was something complicated between us, it wasn clear at first but in the end it all come to light, I was happy first knowing that finally my sadness will end and I will have someone to share my nights and let go of my insomnia, but I was wrong, at one moment I held the world in the palm of my hand but it has gone all of a sudden, he left me and told me to forget about him and to move on with my life, after he set me up in his love, I couldn let go of him, I refused to let go of him, so I decided to follow him if he is not coming to me, I will go for him, but this is the problem now I don know if what I am doing is right, I don know how to face Matilda especially now that our relationship has improved, I know she will break down again and she will refuse, but when I heard about your condition I retreated my decision, I just want you to be healed I will not go and leave you ”, said Anna with her tears streaming on her cheeks,

”Ah right, love, what a powerful and dangerous feeling, it could make you powerful and weak at the same time, we all want it, but when we have it we wish that we never knew it, listen to me dear Anna, my time is running out, and soon I will be buried under the ground, but I am really happy, I can wait for my clock to stop, please don interrupt me and let me finish my words dear Anna, now you may say I am a crazy old lady but what I am saying is the truth, since my husband passed away I have been waiting for this day, the I will unite with him, I remember when we were young teenagers and we run away together, we worked together in several jobs, and we didn care of where we stay or where we sleep as long as we were together, in the subway, and old motel, or a small room in a cold building with annoying neighbors, our love to each other was sincere. One day I wanted to go to the college, he did everything to me to help me with my dream, he worked in two different jobs in the day, and he provide for me all what I needed for my study until I graduated, I can forget his happiness that day, he was so proud of me, day by day our life improved and we both had a stable job, we bought a house and we had three gorgeous kids, and one day death took him away from me, fare away of my reach, I committed to suicide several times but I retreated at the last moment for the three angels I had with him, I pulled myself together only for them, I showed them how strong I was, but deep inside I was dying and praying every night that death take me to him, I said that there is nothing in the world I would not it do for him to reach him and to follow him, but even death was out of my reach and all could do is just waiting, and now finally I could be with him, only few hours has left, so please tell the doctors to let me go to my beloved one, my eyes missed him, I want to hug him again and to smell him, I want to tell him how was the life cruel without him, the food has no taste without him sharing it with me, the holidays and feasts has no joy without his presence, and I wasn living in fact I was dying slowly ”, said Nana with all warm emotions,

”Nana, you are making me cry, I didn know you were living with all that grief alone, why didn you talk to me or anyone about it? At least you could feel a little bit better ”, said Anna feeling touched by Nanas story,

”Ah dear Anna, what words could make feel better if it wasn his, I know you are telling yourself what could an old lady talk about love like a young one, you are right ”, said Nana joking,

”I would never say that, but sometimes I feel strange when I see elders talking about love, it is lovely to see them though ”, said Anna,

”Love has no limits nor age, it is always young ageless, so dear Anna this is my last words for you, go after him, if necessary, go to the end of the world, to the heights of the mountains and to the depth of the seas, and do not let anything stand in your way but death, because I would do the same for my beloved one if he was alive, and as for Matilda you should talk to her, even if she cursed you and refused she will understand in the end, remember what I told you before everyone has anger buried deep inside, you should discover her anger and heal it, and don ever break the relationship in between you both and whats more important never break hearts, hearts are so fragile and could never be healed ”, said Nana and the machines around her start making alert noise,

Moments later, nurses and the doctor enters the room and Nanas family too, they pushed Anna away when she was holding her hand tight and Nana was staring at her and smiling like no one else was there but Anna, the doctor ordered them to stay away from her and make them leave the room in order to perform resuscitation to her heart, everyone was crying and praying that she survives but Anna was crying happy inside because she knows that this is the happiest moment for her, suddenly she felt a shock in her heart forcing her to fall down to the floor knowing that Nana breathed her last, the doctor came out from the room to inform them with the sad news and their mother has left to the heavens, they start crying in regret and hugging and consoling each other except for Anna who was left to cry alone as if she was an intruder, although she is the one who was so close to her more than anyone else, but she doesn need their words or to be known by them, because deep inside she knows that Nana loved her more than anyone and she shared her secrets with her, this is all what she needs to know. She left the hospital happy for her friend because she finally found the eternal peace, but sad because she lost her forever, walking in the streets crying again, it is like the sadness became her new friend because lately crying is all what she does, when she remembered her last words she decided to make an end to this misery, she went to her apartment, packed all her stuffs in a traveling bag and she headed toward the countryside to face Matilda, when she arrived she visited her fathers grave first,

”Hello father, it is me Anna, I know you would be mad at me because I didn visit you since a long time, but you told me to never give up to sadness and to be happy for the rest of my life, and I did, and this is why I didn want to visit you, you know why? Because I wanted to be buried with you, because I couldn live away from you, but you know what, I managed to survive without your presence with me, because I followed your advices and I did as you raised me, to be happy and polite and to enjoy live with every detail, but father you didn tell me about how cruel life is, you didn prepare me for this, why father why? I don know if you hear me but I want to tell you that I need most than anything, I want to tell you that I am taking decisions that I don know its consequences and please forgive me for what will happen next, I love you father and I wish to be with you now, why all the people that I care about are leaving me? I am sorry father I am going far away and I don know if I will come back ”, said Anna crying while lying on her father grave and hugging it.

She stayed there until the sunset and the cemetery keeper kicked her out of the there, she walked at the dark dragging her traveling bag behind her and her clothes are covered in dirt, she arrived at the house and entered to find Matilda standing in the kitchen cooking dinner, she got surprised when she saw her at this condition,

”Anna, what happened to you? Why you look in a mess like this, did someone hurt you? ” said Matilda feeling worried about her,

Anna hesitated and thought a lot about what would she tell her, but she couldn talk, and she lied to her saying that the owner of the apartment kicked her off and she had nowhere else to go, Matilda felt sad for her and told her to go have a shower while she prepare the dinner. Deep inside her, Anna felt so much regret and disable, she couldn face Matilda and she didn want to break her heart, all she can do is waiting, but she already get enough of waiting, that night they have dinner together and the roles has changed, for this time it was Matilda who is trying to make a conversation with Anna, and Anna was answering with few words, when they finished Anna asked her to have a rest and she would do the dishes, she did as she asked but deep inside she felt that Anna has something hidden in her heart, that night they slept in two different places, but Anna didn close an eye thinking of what she will do.

Tomorrow morning Matilda woke up to do her daily home works, but she was surprised by seeing Anna in the kitchen and she was already awake, she did all the work for her and she prepared breakfast for her,

”Anna, why you are awake so early, you shouldn do all that work you still tired ”, said Matilda,

”I am leaving ”, said Anna with sharp and serious tone,

”What did you say? Where are you leaving, did you find another place? ” said Matilda asking curiously,

”No, I am leaving forever, I will join military ”, said Anna,

Matilda sat on the chair didn handle the chock and she couldn believe what she just told her, she stares at her in chock not able to talk,

”They didn kick me off the building, I am who decided to leave on my own, I received an acceptance letter from the defense minister and I should be there by tomorrow ”, said Anna,

”After all these years, you dare to turn your back to me, is this what I deserve from you, I took care of you and raised as one of my own, tell me why did I waste my life for, why did I waste my time for, my youth and my health, I sacrificed everything for you and your father, while all my peers were leaving their dreams and having fun with their lives I was doomed to be a maid for you and your father, I accepted to leave this misery because I felt sorry for you, and I couldn let you suffer in this life alone, why am I doomed with misery and sorrow for my whole life, why I never have lived a normal day like any woman does, and now you decide to just go and left me have this misery forever? I raised you to be strong in this life and to be successful with your life and when you got the power you decided to go and forget about me and all what I have done for you, now you will go to live your dreams and you are going to leave me after I buried my dreams for you, I wish that you have died with your father ”, said Matilda crying and yelling at her,

”You will never change, you will never be a good person no matter what you did or said, you will never change who you are no matter how much make up you put, you will never change your ugly truth even if you change your whole appearance, you always make feel guilty for every single favor you do for me no matter how small it was, you always made me feel that even a single smile from you has a coast, every year, every month, every day and minute you make me pay for everything you did for me, you say that you sacrificed your life for me? Who the hell asked you to take care of me? Who forced? No one, it was your own choice not mine, not my fathers, it was you who wanted that, so why you blame me for that, why you made my life a living hell? I know the answer, you never wanted to raise me or to take care of me, you are a toxic person you lived your entire life in a misery and you blame the whole world for this, and you make me live the same misery you had in your life just to satisfy your ego, I was the sacrifice you sacrificed to take revenge of life, you are a sick person and you deserve the misery you have lived ”, said Anna shouting at her and revealing all her hidden feelings,

”What do you know about misery? If you think that the life you hade was a misery I want to tell you that it was a luxury life compared to mine, do you want to know where did I come from? I will tell you so listen carefully, I come from a place where laughing is forbidden, love is forbidden and happiness is forbidden, dreams are a crime, so I am not allowed to dream, I love to draw, but I was doing it in secret, and when I get caught I get a cruel punishment until I become afraid of dreaming, or even I show my admiration for the art I get punished, from where I come I was just a maid, I was raised to be a maid, treated like a maid and my destiny was to be a maid, they forced me to get married without asking for my opinion and the last word was told to me before leaving was Do not shame us and I did as they say, the only thing I had the freedom to do was to draw and practice the art that I always loved, it was my only outlet, when I married and got to know you both, I felt that this would be my new life I wouldn be alone again and finally I could have people who care about me and treat me like a living person, but life is would never let me feel the happiness I want and it showed me that I don deserve to have this happiness it was when your father died after a short period of our marriage, and I found myself with the duty of raising a child, and when I finally get close to you and hade hope again and I started to have fate with life you decide to turn your back on me like everyone did, you are one of them, shame on you ”, said Matilda cursing Anna regretting the time of her life she wasted on her,

”I turned my back on you say? Huh, okay than just wait ”, said Anna before she walk towards her room dragging her bag behind her, then she opened it in front of her and she took an envelope with money inside, ”You see all that? Can you see what all that is, this is the money I was gathering for you, I was working day night to provide a proper house for me and you in the town, I was doing all that just thinking of you and how I should treat you back for your favor with me but you don deserve it, you had a bad life you say? It is not my fault, what did I do to deserve this cruel treatment from you? I was innocent but why you did that to me? You ruined my life, but you know what? Now after you told me your truth I don blame you, because who does not have thing can give it, you never had love in your life so you don how to give it, I am leaving you and your toxic life, and for this money you can keep it, because it seems that I gathered it for nothing ”, said Anna throwing the money at her, and dragging her bag to leave before Matilda stopped her,

”You should know that if you cross that door front you are not allowed to come back, and you should forget about this place and me ”, said Matilda threatening her,

”Go ahead, you can keep the last memory of my father, you desecrated anyway ”, said Anna with a sharp look before she step out of the house walking under the pouring rain not staring at her back, and for Matilda she stood there watching her leaving until she disappeared and then she collapsed at the ground crying in regret.

In that rainy day Diego was standing in the front of the shop enjoying the smell breeze of the rain with a hot cup of lite sugar coffee until he saw an unexpected guise of Anna: she was walking in heavy steps dragging her travelling bag behind her, covered in mad from feet to her head. This image makes him rush towards her and his body shaking as a reaction of the emotions emitted from the heart of a protective father; as he held her in his arms she couldn hide her sadness no longer and burst into tears:

”I can ! I can take it anymore Diego Im so done with her ”, said Anna crying in his arms,

Diego replied her in confused tune: ”what happened?! Who did this to you?! Lets enter inside and talk ”,

”Im leaving and never go back to that house again, she can keep the last memory of my father but she can control my life again ”, said Anna,

e talking about Matilda? What she did to you? ” said Diego feeling worried,

”I decided to leave but she refused so I make it clear to her that she has no power on me, but she revealed her true reality, she hates me and she always did, I was right about her, I knew that she was cruel to me just to punish me for her misery ”, said Anna talking with anger about her.

”I really don know what to say now, you are really going through a lot in your life these days, I don know if it is good or bad, but I am with you forever dear Anna, I would do to you whatever I can ”, said Diego,

”I know that Diego, I really appreciate all what you did for me and still do, I am sorry that I am leaving you now at this time, forgive me ”, said Anna feeling sorry,

”It is okay Anna, you are not my servant, you can leave or stay whenever you want it is your life ”, said Diego petting her head,

”Thank you Diego I really love you, Diego can I spend the night here in the shop? I left my apartment and I don have where to go, and tomorrow I should leave in the early morning ”, said Anna asking him gently,

”Of course dear, I would have take you to my house but I know you will get late for the train, but promise me that you call me once you get there and you should call me every day and tell me about yourself and everything that happens with you ”, said Diego,

”Okay I promise you that I will give you a detailed report every day ”, said Anna laughing.

This is the bravest decision that Anna makes for the very first time in her life and now shes rolling her life by herself with no need to go back for someone elses permission; Now she will start her own adventure and the next chapter of her life will start in the Zaragoza Air Base.

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