A few months had passed, and I had not seen Arturo. What I knew of him was from listening in to my parents’ conversations. Each time, I heard something new. That is how I kept up with him. I heard them say, as the weeks and months went by, that the wedding was postponed. Maritza was still in the hospital. Her recovery was taking longer than predicted. She was not progressing as expected. She was having seizures, and was at risk. Her pregnancy was progressing. The baby was healthy.
She was now eight months pregnant. The doctors were going to perform a C-section. Maritza’s seizures were placing the baby at risk. The C-section was the best chance they had to deliver a healthy baby.
The C-section was successful. Maritza and Arturo were the parents of a healthy baby girl. They named her Lilly Ann. The baby was placed in an incubator. Her lungs were not fully developed. She would spend a few weeks in the hospital. At least until she could breathe on her own.
The C-section provided Maritza’s body with some relief. She soon stopped having seizures and recovered fully. Both Lilly Ann and Maritza went home a month after the birth. Arturo had moved all of Maritza’s belongings into his house and had prepared a nursery for the baby. Although, they did not get married as planned, they did start a life together with their baby.
A few months later, Arturo and Maritza were married in a small ceremony with close family and friends, only. Mom and dad attended the wedding. They said that it was a beautiful wedding. Mom still planned it, but to a much smaller scale. That is what Arturo had wanted to begin with, a small wedding.
The baby was growing healthy and Maritza fully recovered. Arturo was the only one working. Maritza stayed home with the baby. I stopped listening in to my parents conversations. I no longer wanted to hear about his life. I needed to forget about him. I needed to let go. The only way I knew how, was to submerge myself into my work and keep my mind busy and occupied.
My new position was demanding and took up most of my time. The new designers’ clothes lines were coming up and I had a lot to do. The Newspaper had spun off a new Fashion Magazine and I was now writing for both. The editors were pleased with my work and wanted to meet with me. During the meeting, they explained that a new position had opened up in New York and that I had been selected for it. It meant I had to move away. I, gladly, accepted the offer and moved to New York.
I figured that the move to New York would provide a fresh start. I figured that by being away from him, I could start to heal inside, and accept the fact that he was out of my life. The last few months had been hard on me. Arturo was in love with me, but had married another. Nothing could change the situation. He made a choice. A choice that was right. He had new responsibilities and I did not fit in his life.
It took a while to settle into my new life. I was busy all the time, and I did not have time to wallow in self-pity. At the magazine, I had made new friends and started socializing with them. It had been a year since I had seen Arturo. I still thought about him.
My new friends decided that they would set me up on a date. I was hesitant, but decided to go through with it. His name was Paul. He was a writer for a sports magazine. Paul was six feet two inches tall. He was very muscular and very attractive. His eyes were green and had dirty blonde hair. For our date, he had arranged for us to go to dinner at an Italian restaurant in mid-town Manhattan. The restaurant was built in resemblance to Venice. The wall had the typical Gondola’s traveling through canals painted as murals. In the courtyard, they had recreated the ambiance of an Italian plaza. The waiters uniforms were likened to the clothes the Gondoliers wore. The romantic Italian songs played in the background. The food was delicious, and the date went well.
Paul turned out to be a true gentleman. We continued to see each other. He came up with many different things to do together. We visited museums, the zoo, central park, Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty, and others. He kept our dates interesting.
Although I was enjoying myself with him, I did not feel any attraction towards him. He had tried a few times to get intimate, but I gently declined. After a while, he realized I did not have any interest in pursuing a relationship, so he stopped trying.
I kept on working and stayed busy. I was at work one day, when I found out that Juan Marcos, a prevalent designer from Milan, Italy, was in town, and had granted me an exclusive interview, a chance of a lifetime. There was a scheduled preview of his clothing line for the New York merchants. He invited me to attend the preview. Wow! It had not crossed my mind that I could ever have such an opportunity.
I was to meet him at the hotel that the preview was being held. He had arranged for the interview to be in a private conference room. John, one of the best photographers for the magazine, accompanied me to the interview. John was handsome. He was around six feet tall, and lean. He had brown hair and brown eyes, and a smile that captivated all. He had always flirted with me, but I had not paid attention to him.
We arrived at the hotel at nine in the morning. The meeting was set for nine thirty. Since we were early, John and I went into the coffee shop. We sat at a corner table. The server came over and I ordered a vanilla latte with a croissant to accompany it, and John ordered black coffee and a blueberry muffin.
“Genevieve” I heard someone call my name.
The voice sounded familiar. I turned around and could not believe my eyes. It was Arturo.