The years passed and I was now twenty-three years old. I had not seen Arturo for five years. My brother had moved away and Arturo no longer came over to visit. I had not thought about him much during that time, except for the occasional wonder, particularly, when his parents were over at our house. Our parents were still friends, but did not get together as much. When they did, I would listen to their conversations, just to hear his name mentioned. I gathered from them that he was now working and had a girlfriend. They had been together for a couple of years. I was slightly sad to hear the news, but figured such is life. Besides, all those feelings I had where childish. All those dreams and fantasy worlds I built were just that, dreams and fantasies.
At twenty-three, I had already finished college, and had started working at a local newspaper. I wanted to be a journalist. The newspaper hired me that summer as an intern, and they had liked my work, so they offered me a full time position. My job entailed minor assignments. I did not care; I was working as a journalist. One of my first assignments was to cover announcements, weddings, engagements, births, birthdays, just about anything, people would want to announce to the world. The writing I did was important to those making the announcements. My job was to write their announcement, place it in the column, and submit them to the editor for final approval.
As I was sifting through the announcements, I saw one that caught my eye. The announcement was for Arturo and his now fiancée, announcing their engagement to the world. How ironic. Here was the prince in my dreams, engaged to someone else, and I was writing their announcement. A little voice inside me wanted to misplace it and not print it.
The voice was screaming, “Lose it. Don’t print it. No one will ever know.”
I could not go through with it. I wrote the announcement, placed it in the column, and gave it to the editor. No one ever knew what crazy thoughts I had, or what I had intended, even if it was only in my mind.
I went home that night feeling sad. Once he married, I would lose all hope. What was I thinking? I had not thought about him for so long, why all of a sudden it mattered that he was engaged. I realized that reading the announcement had brought all those feelings I had as a child back to the front of my mind. Did I still have feelings for him? Did I still love him? I could see the written words in my head, “Mr. and Mrs. Pallatio announce the engagement of their daughter, Maritza Beth Pallatio, to Arturo Carlos Valencia.”
That night, I thought about him. I re-lived my childhood dreams with him in them. That night, I realized that I still had feelings for him. This time they were not childhood feelings, this time the feelings dug deep. I had loved him. I still loved him. I tossed and turned in bed for hours. I finally fell asleep. Arturo is getting married; I lost him.