Chapter ONE

The summer’s reaching its end. Although the city is a very hot place at night the temperature drops and where we are is right next to a river: The River Guadalquivir (or Wadi al-Kivir as it was known by the moors some 500+ years ago). There are mosquitoes buzzing around, fixated with the light bulbs that are still working. Crickets fill the air with their usual racket and, if you stop to listen and are brave enough you will notice some little snakes coming from the river bank to the grass and possibly into the swimming pool.

We are sitting in some PVC chairs chatting without a care, if I remember well I am the only boy of the group, how lucky! Sitting next to me is Maria, a nice girl, not especially pretty but nice enough (in fact I wouldn’t feel embarrassed if I ever was to be seen walking hand-in-hand with her). We are sharing that especial moment that is when you start touching her hand and she doesn’t back off. I’m enjoying, relishing, the moment in silence as she does too. The others don’t seem to notice our magic moment and for that I’m so grateful because, just imagine if any other girl of the group realises? I wouldn’t stand a chance with her! I need to keep all my chances open.

And then, all the peace and quiet go away: it’s Carolina and… Who is that other, new, girl? I haven’t seen her before. Plenty of questions start to fill my head but I cannot concentrate on them as Carolina is behaving as her usual self: loud, bossy, she is definitely more mature and experienced than the rest of us. She dress and behaves like one of those hippies, wearing these long skirts, black boots (and it’s SO hot!!), sweaters, pullovers or whatever you call them, you get my drift. Although we don’t have anything in common, she is a very good friend of mine, acting like an older sister, the older sister that I never had. I have two younger sisters, in fact, I think I can hear the younger one roaring on the background, bossing her friends around!

Then Carolina introduces us to this mysterious new girl: Nola she’s called and she goes to the hi-school close to where we’re standing. Nola looks thin, brown hair and fair skin. And when she smiles you can see her perfect, white teeth, all of them right in place. Something must have been in the air, because all of a sudden I feel like talking with her, being all over her and, somehow, I feel like spending the rest of my life with her.

And then, when I thought that I was thinking of doing it, I realised that in fact, I was doing it! So I had stopped holding Maria’s hand and went directly to Nola and started talking to her. About fifteen minutes later I noticed that I’d left Maria alone and looked at her and I saw her eyes full of fire, she gave me the finger (literally) and walked out and I don’t know why? All I was doing was talk to this new girl and then off she goes!

I feel smitten by this new girl, by the time I have to walk back home (about forty minutes going through a maze of narrow streets), all I can think of is Nola, N-O-L-A, how good she looked, her gorgeous smile and shy eyes. So I walk slowly, imagining ourselves in a better place where we could be together forever. With those thoughts I go to bed wishing and begging God that she comes back the next weekend so I can see her again and, maybe, ask her out.

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