Everyone at the airport was ready. The staff
had put on their best clothes and every single corner of the small terminal
building had been cleaned to the last millimeter. From very early in the
morning, people had arrived to help organize every single part of this
impromptu visit. After all, it was the president of the most powerful country
in the world. And theirs was one of the poorest and most isolated ones on the
whole planet. However, the presidential plane had to refuel somewhere, so the
small nation had received the honor of hosting the president for a few hours.
From the moment they had been warned about the
impending arrival of the plane, hundreds of people were put to work. Not only
those in the airport, people who only really worked on weekdays and even then
only in certain time frames, but also every single operator and technician
available. They wanted not only the people to feel welcomed but also to make
the best work possible with the plane. They got fuel from the city’s reserves,
as the amount they had on the airport was not enough to refill a plane the size
of the one they were going to see in a few hours.
The process required almost every person in
the capital, a city of about a thousand people, to wake up and also help by
cleaning the streets of the city and the authorities enabling the movement of
fuel reserves from where they stored it to the airport, which was fairly close
to the city. People took to the streets with brooms and mops and every single
cleaning help they could get, but the truth was no one really knew if the
president was going to land and stay on the plane or walk around a little bit.
Many people were curious like that.
The president of the tiny nation was the one
that was moving all over his house, calling the right people and asking
everything from food to more cleaning products. He wanted to send a message
through TV but the people of the studios were helping around so he decided to
send it through the radio. It was much simpler and more effective; as it was
the medium of communication that people listened to while they were preparing
the city for the big arrival. Every single person in the country heard it and
everyone understood the importance of the visit.
To the eyes of the world, it was practically a
miracle that their country actually existed. To be honest, it had been a thing
of luck and one of those strange coincidences that happen out of nowhere. They
were too isolated and unimportant. Practically everything they had came from
their neighbor to the east. So they had known starvation and real poverty
because when that neighbor didn’t have enough for themselves, they suffered
too. But the world in general never really knew anything because they weren’t
watching, until now.
The country had no army but its people did
behave like one once the president’s message had reached every single person.
They knew they had around six hours to have everything ready. With luck, the
weather up in the clouds would delay the plane a bit more to give them more
time but they constantly checked with the aircraft and that didn’t seem to be
the case. Everyone had to do their best in the time given. Only an hour after
the president’s announcement, everything was coming up nicely and all citizens
were helping, even elders and children.
A huge amount of people arrived at the
terminal in order to use the old kitchens that some rundown businesses had not
used in several years. The idea was to cook a good amount of their national
food for the people arriving, as well as other dishes that they might like. It
wasn’t crazy to think that they would be very hungry, even at that early hour
of the day. After all, this was all going on in the darkness of the night. The
president was scheduled to arrive around eight o’clock in the morning, so they had
to wake up or not even sleep.
The cooking team was led by the nation
president’s chef, his own wife. It wasn’t like in other countries were the
president has everything and the people below him have nothing. In that nation,
everyone was basically the same. People hadn’t starved in some years but they
weren’t rich or even close to that. So the president’s wife decided it was best
if someone close to the government like her supervised the food. It was the
best way to guarantee that it would be perfect for someone with such a high
profile as the ruler of the richest country in the world.
They acknowledge that all those people in that
plane, around two hundred according to the information they had shared with
them, had been and eaten in places much better than their small country. That
was obvious and they didn’t feel bad about it. But they wanted them to leave
knowing a little bit more of their culture and about what they loved to eat and
drink in those lands. The menu had been defined by the president’s wife and she
was very confident that it was going to be one of the best feasts in the
recorded history of their nation.
It consisted of a special recipe for meatballs
using a kind of cheese that was made from goat milk, which also happened to be
used in their national beverage, which was kind of like a milkshake but less
thick and richer in flavor. They also cooked the goats in various ways and were
very proud about their vegetables and mushrooms, of which they had a very large
variety. Various dishes were cooked with all those ingredients and some spices
The small country’s president arrived in the
airport only two hours before the arrival of the plane, to check everything
out. The terminal had been painted in record time by volunteers and the control
tower was bursting with life when, in normal days, it would only have one
person and not even all day. He thanked everyone there and then went to the
terminal’s commercial area where his wife and helpers were giving the final
touches to the food. The smell had flooded the building and it was very
delicious, so much that many stomachs growled loudly.
Then, he went outside and did a walk around
the tarmac and the runway. There wasn’t a single spec of dust anywhere, which
he thought was absolutely magnificent, especially for such a windy part of the
country. It seemed as if the weather was also helping them achieve their goal.
The red carpet in the tarmac was the same one that the president had stepped on
when he was inaugurated for his term, more than three years ago. A president’s
term was five years and he couldn’t be reelected, which he personally thought
was a good idea.
He decided to check the band that had been
practicing for hour in the cold and congratulated them for the amount of love
they were showing the country. He stayed a bit to hear them play and, to be
fair, they were not as prepared as he would have like, but there was no way of
getting better musicians with only an hour to go. They would have to do. What
made them special, at the end of the day, was that they played their
instruments with real passion and the idea of making their country proud. And
that was more than enough.
The president decided to wait for the plane in
the control tower. There, he would be able to know every detail about the
upcoming visit. When he stepped in, the plane had crossed into their airspace.
It would be only thirty minutes until they touched down in the runway. The
atmosphere was really special. Every single person in the tower, in the
terminal, in the tarmac and even in the city was ecstatic. This was, by far,
the most exciting thing to ever happen in their country. And they had all
worked together to make it the best day possible.
The plane came out of the clouds and landed,
in a very soft and elegant manner. Everyone applauded and greeted the people
inside through the radio. The president ran outside, getting ready with all
others. Many people from the city had come out of curiosity and they had been
allowed to stay a bit further away. The plane parked exactly where they had
determined it should go. For some minutes, nothing happened. Then, the door
opened and everyone stopped breathing for a second. Their moment had come.
I woke up suddenly in the middle of the
night. I had no idea what time of night it was but I remember the first thing I
felt was his breath on my hair. It was warm and soft. He never snored. I knew
that because I was very sensitive to sounds and I would have woken up if he
was. When I felt his breathing I was relieved, because I wasn’t in the world of
the nightmare anymore but on the real one, the one that recently had been very
nice to me in many aspects.
Some people say that if you are successful or happy
is because you deserve it or because you have worked hard for it. I think it’s
a combination of the two., mainly because I don’t believe in the concept of
fighting for everything in life. People who believe that are the type of people
that are very competitive and that don’t stop at nothing to get what they want,
they believe everything in life is a competition and that’s simply not the way
it is or at least not my life.
Anyhow, I was glad right then that I didn’t
woke him up, because I knew he had problems sleeping and didn’t wanted to be
the one to disrupt his night. I decided to try and close my eyes again and slip
away into a deep slumber, hopefully without dreams. But, again, I fell right
into a nightmare, a horrible world filled with the worst creatures I have ever
seen, with all my fears parading around, rubbing past mistakes or their simple
existence in my face. I had to wake up once again, this time really drenched in
Thankfully, he had moved a bit away from me so
I just separated my body from his slowly and went to the bathroom, to wash my
face with cold water and try to relax a bit. I tried sitting on the toilet,
pissing, even going to the kitchen and grab a bite. I also did some simple
exercises in the living room and saw possibly five minutes of a TV show I
didn’t even like. When I was back into bed, he woke up and asked me, between
asleep and angry, where I had been?
I kissed him in the lips, which made us both
very happy and laid there with him. He fell asleep very fast and I stayed up
for a long while, in fact not sleeping again for the rest of the morning. At
that moment I did check my cellphone and saw it was five in the morning. We had
to wake up in three hours and I couldn’t do one more of sleeping. I just used
that time to think about it all, checking in my mind if everything was ready
and found myself shaking a bit and my stomach growling.
I grabbed his hand, which he had put over my
chest, and squeezed it softly. He tightened his grip on me and I liked that. I
felt safe and I guess that’s what I needed to feel.If the alarm hadn’t gone off in that moment,
I think I would’ve slept a bit. But I didn’t.
The first thing he did when he woke up was
kissing me, and then we showered together, hugging a lot and almost dancing beneath
the water, When we were finished, we dressed up in silence and went to the
kitchen to have breakfast. We both had cereal and talked a bit over it. He
noticed I hadn’t sleep and I had to convince him I was ok, only a bit anxious
about our day and that he shouldn’t worry. It was clear he was already worried
but he didn’t go on with the subject, he just said he had to be at his sister’s
in an hour.
When he left, I cleaned up the place, changing
the sheets of the bed to new ones I had bought secretly. I also pulled out some
scented candles from a shopping bag I’d hidden beneath the sink, as well as
other products that we would use for other purposes. When it was all ready I
grabbed my kiss, gave the place one last look and went out the door. I had no car
so I decided to walk to my mother’s house, which was an hour away by walking
but I had the time.
He had left before me because he said his
sister could handle everything and that we shouldn’t do anything else than just
show up at the right time. He was going to her place because that was the
closest relative he had alive. His parents had died several years ago and since
then his sister had been everything. She was a very organized person and had
proposed to help us because she knew that the event needed a woman’s touch to
be just perfect.
As I walked to my former home, I thought
about it all. I was nervous, obviously, but I knew the nightmares had been
produced by something else. It wasn’t fear that had put them in my mind; it was
something else that I didn’t quite understand. I mean, as everyone in the
world, I have secrets and thing I wouldn’t like every single person to know,
but that had never given me nightmares so what was this all about?
I used my walk home to think about everything
that would happen that day and I realized I was entitled to feel worried and
maybe being a little bit scared. Marriage was not someone that I did everyday
and it had been a question of “When?” for a long time and that time had finally
come. I was sure about my affirmative response to it because I loved him
dearly, beyond anything I had ever dreamed of. He was my prince charming and my
bad boy, all in one. How corny does that sound?
Thinking about him made me smile and many
people on the street smiled me back. I didn’t noticed for a while but when I
did I just laughed and thought that being in love was not as people described
it but that it was good if you were ready for the long haul.
In my mom’s house, my parents were dressing
up, as well as my sister and her husband who had just arrived from abroad with
their baby. She would have loved to have him carry the rings but he was still
too young for that. Instead, my future husband’s youngest cousin was up for the
job. She was a very nice girl and a bit mad for a seven year old, so she was
right up our alley.I also changed in a
matter of minutes and decided to just wait in the living room for everyone to
I dozed off and entered, once again, the dark
territory of my nightmares. I recognized the feeling and the images and I could
even feel my body sweat. I was in darkness, only able to see a light very far
in the distance and the only thing I could do was walk towards it. Trying to
grab it. But every single step I took was filled with pain, as if spines or small
knives entered my every limb. Besides, and this was the most awful part, I felt
hands in the darkness touching me, grabbing me to a place below that seemed
liquid in nature. I knew that if I were pulled down there, I would die. And
then, as always, I woke up before my head was submerged.
My dad noticed when I woke up, because
apparently I had let out a scream. He said that the best way not to dream bad
things was either not to sleep or trying to make sense of whatever the dreams
were about. I know my father wasn’t into Freud or anything, he just thought
that if something was bothering it would translate into annoying nightmares and
it was. I knew that was the case. Bu t it wasn’t just easy, it wasn’t just
about letting the air out. It was harder than that.
When everyone was finally ready, we jumped
into the family car and drove towards the venue, a small banquet hall not far
from there. When we arrived, every single guest was already there and I could
notice he had already arrived too. So I was the one who had to go second, as
per the rules. They started right away with the music. Then his sister escorted
him to the altar, then me by my mother. I when I see him, my body let out one
single tear. I say that because I had no control over it.
The notary started talking about the law and
citing many aspects of marriage that he found funny but also very important, so
that the audience and us took it into account. He told us it was a very
important thing to sign a paper and say “I choose to live my life with this
person”, and that he personally admired those who did. We signed, me crying
more and more, and finally kissed to the cheering and joy of our families and
friends. As we kissed, I realized it was time, so covered by the wall of sound
I whispered in his ear, took him by the hand and walk the carpet back into the
main hall were food was being served.
We didn’t discuss it until after the party,
that went on for quite a while. He liked the candles in our room and the new
sheets but he went straight to my confession as we sat down in the bed. I
started crying and he held me, in love with me. He told me that he would do
whatever I wanted, whatever made me happy. I smiled at him and then told him,
clumsily, that I really needed to know where my only son was and what he was
like. He grabbed my hand and kissed me.
Amanda just laughed. She stopped fast but
her answer to Melinda’s problem was not precisely the one she needed. Yes, she
wanted to laugh too but she couldn’t as it concerned and it was a subject she
considered deeply important. The waitress came with one big cup of ice cream
and a glass of water, both for Melinda. She started eating right away, trying
to avoid thinking in nothing else than in the different flavors of her sundae.
Amanda just looked at her, worried but still with a smirk on her face.
-Just tell me again, and let’s see
what I can do for your. Really.
Melinda just looked at her, still eating.
After all, she had called Amanda to tell know her point of view of the matter
and to see if she had some advice, although she didn’t know if advice had
anything to do in this kind of situation. She raised her head and was about to
talk but didn’t know where to begin. She had some water and then started,
almost reciting was had happened days before.
She had met the guy at a party made by one of
her coworkers. It was a birthday. Melinda reminded Amanda that she had invited
to go. Amanda nodded but did not say anything else, in order to let her friend
tell all without interruptions. Melinda kept on, telling that she had some
drinks at the party and eventually ended up meeting Dave, a friend of the guy
they were having the party for.
At first she didn’t really acknowledge his
advances, because he was really been insisting, but after two more glasses of
wine he began to be less annoying. They talked about work, about their favorite
TV shows and the music they loved. When time come to leave the party, that had
died out due to people being mostly drunk, Melinda left with Dave and then had
a great night. They ate hotdogs, strolled through town remembering their past
lovers and, finally, they arrived at her place. Without doubting, she asked
Dave to come in with her.
At this point, Melinda stopped talking and ate
a big scoop of ice cream. Amanda just looked at her, now with what looked like
pity, and waited for her friend to stop eating and keep talking. But Melinda
has a second scoop of desert, as she found it difficult to keep talking.
Finally, after a sip of water, she went on.
She had been drinking too much and yes; they
had sex on her bedroom. It was very strange because she did not have a huge
hangover the day after but, somehow, she didn’t remember anything. She knew she
had had sex with Dave but did not remember anything about it. When she woke up,
thankfully, he was getting dressed up and told her he had to leave because he
had something to do with his family. Half asleep, she said bye and went back to
This time Amanda decided to interrupt. She did
this because she thought that first time was the only one Melinda had met Dave.
She thought the story was about a one-night stand. But Melinda, after finishing
her ice cream, told her friend that they had seen each other once more, about a
It was him who called and asked her out on a
date. Having nothing else to do that weekend, she had agreed to see him. Amanda
asked why she had said yes but Melinda went on, remembering how she had dressed
casually for their dinner. It was in a nice restaurant but she had no intention
of dressing up for a guy she barely remembered. Nevertheless, she had to
confess, they had a great time. The man was very charming and had many tales
that were really interesting.
They talked and talked for hours until it was
late and, this time, it was him who asked her to go to his house to have
something to drink and keep talking. She realized she hadn’t really gone out
with anyone for a long time and Dave seemed like a very nice person. He was
interesting and enjoyable and he wasn’t bad looking at all. So she agreed to go
to his house. There, he had a very nice bottle of wine and she had one of the
most funny and interesting conversations she had had in recent memory.
Amanda then interrupted her friend, once more,
to ask what Dave looked like. Melinda told her friend that he was about her
size, so not very tall. He had blue eyes, which was largely uncommon in the
guys she had liked, and he had nice short hair, not styled in stupid fashions
like most men were using it today. That day he had wore very nice clothes, with
a tie and everything. She had left a little guilty not to wear a nice dress.
She asked for a glass of wine and went on with
her story. They had been drinking and talking for several hours until he
planted a kiss on her and she responded by pushing him and kissing him on the
sofa, almost entirely on top of him. This was followed by both of them standing
up, still kissing, and getting into his room. She landed first on the bed and
then he leaned closer. It was very arousing, she confessed. But then it
She had never been one for touching or grabbing
but that night she had felt especially bold. So she went for it and realized
something was vey particular. She decided not to think about it and then
proceeded to remove her blouse and he took off his shirt. It was very hot and
they kept kissing until she unzipped his pants. It happened all so fast, she
barely remembered everything accurately. The point was she was at home like
thirty minutes later, not even waiting in the apartment for the taxi but
choosing to wait for it in the building’s hall.
Amanda was now smiling in a silly way again.
Melinda hid her face behind her hands and said again what she had told her
friend, almost upon arrival:
-He had a small penis.
It had the same effect on Amanda, who burst
into laughter and even cried a bit because of her reaction. This time, however,
even Melinda smiled a bit. She knew the situation was silly but she still felt
betrayed, if that was the proper word. Days after, she remembered everything
and she knew she hadn’t responded in the right way but, apparently, Melinda put
too much attention to those details.
Amanda then told her it wasn’t a bad thing,
although her response had been just disastrous. She thought Dave was surely
ashamed and affected by it all afterwards and men took really seriously the attempts
against their manhood. She then proceed to ask how “bad” it was, and she said
it just looked small, like… Amanda didn’t really know what she said, because
she said it under her breath, but it wasn’t important.
you like him?
Yeah, I guess.
Do you like him? Be sure!
I do. His really nice.
-And is his… - Amanda looked around –
size, so important?
didn’t answer right away. She didn’t wanted to sound shallow but it was true
that most men she had dated had been well endowed and she know realized maybe
that had been a conscious decision. But before she said anything, Amanda kept
-If it is, just call him and
apologize. He doesn’t deserve what you did. And if it really isn’t, apologize
too and try to give yourself a chance. Who know, he may be exactly who you need
in your life.
As it happens, Dave wasn’t the man of her
dreams or nothing of the sort. She went up to his house and apologized in
person. He was glad that she had come. They didn’t discussed anything of what
happened but talked about other subject and realized hey could be very good
Maybe she was shallow after all or, maybe, sex
was too important for her to be overlooked. Anyway, she promised herself never turn
down anyone because of her personal preferences. It just wasn’t the decent
thing to do.