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It was in the evening; cool weather and not too many people at the park, just the way He loved it. He had his ears plugged to his ipod and he just enjoyed watching that he didn’t notice the lady who had been sitting beside him sobbing. Soon, he could hear the sobbing sounds; he quickly paused his music to be sure-it was truly the lady beside him who sobbed.
“Hey” he placed one hand on her back and moved closer.
The young lady quickly wiped her eyes and adjusted. “I’m sorry.”
“Wanna talk?” He was truly concerned. She looked so broken.
“oh no! really sorry, I should take my leave.” She got up to leave.
“No! Hold on!” Ray stood now and held her arm firmly. He noticed how beautiful she was; petite, nice caramel skin, thin eyes and lips and neatly packed braids.
“I have all evening. We can take a walk…if you don’t mind.” Ray persisted.
“You know what? I have a small charity organization I run back in New York for the homeless kids. I run private lessons for those who cannot afford education. All I need is for a company out there or just anybody to believe in my shit! ” she flared.
“It’s hard for a company to support good intentions and not gainful business. I’m guessing you came here for a presentation.” Ray tried to explain
She observed how handsome the man before her was. He had broad shoulders and nice fair skin. She liked the way his thin pink lips moved as he spoke….
“And rejected for the tenth time…I’m such a looser. Maybe I should keep my good deeds to myself you know…” Then she turned away, trying to fight the tears but it still streamed down her face. She quickly wiped them away. “I’m sorry. This is really embarrassing; I should head back to my hotel.”
“Please…Dinner? Bills on me and any restaurant of your choice.” Ray held her arm to stop her
“I don’t even know you.”
“It doesn’t matter. We may never see again after tonight.” Ray said.
She smiled and he knew it was a yes.
Raymond laughed hard as they ate. Over dinner, she had opened up a little and Ray discovered she was a really interesting lady; the kind you’d love to be around. Her name is Amy.
“Geez you’re going to make me choke. I haven’t laughed this way in years” he sipped some juice.
Amy paused now “Are you serious?”
“I’m a business man babe.” Ray replied.
“As a business man, you must learn to take advantage of the things that cost you nothing.”
“Like what?” he raised an eyebrow
“Laughter. You must learn to free your mind and spirit Mr. Business man.” She began to eat again.
“I cannot believe you are the same lady I saw breakdown because of a rejected proposal. Look how beautiful you look all lit up” Ray smiled.
“This is the tenth time my proposal is being rejected.”
“Keep trying. Never stop trying. The secret to successful men is that they believe so damn much in their shit and won’t stop trying until their shit smells good to you.” Ray spoke seriously.
Amy looked at the man in front of her, heart racing “thank you Ray.”
“For trying to make me smile.” she smiled warmly.
“When are you due for New York?” Ray asked.
“In four days.” She replied.
“Would love to do this again tomorrow? Same time?” Ray looked into her eyes.
Amy slowly nodded with a smile, “I’d love to.”
The next day, Ray and Amy met at the restaurant but instead of a regular dinner, Ray took Amy to karaoke. It was fun; Amy volunteered to sing and dragged Ray on stage to back up. Ray was a horrible singer but they shared a wonderful moment together. After Karaoke, he took her to his favorite jazz club.
Ray dragged her and step by step, slow and steady he held her waist firmly, staring into her eyes deeply, they moved to slow music.
“You’re like a perfect stranger…” she smiled as they danced
“Are you falling for me? I may be a killer you know” Ray made a funny face.
“Shut up.” she hit him playfully and swirled around to the music.
“C’mon Ray, where are you taking me? For all I care you are a stranger and this could be kidnap” Amy blabbed jokingly. They were both in their casual wear and shades. Amy’s hair danced in the air as Ray sped in his Jaguar.
“Just relax and thank me later” Ray replied.
Soon Ray parked the car around a deserted alley.
“What is this place? There’s nothing here” Amy got down and looked around.
“Take my hand. We are going into the woods.” he stretched out his hand.
She clasped her slim hands into his and they began to run across the trees, with the gentle cool breeze blowing against their faces. Suddenly, Ray stopped and turned to face her.
“Trust me ok” he cupped her face looking into her eyes.
She nodded helplessly.
“Now close your eyes” he said.
She did, so, he took her by the hand and took her to a place. There was strong breeze…
“Open your eyes” He smiled.
It was river surrounded by beautiful tall trees. Amy was speechless and only looked around in amazement. The place felt so peaceful, the feeling was amazing.
“How did you discover this place Ray? It’s beautiful! God…” She looked around.
“Sometimes life gets so confusing, so hectic that you just need to experience some peace. In my search for peace I found this place.” He said.
She walked closer to him now, “And have you found peace?”
He quickly turned his face away now, “Maybe”
“Why maybe?” she turned his face slowly to face her.
He slowly removed her hands placed on his face and for the first time she noticed his wedding ring. Her heart raced so much and loud she was afraid he might hear it. Her hands became suddenly cold. Was he married? Oh no! She became numb all over.
“Are you married?” Her lips quivered.
Ray could only look at her; he couldn’t even find the words to say.
“Take me back to the hotel Ray.” She began to walk away, angry and disappointed.
“I still love my wife Amy.” Ray said.
Amy stopped now and turned around, angrily walking towards him.
“Then why Ray! Why have we spent time making memories in short time! Why did you bring me here Ray?” tears clouded her vision, “Go home to your wife! She needs you. What am I even doing here? I should have said thank you for your kind gesture the first day and it should have ended there!” she cried now and turned around to leave.
“She’s gone! My wife is dead…” Ray finally let out.
Amy stopped now and slowly turned around…
“It’s been four years and it was just a small argument. I wish I didn’t let her leave that night…My phone rang and I thought she was the one. I was ready to apologize and tell her to come back home. I wanted to tell her how sorry I was…but it was an emergency call from the hospital”, he tried not to break down “She had an accident and by the time I got there she…she was gone…we were expecting a baby…I lost both of them.”
Amy shook now; she didn’t know what to do.
“The first day I met you, was the first time I truly laughed in eight years. I miss her and I’ve never taken off the ring…never.” he burst into tears now.
Amy took him in her arms, “I’m sure she also wants you to be happy again. You need to forgive yourself Ray and let go…”
“I’m trying…” he cried in her arms
“Don’t leave me Amy.” He held her hands as she was about boarding her flight.
“I can never be her Ray; I can never fit into her shoes.” Amy’s voice shook. She really tried not to cry.
“You can try…”
“I don’t want to try being someone else. I’m truly sorry but thank you for giving me the best days of my life.” she pecked him slightly on his fore head and walked away into the boarding room.
Ray fought back angry tears watching her leave. He didn’t stop her.
That night Ray lost his sleep. Thoughts of Amy invaded his thoughts and he wondered when he would ever see her again. For weeks he constantly lost his sleep to the thoughts of Amy.
Four Months After
“Hi mom” Ray was in his large office room
“Son what’s wrong?” His mother asked.
“Nothing, Don’t I sound ok?”
“Tell me son, what’s eating you up for the past four months?”
Ray let out gave a deep sigh.
“You’re thinking about her again, aren’t you?”
“I met someone again mom, it was just few days but we became friends so easily. I let her go; I always let them go…”
“Son, I remember very clearly the vows you and Gaby made to each other on the altar, but at the end of those loving vows, you both said ‘till death do us part’. We all love and miss her,” she paused, “she’s dead son, and she’s never coming back…what are you going to do with the rest of your life? Live your life for someone who can’t love you anymore?” Ray’s mother spoke with great concern.
“Her name is Amy; she came for a business presentation here in Atlanta but travelled back to New York where she lives. I never had the chance to exchange contact of where she lives and stuff. It’s been four months since I saw her but I still feel a strong connection mom; I’m scared to call it love.”
“Love is like a seed son. The seed can be planted at any time, but there’s room for growth. The seed is already planted in your heart, Love will always find its way…it never gets lost.” His mom spoke.
“I know I’ve lost her mom, who knows? She may even be married by now or with someone else.”
“You know what I’ve learned in my little life? It doesn’t take time for a real man to sense what is good for him and I know you my son, whatever you want, you get. All you need do is forgive yourself and move on…”
“I love you mom.” He ended the call.
Two months after
It was a conference room and a meeting for the executives of Fort Associates. Ray breezed in to the room in his nicely cut black suit and sat on the head chair preserved for him
“This proposal had better be worth discussing.” Ray said to the executives.
“I believe it is sir.” The P.R Executive replied immediately.
“Fine let’s go through it on the projector.” Ray said.
The projector was turned on and the first thing that reflected was the name of the writer, her organization and contact addresses. It was ‘Amylia West’.
Ray felt numb. Could it be Amy? His palms suddenly began to sweat.
Then the next page was her picture and a brief bio on her. It was Amy!
Ray’s heart raced, “Stop! Stop! Go back to the first slide.”
“Yes sir” The PR Executive’s assistant obeyed.
“Who has the printed version?” Ray asked.
The PR Executive handed it over to him.
“Thanks guys for a splendid meeting. I have to leave now.” Ray got up
“But we haven’t reviewed it yet sir. Where are you going?” The PR Executive was confused.
“I’d read it on the plane. I’m on my way to New York.”
The six Executives watched Ray in awe as he and his P.A stormed out.
It was a cool evening. Amy was as usual, typing when the doorbell rang.
She packed up her hair and walked towards the door. The doorbell rang again.
“Hold up” she sang and gently opened the door.
Her hands grew numb and it felt like her heart had frozen in its place. Her heart thud loudly, but she didn’t care if he heard it.
“Hi, my name is Ray… do you by any chance know the most beautiful girl in New York? Her name is Amy and she loves to write proposals in favor of her humanitarian works. She sent the most amazing proposal to my company in Atlanta which I had the oppurtunity to read word for word and I’m sure she doesn’t know that I’m the number one stakeholder of this company.”
Amy gasped and cupped her mouth in shock.
“Yes, I came to tell her that her shit smells really good.” Ray blabbed, and danced the proposal in his hands.
“Ray…” Amy could only say, tears already clouding her vision.
“Yes babe, its me.” He stretched out his arms wide.
“Oh God” she jumped excitedly in his arms.
Ray carried her off her feet “You can never take her place. I’m not even asking you to try anymore…I want to begin a new chapter with you. Just me and you, one day at a time.” he looked into her eyes. “I should have come long time ago.”
“Ray shut up…” she touched his face, “Is it too early to say I’m in love with you?”
Joy ran through his veins. He had been too afraid to say it.
“Babe, love gave me the courage to find you.” He slowly planted a soft kiss on her lips, both lost in the arm of each other.
‘No matter what, Love will always find its way…’