Al had only meant to go into her studio, she picked up her camera bag to put things away, and the next thing she’d been in the garage, grabbing the key for her baby and pulling on her leather jacket that she kept down there, hopping on the bike, hitting the door remote and roaring out onto the street. She’d no clue where she was headed; she just needed some space from everyone!
She ended up at her ‘thinking’ spot, next to the river Thames, at a flea market. Here she could wander for hours or just sit taking pictures. The stall holders knew her, and were used to her taking their pictures.
Today she chose to sit and watch the world go by, wondering if things would ever return to normal?
She really did love Tico and wanted things to work out, but he and the rest of them needed to realise she wasn’t a pushover and that she took lying seriously.
The last person who told her a lie had hurt her deeply, he’d told her he wasn’t married. In fact he had been for twelve years and had three gorgeous daughters. Since then Al hadn’t let anyone close, till now, then he lied. She wanted to get passed it, but she was stuck! Luckily she knew for a fact Tico was divorced.
Sighing she got up and headed for the ice cream van, nothing that ice cream couldn’t cure, or help ease the ache in her chest. She checked her watch, damn it was gone three, she hoped the guys remembered to wake their children.
Walking back to the bench she settled with her vanilla whipped cream with chocolate sauce and nuts on it, devouring it, hell she’d missed lunch! She sat and looked back on this last week. Damn that’s all it was a week today, Friday, when all this happened.
Someone sat down next to her jarring her out of her revere, ‘Damn this stuff is good!’ His tongue flicked out over the dribbling ice cream, catching it before it could run down his fingers.
Her jaw dropped, ‘How the hell did you find me?’
‘She wouldn’t give me up that easily.’ How could her best friend do that to her?
‘No she didn’t, I had to figuratively put my balls on the chopping block. Then she made me get down on my knees and grovel, all of which I did.’
‘She made you get on your knees?’ Al laughed; she’d have loved to have seen that tableau! He nodded, ‘And you did it?’ He nodded again.
‘Ally to get to you I’d walk on hot coals! I’m just lucky she took me too my knees.’ His look was self depicting. ‘Ally I’ll do whatever you want me to do, just let me make this right. I swear on Hector’s life I’ll never lie to you ever again, even by omission. Just please give me another chance to stay in your life.’ Tico’s brown eyes were filled with sorrow and remorse.
‘You need to understand why I don’t like lying Teek.’ With that she finally spilt her guts about the year long affair; the man she thought would marry her and make her life with. His wife turning up on her doorstep one evening, telling her to leave her husband alone. Al’s shock convincing his wife she knew nothing of his family. The wife had left, and half an hour later he’d arrived, roses in hand from work, letting himself in with the key she’d given him just weeks before.
Al had confronted him and he’d gone pale and aged in front of her eyes, telling her what his wife had said was true. She couldn’t stop herself and she’d hit him, blackened his eye and broke his nose in one good right cross. He left, never to return. She’d heard he’d split with his wife, the wife had thrown him out. That had been five years ago, she’d let no one in since then, always keeping it light and distant, till Tico.
Tico sat there, stunned. How could a man do that to her?
‘I felt a total fool, why hadn’t I seen the signs; he always left to go home, never staying, only when his wife had taken the children on holiday.’ He’d told her all his suits were there, so better to go home than to clutter her wardrobe. ‘I believed him Tico, just like I believed Jon and you. I never saw it coming. Now do you understand why I made such a big deal of it? Lying always hurts someone, namely me!’ The tears started to fall, she’d never cried for him, but now she cried for all his lying and what she’d become from it! Tico hauled her fighting, into his arms.
¡Aliado del `, estoy tan apesadumbrado! Nadie piensa siempre que una mentira poco blanca lastimará a alguien. ¡Pero hizo y bebé que soy un asno! Pero usted tiene que creerme querido, nunca mentiré a usted otra vez, y si usted me deja pasaré el resto de mi vida que lo hace hasta usted. Por favor el bebé, no grita más, usted está rompiendo mi corazón.' (‘Ally, I’m so sorry! No one ever thinks a little white lie will hurt someone. But it did and baby I’m an ass! But you have to believe me darling, I’ll never lie to you again, and if you’ll let me I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to you. Please baby, don’t cry any more, you’re breaking my heart.’)
People passing by looked at them, the woman in his arms crying like her heart was breaking, in fact it was finally healing, the dark good looking man holding her like he’d never let her go. It looked like what it was, a couple bringing their lives back on track.
He sat cradling her for what seemed like hours, each sob ripping him apart. But somehow he knew this wasn’t all for his lying, it had more to do with the bastard that hurt her back then. Tico wondered if he could ever find this asshole and beat him to a pulp.
Al finally gave a racking sob and dragged herself under control. ‘Jesus miel I’m sorry I’ve soaked you.’ She reddened.
He grinned she didn’t realise what she’d called him, ‘Querido it’s fine, what’s a little water between a couple.’ He looked deep into her red eyes and couldn’t help himself he kissed her, but this one wasn’t full of passion and want, it was full of strength and longing, he never deepened it. She pulled back looking at him, god she loved this man with all her heart, probably had for twenty odd years and here he was offering her everything she’d ever wanted.
‘Come on let’s go and get some hot chocolate, then we’d best get back, the guys were under strict instruction to wake the kids in the next five minutes. But I’m assured there’s a great hot choc stand around here.’ He stood holding his hand out to her, praying she’d go with him, he held his breath.
‘That sounds good, but I must look like Rudolph!’ She reached and took his hand, smooth against rough, white against brown, male versus female; hauling herself up.
He offered his arm and she took it, ‘Yeah but Rudolph never looked so damn hot with it!’ He chuckled as she cuffed him, he threw his arm about her and they wandered off for hot chocolate and talking by themselves, no one bugging them.