With just a click -Chapter 10

Chapter 10

How do you describe the most perfect week of your life? Sometimes there are just no words to explain how perfect a moment with someone can be. It would take a far better poet or writer than Paqui to say how it felt like to be with Don. It was just… Wow… I really cannot say how it felt.

Paqui’s old English teacher had always told her that she wrote in too much detail, that she was too wordy, too repetitive. And suddenly Paqui had no words. No words to talk about how it felt like to be with Don. Living with him for a week in their hotel room. Waking up and falling asleep together every day. Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together: and oh my goodness, such amazing food. Filling up their days with visiting his wonderful family and sightseeing Holland. They spent every moment together. Paqui didn’t even want to go shopping without him. So he went with her and his niece Desiree to get a new European wardrobe for Paqui. He helped pick out outfits, and he had unerring taste for what would look good on his Paqui.

It was a week of turning Paqui into what she used to be: a cute, fun, confident, fashionable, European woman. It was quite the transformation, and once back at work, everyone said that she looked like a new woman. And everyone loved the new Paqui, most of all Paqui herself. Don said she would look good no matter what she wore. And her favorite student Karl said that she would look beautiful with a grocery bag on her head. But Paqui finally felt right about how she looked.

As for the transformation? First she bought new clothes. Then she dyed her hair back to its original black. She got acrylic nails put on (thank you Dayna, her new nail stylist) and had them painted fire engine red. And yes, Don went with her for that too…inseparable indeed. She even had a new bucket list experience, such as getting her first tattoo. Actually they got matching tattoos together. It was his idea that they should each get half a heart and to put their names on each other’s arms. They researched on the internet first and designed the tattoo together (thank you Monika, her new tattoo artist), Paqui had always wanted a tattoo, and Don gave her the courage to finally get one. And it didn’t even hurt!! Before the first one was done, she was already planning her second one!!

There was not one awkward or boring moment that entire week. It felt so right to be with him. Not even meeting his family was awkward. Paqui felt as though they were her family too. She loved his sister immediately. And as for his father… Paqui had lost her father almost 24 years ago, and the minute she saw his dad, she felt as though she finally had a father again. Within days, he was calling her his daughter in law and bringing tears of joy to Paqui’s eyes.

And to all those non-believers out there… There is such a thing as love at first sight, as well as just knowing that this is the person with whom you are supposed to be for the rest of your life. Only those who have experienced this can fully understand and accept.

I think that everyone that Don and Paqui told their story to, both family and friends, had that first reaction of “How can they be sure this is it? They have both been wrong before.” Yet everyone who saw them together, both in person and just skyping to each other, had to admit that they just glowed with happiness. That they looked right together. And more importantly that they made each other so happy, happier than anyone had ever seen them be before.

At first Don’s family had been worried that he was going too fast. He had been hurt before and had married someone too quickly, someone that he was now in the process of getting divorced from, even as he declared his love for Paqui. Yet I think (hope, feel, believe) that every single member of his family, from his dad and mom, to his sister, brother in law and niece, quickly came to accept, not just his love for Paqui, but also her love for him. They realized over that week what Don and Paqui had accepted within hours: that they were meant to be together.

And for all the curious out there…without giving too much detail or TMI, the physical side of their love was as fulfilling as the emotional side. Although all they had ever done in 1982 was kiss, lovemaking came as natural to them as kissing. Don gave her everything and anything that she had ever wanted. He made her feel like the most desirable and most loved woman in the world. And Paqui made him feel like a whole new man. It was just simply perfect. In every way. Romantic. Fun. Passionate. And yes, even naughty. Perfect. And with lots of practice (and I mean LOTS), it just got better and better every day.

The best moments? The pillow talks each night before they fell asleep. Sometimes they just talked about their love for each other. Sometimes they shared sad stories of the past, and held each other tenderly as the pain just melted away. They shared sad moments, shameful secrets, bared their very souls to each other, and they accepted these truths, and fell even deeper in love. They told each other things that they had never told anyone before. Things that will remain a secret to anyone else. Yet from this moment on, they had no more secrets from each other.

Paqui loved these moments. They would fall asleep listening to the almost 200 songs that they had sent to each other. They talked until one of them would fall asleep. Don caressed her arm continuously, as she lay in his arms. And he would even continue to caress her as he slept. Paqui felt safe and sound in his arms. She had not slept well the weeks after he found her, and she would sleep even worse when she returned to Michigan. But that week, in his arms, she slept like a baby, and after years of suffering from insomnia, she finally found peace. In Don’s arms.

With just a click – Chapter 9

How to describe that first moment in his arms? I don’t think any poet on earth could make it justice. But I’ll try. It felt so right. Like coming home. Paqui ran into his arms and he bent his head and kissed her. Let me tell you, time really does stand still, my friends.

As Monique was taping their reunion, Don and Paqui only had eyes for each other. Lost in continuous sweet, deep, toe-tingling, goosebump-bringing kisses. They were oblivious to the many people walking by and staring. (Darn, we really should have made this a reality TV show and made a fortune!!). Don and Paqui just held on for dear life and kissed each other as though their lives depended on it. And when Paqui posted it on facebook some time later, many a friend admitted to watching it in tears of emotion.

As Don and Paqui fell deeper and deeper in love, doubting nothing, some friends still had trepidations about their love. Yet anytime that these friends saw a photo of the two of them together, or the video of their reunion, or Don skyping her later on after the trip, and saw him looking at her with such love in his eyes, each and every one of the friends could simply not deny the deep and true love between them.

After what felt like hours, Paqui realized that they were not alone. And that she hadn’t even greeted Monique. With her typical squeal of happiness, she turned to her new sister and gave her a hug. Not quite leaving Don’s side.

Her sweet Don. Dressed in a suit to meet her. And Monique had brought her a rose. In a daze, Don and Paqui walked to the car, so close to each other that they were almost welded at the hip. Holding hands. Arm in arm. With as much of their bodies touching as was legally allowed in public.

Once they were in the back seat of Monique’s car, it was like being teenagers again. Nonstop kissing. Whispers. Caresses. Looking into each other’s eyes. Touching each other’s faces. Not one single solitary awkward moment. Meant to be.
Paqui had known deep inside that it would be good. But the reality of being in his arms, exceeded all of her expectations. She felt breathless. Her heart was pounding. She wanted so desperately to be alone with him.

The next few hours were sweet and precious. And slowly building up to that climactic moment of being alone in their hotel room. Which was still hours away. So many hours until they could be alone.

Paqui had landed at 6 am and the hotel check in was not until 1 pm. So those hours went by agonizingly slow. First they went to Monique’s apartment and Don made her breakfast. Chocolate. Another way to her heart.

Then they went to a shopping center near by and just wandered the shops. Don got her a Caillebaut hot chocolate with slagroom (whipped cream) and they just stared into each other’s eyes. Holding hands. Talking about everything and nothing. Just taking it all in.

Until. Finally. It was time to go to the hotel. Paqui barely noticed how beautiful it was. All she could think about was being alone with Don. Fulfilling their love for each other. Becoming one.

It was like an epic movie scene. Paqui chose one of the lingerie outfits that she had bought specially for him. Lingerie should really be MUCH cheaper. It never stays on long!! Thankfully it was not ripped off. Just lovingly slid down until it pooled at her feet.

Paqui had never felt like this before. Not just desired. But cherished. Worshipped. Needed. As though she were the only woman in the world. His touch, so tender and loving. His lips caressing every part of her body. His body taking hers and making her well and truly his.

Some things do need to stay private. This is one of those times. All that I can say is that their caresses really did bring goosebumps
and their kisses really did touch their very souls and the love making that followed really did turn two hearts and bodies into one.

And that was just the first time… And as we all know, practice does make things better… And boy, did they practice over that next week; morning, noon and night. More lovemaking in a week than some people get in a year.

Sigh. Color Paqui and Don very “appy.” Their smile that next morning at breakfast spoke volumes. A honeymoon couple would not have looked happier.

And I haven’t even mentioned the in person proposal or Valentine’s dinner!! But as they say… That’s for another day.

With just a click – Chapter 8

Paquita was packed almost as soon as she had bought her ticket. She got all her newest clothes. Bought some others because she suddenly wasn’t happy with anything she owned. Not even with her hair. She wanted to be that old European Paqui who had dressed with such flair until she had lost her joie de vivre. Don was bringing such positive change to her life, that she somehow knew that with him, she would once again be that Spanish girl again. Of the black hair and trendy clothes. Maybe when she was with him in Holland? Back in her beloved Europe, in her beloved arms’? If she only knew that upon her return she would be a new woman in every way…

Before they knew it, it was D day. Fly to see Don day. It had been an emotional week. On Monday, Don had asked her for her ring size. On Tuesday, he had bought the rings. On Wednesday Paqui had finished his Valentine’s present. On Thursday, she had gone shopping for Valentine accessories for her red dress. And on Friday, he had proposed to her in front of her students. And before she knew it, Paqui was driving to the airport, walking through the airport and telling strangers their story.

Paqui and Don skyped and texted until the very minute that she was made to turn off her phone. Well, she put it on plane mode, so that she could see his photos, read his texts. And continue writing their story of course, because by now their Facebook friends were hooked (even men), and they were asking for new chapters.

She stopped for a while to watch a sad love story. Crossings all fingers that their Love Story would be different. Paqui was not nervous. She had this feeling, all they way down to her toes, that the minute she walked into his arms, everything would be ok.

Suddenly her plane landed. She was in Holland. Almost before they announced that phones could be turned on, Paqui’s was on. No wifi. “What?” her head screamed. Her what’s app would not go through. So she called him. No answer. Paqui was flipping out, desperate to tell him that she had landed. Data roaming!!! She had turned it off!! Soon they were texting. And calling. And they were on the same continent.

Paqui almost flew out of the plane. Thinking that she would grab her suitcase and run into his arms. Who woulda thought that the airport was so fricking big? With her best friends Holly and Sherry texting her to see if she was in Don’s arms (and it was past midnight for the girls!!) Paqui was trying to find her luggage claim.

She finally saw it. And then she felt him. Right there. On the other side of the glass. She wanted to say, “Forget my luggage,” and run into his arms. She could see him. He could see her. And they couldn’t kiss still. Couldn’t be in each other’s arms. Couldn’t hold hands. It was like they were still separated by an iPad screen.

Paqui started begging the Gods of love to bring out her suitcase. Suddenly she saw it. Pink, of course. She grabbed it and just ran. Ran out into the arrival’s reception, dropped her bags and threw herself into his arms. Not even aware that his sister Monique was taping their first reunion in 33 years…

With just a click- Chapter 7

It seemed like forever since he had found her. And yet it wasn’t even three weeks. At first they had talked about him coming over in June for the whole summer. Then Paqui told him she had a week off in February and one in April. Once Don moved in with his sister, they started thinking about meeting sooner.
“Can I come over in February?” Paquita asked with her heart pounding.
“Yes,” he said, while his heart skipped a beat. Maybe the same beat that her heart had just skipped.
And within hours (after telling her bank teller and travel agent their amazing story), Paqui had bought an airline ticket and made a hotel reservation. When was she landing? By another beautiful turn of fate, her winter break started the day before Valentine’s Day. Can we all say, “Perfect timing?”
Paqui was going to see her Don on Valentine’s Day, after 33 years apart. The day of love. With rings in his pocket and dreams in their hearts.

The days sometimes crawled and sometimes flew. They counted them off, one by one. Each night time before he went to sleep and every morning that she woke up.
She had her suitcase packed a week before she left: filled with new clothes and lingerie… high-heeled shoes and her drop dead gorgeous red Valentine’s dress. The same one she had worn a few years ago for the “We hate Valentine’s Day party,” that she and her single friends had decided to celebrate. And here she was. Just a few days away from getting engaged on the most romantic day of the year.

Now her only problem was what to give him for Valentine’s, and finding the perfect Valentine card. She found about 10 of them and it took a long time to whittle down the choices to one. Don found his right away. A huge red card. With a sweet message, but even better a poem he wrote for her. A poem that brought tears to her eyes. Just like her poem had done to him. Her emotional Don. She truly loved this side of him. He cried in front of her with no shame. Not afraid to show his feelings for her.

In the end, it was easy finding a present for him. She made a scrap book of their love. Their first day together in 1983, with photos from that day. Their first email in 2015. Their first Facebook messenger and what’s app conversations, showing how they first went down memory lane, and then how they fell in love again. Paqui wrote deep into the night, copying things they had said to each other. Word for word. Hers in pink and his in blue. Their favorite colors. Five pages later, she was still on day one of finding each other and it was suddenly the night before she had to leave. Deciding to add more later, Paqui packed the scrapbook, several hundred pages of their messages that she had printed out. And she was ready to fly to him. A bundle of happy nerves. But no worries.
Paqui had only worried that first week, when he was still living with his ex-wife to be. Once he moved out and went to live with his sister, a sense of calm and rightness had swept over Paqui. This was meant to be. Always had and always would be.

With just a click – Chapter 6

Next part to our story
Proposals. Not just one. Many. So many that Paquita soon lost count. Only one man had ever asked her to marry him. That was Tom the father of her kids. And it was something she’d basically had asked him to do their last year of college. And he had never bought her an engagement ring. They had used a diamond from the Star of David given to her by her godmother. He had proposed in a field of daisies near the camp ground they were staying at by Chicago. No bended knee. No fuss or fanfare. Not like she had dreamed as a young romantic girl.

Darren had almost proposed to her. Just as he had almost married her. Just as he had almost moved from Canada to Michigan. He had told her that he would ask her. He’d approved of her buying a wedding dress. And then he waited till she was with him for the summer, to tell her that he wasn’t quite ready to get married. Telling that to a woman who had travelled with a wedding dress in the plane nearly crushed her. He had gone off to work that day and when he returned she was wearing sunglasses to hide her puffed up eyes. And when she had seen a wedding take place in the park that should have been hers, she had broken down.

Enough of the heartbreak of the past and enter Don. The one and only man (apart from her daddy) to never lie to her. Proposal #1? Just a few days after he’d found her. First they talked about it on Facebook messenger in one of those “I want to marry you” conversations. Paquita’s heart had jumped slightly, but had been afraid to totally believe.

Then came the voice text as she was about to enter Costco. They had just begun using what’s app that let you send photos and voice texts. So Paquita unknowingly opened up his voice text to hear him say “I, Don Horst, officially ask you, Francisca Paquita Roth to marry me.”
Paquita felt… Oh I cannot even put it into words. She was rendered speechless. Maybe for the first time in her life. All she could do was pinch herself. Hard. And play the voice text again. And again. When she felt the pinch and realized that she hadn’t dreamed it, she quickly sent this back “I, Francisca Paquita Roth, officially accept your proposal of marriage.” She must have listened to that text over and over again that week. Her sweet Don wanted to marry her.

The next proposals were on Skype (with no video) and again on Skype (with video). Her favorite proposal? Sigh, how do you choose between all the different kinds of chocolate out there? But one of her favorites was when he bought a rose, put it between his teeth and wrote “Will you Marrie me?” underneath it. Her heart literally stopped.

Then came the day (not even three weeks since he had found her) when he suddenly asked her for her ring size. She literally dropped everything and ran to the jewelry store. And the very next day, he bought not just one ring, but a matching set. Her friend Susan told her that she should go with him to pick one out. Not Paquita. She was not the kind of woman who wanted to pick out her ring. She wanted exactly what he did. To let him choose a symbol of his love for her. On his own. To hold in his pocket until she arrived. Why two rings you might ask? To follow the age old European tradition where the man and woman both wear simple silver engagement bands. What better symbol of their love than to both wear a ring? Don had asked what she wanted: a simple silver band (they both hated gold and loved silver) or one with a stone. “A simple silver band,” was her answer and what he had wanted in the first place.

Another favorite? She was in her last class before leaving for the airport to go see him. Her favorite 7th graders students were making Valentine cards in Spanish. They had just found out that she was going to see him, and they all thought it was so incredibly romantic. Her five favorite girls that she’d known for over 6 years asked her if he was going to propose. A small sweet secret smile burst out in her face. “I don’t know,” she told her kids. “Yes, you do,” said wise Elizabeth. “Did he ask you for your ring size?” Said sweet Barbara.
“Yes,” was all she could say before the class erupted in screams. “Shhh,” she admonished worrying that the school principal would glide into her classroom quietly as he was wont to do!!
Suddenly the girls were making Valentine cards for Don. Paquita took photos and sent them to him.
Jane sent one (in Spanisg, so didn’t that make it a good activity for a Spanish class?) saying, “Marry Señora Roth” Don told Jane, “Yes!” Barbara sent one that said,”Will you marry Señora Roth?” Don told her yes too. More screams later, she heard Karl say to her. “He better treat you right or I’ll come after him!” Sweet Karl who told her she always looked ravishingly. Paquita told Karl not to worry. That he was a cop and would take care of her. His answer? He turned to his friends and said,”He doesn’t love her as much as we do.” Paquita’s heart was overflowing. With her students’ love. With Don’s. It was now minutes until she left school to go see Don. And she told the kids that if they didn’t scream she would let them Skype him. The girls say down at once and were instantly quiet (note to teachers out there: This is the only way to get 7th grade girls quiet!!). Karl crossed his arms, ready to ask Don what his intentions were.

And on Skype. In front of all get student. Don asked her to marry him. And Paquita’s heart melted out the last sliver of ice.

The final proposals…that will come after the next commercials, as Ryan Seacrest was known to say!!

With just a click – Chapter 5

Chap 5

How does one fall in love online you might ask? Very simply. By sharing everything about your life. Being honest. Taking the time to talk and really get to know each other. Sometimes physical attraction can take over and lead you into thinking that you are in love. Yet you have not even gotten to know each other. It is just as important to like and respect the person.

Paqui liked, no loved, everything about Don. He was so honest with her. Something unknown to her until now. He told her of his kids, his health problems, his family and even his ex-wives. He never left anything out, no matter how painful or private.
Yet what Paqui loved first about him, was how open he was about his feelings for her. Something unbeknownst to her. She had grown used to men who were afraid to declare any kind of feelings for her, afraid to even commit to a second date, in case that somehow resulted in her thinking they were in a relationship. Some men had even admitted to falling in love with her at first sight, and then they had run far away, faster and harder than the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. One has total her that she was everything he had ever
wanted… in the future… one day… when he was ready. The few men that she had been with for more than a few months had been all wrong for her. Nice men, yet with the totally wrong personality for Paquita. They were
all men who did not inspire love or passion in her. They were men that she knew would never hurt her tender, bruised heart. Men she had settled for, time and again so as not to be alone. And yet with each time she was with one of them, Paquita had lost a little bit more of her soul. A little more of her faith in love.

Last summer she’d had an epiphany and had left that last nice man. She had tried online dating ONE MORE time and then had simply given up on dating. She had written over 30 Gigi stories and had lots more to write. But with each sad sorry story, she has become more sarcastic and even cruel. Perhaps I’ll be single forever, she had told herself. Instead, she began spending the weekends with her girlfriends, playing with their babies or young children. She felt happy with them, if not complete. At least she didn’t feel lost or pressured anymore.

Yet the minute Don returned to her life, Paquita realized just how empty and unhappy she’d been. With life. With her job. Even with herself. All she did was teach and tutor. Read books. Watch movies and television. Cry desperately when her favorite tv characters died (Did they really have to kill Beth on Walking Dead? Seriously? Seeing Darryl cry broke her heart)

Once Don was in her life, she was making time for herself. Planning a bright and happy future with Don. The first few days were so hard, because he was still living with his ex, so they could only style in his mornings, and he was not always free to text.
He planned to go to his sister’s house for a day… and to Paquita’s joy, he ended up moving in her and officially leaving his wife. Within a few days he had started divorce papers. And now they were free to text and Skype to their hearts’ desire.
Soon they had a beautiful routine that helps the distance between them. Don would Skype Paquita before she went to work. She would Skype him at lunch every day. Then he would Skype her at 11 pm his time every night. And texting? It was nonstop. Love texts. Songs exchanged. Photos and loving quotes. Watching three weeks they had over 200 pages of facebook messages. And proposals. Yes marriage proposals. Paquita soon lost count of how many times he proposed to her.

With just a click – Chapter 4

They spent that whole first weekend texting back and forth, getting to know each other, sharing their rather sad, lonely lives, that were so strangely similar. Her sweet Don was a retired cop, and he had had some serious health problems. Thankfully he had recovered. Maybe it had inspired him to do something with his life and search for his long lost love? Paquita loved her job as a teacher, although she had to admit that lately she’d begun to lose some of that inner joy, as the loneliness around her affected many of her choices in her life. Yet within days, she was wearing makeup again, fixing her hair, and taking care with what she wore, because who knew when he might Skype her!! She was suddenly that young carefree teacher that a colleague had once called Sparkles (this is for you Sherry, for being so supportive of our happiness). In those days her earrings matched her shoes which matched her clothing. And Sherry had told her that it wasn’t fair that Spanish teachers could wear bright gypsy skirts to school!!

Don and Paqui texted, voice messages, and talked about their sons, so similar in age and personality: both older sons dating a girl called Stephanie, and both younger sons considering the same career. His sons looked just like him, and hers looked just like her. He had divorced his first wife after 22 years of marriage. Paquita’s marriage had only lasted 7. He had married the last woman that he dated, and just 7 months later it had fallen apart. Paquita totally understood, and she did not judge him. Nor did she laugh, as he asked her please not to
Enter quote here
She understood. She probably would have married Larry if he had asked her those first few months when she had fooled herself into thinking that she was happy.
So much about her life changed within days. Before Don, she had spent her life working nonstop. Tirelessly. Filing up her empty lonely hours with work: first as a teacher from 8:15 until 3:30, and then as a tutor until 9 or 10 every night. She even tutored on weekends, anything from having to return to a lonely apartment.

Suddenly she started canceling lessons, and setting aside a Don time every day. This became holy time to her, as she steadfastly refused to tutor from 5-6 every day. No matter how earnestly her parents needed her. “But Jack cannot focus at 7:30 at night,” argued one mother. “He cannot focus at 5 pm, or even at 10 am,” retorted Paquita, who’d known Jack since he was in first grade. (note to self: write a book about life as a foreign language teacher). Her father had once told her that she spoke 6 languages and that she couldn’t say “No” in any of them. Thanks to Don, she finally learned to say “No”, and to make time for herself.

This holy time between them was the hour leading up to his bedtime and it made her so happy to be the last voice that he heard every night. They would spend hours on skype together, her wee early morning and lunch, and his late nighttime, just gazing at each other, smiling til it hurt, kissing and yes, even stroking the Ipad, phone, or computer screen like love sick teenagers. That screen brought them together, kept them close, and showed them all their emotions pouring out of their souls, contributing to their falling in love again. Didn’t someone once say that eyes were the vessels of the soul? Paquita, normally great at remembering quotes could think of nothing but Don, and was even mixing up all her languages.

With just a click -Chapter 3

The happiest moment that first day that they talked together, after 33 years, was when Don immediately told his Paqui, that he was getting divorced. Paqui’s heart flip flopped and suddenly everything was alright with her world again. The decision to divorce had been his wife’s idea, and one that he supported whole heartedly. Paqui was happy not to be the instigator of a divorce… again.

Within hours, they were talking about the possibility of a future together. Don and Paqui together again.
During the next few weeks, Don told her just how special her memory had been to him, and that losing her so young, was probably the reason that none of his relationships had ever worked. With Paqui he was a totally different man: sweet, romantic and passionate. And Paqui quickly realized that no one had ever loved her the way her Don did. It had finally happened. Gigi was dead and buried, and Paquita was reborn, with that same deep faith in love she had had since she played the “Who will I marry game?” with her girlfriends. Don made her want to say, “I do” again. And this was just days after hearing the Colbie Caillat song version named this, and telling herself that she would never ever want to get married again. She shivered thinking how she had almost married Darren so many years ago. A man who would not leave Canada to live with her, because of his young kids, even though he ended up leaving his kids… for a job. She was happy that she’d left Larry, the man she’d settled for a few years ago, so as not to be alone. He couldn’t even drive half an hour to be with her. And here finally was an amazing man, willing to leave his family and country in another continent to be with his Paqui.

And all this before even meeting in person. They truly fell in love within hours of finding each other again. Weeks later, Paquita printed out all of their messages (several hundred pages) and was able to track their path to falling in love. Add these pages here? Well then their story would be filled with pages and pages of sweet endearments. Never sweet nothings. How could anyone call
this a sweet nothing:
“I am so longing for you.. I need you so much… for you are the girl who saved me from bitterness and loneliness. I will love and cherish you till my heart stops beating. And I will still be loving you in afterlife. For we are connected for eternally”
When Paqui heard this, it literally stopped her heart for a second, until the way that he looked at her on Skype, so tenderly and lovingly, started it up again?
Maybe after their story is published, she can publish a prequel. Sequel? Addendum? Of just their messages to each other.

That first day Paqui told him that she was sadly single and she gave him one warning: that he might fall in love with her again.

He replied that it was too late. He had always loved her and always would.

With just a click – Chapter 2

The minute she realized this totally out of the blue email was from her long lost love Don, Paquita immediately sent him a quick reply that began with her favorite OMG!!

Too impatient to wait for an answer, she clicked on facebook. and looked for him. (Thank you Facebook). She found him quickly and requested his friendship. While waiting with her heart pounding so hard that she could hear it, she looked at his profile, and found out that… he was married. Married. Her overjoyed heart plummeted down immediately. Why had she even considered that her luck in love was about to change? Married. Why then had he sent her an email telling her of his past love and that he had never forgotten her? Was he that cruel? Surely not her sweet Don.

At this point, she should have thrown her iPhone out, followed by her two Apple iPads (Oops, maybe only one, since one belonged to her employer) and her Mac laptop (Would this be enough to get Apple to invest in publishing her story one day?).

However Paquita could not throw out anything that had brought back such sweet memories, whether they brought a happy ending or not. Paquita was many things, but a coward towards love was one thing she was not. Time and again, she jumped in, her heart in her hands, her eyes closed, crossing her fingers, and clicking the red (or more often pink) heels that would take her back to her past in a blink.

All she could do now was wish that he really wasn’t married. That his married status was there just to scare away stalker ex-girlfriends!! “Please please please,” she whispered, as she was wont to do when deeply wishing something.

It was not too long before her facebook messenger pinged in that memorable way. Its ping made her fingers tremble and her heart flutter. What would this conversation bring to her terribly lonely and loveless life?

And so, first with a click and then with a ping, began their first live conversation in 33 years. Who would have known that a short few days later, she would be buying a ticket to go see him in Amsterdam? Maybe the craziest thing she’d ever done in her life, but one that she knew deep in her heart, she would never regret. Not ever. After 33 years she was coming home

With his first words to her, Paquita’s heart, Paqui’s heart, skipped a beat.

“Hi Paqui….how are you doing? I never stopped thinking about u since I left Blanes, 33 yrs. ago, simply couldn’t get u out of my head, dreaming how it would have been if we had a chance to stay together”

With these few, simple, honest, straight from his heart words, he tugged at Paqui’s heart. She could no more have stopped herself from falling in love with him, than she could pass by anything pink in a store without taking a second look, and more than likely buying it, even if she didn’t need it. She was his from his first “Hi Paqui.”

Paqui. No one had called her that since those long ago days. Certainly none of the others who had loved and left her. They had called her by other names. Paquita. Frances. Frankie. All the way to her latest Gigi, writer of sarcastic, hopeless online dating stories. Writing. Her way of keeping sane in this new loveless commitment phobia dating world. Strange how each and every Gigi story that she’d written, had been written after the fact. Tongue in cheek, sarcastic, and even slightly cruel at times. But never had she written a love story as it was happening. Another big difference between being Gigi and Paquita. (Never forget that my love. You are not another love chapter from “Love stinks”. You are my Love Story. With capital letters and the double exclamation points her first grammar teachers tried to get me to stop using, with no luck.)

Yet this sweet charming man from her past remembered not only her nickname, but even her home address, her white bikini from long ago, her sparking eyes, her smile and that she had a habit to bite her lips when feeling emotional. He even remembered her mum and her dearest dad and that he had been a journalist. Every time he told her that he had not once forgotten her in 33 years, the cold barrier she’d built around her damaged heart began to crumble. With not even a whistle, he’d made her heart I
open up itself to him. Once again.

They felt as though they were once again 16 and 19, when they had been sweetly and naively in love with each other, unaware of the damage their hearts would receive from others not even close to being worthy of their love.

Although I’m sure that many of their friends, and maybe even you, reading this story, thought they were mad or crazy, it never felt like that to either Paqui or Don.

It felt so right. Like coming home after being in college and settling back into your beloved old bedroom. It was quite simply home.

Paqui and Don were finally where they belonged. Together again. Well, together in spirit and emotions.
Because with Paqui’s usual luck, he was not just not in her state or country. He was in a different continent. With a six hour time difference to boot.

That time difference is what Paqui came to hate the most. Having him go to sleep while she had hours to go before she slept was, at least to her, worse than being so far from each other.

Nevertheless, soon they were texting nonstop. (Thank you Whatsapp),Soon they were the last voice they heard at night and the first they heard in the morning. (Thank you Skype). Suddenly Paqui was a morning person, getting up early just to speak to him before going to work.

As each day passed, her smiles got bigger and bigger, until even her middle school students, normally thick skinned teenagers concerned with their own issues, noticed that their Mrs Señora Madame Roth (such is the life of an English teacher turned Spanish teacher, turned French teacher!!) was suddenly all smiles and not even annoyed by Karl anymore. Karl, that one student guaranteed to drive a sane teacher mad!!

Don brought a whole new, totally unknown happiness to her life. In just a few days, he gave her more love than anyone else had in their 33 years of dating. And in just days, Paqui had her Don all smiles, ready to totally change his life for Paqui, his forever girl.

The first time he called her this, her heart melted just a little bit more.

With Just a Click-Part 1

With just a click, she might have lost him once again. This time for good, never to be found again.

Yet the subject line caught her eye. “Blanes,1982”. Something about that tugged at her memory. Paquita rubbed the sleep from her eyes and opened up what would be the most important email in her life.

She had been told by others that she was
Unforgettable. So much so that Nat King Cole’s song could bring her to tears. She had once even believed it. But time and again, they still walked away from her, even after their declarations of love and their insistence that she had lived on in their memories.

You’d think that this would have made her impossibly bitter and cynical. Maybe her heart was a little bent, a lot empty, and just slightly scratched. Yet she still had that deep, unshakeable naive belief that out there was her great love. Just waiting to be found.

“Be careful”, her friends would tell her, time and again. “What if he’s lying and breaks your heart?”

Paquita would just shake her head, bite her lip, curl her hair around with her finger, smile with hope in her eyes, and respond, “What if he’s the ONE, and I walk away and lose the chance for true love?” And she would chance it. Risk it all in hopes of finding her true knight in shining armour.
Who once said,”T’is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?” He was an important wise poet, whose name escaped her at this moment. But there was nuo time for Siri or Google…

Right now she had an email to open. Had she known that, just days later, she’d be head over heels in love with a man whom she hadn’t seen in 33 years, would she have still opened the email? You bet your bottom dollar she would have.

With slightly trembling fingers, she opened up the email. Was it really him? Her long ago sweet Dutch boy summer romance? Omg it was. In the first lines he asked,”Hi Paquita…are you the Paquita Roth I met in Blanes, while you were on vacation with your mum? You were my girlfriend, and we were madly in love. I hope you still remember…. I never stopped thinking about you.”
With her heart pounding, Paquita closed her eyes, and the old emotion rushed in. She could picture him clearly in her mind, a tall, beautiful blondish Dutch God (were they related to the Roman, Greek and Norse Gods, she asked herself in a daze?)
It seemed like just yesterday, even though her heart had tried to forget by putting him away in the deepest recesses, filed under “Lost love” or was it misfiled under “The one who got away?” She wasn’t good at filing on a good day, and her poor heart had too many sad stories to keep under lock and key.

But she remembered him at once. By the difference he’d made in her life. He’d been the one true sweet gentle boy who had never tried to hurt her, lie to her, or use her. They’d simply been two young teenagers far from home, vacationing with their parents. And the days of Romeo and Juliet were a beautiful play, and not their reality. So when the vacation ended, Paqui, as he called her, and Don were torn away from each other. She remembered crying, and spending the rest of the summer in depths of despair that would have rivaled those of Anne of Green Gables. She even had a photo… A photo!!
Paquita jumped up and rushed to her photo album. And there they were: wrapped up in each other’s arms, side by side with eyes glowing with young, pure love and their mouths spread wide in puppy love smiles. And there was her photo just days after he had left, hugging her jacket that still smelled of him, lost in sadness. These photos brought tears to her 48 year old eyes. And they brought tears to his 51 year old eyes when she finally showed them to him.

Paquita had never thought that she’d find her true love at the ripe old age of 48, even though she must admit she looked at least 10 years younger; 20 years younger insisted her young students hoping to charm an A out of her on a test. It never worked, though it would make her smile.