CHAPTER XXI: Time to make decisions

Pic: Gran Vía Madrid

* Music during reading (to feel better the atmosphere of this chapter I recommend this song in the background)

I was standing frozen in the middle of the Gran Via, watching the cars continuing their way. Alex was getting out of my sight and my life. Feeling a coat covering my shoulders, I was still thinking about what had just happened.

‘‘Are you okay? I turned around and saw Sommer standing in front of me. He was so close that I could almost feel the warmth of his body while he was holding my coat by the collar. With my lost gaze, I found peace in his eyes.

«With my lost gaze, I found peace in his eyes.»

‘‘Michael?! An unfamiliar voice called Sommer. Regina was approaching us while we moved away from each other. ‘‘I’ve sent you a bunch of messages! Said the brunette, smiling, and kissed Sommer on the lips, casting a defiant look at me, to make clear that this was her territory.

‘‘We were about to… Well, about to try the cuisine of this place, the Nordic looking answered to his girlfriend, looking towards the entrance door of the restaurant which was located in the Grassy building.

‘‘Oh, wonderful! I’m starving!” Said Regina, coming to him as close as possible so that he would understand that she needs his care and attention.

“If you don’t mind, I don’t feel well, I think I ought to walk and get some fresh air,” I interrupted the moment of hugs that Regina initiated to make me feel uncomfortable. I wanted to get away from everything to be alone, even though I already felt that way.

“Sure,” the brunette answered in an enthusiastic tone and, without even thinking, took Sommer’s hand, hastily dragging him into the restaurant.

I smiled with no emotions and left, not waiting for Sommer’s reply; Feeling how his gaze pierces me, like a dagger that cannot destroy me because I have already been destroyed.

“Feeling his gaze pierce me like a dagger that cannot destroy me because I have already been destroyed.”

I didn’t know where I was going, I just wanted to get away from everything that was happening. I didn’t want an explanation, I didn’t want to look for anyone, but just to get lost in this crowd of unfamiliar people who walked alongside, but not with me.

I stopped in front of the iconic jewellery store located on Gran Via 26, La Union Suiza: a family business of six generations and a history of 180 years that has also supplied the capital of Spain with its exclusive jewels since the 1950s. Distracted by a display case of magnificent gems and exclusive watches from brands such as Patek Philippe, Breguet or Roger Dubuis, I felt the vibration of a phone call from an unknown number.

“Yes?” I answered confused, focusing on the magical design from Bovet, which confirmed the art of a watch.

“Miss Gerber?” I heard a serious and harsh male voice. “This is Inspector Aguirre, we have news about your fiancé. Could you come to the police station?” He asked.

“Yes … of course,” I answered slowly and nervously. I also had news for him, but I was not convinced if I had enough reasons and courage to confess them.

“OK, I will be waiting for you. See you soon,” the inspector ended the conversation, leaving me with a lump in my throat.

I froze for a couple of seconds, observing the dazzling wedding rings, jewellery that seal the most valued unions, protected by the glass-windows of La Union Suiza, and looked at my ring finger. It shone with a brilliant, pear-shaped yellow diamond that Alex gave me to prove the seriousness of his intentions just a few weeks ago. That recent trip to Paris seemed so far away to me, as if it were part of another life, a life that didn’t make sense here and now.

Before going to the police station, I had to make another call, which could help me to clarify, at least a little, what was happening.

I walked briskly, hoping that the speed of my walk would affect the clarity of my ideas, finding myself in the emblematic and lively Callao Square, a favourite for premieres of popular films and brands who have chosen it as a scenario for their most creative events. Standing in the middle of this rush, I took the clue that could open my eyes and explain to me what was happening, and dialled the number that was written on it.

“Finally! Why it took you so long?” I heard a voice I wanted to trust, but I couldn’t any more. “Ava? Can you hear me?” Alex was speaking calmly and confidently, as if everything that had happened in the last 24 hours was a figment of my imagination. “Where are you?” He continued, not hearing my reply.

“Alex, what’s going on?”

“Where are you?” He repeated the question, this time in a serious and abrupt way.

“I’ll call you back,” I said, ending the call and not giving him an answer.

The phone rang again, and the screen showed me the same number I had just dialled: The person I was looking for, now wanted to find me, but me just needed to disappear for him and everyone … everyone except Sommer – the only one who made me feel safe.

I dialled Michael’s number, but before he answered me, I hung up. Sometimes, the answers we most need to get are the ones we fear the most to hear.

“Sometimes, the answers we most need to get are the ones we fear the most to hear.”

I hurried to the hotel, without knowing the path to follow afterwards; I didn’t trust Alex anymore, but I still loved him, and this prompted me to listen to his explanations. I was walking automatically and unconsciously, realizing that the main thing was not to stop because every time I did it, I felt that a clot of doubts rolled over me.

Finding myself in the middle of a spacious hallway, upholstered in pearl colour and illuminated by stained-glass, I walk to the elevators to get to my room. I needed a few minutes of peace and silence to hear my inner voice.

“I needed a few minutes of peace and silence to hear my inner voice.”

Sitting alone on the bed overlooking Alcala Street, I dialled the same number I called a few minutes ago in Callao Square, but this time with the confidence and courage needed to listen to that person. I made a decision: To know the truth from his lips, the answers to the questions that I couldn’t go on living in peace with. The fear that gripped me half an hour ago disappeared as if by magic. Why in moments of weakness we usually forget how strong we are?!

“Why in moments of weakness we usually forget how strong we are?!”

The male silhouette, which I tried to avoid, but wanted to be next to, stopped in front of the door of the Alcalá Deluxe. Sommer knocked with the decision to tell me something important, it could be read in his dark blue eyes, but I was not destined to hear it that evening, I was getting in a black Mercedes, which I saw along the Gran Via.