Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Half of Me: Chapter 1

Half of Me
by Paul Diaz

Chapter 1: When Dreams Come True

The following morning Adam and Aimee stepped out of the hotel doors to be greeted by a dozen photographers. Lights began flashing as each one was jostling for a good position to get a picture of the couple. Aimee hid at the back of Adam, holding his hand tightly, the young man was all smiles but turned to his fiancée. “Hey, are you alright?” he asked. “I told you we should have taken the back door and took the limo” Aimee replied. “Oh come on my love, it’s our last day here in Paris, it would be better if we walked and enjoyed the scenery. This is our dream place remember? It took us several years to get here but here we are now” Adam told her.

“How are we supposed to enjoy if it’s going to be this way the whole day?” Aimee complained. “They have to make money too, but we can ask them nicely to give us space” the young man told her as he faced the photographers. “Okay okay, please calm down. Stop shooting for a moment, I want to tell you guys something” Adam pleaded and the flashes stopped and everyone fell silent.

“Guys, I know you need to make money, so its really okay. You see this is our last day here in Paris. Me and Aimee, this is our dream place, you know when you are young and you have a place that you really want to go to. Well for us this is it. We are willing to let you do your jobs, we would be glad to even pose for you. All we ask is to give us some space so we could enjoy this place. I could tell you our itinerary if you want, I could tell you the route we are going to take but please could you give us some space?” Adam asked and instantly there was a silent agreement between all photographers.

“Great! So okay we shall be walking this way, so before that you can take our photos here. Oh is it okay if I ask for copies of the photographs? You see we didn’t bring our camera” Adam added. “Sure thing Mister Bowfield!” one photographer replied. “Yeah we could do that” replied another. “Sweet! So come on Aimee lets pose for them” Adam said as Aimee smiled at her fiancée and stood beside him. For five minutes photos were taken, the couple did several poses to the delight of the photographers. There was no jostling for position since Adam made sure everyone took a good shot.

As agreed the photographers left the couple to enjoy Paris, they kept their distance as Adam and Aimee started to walk. Aimee leaned her body on Adam, her head resting on his chest. “You always have a good way dealing with people” she whispered as the young man placed his arm around her waist. “Well I know how much you hate situations like that, but you also have to understand them. You know I would always side with you but look it’s a win-win situation right? At least we can have free photos” Adam said and they both laughed.

Three hours and several shopping bags later, Aimee was exhausted. “I think its time we had lunch” Adam suggested as they entered a nearby restaurant. Before they entered the door Aimee signaled the photographers to come closer. “Why are you calling them?” Adam asked. “Oh well lets treat them to lunch” Aimee replied and the young man was surprised. “Wow, that’s a sudden change of heart. What gives?” he asked. Aimee smiled and looked at the ring at her finger. “I just want to be like you, so maybe this is a first step” she said as the photographers gathered in front of the restaurant.

“Come on in guys, let’s have lunch together” Aimee said with a smile on her face. The men with cameras were surprised and looked at each other. Some were scratching their heads but Adam laughed. “Oh you better follow what she orders, she has a really bad temper if she doesn’t get what she wants” he joked. “No I don’t!” Aimee exclaimed as Adam laughed louder. “See, so come on guys you don’t want to see her really angry” he added as laughter erupted as they all entered the restaurant.

A table for two for the couple and around them was three more tables filled with vest clad gentlemen. “Now don’t hold back guys, just order what you want” Adam told the photographers. “Adam, don’t you find it weird, they aren’t taking photos” Aimee whispered. “We got their respect; you see if you are nice to them they also become nice to us. Or maybe they are just hungry” Adam explained as they both shared a laugh.

A few minutes later the food was served, everyone feasted on sumptuous steak meals. The photographers started eating only to stop as they noticed Adam and Aimee not touching their meal. “Ah, did we forget to say prayer?” asked one man. Aimee smiled and shook her head, “You see Adam doesn’t want me to touch knives or anything sharp. So I have to wait for him cut my steak into pieces” she explained. “Her hands are valuable, I would rather have my hands cut than hers” Adam said while he was focused on slicing the lump of meat.

Minutes later again the eating stopped as they watched the couple smiling at each other slowly chewing their food. Aimee was taking food from Adam’s plate while the young man did the same on her plate. “I really don’t get it, why can’t they just eat from their own plates?” whispered one man to his seatmate. “Are you married or do you have a girlfriend?” replied the older man. “Too busy for that” said the younger man. “Then you would not understand, looking at them makes me miss my wife all of a sudden. Yeah, we are definitely going to try that” said the older man as he wiped some tears off his eyes.

After lunch Adam and Aimee went back to the hotel to rest their legs. After two hours the again came out of the hotel main doors to be greeted by the same twelve people but this time they were not taking photos. “Hi guys! No more shopping this time, just plain sight seeing” Adam said and the photographers started walking fast ahead of them. Hand in hand the couple walked only to be stopped by one photographer. “I am sorry to butt in but if you are just going to walk this path you would not really enjoy Paris. If you want we can show you the great places to see” the man offered.

“That won’t be necessary. We are in Paris, it used to be a place only in our dreams but here we are now together. Being here, with here is enough for me unless she would want to go see other places” Adam explained as he looked at her fiancée. Aimee smiled at him and shook her head, “This is more than enough” she softly said and the man smiled back at them and ran ahead.

As the moon lit the dark sky the couple were exhausted and found themselves seating on a bench along a park. Most photographers had left except for two who were situated a far distance from the couple. “Its been a whole day and still we have not introduced ourselves” said the old man. “My name is Ricky, I am quite new to this really” said the younger man. “Alfred, nice to meet you Ricky. I have been doing this for fifteen years but let me tell you this is the only day I enjoyed” said the older man.

Aimee and Adam were laughing and the two men could hear them. Alfred took several shots and smiled. “I don’t get it, aren’t you supposed to wait until their lips lock? I am sure those kind of pictures are going to sell compared to the ones you just took” Ricky commented. “Oh so the whole day you were waiting for those situations then” Alfred said. “Of course, those are what you call hot items. Kissing, public display of affection, nudity, those pictures do sell” Ricky added and the old man laughed.

“Well that may be true but let me show you” Alfred said as he recalled the latest shots he took on the LCD screen of his camera. “What do you see in this picture?” he asked. “What else but its them laughing” Ricky replied and the old man smiled. “Again that is true, but look closer. Their hands gripping each other, yes they are laughing but look they are happy. Walking for several hours makes you tired but look at them, it seems that they are full of happiness and energy. This young man is a perfect picture of love. You can never give a price for this picture. You may take their picture kissing, but that is common. A picture like this is rare, this is a picture of true love” Alfred explained.

Adam and Aimee watched as the two last photographers walked away waiving at them. They both waived back to the last two friends they have made. Adam placed his arm around Aimee, she leaned her body against his and raised her hand pointing towards the sky. “Look, its just like one of the stars sparkling but this star is on my finger” Aimee said as they both stared at the ring at her finger. “It suits you perfectly, the only thing that is missing are your wings” Adam said. “Wings? What do I need wings for?” Aimee asked. “Well angels do have wings right?” the young man said and his fiancée looked at him at smiled.

“Tomorrow we shall go back home, back to our own places” Adam suddenly said. “Why the sad face? Do you like to stay here a little bit longer? We could do that” Aimee replied. “No, I was just thinking about us. Yeah we don’t have a definite date for our wedding yet but…I was hoping that…even though we are not married yet…” Adam cut his speech short as Aimee embraced him. “Yes, I would love to move in with you” she uttered and Adam was surprised. “You read my mind?” he asked and Aimee smiled at him. “I have always wanted be by your side each morning. It pains me when we have to part at night, so yes let’s move in together” the young woman said with a happy tone.

“So tomorrow I will pack my things and move in with you because I always liked your apartment. I like the terrace on your room, your kitchen…hmmm never mind we can fix that” Aimee excitedly said but Adam stopped her and kissed her. “Tomorrow can wait, for now let’s just enjoy our last hours here. Paris is just another place; I didn’t understand why I really wanted to go here years ago. I just had this urge that I need to, and I had all the chances to go here but I never did. Now I do understand the mystical feeling, it’s not about Paris, it’s about achieving a dream going here and from here, together we start to make new dreams for the both of us” he softly said.

“I love you Adam Bowfield” Aimee softly whispered. “And I love you too Aimee Bowfield” he replied and the young woman’s jaw dropped. “Oh I am sorry, maybe I am just too excited” Adam said but the young woman giggled and peppered him with soft kisses. “No, say it again” Aimee told him. “Aimee Bowfield?” he replied and the more she giggled. “Honestly I have been saying that since last night, but hearing it from you makes it more perfect. Say it again” Aimee begged as Adam faced her and caressed her cheek. “I love you Aimee Bowfield” he said as he moved his face closer and they both kissed.

As the sun was brightly shining the next day, Adam and Aimee found themselves standing at the exit of the airport to the place they call home. “Aimee are you in a rush to go home?” Adam asked. “Sort of, I didn’t sleep well at the plane. Why? Do you want to grab breakfast? It’s okay with me” she replied. “Ah yeah something like that, so wait here I just have to make a call” he said as he signaled one staff to look over Aimee and he walked bringing out his mobile phone.

A limousine arrived but Adam held Aimee’s hand, “We are not getting on that one” he told her. “Why? This is our ride” Aimee said. “Not today my love. Henry please take all our luggage inside the limo” Adam instructed accompanied by a short nod to where the driver smiled. “Why is he smiling? What did you signal him to do?” Aimee asked. A brand new Sports Utility vehicle stopped in front of them and Aimee recognized the driver. “Is that your new car Darlene?” she asked. “Oh no Aimee, I think it belongs to the both of you” Darlene said as she quickly walked towards Adam and handed him the keys.

“Adam? What’s this? Is this your car?” Aimee asked as she was escorted by her fiancée to the front seat. “Now seat tight my love, I want to take you somewhere. Trust me you will like it” Adam told her as he shut the door and waived at Darlene who rode the limousine. “You go ahead, were going to take our time getting there” he said to their assistant. “Don’t take too long, the breakfast would be cold” Darlene said as the limo sped off.

An hour later Adam woke up Aimee who fell asleep. As she opened her eyes she was amazed by the green surroundings. Aimee quickly got out of the car and ran towards the lake, she stood up and took a deep breath. “Wow! This is the best surprise ever! How did you know I wanted to go to a place like this?” Aimee exclaimed. Adam stood at her back and embraced her, “Well do you like this place?” he asked.

“Like? I love this place! Oh Adam look at the tall trees, everything here is so green. This calm lake is so refreshing to look at. Adam, I want us to save money and build our dream house here. Our room should have a terrace overlooking this lake” she said as Adam kissed her neck. “Come on, there is a house nearby, we are going to have a picnic” he whispered so they started walking.

A few steps away Aimee was again surprised to see a huge house, Henry and Darlene at the front lawn setting up breakfast. Aimee stood still staring at the house, it was simple in design but the scenery made it look more elegant. At the second floor she saw a terrace, she quickly looked across to see the calm lake. “Adam…I want our house to be like this one” she whispered. “But it looks so simple” he told her. “No, its perfect. I want one like this one” she said.

“Oh okay, come on let’s eat before the food turns cold” Adam said as Aimee slowly back stepped, she still could not let her eyes off the house. While eating Aimee leaned towards Adam, “Adam, lets take more deals so we could buy something like this. I really want a house just like this” she said. “Don’t you think the color of that house is a bit dull? And the design is quite old. Don’t you want a bigger house? The one with a pool and stuff just like other celebrities?” Adam asked.

“No, I want something like this one. You should not have bought the car. You should have saved the money” Aimee said as she started to pout. Darlene and Henry were all smiles as Adam was scratching his head. “Oh come on my love just eat. You barely touched your food. We can take a picture of the house and have it blown up if you like. We could hang it on the wall of my apartment” Adam teased and the more Aimee felt sad. “I don’t want a picture, I want a real house like that” she whispered.

“A house like that? With a terrace like that?” Adam asked. “Yes, just like that” Aimee replied. “An art room for our paintings?” he asked again. “Definitely, and two rooms for our children because I only want two. Then two guest rooms, a big kitchen because I love to cook” Aimee told him. “Love to cook and eat, then a wide living room with a piano so you can entertain our guests?” Adam added and Aimee was already smiling. “Yes, I told you several times what i like, I know I sounded like teasing but I do really like all those. I am not being selfish right? Its just a dream right?” she asked.

“And what happens if that dream comes true?” Adam asked and Aimee flashed the sweetest smile and looked at Adam. “Then I will be left with one dream…and you have to make sure it happens” she replied. “And what would that last dream be?” he asked. “To spend my whole life with you” Aimee said and Adam’s lips shivered as tears started to form in his eyes. Adam stood up and reached inside his pocket, he looked at Darlene and Henry, both of them nodded.

“That last dream of yours happens to be my dream too. So here, I want you to be the first one to open the door” Adam said as he handed a key to Aimee. The young woman was shocked, she trembled as she stared at the key. “Adam what is that?” she asked trembling. “The key to the door to your dream house” he replied. Aimee shook her head in disbelief as she looked at Darlene and Henry. “Am I dreaming? Is this really happening?” she asked as the two laughed at her. Adam pulled her up and placed the key on her hand, all of them walked towards the door but Aimee stopped and looked at her fiancée.

“Adam if this is another prank of yours you better tell me now” Aimee said with a straight face. “If the door doesn’t open then it’s a prank” Adam replied and the young woman inserted the key at the keyhole. She turned the key and they heard something unlock. Aimee started shivering but a smile brightened up her face. She took a deep breath and finally opened the door.

Aimee stood frozen as tears started to fall down her cheeks. She was just like staring at images from her dreams but this was all real. She wiped her tears and walked towards the grand piano at the living room. She caressed the keys and looked at Adam and bowed her head. Aimee continued walking looking at the paintings hanging on each wall. “We made those” she uttered softly.

At the far end she entered the last room, inside she saw three easels. The one at the center had a canvass with their unfinished painting. “Well?” Adam asked but Aimee was like in a trance and started to walk towards the stairs. She went to the second floor and immediately found the master’s bedroom.

She glided her hand on the huge bed and giggled; she smiled at Adam and winked. Aimee walked towards glass door and opened it, it was a terrace overlooking the lake. She held on to the railings and closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Adam tell me I am not dreaming” she whispered.

Adam stood behind her, placed his hands around her hips. “It was just a dream but this time you are not dreaming. If you have more dreams I want to know them. I want to be the one to make them come true. I love you so much Aimee” Adam whispered.

Aimee faced her husband to be and placed her hands around his neck. “All my dreams have come true, the last one I am sure will. I can’t find the right words, I don’t know how to thank you. This time you tell me your dreams and I too want to be the one to make them real” Aimee said as they both smiled at each other.

“You already did the moment you said yes” he softly replied as their lips locked and embraced.