Read THE DEAL: Novel Online

Authors: M. F. Bvlgari

THE DEAL: Novel (4 page)

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She goes direction to the pedestrian bridge over the River to cross over to the other side. On the bridge are more artists, these are different and they are Romanians and they are there to fool tourists, encouraging them to bet where is the hiding ball. They Romanians use a ball and three cups, they put the ball under a cup and then mix the cups very quickly, and tourists eager to earn some money, they bet to see where the ball is, if they win they receive double of what they have bet, but what tourists don’t know is that there are fake tourists among them pretending to play as well to encourage true tourists to join the game. At this point Carolina is already walking for about 30 minutes without stopping beginning to feel her legs tired. She wants to stop only in Trafalgar square, only another 5 minutes and she could rest for a while. Arriving at the square, she admired the three staircases giving access to the National Gallery and sits in the grand staircase in the middle to rest for a little bit. Enjoying the view, she admires the tourists who go there and try to climb the lion’s bronze statues, taking all kinds of photos, making Carolina laughing.  She paid attention to the children and adults fumbling in the water fountains and others taking pictures to the column of the famous Nelson statue.

Behind Carolina is the National Gallery a building built in 1830, which today has one of the widest exhibition of paintings dated from 500 years ago to the more recent painters, she liked to go there once in a while and contemplate the paintings where each one told a story.

Carolina gives a look at her phone to see if she has any messages from her boys or if someone had called her, but there was nothing, which was a good sign. The boys were in the habit of sending messages instead of calling, only if it was really some emergency they would call her mum, but most of the times kids emergencies were not real emergencies, they were only in their heads, like needing mother’s approval for sleepovers and things like that. However more and more it wouldn’t apply to her sons, as they were old enough just to inform their mum instead asking for permission.  She decides to rest a little bit more as she was feeling her muscles in her legs still contracting, so she chose to distract herself with a new iphone application that her boys settled for her to enjoy, saying she should get a boyfriend for yesterday instead of worrying so much about them. Although Carolina thinks that kind of applications was only good for young people, she doubted it would have any use for her. 

Apprehensive Carolina devotes a few minutes to see how the application worked and what kind of men are in the application or if there were men of the same age as her. Surprisingly she discovered that there were many men of her age and even older, from all aspects and ethnic groups wanting to meet women for various purposes. Carolina was impressed, everyone today of all ages seems have joined the digital world to get the other half. Once she had figured out how to work with the application, she found out it was really easy, actually just needed to slide her finger to the left meant she wasn’t interested, sliding with the finger to the right would mean she was interested in the man, and all based on a decision of a couple of pictures.

Easy enough
– She thought.

The decision was anonymous and those who were rejected would never know, which meant that Carolina didn’t need to have a bad conscience when deciding in case of rejecting someone. She saw a few pictures of men that seem interesting but it was not quite what she thought right for her, but still decided to slide her finger to the right side, thinking if they send a few messages couldn’t hurt anyone and never knew if she couldn’t be surprised by a man. As she saw the pictures of available men in her area, she saw a faced picture that draws her attention.

He is not gorgeous
- she thought -
but he is not ugly either.

But he had something she couldn’t identify what it was. The photo showed only the face of a man about same Carolina’s age, he had intense blue eyes that drew her attention, his eyes were really very intense and somehow they had almost hypnotic power, his expression was hard and authoritative, almost touching arrogance, but not quite. She slides her finger to the left, opting for no. Tired of swiping left or option no, she decides to put the phone in her pocket and put herself on the way home. 

This time, she took another way and went along the street where she could see the guards of the Queen mounted on fine horses with red coats gaudy uniforms, white pants with black boots to the knee, golden helmets and wielded a sword resting on their shoulders. They were at the entrance of the royal guard Queen museum so that tourists could take pictures with them. Tourists concentrated once again here by the dozen.

Now Carolina passed the entrance of the official residence of Prime Minister, here the thing was serious and the guards were armed with machine guns making Carolina realize how tight the security was. And the security needed to be tight to keep order and the prime minister safe, because people often showed their dissatisfaction with the government expressing their discontent with demonstrations in front of the prime minister’s main gate. Sometimes manifestations were large enough to cut partially the road for security reasons. Carolina returned home physically tired but at the same time psychologically much lighter, with her ideas much more aired. It made her very good this long walks along the river and she needed to be distracted mentally, because lately she hadn’t major distractions in her life. She hadn’t dated for a while and particularly that area of her life she felt alone and had doubts if one day someone would turn up to be the man that she finally falls in love with. She knew her age was no longer on her side anymore and every day that passed by she feels she is in countdown. She knew that the men with same age or slightly older liked much younger girls, there was no way to compete.

However this didn’t prevent Carolina often dreaming with the man of her life. Sometimes when she fell asleep and entered in the world of dreams, she dreamed of him. She dreamed that she was with him sitting by the water, on the sand at the beach facing each other as he passed his hand gently stroking her face constantly staring at her with his passionate blue eyes.

It was a great feeling.

She didn’t know where the beach was, she only saw the light yellow sand, and the surrounding beach had some rocks, there were no houses to be seen just a bluff of rocks and then an immensity of beach. In her dream there was a black Range Rover jeep on the beach, with the front wheels over the rocks on the slope where the beach began, next to a wooden path already eaten up by the sun. She knew the jeep was his. Carolina was never able to see with clarity his face because of the brightness of the dream, she thought clarity could be from the sun, but she wasn’t sure. She could glance sometimes his blue eyes for a few seconds in the dream, other times she could see he had a three-day brownish beard. His figure against the sun revealed a tall and defined body figure. In the dream there was never more than that, she could never go beyond that, sometimes she tried harder to see better in the dream struggling to see him in a much clear way, but the clarity against him wouldn’t let her. Trying to him better and most of the time she struggles to see him, but as much she tried as more clarity the dream had, always preventing her to see him. She was sure that in the dream there was a mutual feeling, she felt that they liked each other very much by the way they were looking at each other in the dream.

In real life Carolina had only a few friends and they were always very busy with family and Carolina didn’t feel right to bother them and challenging to go out with her for dinner or see a movie. And the other reason was that, she had a very different taste then her friends, they didn’t really appreciate museums, arts or watch a play as Carolina’s really liked.

The few times she used to go out were when she received e-mails with invitations for events in the city or events related to her work. She made always a huge effort to go, trying to live a bit and meet new people. She laughed at herself because every time she was going to one of these events she ended up meeting someone, but it was usually a woman. She met a few men as well, but they were so uninteresting that she never kept contact with them. One time she met a woman who was manager of a company that bought companies facing bankruptcy. On another occasion she met a matchmaker, very fashionable nowadays for those who don’t have time to search or can’t find the perfect match. This extraordinary well succeed matchmaker ended up offering Carolina an assessment of her profile and one perfect date for free. Another time Carolina met a British woman, a journalist working for the Aljazeera television. Today she was tired because of the walk, grateful for the boys staying overnight at a friend's house, she takes a shower, eats a sandwich, lies down on her cosy bed with an enviable view over the city and falls asleep right away.

She dreams the same dream every time.



A decision

In London, Carolina rarely cares for driving. She drives only at weekends if she needs to go shopping or when she wants to leave London for some reason, so she has a black Jaguar XF that is parked in the garage, without being used most of the time. When she goes to work she never uses the car, public transports are great and she didn’t have to deal with the parking problem in the city centre, which was always chaotic. So as usual the next day Carolina makes to the bus ride to work, as normally happens she arrives earlier. She loved arriving early, drinking an espresso calmly, tasting it while she turn the lights of her office, sitting comfortably in her chair and connecting the computer. As there were still 15 minutes to 9 a.m., she had plenty of time to send messages to her boys to make sure that they are well and are getting ready or already on their way to the university. Once she knows they are good, she decides to open the meetings application on her Iphone and there was again the picture from this arrogant man with the hypnotic blue eyes from the previous day.

From what she had read on the application when she opts for no, that person should no longer appear, but how it was that he was there again, she couldn’t understand. It’s almost saying "I will continue to appear until you say yes." Carolina felt the urge to meet him, it still was a no, but in his expression, in his eyes, she chose to slide her finger to the right, giving the final yes. At this point Carolina was already too curious to know more about him and she waited for his feedback.

In his introduction she knew he was same age as she was and had a little daughter.

It’s a good start
– She thought –
As I have already kids, he could understand the parenthood and priorities when they arise.

After the divorce, Carolina learned that the best men to go out with were often those who were already parents and they were in a much better place to understand that she was also a divorced and was a mother. She knew they understood better when certain sacrifices needed to be made on behalf of children than often due to themselves, she knew such men were more sensitive to understand the responsibility of being a parent. Once she slide her finger giving indication of yes, moments later emerged the picture of Carolina and JP (with their initials) to match and showing the word “match”.

From now on they could exchange messages if they wished. Carolina had to admit that the photos taken to JP should have been taken by a professional. He had quality photos and yet didn’t look like a model, it was a bit confusing, because he showed in the photos he wasn’t comfortable enough to be a model, but the physical aspect of him, yes definitely he could be a model or an actor. She already had some confirmations and a few messages to start introductions from the previous day, but she didn’t have the patience or any interest talking with them, maybe later.

The working day passed without major new features, it was always the same meetings to make decisions which were pending for new projects to be developed in the upcoming months. She was constantly giving instructions for new tasks to her team as it was just a normal day at the office. When Carolina was heading back home, she remembered to verify if she had already a message from JP. She opens the application, and there it was the message she was waiting for with his brief presentation.

"Hello my name is JP, single, I am professionally successful. I spend half of the time in London and the other half on the other side of the Atlantic, I am rich and I can transform your life for much better. As I have a very intense professional life, I am just looking for fun."

If Carolina had stayed with the first impression that he had the look in the photographs to be a little arrogant, certainly writing he acts as such. There was something about him, she couldn’t explain what it was, perhaps a strange attraction because he was so straight forward with her. She was now even more curious about him, so she decides to respond politely, but yet took the opportunity to respond with a hint of provocation, she wanted to know where it was going to:

"How you are a Sugar Daddy? I'm Carolina, I live in London, divorced, working in marketing. I am looking for a relationship with consistency”

Minutes after she receives another message from him:

"I've never needed to be a sugar daddy, but I wouldn’t mind to be because I have lots of money. By the way I love your photos, you're very sexy, and I would like to see more, can you send it to me? I’ll send you my photos as well they are recent, tell me what you think."

After the first message, many others followed, and sharing lots of photos. Carolina discovered through numerous messages exchanged between them that JP was British, was very successful professionally with 4 companies all related to the fashion world. It was an incredible coincidence that he was like Nils linked to the fashion business. He was apparently also successful among women, but made a point of saying that when he was with one woman, he was only with one.

- thought Carolina -
one at a time for sure, but you never know. I need to give the benefit of the doubt for now.

He explained that he had a partner and they lived together for 15 years, she had been his best friend, but he had never felt in love for her. When she starts to realize that she was losing him, she asked him to give her a baby and he agreed to do so, even not loving her. After the birth of his daughter, he falls in love with a 50 years older woman while she was a divorced mother with teenage children. He said he had never been in love in his life and he never felt anything like it, he was terrified by the intensity of that feeling that he was experiencing. But at the same time he couldn’t live with a guilty conscience for leaving the long-time companion and a few months old daughter to be with another woman. Their relationship was pure passion, he said. He felt completely addicted to that woman, but wasn’t able to deal with his feelings as their relationship was having great moments and really bad moments, both suffering with that, he didn’t know how to deal with that consumed and strong feeling. They lived the world in two years, ending the relationship countless times.

She wanted to marry him, and he wasn’t mentally prepared to marry because he thought it would hurt the mother and his daughter's feelings. When he decided to buy the ring to propose her to marry him it was too late, she didn’t believed in him and the relationship had already deteriorated so much, and she didn’t want to return to him again.

He confessed that he still loved this woman and thought about her every day, despite stating that they had split 3/4moths ago, he still loved her, so he said he wanted to make it clear that now he was only looking for sex and nothing else. He couldn’t see himself having a relationship with another woman because he still hoped that the woman he loved would change her mind and would return to him. So he decided that he wanted to remain available for her. When they started exchanging messages Carolina thought he was a little bit arrogant, confirming its initial feeling. But as they were starting to known each other and he started to open up, she admired him for having lived a love like that, it wasn’t any man who could live a love like as he lived and confessing that he still loved this woman the way he did.

Three months after many messages were sent back and forward, Carolina was fully aware that JP wasn’t interested in a relationship, he was only interested meeting for sex, he was always very straight forward since the beginning. Carolina wanted a relationship and wanted to live a love, but being already so long without sex, she thought it wouldn’t hurt surrender to carnal pleasures without any aspiration and afterwards she could continue looking for her white knight. She always wanted to act like a man, arriving, win and walk away without remorse and without any feelings like they are able to do, but women not so much, as they are usually moved by emotion and not carnal instincts. More and more Carolina was determined to do it because she was so curious about JP, and he wanted the same, so there was nothing to go wrong, nobody would come out hurt and she desires an adventure so much, that she is eager to have this experience.

It was only once and I never need to see him again

She thought full of curiosity and excitement of an adventure. They finally agreed that they would meet and whatever happened would be nothing but sex, no illusions for anyone, no drama and no future. Carolina was just a little bit apprehensive with all the background of JP’s girlfriends, even he admitted that he was alone, sometimes Carolina wasn’t so sure if it was the real reason behind it. Thinking that he was so focused on wanting a relationship, not even open to such and only wanting sex, it could have a hiding meaning more than the story he told her. Carolina didn’t want to believe he could be lying, but he could be, he wouldn’t be the first time a man was lying just to have just sex and if it was his case, and if he was lying he would not be the last one in the world. She had this feeling that there could be something else behind it, maybe a girlfriend or he could even be married. He kept always saying he just wanted sex, and of course it could be that he really just wanted sex and was not interested in her, probably he just wanted to be sure that nobody would fall in love for him, so he could keep playing around. 

Maybe he was just a player.

Carolina decided to ask him directly instead of trying guessing what the true situation behind was. JP gave her a completely unexpected answer for which Carolina was not at all prepared to hear, saying:

“If you want to make sure that I'm telling the truth, that there is at present no woman in my life, come to my house. See with your own eyes.”


Carolina went.

From that day Carolina’s life would change forever, but she didn’t know yet.

12.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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