With an hour to spare she stood in front of her cupboard she took out a light cream color winter dress with three quarter sleeves hanging just above her knees, there was still a chill in the air this late in September and she didn’t want to be cold. Long dark brown boots completed her outfit. Her long straight dark brown hair hangs loosely over her shoulders. Even after the winter, she kept her tan, which was noticeably at her face, knees and fore arms.
She left the house ten to seven, Monica stayed only three blocks from her. It was already dark outside and stars appeared all over the heavens. A light breeze rushed through her hair but not cold which she was glad for, it is along time since she has seen her friends and may be it will be good to see them all. She got into her Silver Renault Clio, a present from her parents on her eighteen birthday. She was stunned to find the car parked in the driveway the morning of her birthday. She has not seen either of them for almost a week and Roy and Derek gave her the keys.
It was a great morning, she spend with them while driving them to the nearest Mugg and Bean and enjoyed breakfast together. Like young people they laughed about silly stuff not one mentioned the always absent parents. Her parents spend the previous night with friends and were not back home till two days later. It was good to hear them laugh and be the young handsome men they were. Normality was not a word to describe them, but on that day they came very close to it. They even took a few photos together which was framed and hanged in her room. Which remind her if they try hard enough they could be a normal happy family, the one thing she craved the most.
She had an air of confidence around her but at the same time she was very humble and shy. Through life’s trails she have learned not to boast in her own abilities but stay in the back ground and do her own thing. She had to learn to stand on her own two feet not depending on parents.
They never did cared or were interested in her life. Although they took great, care in her physical needs, emotionally they distant them selves from her, which border on abuse. Their own life and lifestyle was all that mattered to them.
Her brothers would sometimes protect her but also only to some degree before they would leave her alone to fight or defend for her self. She loves her brothers and she knows there are a lot of sacrifices they had to make to adjust to their parent’s way of life but she herself could never pay that price.
Her innocence to high a price for her was a big issue or rather an embarrassment to them, especially her mother and they thought she was uptight.
She was always proud of the fact that she could still be a lady considering, watching Mrs. Richter who played a huge role in her life, her profile of grace and humbleness a measure of a woman; which made her determined to be similar. Graceful, elegant and respect for herself, with a husband who would adore her.
From teachers and classmates she only received respect and admiration.
In less than two months, she will complete her schooling. She looked forward to the following year because she will attend the
where she will study Physiotherapy with her main focus in sport. She always
loved sports; there is not a sport she did not try at one time. She likes the
commitment, the discipline that it brings into her life and the joy of
competing. When competing in a team sport or as an individual she felt that she
is accepted for who she is as a person. In the beginning, it was a way to
escape her home life but now it has become her lifestyle. University of Cape Town
Aldrich was standing at the big living room windows looking at the parking area when silver Renault Clio pulled up and stopped. At first, he only saw long booted legs appearing out of the car and then the girl stood up. She was a beauty from where he stood. She came closer until she reached the door and knocked; in the light of the porch, he could see that she was definitely a beauty, a tall beautiful girl with long straight hair. This must be Anabella he heard so much of, the friend slash swimmer of Monica.
Tim mentions her often especially the last month he was at a point of nagging. At first, he didn’t want to come but Tim kept on, convincing him to come. Tim said that he wanted to introduce him to some one special, a friend of Monica. He met Monica a few times over the years and he know that she is much younger than they are, that will make the friend the same age and he is not in the mood for babysitting. However, if this is the girl then she is not only very young, but a very pretty young girl.
‘Maybe he will stay awhile and check things out if it does not work out he can always leave’ he thought.
She was graceful in movement and strength not typical of a girl of her age and it caught his attention. She was young at least eighteen he thought. Maybe to young, but Tim insisted that he must meet this girl. She is really special he said. From Tim’s stories, she was practically raised by his parents. People gathered around coming closer to the door to greet her.
“Anabella is here!” Monica was excited that her friend made it making a big announcement of it. Apparently every one was glad about this news. Aldrich watch her carefully, his eyes curious on the young girl.
“Come in Anabella, welcome!” she greeted her with a big smile
“I am so glad you have come” pulling her closer by the hand
“You look beautiful”
Monica welcomed her into the house, happy to see her friend. For the past few weeks they both were busy with studies and out door activities. Both of them are also on the prefect list with their own assigned duties. Not much time left for visits or chatting.
Monica was also very beautiful but smaller build, slender, she was very blond. At first you will think it comes from a bottle but at closer inspection, she is all-natural with big blue eyes and a broad smile that is reaching her eyes.
“Hi my friend” she hugged Anabella fiercely, smiling as she talks
“It’s lovely to see you again, thanks for the invite” a beautiful smile adorn her face, two identical dimples appear in her cheeks and Aldrich thought that is the most beautiful smile he has ever seen. His interest was growing rapidly.
“Hi Mr. and Mrs. Richter, how are you?” she looked at Monica’s parents, reaching for their hands
“Very well” replied Mr. Richter
“Tomorrow is the big day, hey” Mr. Richter continues squeezing her hand
“I know it will go well with you, the gold medal is practical yours, as I see it, it is only a formality. You have put in the time and effort. We will watch on TV tomorrow”
“Thanks Mr. Richter, I appreciate the confidence in me. I hope to make you all proud” a light blush appeared on her cheeks enhancing the young oval face.
Monica tucked at Anabella’s arm.
“Come Anabella I want you to meet Tim’s friend Aldrich”
Anabella turned to face him. Her mouth became dry and her heart stopped for a second. “This must be the hunk” she thought as her friend continued chatting away.
“They work together at the same firm in the city”
She looked at the most gorgeous man she has ever seen, she had to look up to him, and although she is five feet ten, he was still taller than she was. Short dark golden blond hairs cut in the latest fashion crowned his face with big sea blue eyes. He is not a typical pretty boy but a man with a strong jaw line and rugged face. The shadow of day old stubble makes its appearance in a handsome fashion. Charming character was written all over him, experience life, lifelines a give away. Yet he had a softness about him that wants her to step into his embrace and hug him as a big teddy bear.
“She would love to be hugged by him” she thought. He had broad straight shoulders that say lean on me. He was bulky all over and she bet that the clothes disguised muscles all over as well.
Sea blue and emerald eyes met and Anabella felt weak at the knees at the interesting look he gave her. In her young life, she has seen many men walking through their door. Pretty and handsome ones, her mother’s favorite kind but empty shells things in men that gave her a total turn off, but this man looked at her as if he sees her, not for how she looked but for whom she is, and that is a welcome first.
She know she is beautiful, so many people has told her that but some how under his gaze she looks stunning and a warm feeling nestled in her belly.
‘A bit old for me’ she thought but very attractive and she smiled at him, not the dimple smile previously given to her friends but enough for Aldrich to have a good look.
The first time he has a good look he immediately was in the mood for strawberries and cream, his favorite dessert. The rich velvet texture of the cream mixed with the sweet pink fruit always appealed to him. She remind him of that all velvet and sweet and he smack his lips.
“I would love to eat it with her” he thought, and a soft smile appeared on the plush lips.
This is the first time Anabella felt this way about any man. She have never experienced weak knees, racing heart for the opposite sex in fact because of her parents life style she saw men as self absorbed and horny only interesting in one thing. With this man it was different, she felt save, not wanting to run as far as possible. Yet she hasn’t even spoken to him and already she felt this way about him. In fact, she wants to be as close as possible.
Her innocence and shyness cause her to look away when she saw the smile on his face, feeling a bit out of place but return her gaze feeling his gaze on her, not revealing any thing but curiosity and a beautiful smile.
With a deep strong voice he greeted her, taking her hand in his ‘Hallo sweet heart’ he said, the endearing word fell naturally from his lips and she nodded and greeted him as if it was the most natural thing to do ‘Aldrich, please to meet you’
‘The pleasure is all mine sweet heart’ she look up at him, a sparkle of approval in his eyes. His hands strong and calloused not the hands of a office jog.
He was self assured, confidence oozing out of him, as he spoke his voice the sound of a summer rain rumbling that made her tinkle all over and those eyes, she can disappear in them. She let go of his hand as she smiled, not to sure what to reply and looked around the room for her friend who left her right after the introduction.
Before she returned back to him. His closeness affecting her heart rate greatly, his presence sends out rays of calmness that filters through her and she felt at easy next to him.
Mr. Richter came in with drinks, and a glass of orange juice placed on a tray holding it to her and Aldrich. They turned as he spoke behind them and the gaze they shared broke for a few minutes very much aware of each other.
“Some thing to drink Aldrich, here is your orange juice Anabella”
Both reached out, Anabella taking the orange juice and Aldrich a drink offered to them.
“Thanks sir, can I help with the tray?” Aldrich offered
“Its fine” he said place the tray in the hands of his son who just join them and walk away.
“This is a girl to watch on TV tomorrow Aldrich” Mr. Richter said prideful, Anabella couldn’t help to blush; she is never one for much attention.
“Tomorrow she will bring a gold medal or two back for swimming, as a community we are very proud of her accomplishments”
Admiration was all over Mr. Richter’s face when he looked at her.
For a moment Anabella was thinking about her parents that didn’t care nor ever spoke to her in the same manner as Mr. Richter was speaking to her. They never gave her any attention, as parents they just missed it completely. For a fleeting moment a sad look appeared in her eyes, a look that Aldrich did not missed before the sparkle returns.
Aldrich wondered what could upset this sparkling girl. The air around her is filled with energy and excitement so why then the brief sadness. He knows very little about her but he wanted to be the one who could wipe that sadness away. He wanted to know more.
“Thanks Mr. Richter, you are very kind to say things like that. Now I know that I have to bring back the gold medal” Anabella replied softly, the blush still on her cheeks, she could feel Aldrich’s gaze on her and she look away hoping to find Monica some where in the room. However, she was nowhere to be seen, her friend is really doing the disappearance act very well tonight she thought.
‘I only say it because it is true Anabella, you have worked hard’
‘Thanks sir’ she accepted the praise taking a sip of the drink.
“It is lovely evening and spring is here I can smell it. Let’s go outside, tables and chairs has already been put outside, make your selves comfortable and enjoy the evening’ Mr. Richter said
“I know I will enjoy the evening” said Aldrich and he looked down at Anabella. A pleasurable look appear in those big blues as she spoke to Mr. Richter
“Thanks sir” Anabella looked up to find his gaze on her. A delighted chill ran down her spine.
That sounded like a promise of enjoyment, only meant for her.
Mr. Richter chuckled and said playfully ‘Enjoy you two’ and Aldrich grin with delight, taking a sip of his offered drink.
The blush on her face said it all.