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Title: Love, In English
Author: Karina Halle
Release Date: April 20th, 2014
He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three.
He speaks Spanish. I speak English.
He lives in Spain. I live in Canada.
He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos.
He’s married and has a five-year old daughter.
I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything.
Until now.Because when they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, boy ain’t that the f*#king truth.
To a restless dreamer like Vera Miles, it sounded like the experience of a lifetime. Instead of spending her summer interning for her astronomy major, she would fly to Spain where she’d spend a few weeks teaching conversational English to businessmen and women, all while enjoying free room and board at an isolated resort. But while Vera expected to get a tan, meet new people and stuff herself with wine and paella, she never expected to fall in love.
Mateo Casalles is unlike anyone Vera has ever known, let alone anyone she’s usually attracted to. While Vera is a pierced and tatted free spirit with a love for music and freedom, Mateo is a successful businessman from Madrid, all sharp suits and cocky Latino charm. Yet, as the weeks go on, the two grow increasingly close and their relationship changes from purely platonic to something…more.
Something that makes Vera feel alive for the first time.
Something that can never, ever be.
Or so she thinks.
Mateo suddenly grabbed my hand. He took me to the side of the road and lifted up the top wire of a fence, about to lead me through it. I stepped under, careful not to trip, and we walked, hand in hand, across a golden field of tall grass and brilliant wildflowers. In the distance was a picturesque oak tree, its shimmering green canopy leaning over the tawny ground.
We went over to the tree, the grass tickling my bare legs as I held up my skirt and stood at the edge of the shade, looking at the field, at Mateo. The grass and the flowers practically swallowed the trunk of the tree, and there wasn’t really a clear area to even sit.
“Not really the best tree to have a nap under,” I said.
He shrugged, the sunlight dappled on him through the leaves above. “It looked better from far away.”
He was still holding my hand. As if we both noticed this at the same time, he went and grabbed my other hand and squeezed both. He dipped his chin and gazed intently at me. Whatever polite façade we were demonstrating a few moments ago was quickly disappearing. I could feel the change between us, the tension growing thicker, calling attention to it, to us. To what we were and what was unresolved.
It called attention to everything. And each moment that Mateo held onto me with his strong hands, every second that his deep eyes bore into mine, seeking and searching, the tension intensified.
“Vera.” He said my name like silk and I knew I would never grow tired of hearing it. I looked down, unable to bear the impassioned look on his face. “I never got a chance last night to tell you how I feel.”
The cicadas chirped, matching the rhythm of my skipping heart. A light breeze blew past, tousling his hair.
“I know.” I swallowed thickly. I took in a deep breath, trying to steady myself. “And I’m afraid to hear it.”
“Why?” he asked. “Because you don’t feel the same way?”
I looked up to see pain pinched on his brow as his eyes sought mine.
“No,” I told him, mustering a scared smile. “Because I do.”
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