Alejandro paced and fumed. He had waited in the garden each day, dressed in his hand-embroidered finery, but she did not come. He had sent letters expressing his wishes. “Meet me in the garden to accept my proposal,” he instructed the woman. “Come give us your blessing,” he told the priest. His explicit instructions for time and location should have been clear. But no one was ever there to meet him.

Mateo paused his flower planting, leaned on his shovel and looked the aging grandee up and down. His handsome face seemed to be laughing, but he respectfully asked, “Are you looking for someone?”

“Rosalita. My bride to be.”
“Perhaps she is not interested.”

Alejandro gestured to his clothes, his fancy shoes, his fingers covered in gold and silver rings. “Of course she is interested. Every woman is interested. But I chose her.” His colorful clothes and his vanity reminded Mateo of a peacock. The smell of his hair pomade nearly overpowered the delicate garden scents of orange blossoms, roses and sun-warmed earth.

“Weren’t you here yesterday?”
“Yes. And every day this week. Still, she will come.”

“Look,” cried Mateo, in great excitement. “I see a gilt-edged carriage drawn by a lively white horse. The woman with the whip is very beautiful, and she’s heading this way.”

“My Rosalita!” Alejandro started to move forward to greet her, but she jumped from the carriage and ran to Mateo.

“Go wash up, you adorable lout. We have a wedding to plan.”

“Perhaps you should read more poetry,” Mateo told Alejandro, as he wiped the dirt from his hands and plucked a perfect Seville Rose, paraphrasing his favorite Lorca Casida.

The rose
Was not searching for gold and silver.
Almost eternal on her branch,
She was looking for something else.

He grinned, wove the fragrant peach-colored bloom into Rosalita’s dark hair, and gave the poem a new ending. “She was searching for me.”

Alejandro never returned to the garden, and refused to attend the wedding.
No one noticed his absence.

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    Sandra James
    Sandra James(@sandra-james)
    1 year ago

    A captivating tale, Fuji. And a very satisfying conclusion. I had no sympathy for Alejandro, he was far too arrogant, so I was very glad Rosalita preferred the wonderful poetry-loving Mateo. Wouldn’t we all? Well done  ? 

    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    1 year ago

    Yes, Fuji I really liked how the bride to be chose the humble gardener over the arrogant gold clad rich boy. I like how you wove prose and poetry together.

    Preston Randall
    Preston Randall(@preston-randall)
    1 year ago

    I very much enjoyed this story. It had the feel of a parable, with a clear lesson to be learned. And I also liked the balance of descriptive narrative and dialogue. Well done.

    Last edited 1 year ago by Preston Randall
    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    1 year ago

    Oh, Fuji, I do so enjoy a love story! Alejandro really stood no chance, did he? Not up against the handsome and poetic Mateo. Lucky girl! I love this!

    Lydia E Atzemian
    Lydia E Atzemian(@lydia-e-atzemian)
    1 year ago

    Your pieces always make me feel like i walked around a bookstore picked up a random book and read a random page. It’s hard to explain but it feels like there is something there before and after this. It feels like a piece from a published work, always polished. It really is captivating writing.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    1 year ago

    Wow. What a nice read, Fuji. The part when Rosalita jumped and ran to Mateo makes me smile. Preston was right. It is like a parable. Well done, Fuji. 

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    1 year ago

    A very colorful and entertaining portrait of that vain peacock Alejandro, Fuji. And you show us a wonderful contrast in the poetry-loving gardener Mateo.
    How bold and imaginative of you to paraphrase Federico Garcia Lorca, so that his poem, Casida de la Rosa, fits into the context of your story! Great job!

    Bella Minyo
    Bella Minyo(@bella-minyo)
    1 year ago

    A captivating story, Fuji! I couldn’t stop reading until the very end, and even now I want to know more about the story! It was a truly delightful read!

    Marianna Pieterse
    Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
    1 year ago

    I enjoyed your story very much, Fuji! I was so glad that Rosalita chose Mateo and didn’t fall for the egoistic Alejandro! Well done.

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