“Laura needs something that shines even brighter than diamonds.”
Sean looked up to see Pedro standing next to him, looking down at the beautiful sparkling necklace.
“What do you mean?” asked Sean, not seeing a way forward.
“Laura is much more than just a pretty face. She is a strong woman, but she needs love just like everyone else,” Pedro said, taking the seat next to Sean.
“But I barely know her Pedro, how can I say I love her?” Sean replied
Pedro regarded him thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again. “I didn’t tell my wife Conchita I loved her until we’d known each other for a long time, but my feelings for her did not change from the moment I met her until this day. Conchita and I lived in the same town, we had the luxury of time to understand what we had together. But life is short, and we don’t all have that same luxury. Your whole business is looking for small things now that have the potential to grow into something much much bigger. You have learned to take risks in business, you have to take risks in your personal life too.”
Sean let Pedro’s words sink in. Was what he felt for Laura, love?? And if it was, what would it mean to let that go? But she was the one turning him down. Surely Pedro should be convincing Laura not him? He felt as if the whole situation was beyond his control now. Standing up he gestured towards the flowers and necklace, saying unnecessarily, “these belong to Laura,” before saying goodnight, and turning to walk back along the sand to his hotel.
Pedro sat at the table and watched Sean walk away, then a few moments after he was out of sight, Laura reappeared and joined him at the table. All the other restaurant guests had now left, and the two sat in companionable silence for a while. Laura was the first to speak.
“Have you chosen your boat yet?” she asked, thinking of Pedro’s dream and how he was about to fulfil it.
“Yes, I think I chose it a long time ago Laura, it’s just become a reality now. What about you Laura? Have you chosen what you’re going to do yet?” Pedro asked.
“Well, I’m going to find another job first, then I’m going to try and figure that out.” Laura replied with a sigh.
“So you haven’t chosen then.” Pedro said, looking at her in disappointment. “Laura, don’t let life pass you by for any longer than you already have.”
“But Pedro, I don’t know what I want to do, I need to think about it, spend some time, I don’t want to make a mistake,” she protested.
“Laura, querida” Pedro began, taking her hands in his. “If you spend your life thinking and worrying about making mistakes, you will miss out on the real adventure.”
Laura looked at Pedro, feeling like she was searching for the answer in him.
“They’re beautiful flowers, and a lovely necklace,” Pedro said, picking up the necklace so it sparkled even more as the night lights of the restaurant reflected off the diamonds as he turned it around. “It’s quite a present, I wonder where he got it from, we certainly don’t have any shops in this town that would sell anything this fancy!”
Laura watched the exquisite necklace as it hung from Pedro’s fingers. He was right, Sean must have gotten the necklace from out of town, and he hadn’t known it was her birthday until this afternoon. She wondered where he had been?
“I think Senor Fenton made a great deal of effort to get you a birthday present. I’ll say it again Laura, you and he have a connection. Don’t let it slip away. You deserve to be happy Laura. You deserve someone to share your dreams with in life. Is that not what you want?” Pedro asked, standing up and moving round to fix the necklace around Laura’s neck.
Laura reached her hand up to feel the diamonds resting just below her throat. She could feel the cool weight of them on her skin, and was aware of their sparkle even though she could no longer see them directly. Her objection to a future with Sean rose in her mind again.
“The problem is, Pedro, that Sean already knows what he wants from life, he’s living his dream. He runs a large, successful company, has lots of money, travels the world. I don’t even know where to start with what I want. How can we share our dreams together when we’re at different stages?”
“Laura, just because Sean has money doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have dreams. Besides which, remember I told you that when I met Conchita, I was the one with the dream, not her. It was only after we spent time together, talking and laughing, that she added hers to mine, and they gradually became shared dreams. Life is not a supermarket Laura, where you go with your list and pick out what you want. If you do that, you’ll miss out on all the other opportunities you never knew existed. If you want to find what your dream is Laura, you need to start living and open yourself up to the opportunities that are out there. It’s time to finally let go of your past Laura. Look to your future now.”
Could she? Could she really just go with Sean and see what happens? No, she didn’t want to fit in with his life. She wanted her own life, and to share that with someone.
“But Sean doesn’t want to share his life, he wants me to fit in around it.” Laura said frowning. What Pedro was saying made sense, but she couldn’t see how that helped the situation with Sean. Surely he should be talking to Sean not her. He was the one asking her to give up everything, and him give up nothing at all!
“Do either of you really know what you want?” Pedro asked.
“I want to be with him, but..”
“Don’t listen to the ‘but’ Laura,” Pedro interrupted. “Listen to want you want and go from there. I think you may find you both want the same thing, perhaps you need to talk to each other to find a way to get that.”
Perhaps Pedro was right. Sean had admitted he was attracted to her and wanted to spend more time with her. Maybe if they sat down and talked about it, they could find a way forward that involved both of them making an effort, and giving a little, not just one of them. Her thoughts turned to her mother again, and she reached for her scar.
“My mum always taught me to talk things through. She used to say it was the simplest way to avoid misunderstandings. She was right. Oh Pedro, I miss her so much. I wish she was here to talk to now.” Laura felt hot tears wetting her eyes, and brushed them away with the back of her hand.
“You mother sounds like a wise woman Laura. But I think this time the person you need to talk to is Senor Fenton, Pedro said, reaching for the empty glasses on the table to clear them away, signalling the end of the evening. “Go home and get some sleep Laura, but don’t wait too long before you do something.”
Laura picked up her flowers, went to change her shoes and grab her bag, then stepped down onto the sand to begin a slow walk home. She needed time to think over Pedro’s words, and her feelings. Her emotional dithering of these past few days had to end. Again, Laura found herself thinking of her mother, with affection, rather than sadness, as she recalled the excitement she had always made her feel when they had planned a new adventure. That was the feeling she recognised now, small but there nevertheless. Maybe things could work with her and Sean. Again, that tiny grain of hope just would not die.
The story continues tomorrow....