Bianca had waited all her life for this, and her plans were coming to fruition. It had been a dream of hers from childhood to go and do a Masters in Communication studies abroad. Now, she was set to leave in a few days. She would be leaving behind the bad memories of how she was dumped on her wedding day. Would The Past Stay In The Past Or Would It Ruin The Perfect Love Story?
After the tragic wedding when Bob left Bianca at the altar, she decided that from then on she was going to focus on herself fully and actualize her dreams. She turned her attention completely to her education, and it bore fruits. She had quit her job as a receptionist while she was still with Bob. She took up a Bachelor of Arts in Commerce as she worked part-time at a call centre. She worked hard day in day out to ensure that she remained at the top of her class and still satisfied her boss at the call centre. By the time of her graduation, she had applied for a full scholarship in Italy and they sent back an acceptance letter.
On the other hand, Bob travelled back to his country soon after he left Bianca at the altar. He was ashamed and had lost some friends because of this incident. They said that they thought he was more decisive than that, and they hated that he broke Bianca’s heart. She was a beautiful soul and had won the hearts of many. But what many people didn’t know is that Bob had not planned it out. Up until the night before the wedding, he was sure that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Something came over him that morning when he was getting dressed, and he knew that he might end up hurting her. He decided to follow his instincts and that’s how he ended up breaking her heart.
Bob decided that he wasn’t going to go after any other lady after that. He felt terrible that he had to leave a wonderful woman. She was a blessing and he had broken her spirits. He couldn’t handle the thought of it, and deep down he was heartbroken too. He spent time questioning himself and his character. How could he do such a monstrous thing?
However, Bob continued to work hard and he was eventually promoted to head manager. He had money and he used it to travel. He would go on a trip at least once every three months where he got to reflect and unplug from the reality of this life; the reality that he was responsible for another person’s sadness. He tried to contact her several times but she had blocked him on all platforms. He even sent physical letters to apologise to her, but he never got a response.
Bianca landed at the University of Milan on a fine Saturday morning. It was a beautiful city that was characterized by the preservation of cultures. She landed in the country a week before she had to report to her first class, and this was to give her ample time to settle down and begin her new life. She visited The Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral which was top on her list, and she was not disappointed one bit. It was an accurate depiction of the pictures that she had seen online. She also had an opportunity to see Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” in real life. It was a testimony of the centuries of art and culture. She instantly knew that she would love the place.
Bianca settled in her new home, a small and yet cosy one-bedroomed apartment. During her first class, she made a friend called Leonardo. He was thirty minutes late to class and needed someone to consult on what he had missed. He was from Uganda, and the fact that they were both East Africans made them instantly connect. Leonardo was tall and extremely dark-skinned. He had a connecting beard, and a voice so deep that it reminded her of Bob.
“Where are you going after this?” He asked her.
“I was just going to go back home, maybe read a book or something,” She responded.
“Don’t be so boring. Let’s take a walk around and see what this city has to offer.”
Bianca decided to accept his request. She was quite excited actually. Something about this Town and being away from what she thought was reality calmed her soul. She remembered the beautiful quote by Trevor Noah: If there’s one thing you won’t waste your money on, it’s travelling. Travel the world. See another place. Discover a different point of view. Travelling is the antidote to ignorance, that’s so true. It changes your mind, your perspective, how you believe, what you believe.
Leonardo and Bianca instantly became friends. They went everywhere together. Whether it was to class, church or a walk to the park, Leonardo and Bianca would always be together. When they weren’t together people would ask, “Where is your shadow?”
None of them planned it, but one thing led to another and the two of them decided to commit to one another. It was hard at first knowing Bianca’s predicament. She was terrified of committing to someone and it took a lot of bravery to finally say yes to him. Deep down, she knew that she was in love but accepting it was hard. It reminded her of Rihanna’s Never-Ending lyrics: It doesn’t have to feel so strange to be in love again.
They were best friends. The kind that can sit in a room silently and not feel awkward at all. The kind that treasures every single moment together. It was beautiful. If you had been watching from the side you would most definitely feel a little jealous.
They were now in the final month of studies. Soon they would be graduating. Bianca and Leonardo both wanted to look for jobs in Milan for a while before deciding on where to settle. Leonardo asked Bianca to take a walk with him in the park. This wasn’t strange. They had done it countless times.
“Bianca, it has been such a pleasure going through this journey with you. I love you. You’re focused, and that has kept me grounded too. I’ve managed to maintain my sanity even through the darkest moments of this master’s degree.”
“Why are you telling me this all of a sudden?” Bianca asked blushing.
“Because I mean it, Bianca. I mean it from the bottom of my heart” He said.
Suddenly, Bianca heard the sound of violins moving closer to where they were seated. She was busy trying to locate where the sound was coming from when she turned around and saw Leonardo down on his knees.
“Will you marry me?” He asked.
She was surprised and it was evident. It was all completely overwhelming. She tried to get the words out of her mouth but she couldn’t. So she nodded her head and stood up to hug him tightly.
The couple decided that after graduation, they would be heading to Uganda and then to Kenya for an introduction to each other’s families. They wanted to take their time to plan the perfect wedding and so it was set to take place the following year. But first, they had to focus on their studies. This was the final stretch, and they both needed to focus on their work.
One night, Bianca suddenly became really anxious about everything. Was she making the same mistake that she had before? What if Leonardo also left her at the altar? Would she be able to live knowing that two men betrayed her? She decided to take a walk down to a nearby restaurant just to calm down.
Halfway through it started to drizzle and Bianca wanted to walk back home, but something told her to keep walking. It was quite calming. The sound of rain, the rustling of leaves and the beauty of nature. She didn’t regret it one bit.
When she walked in she saw what looked like a familiar face. She couldn’t see that far because she didn’t have her glasses on, but then he stood up and walked towards her direction. It was Bob. She wanted to walk away because all the pain she felt when he left her suddenly came back.
“Hi,” he said, in that deep masculine voice that she had fallen in love with in the first place.
“Hi,” she said in an unbothered voice and started to walk away.
Bob stood in the same spot for a few seconds. He was sad, and you could tell just by looking in his eyes. Suddenly he gained his composure and started to follow Bianca.
“Bianca! Bianca!” He said, “Please, just…What are you doing in Milan?”
“You really hurt me walking out on me during our wedding day. Now you want to act as if nothing happened.” Bianca was balancing tears as she said this.
Bob walked towards her and turned her to face him.
“Let me buy you a drink, please. I know that I can’t do anything to turn the situation around, but please I’m begging you. Let me explain what happened!”
Bianca wasn’t sure what to do but she decided she needed to resolve this issue once and for all.
They went to get a drink and Bob explained what had happened. It was very emotional. A few drinks in they were laughing like they didn’t have a bad history between them. This made Bianca remembered exactly what she loved about Bob – how easy it was for him to make her laugh. Unfortunately, this was his last night in the city and he would be travelling back home the following day.
“Hey babe, where are you?” Leonardo called and asked.
“I’m out with my friend Stella. I’ll be home soon,” Bianca said and then she hung up.
“Who was that, and why are you lying to them?” Bob asked.
“Look Bob a lot has changed since you left me at the altar…” Bianca responded wiping a tear in her eyes. Bob instantly noticed the ring on her finger. It was beautiful.
“I should get back to the hotel. This was nice. We should catch up again sometime.” Bob said with a sad look in his eyes.
Bianca knew that he was hurt. He had seen the ring on her finger and he regretted ever leaving her. He opened his arms and hugged her. He kissed her forehead, and she looked up at his eyes. She felt peace like she hadn’t in a while. They kissed, and although she felt a little guilty, she couldn’t help it. He slid a piece of paper in her pocket without her knowing and then walked away. She watched in tears as the man who was once the love of her life walked away.
When she got her home and started to empty her pockets, she found the note that he had left her.
Call me. I might be crazy, but I still have feelings for you, and they’re stronger than they ever were before. My number is still the same.
Bianca remembered how they met. He had slipped a note just like this, and that note changed their life. She loved him, she really did. Even after all that he had done to her. After all those times she sat up questioning her worth, she still loved him.
A month had passed. Bianca chose not to contact Bob. She was now with Leonardo and she chose to respect him and to respect what they had. They had finished their exams and now set to travel to Uganda. Bianca had packed her bags and was excited to visit this country for the first time.
She woke up early in the morning, and suddenly her mood changed. Bob had been on her mind all night. She wondered how things would be if they were married. They would probably have kids now. She cried because she was confused. He had come, just like the first time, and completely distorted her mind. She couldn’t think straight. She wanted to tell Leonardo the truth but she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
She tiptoed outside the room, wore her jacket, and took a walk to the park. She left her phone behind. She didn’t want anything to cloud her thinking. She needed to think things through. She walked around meditating about everything that had happened to her. Now, an hour later, she decided to choose the one person who had chosen her all along. She decided to go after the man who had never once disappointed her. She texted Bob.
I can’t do it. I’ve had a hard time making this decision, but I hope you understand. Things are different now, and we can’t talk anymore. Soon I’ll be a married woman. I hope you find love too.
By the time she realised it, she had taken too long and the flight to Uganda would be taking off in a couple of hours. She ran back towards the house now ready with a decision. She hoped she would make it in good time.
“Leonardo! Leonardo!” She shouted as she opened the door.
There he was seated on the couch waiting for her. As soon as she saw him she knew she had made the best decision. This was the man of her dreams, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“All this time, the universe was working out for me, and now it all makes sense,” she thought to herself.
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