I talked with Aya more about Alfonso, Alfonso’s father, she, I, and beautiful Costa Rica in Miss Junie’s.
I could barely imagine her being the same beast last night, and now, this morning, so vulnerable opening up to me to every little thing that gave her pain and sadness. But I guess, she wasn’t really suffering as much as she was resigned to living this way. She talks this way to all the men, she tells me straightforwardly, and with that even more sardonic sweet smile.
“It’s a strange arrangement”, I tell her, and she says she knows Alfonso might resent her not being there for him, but she tries not to think about it too much, even as her hands trembled to reach for a cigar.
Our minds wandered towards more pleasant thoughts as we kept imbibing Miss Junie’s fine wines and terribly, terribly good jerk chicken. It wasn’t long before our hands and lips started wandering again and we booked a room in their lodge.
To Aya’s disappointment, Cerro Tortuguero was closed up due to irresponsible tourists basically ruining the ecosystem. This was a hill in the island unaccessible from the village, and could only be reached by boat. It’s not a particularly challenging hike or that tall a hill, but it was made from the remnants of a prehistoric volcano, and was another tourist attraction to complement the Tortuguero turtles prior to its closure.
Lacking other things to do, and with my prodding, Aya followed me to nearby Puerto Limon instead. Admittedly, even this paradise was starting to bore me, and I was itching for the familiar sensations of living in a real city.
A few miles from the port, we were back in civilization, or at least no longer in the really touristy parts of Costa Rica. After a day fooling around the local bars, we found an apartment to rent for a week and played at being husband and wife.
It was a reckless, exciting time. I felt like Pierrot Le Fou, having the time of my life on the lam. I would leave for the groceries while she cleaned up and played homemaker. We would act things out like we knew each other for years, fight and make love, squabble over jobs and in-law that didn’t exist, and laughed and laughed.
One restless night, Aya told me she was occasionally scared that Alfonso’s father might still be alive, and that he might find her with a man, and right now she was worried for me. We had both agreed that I might have gotten too involved, especially since she was leaving for home soon enough. I was haunted by her beautiful form, and what was now the haunting sadness of her eyes. That night I made sure that she wouldn’t forget me, or at least not so soon.
I accompanied Aya to the airport, and she leaned over to give me a gentle peck on the nose before she went on her way back to her beloved son and family. Had I failed to mention the conspicuous height difference? This Dutch lady was a towering beauty that had all the locals looking up at her.
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