#249: Did you do it? - 2011-11-23
When the class ended, Rosa wanted to walk back home together with Rafael, in order to talk with him after all this time, but she didn't notice it when he had already abandoned the classroom.
In his place, many of her classmates surrounded her.
- " Rosa! " - Catalina spoke to her first - " What happened to you that were nowhere to be seen!? Were ypu in Talca? "
- " No, I was going to go there, but... We had an issue. "
- " Oh. So... You didn't go see Rafael? "
- " No, I couldn't. I had to travel to another place, too. "
- " Oh, really? Where did you go? "
- " Uh... I went to Japan, to the house of my grandparent. "
- " Japan!? Wow! Did you know? I travelled to England! "
- " And I went to Disneyland! Hahaha...! " - Javiera added, laughing. Everyone stared at her.
- " Huh? And you, what's making you laugh? " - Catalina asked.
- " What? Were you talking seriously? "
- " Of course! Who do you think you're talking to, ah? "
- " Uh... I though it was a joke. It's just that I can't believe you travelled to England! I'm green of envy! "
- " Well, that's right, we went there! We travelled in a big group, both the Espinoza and Navarrete families. We went to Radcliffe Bay, in North Somerset, near Bristol. We also visited Bath, where there are some Roman thermal baths, very well preserved... but unsafe for bathing because of a disease. And yes, we also visited London, so I can say I know the Big Ben, the Tower of London, and the Tower Bridge. Haha! And yo, Rosita? Which part of Japan did you visit? "
- " We went to Kōbe, with all my family. "
- " Hey, that's where the earthquake happened! " - Marcela exclaimed.
- " Yes. The house of my grandparents withstood the earthquake with no damage, but a lot of houses and other strucures collapsed. About 5000 or 6000 people died. It was an horrible disaster. "
- " Ooooh! "
- " We also travelled around a good part of Japan, from Sapporo in the north to Fukuoka in the south. We spent a lot of our trip delivering some messages from and to Kōbe. But we also made some tourist visits, we played with snow and took many photographs. "
- " Mom always talked about the earthquake that happened in Valdivia in 1960. " - Rodolfo added - " I had uncles and aunts there, they survived but lost everything. "
- " The Valdivia earthquake was much stronger than the Kōbe earthquake. "
- " Yeah! It was the strongest earthquake in history! And it too killed around six thousand people...! "
- " Do you think so? Because I thought only about two thousand something people died... "
They all looked at each other's faces. They didn't want to talk about earthquakes anymore.
- " And you two? " - Pablo broke the ice - " Where did you go during the vacations? "
- " Rodolfo and I went to Frutillar. " - Marcela replied - " Our family is from there. We were there for the Semanas Musicales and other events that happened at the end of January. "
- " It seems fun! " - Javiera added - " We went with Pablo to Bahía Inglesa. They have the best beaches in Chile, they're much more beautiful than those at this town, and the water is warmer, much more pleasant. "
- " I've heard about Bahía Inglesa. " - Rosa remarked - " I don't like the desert, I prefer more cold and rainy climates. "
- " We know, Rosa. We know. "
Soon, Pablo and Javiera said good-bye in front of Pablo's house. Rodolfo and Marcela separated themselves from the group too, walking towards the coast. That left just Catalina, Arnoldo and Rosa.
- " Now that we're alone us three... Rosa... " - Catalina spoke.
- " Huh? "
- " See, a long time has passed, and we think it's time to leave the past behind and make peace between us. "
- " To make peace... "
- " Rosa... " - Arnoldo continued, speaking for the first time since they left the school - " I know that what I did was wrong. The truth is that I became obsessed with you during that time, I kept harassing you despite the fact that you already liked another kid... "
- " ... So is it. "
- " And I never excused myself for what I did. I'm sorry. "
Rosa stared to Arnoldo.
- " ... Honestly, I don't know what to say to you, Arnoldo. Truly, quite some time has passed, and that was a closed case for me, because in the end you started dating Catalina, and you finally left me alone. I wasn't expecting your apologies, and I have no choice but to accept them... so you too can close that chapter in your life. Ok? "
- " ... There's just one thing I need to know before doing that, Rosa. "
- " Yes? What's that? "
- " You did it, right? "
- " Did what? "
Arnoldo pointed to his neck, and Rosa became horrified, dropping to her knees and covering her face with her hands. Arnoldo stared at her, surprised.
- " EEEEEE! Yes, Arnoldo, it was me! I did that to you! "
- " See, Arnoldo? What did I tell you? " - Catalina interrupted, while Rosa bursted into tears, overcome by guilt and shame - " So let pack your luggage once you get back home, because tomorrow we'll go to Santiago! "
Arnoldo stopped for a moment in order to calm himself, before answering to Catalina.
- " ... Okay, yes, I lost... But what if your friend already sold the tickets? "
- " Well, there will be other concerts, sir! So, in that case, better save your money, because if another great metalhead comes, I will collect the bet. "
- " As you say, doña Catalina. "
- " Uy, don't call me 'doña'! "
Rosa kept crying, postrated over the ground.
- " Well, so? What do we do with this one? "
- " Uh... Rosa? "
- " I went crazy, Arnoldo! I saw you laughing at Rafael, and I couldn't control myself! I...! "
- " Whoa, Rosa! Get calm! I know why you did that! I know how you felt at that moment, and I know I deserved it...! "
- " NO! I could have left you with long-term effects, paralyzed, or even dead! I didn't ponder consequences, I just wanted...! "
- " Relax, Rosa, for nothing happened to me! "
- " Really? "
- " Sure! The doctor told me I was very lucky, because I could have ended up with long-term effects. Of course, my neck kept hurting during some days, but that was nothing but a muscular issue. The neck brace was just a preventive measure. I was under observation until mid-December, but everything went good. "
- " Oh... "
- " By the way, Rosa... Did you know? If I was in your place, I would have done the same. Even if it was a woman, if someone went and mistreated Catalina, I would even kill in order to defend her."
Rosa kept staring at Arnoldo, still unable to calm herself.
- " Rosa. Until that day, I didn't know what was like being in love. While I was at the other school, I had a lot of admirers... "
- " ... And you still have them. " - Catalina commented, a bit jealous.
- " Well, yeah... and I must admit that, before I left that school, I went on dates with a bunch of them, I liked many of them, but no one caused anything special in me. Not even you. "
- " Uh? " - Rosa asked, surprised.
- " To be honest, I only liked you because of your physical appearance. I wanted to win your heart because I wasn't used to be alone, I always was surrounded by attractive girls while I was at the other school, and I wanted to stay that way. "
- " Just because of being pretty... " - Rosa hanged her head, ashamed of herself, though because of other reasons.
- " Catalina is very attractive, too, and also has a lot of admirers... "
Catalina made a very proud posture.
- " ... But she's different from all the girls I knew before, she has a very interesting, mature personality. We just had to know each other a little in order to give birth to our love. "
Then, Catalina and Arnoldo kissed each other very passionately. Rosa covered her eyes.
- " You know, Rosa? If you didn't reject me, maybe I would never had the chance to get to know this wonderful girl. Besides, now that I know you better, I realize that you would have bored me to death. You possess the body of a woman, but you're just a little girl. I think a little boy like Rafael would be a great match for you. "
Rosa, far from being offended by Arnoldo's words, nodded with her head.
- " Well, that's what I wanted to tell you. Is there anything you want to tell us? "
- " Uh... no, I have nothing to say. "
- " Very well! In that case, today we close this sad chapter of our lives for good. Friends? "
- " ... I guess. "
Arnoldo offered Rosa a hand, and made her stand up. Rosa also shook Catalina's hand.
- " I think is great " - Arnoldo commented - " for us to be able to solve our differences like civilized people. That speaks very well of us. Don't you think so? "
- " Yeah, I think you're right. "
- " We leave, then. Tomorrow, we have something to do during the night, so we won't see each other until Monday, in case someone asks for us. Ok? "
- " Ok, take care, and have fun. "
- " Thanks. Bye! "
- " Bye! "
When Rosa arrived back home, she did nothing but to cry all afternoon long. In fact, she still blamed herself because of what happened, and she felt awful about herself when she looked to the mirror and saw herself rather mature for her age (or at least that's what she thought). And not only it was right that she had a rather infantile personality; furthermore, Rosa wanted to stay that way, she didn't want to assume herself as a teenager or as a mature lady.