“We are not married, yet.” For some reason she felt a blush rising. “I mean we haven’t really talked about it. After our last assignments, we both agreed we needed to get away and re-charge our batteries, so to speak.” Petra paused and then decided to share a bit and see how that went. “But yes, I do already miss him, and ……yes I do love him.”
Simone giggled a little at Petra blushing, “Sweetie, I so understand and am happy for you. When Carlos and I first got together I could hardly bear to have him away. His banking trips took him away too often and for far too long to suit me. He has done so well and I’m so proud of him. Carlos and I aren’t married either, and it isn’t a subject that we have talked about at all. He is so kind and attentive to me, like Jacob is with you.
“I guess I was hoping you were married, so there might be a chance for me. I worry that I am not the kind of girl that a man as good as Carlos would want to marry. Before Carlos, I was struggling trying to break into a profession that doesn’t require much brains. I have a good education, but Carlos doesn’t discuss with me the details of his banking efforts. Jacob and you seem to talk the same business language. I guess I am just not good enough for Carlos to have that level of confidence with me.”
Petra bristled a bit and felt oddly protective of her new friend. “I think you are wrong. Carlos wants you. I’ve seen it in his eyes and the way he stares at you when he holds your hand. I noticed it the first time we all had dinner together. You seem like a very nice girl, so I don’t understand your statement regarding not being the right kind of girl. You two seem comfortable with each other and from that, all else will come.
“Anyway, why would you say that Carlos doesn’t want a girl like you? You are caring, engaging when you talk, interested in what people have to say, certainly attractive to the male species judging from the visual inventory taken when you walk by. From outward appearance you are quite beautiful, and I am a bit envious, truth be told. Do you have some defect that you clearly hide quite well?”
“My past is something of a problem that I don’t like talking about. Carlos has no interest in my past before we met, and that works for us right now. It isn’t, however, necessarily a good foundation for a forever thing.” Simone averted her eyes and fiddled with her bracelet.
Petra thought about what it meant to have a friend. This was new ground for her, and her background experience didn’t help too much. She knew however, from being with Jacob, that if a person revealed something about themself, it helped to create a bridge on which to build trust. When she had withheld knowledge about Jacob’s family origins, he had taken it well as to the why, but it had bothered him that she didn’t trust him enough to talk openly to him. She liked Simone and didn’t know if it would be a long term friendship, but she wouldn’t have the chance if she didn’t try. She also knew the limits of how much she could reveal from a business perspective.
“Simone, I grew up in a very sheltered manner. Though my parents loved me, they protected me and had designs on my life. Fortunately, their goals and my goals aligned, but I too have struggled with sharing in my relationship with Jacob. Jacob is the first man I have wanted a relationship with, even to the point of thinking of us as a long term couple. That is part of the reason we took this trip, at least for me.
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