King's Unknown Black Baby Daughter(7)

By: Ciara Cole

How could Viv tell him he’d already come to represent all that to her world and more? He was the sound of her horizons extending. Her inhibitions vanishing, taboos tumbling. Her barriers all crashing down.

“I’ll jump,” she said suddenly. “If you’ll go with me.”

The height was in no way extreme, after all. The weather, waves and placement of the rocks were more than conducive for landing safely. Viv had dived many times from lower heights in the past few days with Matias present. This would however be the first time they would do it at the same time, hand in hand.

She moved with him to the edge and tightened her fingers within his. Matias pulled them back slightly, looking at her. “Are you sure? We won’t do this unless you’re positive.”

“I’m positive.” Reaching up her free hand, she ran her fingers across his face and watched as his eyes closed briefly.

Viv could feel something happening, something between them. She wasn’t sure what. The way she reacted to him, she couldn’t fathom it. Finding their way to each other felt like it was both unlikely yet inevitable. They were from two separate worlds, differing in race, color, and culture. Something about him spelled high breeding, simply in the way he carried himself and yet treated other people with high tolerance while expecting the same favor in return.

Just weeks ago they hadn’t even known the other existed. Yet since they’d met, they had spent almost every waking moment together. Exploring the narrow, stone-paved streets, basking on the sun-drenched beaches, sampling the wondrous cuisines. Matias had been the perfect guide, tutor, lover, and friend. With her hand in his about to plunge over a cliff several meters over the water, she felt she was trusting him with not just her safety but her heart.

One day you’ll find someone and wonder how you ever existed without them. Viv had really, truly believed Matias was the one.

How wrong she’d been. So, so wrong. She’d realized it the moment she’d woken up that last day and found the note waiting for her. Words of finality and goodbye left atop sheets tousled by their night-long passion.

Life had never been the same after that.

“Look, Mom, a real king on TV, look!”

Charlotte’s voice pulled Viv back to the jarring present.

Viv blinked and found herself in the living room of her apartment, both her and her daughter seated on the sofa in front of the TV. Charlotte was pointing at the screen where a news report was being aired.

Then she saw him. Matias. The images of him dressed in an impeccably fitted designer suit and descending an aircraft had Viv reeling. How could she have forgotten today was when he arrived in the States?

“He’s so handsome, Mom.”

“Shh!” Viv shushed Charlotte as they both stared at the screen. She recognized the governor as well as mayor who were on hand to receive the Spanish king on his arrival at the airport.

“Marvelous news to all lovers of Spanish royalty! The ever so charming King Matias is attending…”

Viv’s jaw dropped as the announcer’s words faded to nothing while she took in the sight of Matias waving to a crowd of well-wishers as he made a cultural visit to a museum soon after his arrival. He looked dapper in business attire, in readiness to take a close look at some of the oldest art collections New York had on display. He received quite a welcome, with the mayor presenting him a key of the city after which Matias took time to greet waiting locals with handshakes and smiles.

Looking at Matias created a pang especially when Viv glanced over at Charlotte. It was clear to see Charlotte was his. Her daughter had a curious look on her face as she watched Matias. Could she sense something, catch a resemblance? Her kid wasn’t stupid, Viv realized; she might as well come out and tell Charlotte. But no, not like this. Quickly, Viv dispelled any thought of getting ahead of herself. Even she hadn’t come to grips with the fact Matias had somehow reappeared.

“So…what do you think of him?” Viv couldn’t help but venture as she bit on her lower lip. She hoped the all too astute nine-year-old couldn’t tell Viv was very nervous.

“He seems to be a very good man. He would have been perfect for you.” The precocious Charlotte glanced over at her mother with an impish smile. Not for the first time, the sparkle in her daughter’s golden brown eyes reminded Viv so much of Matias. Why was he suddenly appearing into their world like this? Was some unseen force trying to give her a sign?

Viv was glad her daughter had grown up so beautiful with a bright spirit. Charlotte deserved all the happiness. I love her so much, Viv thought.