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Hola de Madrid mi amiga Carla.

Is that right? It's been a while since we sat next to each other in Spanish class. Can you believe we'll celebrate our twenty-fifth high school reunion next year at this time?

Charlie and I spent our first day at the Parque del Retiro. It was a great place to walk off our jet lag. Well, it was for me. Charlie spent most of the time sneezing, and wheezing, and complaining about sneezing and wheezing. 

Remember I told you this was supposed to be a two-day business trip followed by a long-needed vacation? Well, Charlie’s first meeting lasted longer than scheduledthat didn’t bode well—so I ate lunch at our hotel, then went back to the park by myself. I don’t know anything about architecture, but the main building looked fabulous from the outside; and intimidating. The rose gardens made my little patch look listless. Would you believe a guy hit on me? Hahaha.

That's all for now. Say hi to Frank and the girls.

Love, Marci



***

Hola, Carla.

Charlie and I spent a week in Toledo. I liked Madrid better. Toledo was crowded and the people seemed rushed. As usual, Charlie spent much of his day answering emails and talking on the phone. Some things never change. Hahaha. 

Say hi to Frank and the girls.

Love, Marci.

***

Hola, Carla.

I didn't return to Madrid with Charlie. I decided to stay an extra week and explore a bunch of small towns around Toledo. He had to get back to deal with some big business problem only he could handle. I miss him. I’m not sure why.

Say hi to Frank and the girls.

Love, Marci



***

Hola, Carla.

As I’m sure you figured out by the longer than usual gap between notes, I extended my trip again. I hope you weren’t worried. I returned to Madrid, rented a car, and drove to Seville. It should have taken five hours, but I stopped many times along the way to stroll the streets and visit with the locals. 

I spent a day in Seville, stayed in a wonderful hotel, and then drove to Gibraltar. That is some honker of a rock. Hahaha. The coast is beautiful, and the water is so blue. I've never seen anything like it. The people are friendly, and they made me feel right at home. I could spend the rest of my life here.

I haven’t heard from Charlie. Have you?

Say hi to Frank and the girls.

Love, Marci

P.S. My Spanish is almost immaculado. Hahaha



***

Hola, Carla.

Remember in my last e-mail when I said I could spend the rest of my life in Gibraltar? Well, I decided to. You know I haven't been happy. Charlie's always working. Brent and Amy are grown with their own families. I felt lost and unneeded at home. I haven't told Charlie or the kids yet. I guess I need to do that soon.

Do you also remember I told you about that guy who hit on me in Madrid? Well, it happened again—a different guy this time—at an ocean village along the marina. I was browsing in one of the antique shops and started chatting with the owner. The next thing I knew we were eating dinner at this lovely restaurant on the water. He asked me out again. At first, I said I couldn't. I was married. But back at the bar in my hotel over a nightcap, I changed my mind.

Alesander is taking me out on his boat tomorrow. I’ve never ridden in a boat before. I’m nervous already.

Say hi to Frank and the girls.

Love, Marci



***

OMG! I can't believe it. I slept with Alesander. It was great. It's been so long since...Well, you don't need to know that. Hahaha.

Anyway, I called Charlie today to let him know I wouldn't be back. He asked what he should do with my clothes. Can you believe that?

Alesander is taking me to a nude beach today. What was I thinking when I agreed? I know, you're thinking that's so unlike Marci. Well, I guess this is the new Marci. Hahaha.

If you and Frank ever want to get away, we have an extra bedroom. Oh, I guess I didn't tell you. Alesander and I are living together. I'm going to fry in Hell, and I don't care. Hahaha. Anyway, consider this an open invitation to come visit anytime. The nude beach is optional. Hahaha.

Say hi to Frank and the girls.

Love, Marci

---

Jim Harrington lives in Huntersville, NC, with his wife and two dogs. His stories have appeared in Ariel Chart, Short-Story.me, CommuterLit, Fewer Thank 500, and others. You can reach Jim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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