On her last day in Miami, Barbara decided to go for a jog and enjoy her last moments of the beautiful sunny weather with an ocean view. She thought a lot while jogging, but tried not to overthink because it would just start to make her feel sad again. Even though she was feeling much better, she was still not completely healed of the pain caused by Flavio.
Although she was listening to music while jogging in what appeared to be a vacant path, she felt the presence of someone else around her. She lowered her music, turned around, and saw a man jogging behind her. He was smiling at her and appeared to be trying to catch up to her. When she stopped, he finally caught up to her, and said hello as if he knew her. Barbara then responded, “Do I know you?’ The man’s response was, “not yet,” with a flirtatious smile.
Barbara smiled back cautiously and rolled her eyes in her mind, sarcastically thinking, “this is exactly what I need now.” Realizing her disinterest in his approach, the man decided to try again. He then stopped and said while laughing, “Okay, I get it, that may not have been the best approach, but listen, I just want to introduce myself to you, so can we start again?” There was a cuteness about him that made Barbara want to continue talking to him, so she agreed.
The man, Lorenzo, and Barbara chatted while walking on the beach. Barbara thought he was very nice but explained to him that she had to take a flight in a few hours back to New York. Lorenzo then asked her if she wanted to have lunch with him beforehand. She politely declined by telling him that she didn’t have enough time to do so before her flight since she had to finish packing. However, this was not the truth. Barbara knew that she was not emotionally ready to date anyone yet, even if it was only going out for lunch. Lorenzo then asked for her number. She gave it to him, but she didn’t intend on keeping in contact.
Upon her return to New York, Lorenzo and she kept in contact. Barbara kept it very casual because the last thing she wanted was a long-distance relationship, especially after everything she had been through with Flavio.
One evening, Barbara was having a rough time coping with things. She started to think about her relationship disaster with Flavio, Enrico’s death, her first failed marriage, and how she is not getting any younger. She looked in the mirror and thought, “What will happen when I don’t look like this anymore, when I’m no longer young or attractive to men? What will I do?” The thought of growing old and being alone was unfathomable for Barbara. She then poured herself a glass of wine and looked up, and said, “Enrico, aiutiami. Help me find the right man and be happy again. You were perfect, but you were taken from me. I’m so worried I will never find another man like you. I know you watch over me. Enrico, show me a sign, ti prego.”
The one glass of wine she poured for herself that evening turned into three, and she fell asleep early. She was awoken the next morning by the sound of a message alert. She checked it, and it was Lorenzo, but at that moment, she also saw an unread message in her archive. When she opened it, it was a deleted message from Flavio. She thought it was very strange, since they hadn’t spoken in a few months.
Over the next few weeks, Barbara and Lorenzo were in better communication and began to get to know each other better. Lorenzo’s message that morning appeared to be a sign from Enrico to move forward with Lorenzo. The more she got to know Lorenzo, the more she liked him. They had much in common.
While visiting Lorenzo in Miami, she received another deleted message during the middle of the night from Flavio. Once again, since it was in the archive, she didn’t see it until she woke up. Now this was getting very strange. The first time it happened, she thought it could have even been a mistake. Barbara thought, “Why does he keep sending me messages and then deleting them when I don’t respond immediately?” She also thought, “Was Enrico’s sign to me about Flavio, rather than Lorenzo?”
Unbeknownst to Barbara, Flavio was only a few blocks away. For the past few months, he was relocated to Miami for a temporary project. He had initially sent her a message letting her know that he would be in the United States for work to see if maybe she wanted to see him but deleted it because they were not on good terms when they parted ways.
Although Barbara had no idea that Flavio was in Miami, he knew that she was there. That’s why he sent her the second message. They were at the same bar late one night. Flavio was shocked to see her there. He had missed Barbara so much. He particularly missed her eyes on him. Their eyes had the same shape, but hers were so dark and his were so light, the perfect contrast. He didn’t want to immediately approach her, since he didn’t know what her reaction would be, so instead, he decided to send her a message. Upon her reaction to seeing the message, he would be able to tell if he should approach her.
What happened in the next few seconds, surprised him. It appeared that she never received the message because she did not check her phone. Flavio checked his phone, and it said the message was delivered, so she did not block him.
As Flavio stood there contemplating the situation, he saw Lorenzo come over with a drink, and Barbara kissed him. At that point, Flavio felt embarrassed, deleted the message, and left the bar in dismay.
After the temporary project finished, Flavio had requested a transfer from his job to permanently work in Miami. He really liked the city and felt connected to it.
About a year after his transfer, he walked into a café one morning and saw Barbara sitting alone at a table. She now lived in Miami. Their eyes immediately interlocked. Before she could get up, Flavio smiled at her and told her that he was coming over. She smiled at him, which immediately put Flavio at ease as he hurried over to sit with her. He had been waiting a long time to see her, apologize, and explain himself.
He then explained why he stopped talking to her. He was not ready for a relationship at that time in his life, even though he told her he wanted to try to have a long-distance relationship. He admitted that he just said it because he thought it’s what she wanted to hear, and he was very physically attracted to her. But as time passed, he still thought about her and began to regret his decision. He realized he liked her more than he thought, not just for her appearance, but also for her personality.
Barbara listened to his explanation without expression and waited for him to finish before she responded to his apology. She then told him that this does not matter to her anymore because she had forgotten about him and moved on with her life. Then she laughed to herself, and told him, “If it’s forgiveness you’re looking for, I accept your apology.” Flavio just sat there in silence with a disappointed look on his face. He had expected Barbara to be happy to see him again and want to start over with him, since he thought she was so into him.
After a few seconds of awkward silence, Barbara said, “Flavio, it was nice running into you, but I have to go now.” When she got up, Flavio noticed she was pregnant. As he stared at her, Barbara told him, “Oh yes, I’m five months pregnant. My husband and I are very excited. We’re having a boy.” Flavio congratulated her in a low voice and an embarrassed expression.
After she left the café, Flavio sat there alone staring at an empty seat in front of him, left only with a cup of coffee and his thoughts.