BY BLESSING SILVER
“Here,” Raymond said, stretching her phone to her after saving his number “I’ve saved it”. Bella took the phone and peered into it, she looked up at him then looked back at the phone again.
“Who’s prince charming?” She asked, raising her head up to look at him from the phone.
“This charming dude” he said pointing to himself .. Talk about braggers. “I’m the prince and you’re my princess”
“You’ll never grow up Ray” Bella rolled her eyes at him “And I’ve told you to stop calling me that”
Raymond shrugged.. “I think it’s a cool name, why don’t you like it?”
“I just don’t like it. It probably doesn’t seem like the likable type to me”
“Oh..” Raymond brows levelled thoughtfully “How about creamy pie?” He asked, his eyes widening..
“Candy?” He cut her off
“Tha..that’s enough Raymond!” She cut him off sharply and he smiled at her.
“But they’re still options you can choose from” he said.
“Princess is fine. Just stop being childish” he chuckled.
“Princess it is then” he said and saved her number.
Bella gulped down her coffee from the cup and gave him a straight face and they ended up laughing.
“Let’s finish this up and go elsewhere” he said, taking a forkful of his fried shrimps.
“Have you thought about my offer?” Ray asked after taking a quick glance at Bella..
“An offer?” She asked “what offer?”
“I guess that answers my question. You haven’t thought about the modeling job offer I talked to you about few days back?” He asked, narrowly swerving to the left.
Bella twitched her face a bit, thinking about it.
“Oh..”, she suddenly looked at him “That. I haven’t had time to think about it and besides I don’t have any intention of being a model” she said.
“Why? You have all the qualifications, being a model just tops up the figure. It’s something you should consider” he said.
“I don’t know about that”
“Still you should think more about it.. I’ll be expecting positive feedback.” he said and Bella nodded.
The ride took more minutes and he halt at a small ice cream kiosk. He parked the car and they got down.
“Ice cream?” She beamed at him.
“I heard it’s the best start of an after meal” he said and she laughed.
“I don’t know if that’s really right but for me, it sure is” she said, causing him to laugh.
In no time they had their ice cream orders in their hands as they moved to a public bench where the sight of the fountain was clear and visible enough. Bella took a bite on her ice cream cone and smashed her teeth together at the chills.
“Wow! This is really good” Raymond said.
“Say it again” Bella smiled.
“Here, let’s take some memories” Raymond said, taking a quick pose beside Bella and clicking the camera on his phone. Bella, caught unaware gave him a look and he showed her the pic. Bella awed “This is just like a mirror” she said.
“Yeah, it’s a phone camera”, he said “let’s take another” Bella posed, pointing Two fingers in the air and the phone clicked.
“Let’s use my phone” Bella handed him her phone and they snapped more pictures. They took many more and even got tired.
“I’ll send this to my phone”
Bella finished her ice cream and they got another.
While licking it up she caught sight on of the fountain and people throwing coin into it and posing in a prayer gesture.
“Does this really work?” Bella asked Raymond, he followed her gaze and understood her question.
“It does for some but never for me.. I still keep trying though”
“I want to try too” she said.
“Really? OK, let’s go try then” they walked to the fountain and shifted to a side with less people. Raymond handed her a coin and held another.
“Now you throw the coin into the river, a little close to that statue and say out your wish along with it then you pray for answers,” he said and she nodded “I’ll go first. Watch me” He threw the coin and said “I wish princess starts loving me back the way I love her” he said and bowed his head.
Bella watched him with a smile.. Obviously he had wished for her to love him. She frowned slowly, knowing that his wish might never come true because she doesn’t love him the way he loves her, except maybe there happened to be another princess. She wouldn’t want to break his heart, she value their friendship a lot, to loose it over some one-sided love. If only Maurice could wish that too or maybe her heart could switch to loving Raymond.
Raymond raised his head at her. “Do yours” he said and she nodded, she gave him her ice cream cone and threw the coin into the river “I wish Maurice will love me someday” she said and bowed her head, muttering a quick prayer she raised up her head to see a frowning Raymond.
“That hurts” he said. “You should’ve whispered it. Saying it that way makes me feel hopeless” he said.
“I’m sorry.. I thought we needed to say it out for it to work” she said, feeling a bit sad.
“It’s okay princess. Even after this, I still won’t give up. I’ll keep loving you until you accept me” he said and Bella smiled.
They moved back to the chair and Raymond gave her her ice cream which she continued eating. Raymond ordered for two more plates.
It was toward the evening when Raymond drove her back to the estate, as they got down from his Mercedes Bella couldn’t stop smiling at the many experience and fun she had. Raymond really gave her an adventure she was sure would stay a long time with her.. He somehow made her day.
“Thanks for today, I had a really great time” she said to Raymond, as they stood close to his car.
“Not as much as I did. This is the best date ever among others..I had a super-triple-great time” he said and Bella grinned, making her lips spread widely.
“It’s just a friendly outing” she corrected.. Her first date have to be with Maurice, the one she loved. “But I had a great time, really and thanks for bringing me home”
“Welcome señorita, it was my pleasure” he said and she laughed.
“I’ll head in first.. You should go home too” she said..
“I’ll leave after I’m sure your safe” he said.. She nodded and turned to walk away but he grabbed her wrist and she stopped and gave him a questioning look. “We should seal the moment” he said, stepping close to her.
His face an inch close to hers shut out the rest of her statement and her eyes popped up a bit as she watched him look at her with so much love.
“Ray-mond..” She mumbled as she took a slow step backward, he wrapped a hand round her wa-ist and pulled her closer to him.. Making her gasp. He stared at her full purplish lips and twitched his head before planting a quick but deep k-ss on her cheek and releasing her.
Bella stood transfixed to her spot as she ran a hand on her cheek, the place Raymond’s lips touched, she looked at him and he smiled.. “Com’on,.it’s just a harmless peck. Everyone does that” he said and she gulped a little.
“Goodnight” she said , taking her jacket off her shoulder and holding it in her palms.
“Goodnight princess” he waved at her. Bella walked to the gate and knocked, the security on duty opened the gate and she took one last glance at Raymond, returned his smile and moved in.
Raymond sighed as the sight of her slowly fade into the gate. He traced his lip and smile, remembering the peck he gave her. He had shared so many pecks with different people, even his mother and ex-lover but none felt this way.. This one felt special and extraordinary. He could’ve k-ssed her lips but he was little scared of her reaction, they were just beginning to hang out like new couples and he knew he needed to take it slow. He wouldn’t want to take her by surprise and watch her hate him. He loves her too much to wait for her.
He’ll take that step when she’s ready. He just hopes it doesn’t stay too long.
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