The South | My Michelle

Maritza Michelle Frein never had a normal life. She grew up travelling the south with a car. She was the only - and unexpected - child of Nancy Frein and Daniel Lonter. As you can understand from the surnames, her parents never got married. After Daniel's death Mari and Nancy settled down around Phoenix and started working at a small pub in an abandoned town far from the city. But what will happen when Mari meets a stranger that protects her from a man that wants to marry her but she hates? Will she marry him because he thretenes her with the life of the man she loves, or will she find the solution in getting in a car and chasing her love on the roads for the rest of her life?

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2. Stranger

 

 


"Hey, Michelle! It's been long since I last saw you." Ronald smiled so weirdly that I was scared.
"It was last friday, Ron." I already was tired and I couldn't deal with that fake manners anymore. "And, my name is Mari, not Michelle."

"Well, Miss Frein doesn't say so." I then realised that he wasn't... blinking. All right, if this wasn't scary then what was?

I looked at his dirty blonde hair and light freckles on his cheeks dancing when he talked. I wanna throw out.

"Ron, I thought that you wanted to talk with me. Which is good. I need to make sure that something's clear with you."

He pointed to an armchair with a dirty yellow cushion on it. "Won't you sit?" That was more of a statement than a question.

I was planning to finish that right there and go away. Sitting down would mean the conversation was going to be long. I sat. Like I had a choice? "Look, Ron, I-"

"Michelle, please, give me a chance. I can get things right. I can be a good friend for you. I am ready for this. I want you and in the future, Ronny Jr."

Ronny Jr.? I screamed in my head. That's not happening. I tried so hard to stay calm. "Ron, listen-"

"No, Michelle, you listen. I want you. And I believe that I can make you happy. Don't you understand?" He shouted. It was quite loud even when it's compared to the noise in the pub. Everybody was looking at us now.

 

I shouted even louder. "Listen to me now, okay? I don't want to be your fucking wife. Give me only one smart reason to do that. You're drunk again as always and you say you want a family? Well, then, you've got your mom and dad. But oh, yeah, I nearly forgot, they kicked you out, because they don't want a child like you. They-" He slapped me right across the face. I could feel my left cheek burn. I nearly fell back when somebody gently hold my waist and helped me on a chair.

 

People gathered around me asking if I was okay or if I wanted something. I just shook my head. An old man brought me a glass of water. I looked away for the stranger that hold me when I was falling. He now headed towards Ron who was smoking his cigarette. The stranger was walking so calmly and comfortably. He put his hands in his trousers' pockets. The pub was dead silent.

 

"You know, was it Ron, it's not so nice to do that to a lady. That's not what a real gentleman does." The stranger with black hair and light blue eyes was walking around Ron now. He took Ron's cigarette out of his mouth and started smoking it himself. "But if you want," He continued still so calm. "You can get beaten by a real man." He shouted and punched Ron really hard.

 

Ron fell on a table with glasses on them, making a big noise, between two women talking. Everybody in the pub started shouting and the music of hornpipes blasted playing a happy tune. One of the women stood up and took hold of Ron's collar and threw him on another man.  The man's drink spilled all on his shirt. He hold Ron's collar and punched him, then let go. Ron fell on the ground. A couple was walking by when the woman tripped over him and fell down. The man next to the woman kicked him in the stomach. 

 

There were crashing sounds everywhere. Mari had lost the sight of Ron. Everybody was kicking and punching each other. Mari smiled. This was the life she liked. Then she suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up. It was the stranger with black hair and light blue eyes. He was smiling at her. He gestured me to stay quiet. He pointed me to stand up and follow him. I stayed behind and followed him to the pub's front door. We got out.

 

"You are strong." I said to him and smiled.

He smiled too. "Well, I haven't spent years in Florence doing sculpture for nothing."

I chuckled. "Thanks."

"For what?" he said. 

"Um... Helping me." It sounded more like a question.

He smiled warmly. "You don't need help. I know that you could do it yourself. You just weren't expecting it. I just did a speed up for you." Well he was right. I had learned to fight men myself.
I then remembered that he brought me here. "So, what's it you were going to ask?"

He paused for a moment. "Nothing important actually. I just wanted to get out of all the noise and fight. Oh, and can I see you again later on?"

I smiled. "Yeah, I work here. You can come anytime you want."

He smiled too. "From now on, this is my favorite place then." We both laughed.

There was a silence for a while. Then he put his hand on my left cheek and started caressing where Ron had slapped with his thumb. "Hope you are better now." He whispered. He kissed my forehead and got lost in the dark.

"Wait, what's your name?" I shouted. But he was already gone.

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