Chapter 23 The wishes (3)

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I was in the lab when Lucia called. There was unfamiliar urgency in her voice and it got my attention right away.

"I need to see you in person. It's very important. Don't tell Leslie yet," she said. I could tell she was upset. I had never heard Lucia upset, not even back when I told her about kissing Leslie at her birthday party.

"I'm completely fine with it," she had said immediately.

"Are you sure? I know it's distasteful, and if you're at all uncomfortable with it-"

"Sean," she had interrupted. "How many times have we been out?"

I did a quick calculation. "Four or five times?"

"I can let you off the hook with five times. Everybody knows nothing is definite yet at this stage." She had smiled very pleasantly. "Leslie told me already. She said she really wants this, so yeah, you can date her."

Now Lucia sat across from me at the coffee house near school, appearing much more solemn than her usual breezy ways. At first she didn't say anything.

"Lucia, what's this about? You're making me a little nervous."

"Sean, is it serious between you and Leslie?"

She caught me off guard. "Yeah, it is. Why?"

She heaved a sigh. She stirred the milk tea in front of her for the fifth time, watching the liquid swirl around the spoon. "If it's serious then I hate to be the one to tell you this," she said eventually, like she was forced to read out her essay in class. "Has she ever told you that she's going to Austria?"

"Austria? When?"

"In less than a month. And it's not for a trip, either. She's going to transfer to a music academy and will stay with my dad." She studied my face. "Oh dear. Just as I thought. You have no idea about it."

Leslie is going to a music academy to Austria, I repeated the sentence two more times in my head just so it could register meaning. It didn't make any sense. "When was this decided?"

She bit her lip. "Actually, it's always been decided. That was her plan all along, to go to Austria and stay there for good."

I felt betrayed. I couldn't believe Leslie would keep something this big from me.

"I thought you knew. And I thought you didn't want to get tied down anyway, so that's why you chose to go out with her. Because she's leaving eventually," Lucia went on.

"No, that's not why."

"And at first I thought she just wanted a summer fling, but I can see it's not like that anymore. I'm telling you this now," Lucia said, "because she's decided she doesn't want to go. She's going to give up her position."

I didn't know which the bigger shock was, Leslie was going or she wasn't.

"Because of me?" I asked stupidly.

"Yes, because of you. I know she's very happy with you, and it's pretty cool that she found a guy she likes, but seriously, you have to agree this is a big mistake. She has been playing violin since she was five. It was all she ever wanted, until she met you."

I nodded. "Yes. I suppose it is a mistake."

"Of course it is," Lucia emphasized. "She won't listen to me. But you can do the right thing."


I knew what Lucia meant and she confirmed it. "Whatever reason you give her, just break up with her. Fast and precise."

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