Short Love Story--Until Next Time Sweetheart
Dulles International Airport
Ryan, a 16 years old teen, is saying goodbye to an "almost girlfriend" at this International Airport in Washington D.C. Her name is Bertha, a 17 years old girl from Prague, Czech Republic. She was in the States for over a year with her parents. They were scheduled to go back to their country today. Ryan made it on time to say goodbye, and quickly asked Bertha's Parents to have at least five minutes with her:
"Bertha, I just want to tell you how much I'm going to miss you and..."
"Ryan, you... you helped me to improve my silly English and.. huh, I'm going to miss you so much!"
"Is my first time I'm gonna miss a girl like you. I don't understand it. Why you have to leave just like this?"
"Ryan, our visa was granted for 18 months. I told you that, from the very beginning."
"My mom was right. I did mature with you Bertha. Even though you are older, I did grow... we got along so well..!"
"I feel like crying too, Ryan, as I did all night. Never wanted to say goodbye to a 'friend' like you..."
Bertha's dad, Bohdan, a Chemical Engineer, came over and told Bertha in their own language that it "was time to say bye." Passengers were already boarding the British Airways flight bound to London, and then heading to Prague after a four hours layover.
"Sorry Sir! Can I give your daughter a hug?" asks Ryan with an almost broken heart. "Sure! You did treat my daughter with respect and like a lady, and me and wife want to thank you!" replied Bohdan shaking Ryan's hand.
One Year earlier...
It was the week before Labor day. A sultry September signaling the long summer that just passed us by. It was the first day of class on a Thursday morning; Ryan was walking to his classroom and within the minute noticed this tall and skinny girl. A brunette with a different look. Her jeans were worn out and her sneakers looked certainly foreign. She did catch up with him and smile back, but didn't say a word. "That was the first time I saw Bertha," said Ryan to his mom Janette while he was cleaning his room at home . Luckily enough, Bertha and him ended up in the same classroom on that second floor. The teacher was informed of her situation through a written note, and introduced her to the whole class. "I want you guys say hi to Bertha, who doesn't speak English very well, but will be willing to catch up with us..." That was it. Bertha was held one year back and ended up on 9th grade with Ryan.
A Week Later...
Like a pact made in heaven, both met again at the bus stop. They found out that they were living two blocks away from each other. She would hold her books against her chest and would smile like a child looking down like Princess Diana; nervous and clueless at times.
Her communication skills were worse than thought. One morning before boarding the School bus, Ryan said, "Hi" and she blushed and responded awkwardly, but when he wanted to ask her more questions, she would try to use her hands and think twice or maybe thrice, before putting together a single sentence in her head. .
"My English short..." Those were her first words to Ryan, who did smile and understood that unexpected barrier from the very start. "That freakin' barrier," as he would recall later.
"I gotcha Bertha!"
"Gut chat? please... no make this ###..."
"Oh sorry, Bertha. You need to practice it with me every day!"
"American English every day, right!"
Two different worlds that were making an initial connection with a smile... and two heart beats.
As the days went by...
They would end up walking home together after stepping out of the school bus. Little by little Bertha began to understand that Ryan was really a blessing, because some chicks were ready to give her an "initiation."
"Don't worry Bertha, you are not stupid... is just, you are in another world, " said Ryan, while Bertha would try her hardest to twist her tongue and lips to mimic a new pronunciation. "You make it so easy Ryan. I told my momma Olga, that you would walk me home, and that you won't cause me problem," responded Bertha with a softer voice.
Three Months Later...
Bertha was into Biology but was also interested in American History and Literature. She would surprise Ryan with her daily improvements.
"My father Bohdan is so proud of me. He told me that I'm as smart as he is. But, he would love to see me become a doctor, because our Grandma died at a concentration camp."
"Cool Bertha. You are doing better than that 'sorority of haters.' I'm telling you, just keep studying harder and you might be as famous as Oprah, or this Nadia Comaneci..!"
"She was Romanian, and I'm Czech, Ryan!"
"Sorry Bertha. I don't know much about eastern Europe. Did you read my lips?"
Ryan's Mother didn't Get Along With Bertha's Mom...
Yup! for some reason they never clicked as future or potential mothers in law. Bertha's mom would speak a broken English with a terrible pronunciation. It was official, Ryan did have to stop hanging with Bertha, as suggested by his own mom later. Bertha was devastated. She even went with her mom Olga to ask Nancy, Ryan's mom, to "please change your mind!"
Ryan's mother didn't like them from the very beginning! The reason? Her grandfather was in Normandy and died on eastern European soil. He died in what it was called then Czechoslovakia.
"You see this window young girl?" said Nancy to Bertha pointing to a second floor window of her complex condo. "Yes ma'am," replied Bertha scared and a little sad. "If you don't leave my house with your mom, you will be flying through that window; now you both have to leave my house!"
Two hours later Bryan, found out that it was over. He was downtown trying to get Bertha a nice set of earrings. He was in schock. He wanted to die. "How could you mom... ?"
Bertha's desperate move...
Two weeks later Bertha took a drastic decision; she waited for Ryan behind a tree. The tree where both carved, "Ryan ♥ Bertha" inside a heart. She knew he would take a walk to the nearest park, just to jog and keep himself in shape. It was 9 a.m. on a beautiful Saturday morning. You think she would try to stab him? Nah! that was left for a Halloween night. She had a bunch of papers with her and headed toward Ryan.
"Hey Bertha, hi! Long time didn't see you!"
"I want you to read this portfolio and then maybe you won't judge my family. Your mom was really mean to us.."
"It was really hard on us. What is this?"
"Is my father's patent portfolio and its application. So you can live a better life on this United States."
"Yeah, it says...(Classified) and oh...! Cool"
"I came to let you know that we will be leaving next July the 3rd."
"I don't need this proof of your father's skills Bertha. I mean..."
Bertha came closer and kissed him. Ryan didn't have time to react and let himself go. They missed each other so much! They were crying. Ryan wanted to clean her tears but, it dildn't help. Bryan look up into the sky for answers and hit the tree with a fist. "Ouch, modaah!"
Back to Dulles Airport
Ryan wanted to hold her tight as a girlfriend, but their secret love affair was coming to an end. Both cried and eventually embrace each other and kissed. Bohdan came over and pushed Ryan to the floor!
"You are not my friend anymore," said the Bohdan.
"Dad! Why did you hurt him!"
"Sorry Mister! We didn't mean to kiss..."
Airport security noticed the incident and were about to call the Police. Ryan composing himself said, "Hey! guys I just fell. He didn't do anything."
Bohdan took her daughter and they started to pass security to board their plane. There was no turning back. Olga told Bohdan off and they had to leave now!
That was it. Two lives being separated by fate and a little of bad luck!
Ryan broken hearted walked away from the Airport, back into his normal life with a song in his mind:
If You Want to Know What happened to Bertha... here is a sequel
- Short Love Story--Ryan's Hope and Where In The World Was Bertha
A second part, and maybe another chance for Ryan, who lost track of Bertha, a Czech Republic girl who left him broken hearted. What happenned nine years later?
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