Simone | The Dreamweaver

I had moved back to Spain and ran into Simone, a former student of mine, in the metro station.

She was so overcome with joy in seeing me that she gave me a big hug.

As she pulled away from me, I saw she had tears in her eyes and she apologized for hugging me and being so informal and said she felt awkward about the hug, which I immediately dismissed and told her I was as equally happy to see her.

She went on to tell me that she had moved to Spain after getting her first job right after graduating from college and soon realized she had made a huge mistake with her choice of career and quit her job and moved to Spain to pursue her life long dream of becoming an artist.

While we talking, I remembered she was born in the U.S. and told her I knew she was born abroad but couldn’t recall just where.

She was surprised I couldn’t remember saying how we had talked about it so many times and then she said, “I was born in Michigan,” which suddenly jarred my memory.

She continued telling me that her family moved to the Netherlands when she was four and when she was 17 she moved to Israel for seven years before returning to the Netherlands to go to university.

I told her I had completely forgot about her having lived in Israel and I thought she was putting me on knowing that I was Jewish.

I asked her to speak Hebrew and she came up close to me and whispered something in perfecty spoken Hebrew.

I asked her what she said and she told me she said how much of a crush she had on me when I was her teacher and that if I wasn’t married—and if she was 20 years older—she would ask me to marry her!

We shared a laugh but her laughter soon turned into crying.

She told me that she had recently broken up with a man she had been seeing and they had bought an old bus they were restoring to live and work in, but one day the man up and left with no warning or explanation, leaving Simone with all of the pending debt on the bus.

She said she had to go, but gave me the address where the bus was and told me to drop by in an hour.

Walking out of the metro, I ran into an old friend who asked me if I could help him do some stretches as he was about to go running.

Having some time to kill before meeting up again with Simone, I obliged and helped my friend with his stretching routine.

About an hour later, I arrived at the address Simone had given me and saw the large coach parked on the street.

Simone was on the phone crying in what appeared to be a heated conversation, presumably, I thought, with her ex-boyfriend.

I walked around to the back of the enormous bus and it was completely restored in a beautiful minimalist Shaker style, painted white which was nicely offset by beautiful hardwood floors and handmade white cabinets.

There was a man in white coveralls holding a sander who I assumed was the carpenter who was putting some finishing touches to the floor.

There was also a smartly dressed woman who I made out to be the realtor as I had overheard Simone on the phone saying something about the realtor being there and her not having all the money to give her or to pay the carpenter.

Seeing me at the back of the bus, Simone walked over, ended her phone call and wiped the tears from eyes, apologizing for having made a scene.

She explained that her boyfriend had emptied their bank account and the realtor and carpenter had come by to say the checks she had given them had bounced.

I told her not to worry and that I would cover the checks. She thanked me as tears once again began flowing from her eyes.

I paid off the realtor and carpenter and then Simone said she needed to go see a client who was deciding on buying some of her artwork and if the deal went through she’d have more than enough money to pay me back.

As we were walking to her appointment, she took my hand and looked at me and smiled.

We arrived at her client’s office and she told me she wouldn’t be long, that I could wait at the outdoor café on the corner and she would join me as soon as her meeting was over.

Just as I was about to take a table at the café, I noticed a sign that said "cash only."

I spotted an ATM across the park and walked over and stood in a line made long by people who were social distancing.

After a few minutes, I was next in line when a tall young man with a large Afro and a long beige raincoat cut in front of me but immediately gestured that he was with the woman who was currently using the ATM.

The woman finished her transaction and turned to me and apologized in English for taking so long.

Her friend, the man in the raincoat spoke to me in Catalan to which I replied “moltes gracies,” in Catalan, taking him by surprise.

I retrieved 20 euros from the ATM and walked back to the café, taking the same table I had originally chosen.

I noticed the waitress coming towards me with a large white menu, but before she was able to hand it to me I told her I knew what I wanted and proceeded to order a toasted baguette with butter and jam and a café con leche.

Simone soon arrived and was all aglow, tears streaming from beaming eyes.

She told me her wealthy client had bought her entire collection which would not only pay for the rest of the bus conversion, but would give her enough money to live on for the rest of the year, if not longer.

I jokingly told her if I were 20 years younger I would ask her to marry me as I liked the idea of being married to young up and coming artist and living on an old restored coach.

She took my hand and said that age doesn’t matter when there is love and that if I didn’t ask her to marry her, she would ask me.

Just then, the waitress returned with my coffee and toast.

Then I woke up.

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