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Rated: E · Short Story · Cultural · #2262218
What happens when you follow the impulse of your heart?

He invited me to the town of his childhood and birth. I thought what a great way to travel this beautiful country, especially with a native speaker. I was still learning much of the language and already had an embarrassing moment or two. We were dating quite consistently regardless of our language differences. I came to Colombia to learn Spanish by living it because all other methods failed to make it a part of me. Guillermo was one among many eager to learn English. He set himself apart from the others with his piercing dark eyes, heavy but refine arched brow, strong Latin nose, and disarming smile.
Meeting his three brothers and two sisters living in the same three-bedroom apartment, which included his parents, gave me a strong sense of family unity. I desired to be part of this unity, discrediting my own historical origin for one that held strong influence, support and unwavering stability based in traditions important to them, their vivacious acts of celebration, I found, are their most important traditions next to God.
After a grueling ten-hour bus ride over roads that perceived to be past cow paths cut into the sides of the mountains and his adamant suggestion that I do not speak while traveling so as not to arise guerrilla interest, en wrapped me in caution about my actions. We entered the local hacienda to rest and prepare for the birthday celebrations we had to attend. The relief of arriving, I understood why Colombians uttered a quick thanks to God with the sign of the cross after our long hours of travel. It made birthday celebrations more enticing.
The sun was descending to rest for the evening as we left our hotel to attend the one of five birthday parties. When we entered, I noticed couples dancing, children chasing each other with screeches of laughter and two older women cooking while the stereo boomed Colombian salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and Vallenato. Everyone greeted me with smiles and curiosity in their eyes; telling me how much English they learned and waiting for me to speak. Excited and soaking up every detail like a thirsty sponge, I watched, listened, and nodded agreement where I thought the conversations warranted affirmations; speaking only when an emergency arose, such as asking to use the bathroom. Time seemed not to exist as we celebrated his cousin’s birthday.
The night began to tug at my sleep strings when Guillermo started his good-byes and apologies for leaving before the drink and food were gone. After saying farewells to each person and promising to return, we headed toward another birthday celebration.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with the same warmth, curiosity, and cheerful hospitality much like the previous house. There were adults and children dancing and more food to eat as if it was early evening. We joined the fun, ignoring our bodies’ signals for sleep. As Guillermo and I danced, I stumbled through my question in Spanish, "Are we doing this again tomorrow?" He replied resoundingly, "Si!" Taking a deep breath, my thoughts ticker-tape; five birthdays in two days’ time is just too much to handle.
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