CHAPTER 1

DAVID HERINGER

NEW YORK

DAVID HERINGER AND IVY Johnson Heringer were extraordinarily happy, celebrating eight years of marriage right in the restaurant where David had proposed to her hand in marriage — coincidentally, where they met –, in the restaurant ”Konkers ”, a place that had already passed through many specialties of the excellent world cuisine. It was an Italian restaurant when the Italian restaurant season was on the rise because of the 1990 Football World Cup, outside of Chinese, Arabic, Mexican, but… whenever the fashion season ended the restaurant underwent a drastic renovation, but it had always had a single owner.

That restaurant brought back many special memories for both of them, as it was in the same place where they met.

It felt like it was yesterday…

DAVID WAS RUNNING AWAY from a terrible storm that night and ended up walking into the first restaurant that appeared in front of him seeking shelter. Even though he didn have a penny in his pocket, after all, that night he had been cheated of by the owner of a bar where he had played guitar and had to walk home.

When David saw Ivy, his first reaction was automatic:

He needed to stay there anyway… that default had been worth it…

And stayed.

— Coffee please — David asked as he rubbed his hands together looking cold.

At that time the restaurant was a French specialty — the decor was all typical — because the year before, it had been the Football World Cup in France and the restaurant was still reaping the wonderful fruits of this world event.

After David ordered his coffee, he asked the bartender unpretentiously:

— Hey there, big — thats what he called everyone — beauty? Let me ask you a question… Who is that waitress who serves table five?

The bartender soon saw that the girl he was referring to was Ivy Johnson and smiled cynically and then went on to explain in a confidential tone:

— That girl in particular is more coveted than a glass of water in the Sahara desert, she takes her little horse out of the rain that has a line going around the block to earn a smile.

David laughed at the challenge before him; first, to pay for that coffee he had had without the bartender knowing that he didn have the money to pay for that simple drink that cost a few measly cents and; second, to conquer the most incredible woman he had ever seen in his entire life.

Thats when David made a bet with the bartender:

— If I can get a date with this girl whos more coveted than the greatest wealth anyone could have in such an isolated place in the world… you pay for the coffee I was served, if I lose the bet, but Im ahead of you.— that I never lose, I work at the restaurant all night at your place to pay for that coffee, how about that?

The bartender accepted right away…

Since I would win the night for a simple coffee…

After all, hed seen hundreds of idiots leave humiliated by just saying a simple ”hi ” to Ivy — including himself, but it was always nice to see one more sucker try it.

David would be the next idiot to risk his head for that beautiful little angels body that even he and his Latin lovers charm couldn conquer.

David sat at the table as if he didn want anything and when he was answered by Ivy, he gave the poor girl a nice snub that she didn understand absolutely anything, and completely without response action.

At the same moment Ivy thought:

Who does this guy think he is to treat me this way?

David knew that women like that only pay attention to men who are strategists, who think thoroughly before acting, which is why men who have already been drooling over her wanting her phone or just a few fifteen minutes of pleasure would get it wrong, after all, a girl like that could have any man in the world. Why would she date the first asshole that came along?

Ivy tried to please this handsome — but utterly irritating — client in every way she could, but nothing caught Davids eye, especially when he asked Ivy:

— Do you happen to know who I am? — If you knew, you wouldn just sit there trying to please me instead of sitting down and drinking that extra coffee I asked for.

That was the end of the sting for her.

Ivy sat in the chair opposite him completely pissed off just to see what this snobby rich guy was up to, not knowing that she would actually be the one who would pay for those two coffees — so that new acquaintance wouldn walk in. in trouble.

She was so in awe of Davids smart talk that she didn go back to work that night— leaving all the work to Juanes, after all:

A gamble is a gamble, whoever lost should roast the duck… after all, what is agreed upon is not expensive.

He really wasn like the other guys… — she thought.

DAVID WAS ATTENTIVE, he liked to hear Ivys voice, in fact, any man who was in his shoes would also like to hear the beautiful and soft voice that Ivy had, she seduced anyone with just a simple ”hello ”.

Juanes mouth dropped open — and a few cents poorer…

If it was possible…

Not that it mattered to him at the moment, but Juanes Casanossa never imagined that the beautiful and fatal, Ivy, would give a damn about anyone in her life, especially a guy as stuck— up as this one.

Not while he was alive… — Juanes thought as he laughed to himself for his defeat.

DAVID REALLY ACHIEVED the impossible…

Going out with one of the most beautiful women in New York, and without even having a penny in his pocket, that was a real conquest…

Ivy left work a little earlier than usual and they went for a walk around town. Ivy lived close to where she worked, in a luxury apartment given to her by her parents.

She explained to David that that apartment had been given to her by her parents as a gift on her eighteenth birthday, she decided to live alone to have a little more freedom.

Ivy hated the rich life she had with her parents.

She was the middle child of three brothers, she was the sweetheart of the family — and that was exactly why Ivy decided to leave home and conquer her long— awaited freedom the first chance she got.

They talked for hours and hours in the living room of her apartment, no kissing, no silly hands, no hot looks or perverted topics, no talking about old boyfriends, just the two of them there and the huge television turned off as a witness that the love between the two was starting in the purest way that could exist.

WHEN the day was already dawning — after all possible and impossible subjects to be discussed had already been exhausted — there was still one thing pending between the two, that kiss that both would like to have exchanged with each other, but would never give up. lack of opportunity, but now, they both knew almost everything about each other. It was as if they had known each other for years. Both could never have imagined that neither of them had ever even had a boyfriend once in their lives.

David, being the son of pastors of a respected and well— known Baptist church, was not given to partying, drinking and parties in his adolescence, not because he was a religious young man — quite the contrary –, David fled from God as the devil flees from the cross. His mother never understood why he never liked church, despite being the top student in Sunday school.

David knew the Bible inside and out, had read it several times, in addition to listening to the countless sermons his father gave when he preached, but literally, he liked going to church and period, it was a fact that made him feel badly, he felt different from the people who went there. He was really different from anyone anyone could ever meet.

People went to church to learn to be humble, and the word humility was not written in Davids dictionary. It was too boastful — and he knew it and even liked it.

Sometimes David got mad at those overly kind ladies, or having to talk to the nice old men who just wanted a little attention, a gesture hed never been able to give them, no matter how hard he tried, David wanted to be oblivious to all that…

He thought the whole scene made by people was very beautiful, but that world was not for him…

Even so, David had been raised by his parents in the best way he could have been raised…

With all the love in the world… and then some…

His parents had never raised their hands to beat him, nor had he ever raised his voice to either of them. It was an unconditional love between them, a mutual and silent respect, they all knew they needed each other in harmony so that happiness would always exist between them.

David had never blamed God for his parents being pastors, as he saw other pastors children at church meetings. He didn like going to church, period, that was his business with God, and his parents had always respected his decision — as strange as it sounded.

His parents knew that they had given the best Christian education that a father could give his son, they had always been good examples before society, with himself, there had always been an education on their part and David knew that he had received the best education in the whole world. world, he just didn adapt to that ecclesiastical world, thats all.

THAT NIGHT of celebration, for them, Ivy had received word from Dr. Carlisle William Burke — doctor and friend who took care of her health since she was a child.

Ivy has always enjoyed conversations with Dr. William — despite the fact that he was the most atheist man she knew, after her parents — but even so, she felt comfortable by his side. The skinny old man conveyed a fatherly feeling that his father could never convey.

Ivy never knew why she believed in God, as the entire family had always preached the complete opposite…

They kept telling her:

God does not exist, and if there was, it was a God made for poor and weak men, only these people need a God to believe in…

They also said that:

If God existed, there would be no hunger on earth, and no people who are born with any health problem, be it physical or mental…

IVY PURCHASED A GOLD watch, with diamond accents for David, while he gave Ivy a gold ring with three small diamonds set in it. On this ring alone, David paid almost half a million dollars, it was a half ring expensive, but not for them, as they had everything anyone could dream of…

Money, success and each others true love…

Ivy respected her parents, but deep down she knew that God existed, she just didn know how to prove it to them, but when she met David, she was finally able to talk to someone who believed what she believed too. Although David was not an example of how to be a Christian neither here nor in China, but at least he believed.

Ivy wasn looking for a saint, she was just looking for someone who would never judge her for believing in something, even if she couldn prove anything about His real existence, but believing in something was necessary to live without worrying about the disappointments that life caused her.

David and Ivy were made for each other, there was no doubt about that, their wedding itself was such an imperceptible event that almost no one knew about the ceremony, as they didn even have that many friends to invite. It was just their families, and who performed the marriage were Davids parents, in the church where they were pastors.

They made that wedding completely against the wishes of Ivys parents, her father didn even show up at the ceremony — he was so upset he was with his daughter for everything she was doing with her life — her mother only showed up at the end of the party.

His brothers were very enthusiastic, they liked David a lot since he was a night musician and always got some ”VIPs ” for them in some very popular parties in New York, not for lack of money, they had plenty of that, but hanging out with David guaranteed the privilege of meeting the coolest people in New Yorks nightlife.

That was the best wedding anniversary for Ivy, for the first time she had left her parents house — for, after dinner at the restaurant, they went to Ivys parents house at Teds request — seeing a smile on their faces, seeming to be pleased with their daughters success as a novel writer and David being a successful musician, writing a few songs for Broadway. In such a short time, their talent was changing their fortunes in front of the whole family and that was really good, really good for everyone.

Suddenly they looked at each other.

Ivy took Davids hand and asked:

— Do you by any chance remember that tattoo we got?

David replied:

— Of course, how could I forget? — He said also showing his wrist.

They had written each others names on their wrists so they would always remember that, hand in hand, they could tackle any obstacle that came their way, no matter what the size or depth.

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