THERE WERE TWO WOLVES IN THE FOREST THAT DAY.
The sparks of being in love tickled his insides as he neared the oak tree where he and Angelina spent many afternoons. He shivered not from the cold, but from the sheer excitement and hope of her being there. Through the rustle of the breeze, and the leaves crunching under his feet, the silence of the forest broke with a familiar sweet sound—it was Angelina.
Arturo quickened his pace until another voice surfaced—that of a man. Frantically, he tore through rows of bushes to reveal a Nazi soldier. Angelina was running her fingers through his hair, flirting with words that, to Arturo, felt like shrapnel in his chest.
“I love this jeweled hair comb you bought me. I feel so regal!” Angelina playfully dangled her hair in front of the German.
“You like nice things, don’t you? A woman like you must have many boyfriends buying you special gifts.”
Angelina laughed, and the sweet silver sound pierced the air. “No, there was only one man, and he was penniless. Besides, he left for war and he’ll probably never return. He wasn’t that special.”
“Well then, next time I’ll put something pretty…here.” He leaned in to kiss her neck.
Arturo felt the blood drain from his face as he slowly pulled back; he could taste the betrayal. Angelina had deceived him with the enemy.
He quickly turned to run away and stumbled over piles of fallen twigs. His knees faltered, and he toppled onto a bed of decaying leaves.
“Who’s there?” The German stood, prepared to fire. Just then, a brown squirrel scampered up the adjacent tree.
Angelina laughed. “It’s just a poor squirrel—ignore it. Now, come back to me.”
A sense of foreboding hung in the air. Arturo weaved through the forest in a wild daze, disoriented by the light flickering through the trees. A once-peaceful escape was now a hell where he had left his happiness for good.
She didn’t wait for me! She lied!
There were two wolves in the forest that day—the worst of them was his betrothed. Arturo walked for hours by the river, trying to clear his head. All he’d ever felt for Angelina was blown away in that gut-wrenching moment, like ashes in the wind, with nothing left but an aching hole where love used to be.