As she left the bakery, Esmeralda noticed that she had forgotten her wallet on the counter. Right away she turned before it was too late to get it back. As she entered, she saw Joaquín for the first time—a stocky man in a dark suit. She instantly noticed the man’s aftershave shadow.
Joaquín had dark hair, green eyes, and to Esmeralda’s surprise, her wallet too.
“Excuse me,” Esmeralda said as she approached him, “apparently you found my wallet.”
“Is it yours?” Joaquín asked as he moved it close to her. “But how can I know you are not lying?”
“Do I look like a thief?” Esmeralda asked, a little annoyed.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Joaquín said with a smile. “What do you think will be the first thing I find in this wallet?”
“You’re not going to search it,” Esmeralda said, futilely trying to grab it from his hand.
“Let me see what we have here.”
“Really…” she insisted. “Please don’t.”
“I see,” Joaquín said as he took out an identification card. “You’re ashamed of this photo. Aren’t you?”
“Well…” Esmeralda said, stepping away from Joaquín. “Now that you know it’s mine… May I have it back?”
“I think this deserves a reward.”
“It’s the least you can do,” Joaquín said. “Imagine if someone else had this photo in their possession.”
“Let me take you out,” Joaquín said. “I know a place nearby that has the best pastries. You could get a coffee, if you want, and with that the due will be settled.”
“Are you going around asking out every woman you come across?”
“This is actually very strange to me,” Joaquín said. “Since I saw you leaving this place I wished with all my heart to have a chance to meet you. It was a surprise to see you approaching me.”
“You are good…”
“Come on,” Joaquín said, “give me a chance and you’ll see, we’re going to have fun.”
“I have things to do…”
“Cheer up,” Joaquín said, taking a step towards her, “I assure you that you’ll enjoy your time with me.”
Esmeralda sighed, having him so close to her. She could see a glint in the man’s green eyes, and she crossed her arms taking a step back. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“For me it was enough to hear your beautiful voice,” Joaquín said, handing over the wallet. “Getting to know the beauty you carry inside may be too much to ask out of life. In any case, I want you to know that it was a pleasure to talk with such a beautiful woman.”
Esmeralda took the wallet and raised her face to let her gaze meet him. “…okay,” she said. “But you better be a…”
Joaquín hugged Esmeralda around her waist and lifted her up with ease, instantly leaving her on the floor. “You have made me the happiest man.”
Esmeralda fell silent and felt the warmth of Joaquín’s hand underneath hers.
“It’s a date,” Joaquín said as he placed Esmeralda’s hand on his arm. “Let’s go then, my lady.”