There's Lara and there is Alice, and there's also Lara Alice and even Veronica. They are all Lopes.
Then, one rainy afternoon, I met him by chance on the street near my house, and he got himself under my umbrella to say hello to me.
The next morning I didn’t wake up to go to school. I don’t know why. I just didn’t. Stella, our maid, came into my room to call me more than once, and asked me if I was ill or something. She took my temperature. I had no fever. Then my father came in. He said:
Love Was No Easy Thing
Things were happening, at last, and living was so much better than dreaming. Gil was about five years older than me, which was a lot considering that I was still a teenager, but he was a loner, like me, some kind of precocious philosopher who couldn’t relate to anybody, and we had found each other, which made me ever so happy.
A Weird Kind of Love
The next time I saw Gil was at a dinner party his brother Otto was giving for his twenty-fourth birthday. My brother's friend Sara had taken me there and as soon as Gil spotted me he came to sit on the chair next to mine. This time he was wearing a tie, if you can believe it. He said:
I woke up shouting in my bed. I woke up from my own scream. The plane was falling down very rapidly and I got very scared, grabbed Marco’s hand and then my scream traveled from my dream into my waking life.
Then, to my surprise, I met Marco. I was going for lunch every day at the canteen from the University of Amsterdam, and so was he. He had been smiling at me and me at him. We just couldn’t ignore each other anymore. We were aware of each other’s existence. How can you ignore a friendly stranger?
So I was just there, standing with my bike near the entrance of a building, not knowing what to do next, when I saw this blond guy coming out of an elevator, with a bike, and my very first impression was that I knew him, but I couldn’t remember where from.
I didn’t see the rainbow girl for quite sometime after that. Christmas came and went, as well as New Year. My grandparents Olga and Delio came to visit, and so did my brother Marco and his boyfriend Neri, so I didn’t go back to Portugal for the holidays.
Autumn came and most trees around the big lake in Gaasperplas were covered in bright yellow leaves while others were as red as wine in the sun.
The next summer my brother Levi became eighteen and left the house to go and live in Pearl’s old apartment with our cousin Rio. I was only fifteen, and couldn’t do much about it.
Alice and the Endless Dimensions
This time I became tired of my daydreams even faster. Not that I didn’t like all those things I imagined, and everything was really very exciting, but the fact that it was all taking place only in my mind, left me quite a lot to wish for.
Seeing Alice in the Mirrors
The following years were very complicated for my family. My mother moved to Amsterdam, the little town full of canals and bridges in Holland, and had a little girl called Branca with her new husband Jan.