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Concealed Love

I Love You Victoria

By Amber FiercePublished 2 years ago 25 min read
Concealed Love
Photo by Evan Murphy on Unsplash


"COME ON! This is a bit much isn't it!?" On a first date and we're in my bathtub. Granted the rose petals, red water and candles make for a romantic ambiance. It's a bit close for comfort on a first date though. Lucky my tub is deep so neither of us can see each other's naked body. I found my bath table in front of me with the bottle of merlot sitting on it. Of course, why wouldn't it be here. There has to be something written on this bottle to help me get out of this never ending loop!


Hi there, my name is Victoria. Let me take you back to the beginning of this irritating adventure.

It was raining outside and I really needed something to calm my nerves. The rain gifted me with a pressure headache from the gods. What did I do to deserve that exactly? I don't know. Take it up with the gods if you wish.

I drew myself a silky milk bath. The gold beads reflected the candle light from around me. I put a perfect amount of eucalyptus Epsom salts in the water to help my muscles relax. Why was I so tense? I've been online dating for two years and there are a lot of questionable people out there. Many of them just want to hook up for a quickie and never talk again. That's not my cup of tea. I did end up meeting someone with the same values as myself. His name is James, (at least I thought so... I'll explain later). He and I set up our first in person date tomorrow... Which is today... Man that's hard to explain, I hope you are still following along. Anyway, I was a nervous wreck. I figured I would be okay once I got to the restaurant though. I just needed something to help make the conversation flow.

That’s when I got the brilliant idea to go to the wine cellar in town. The cashier there had recommendations for every situation you could think of. She has a perfect recommendation for a mid life crisis, and a nasty breakup. She even has a recommendation for pig wrestling. I don’t know who would need that, but nice to know where to go if you’re someone that will. The cellar in town is called The Spirit Of Merlot. The morning of the date I hiked my way there.

By Daniel Vogel on Unsplash


There's lot's to do today. Hopefully it'll be slow this morning.

*Knock Knock*

What? It's only 8:50am I open in the next ten minutes. Of course someone in this world needs wine at 9:00am... I may have recommendations for every scenario but can't this town give me a break?

I pulled back the curtains from the basement window to see who was out front. It was a girl with copper hair and wavy curls. She was about five feet and had a thick figure. She didn't look like she had just gotten the worst news ever... Hmm.

I'll give her my latest fermented merlot. I don't know what kind of effect it will have, but the bottle I was told to put it in has a riddle on the back. It reads; A sip will make you trip. A swallow will have you gravel. A swig will give your body a jig. A cup and your night is up.

Hopefully she's someone who likes riddles and if she's not? Well I'm not someone who likes impatient customers, so it would be entertaining. Mess with her a little bit. Then she can tell me about her experience with it when she comes back.

I went and opened the door. "Hello. How can I help you?"

She looked at me with a twinkle in her eyes. "Hi there, I know you're going to be busy today, so I thought I would come and get some wine from you. That way you can focus for the rest of your morning."

I guess that was nice of her, in a way she's being considerate. What? Lots of people are just mean and demanding. I'm still going to give her the wine I haven't tested out yet though. I asked "So, what brings you here?"

"Well, I have a first date and I'm really nervous about it. You see, I've been online dating and this is our first in person date." My customer blushed as if I would judge her for being nervous. I totally understand though. That being said the riddle could make for a great first date story. I took her to the isle of untested merlot.

"Here's one that I think will make for a really easy and entertaining night." I gave her the bottle, she read the back of it and smiled. Then I led her to my till to purchase it.

Once she left I sighed and looked at the mess on my counter. I saw the bottle of merlot that I thought I just sold to my customer. My eyes widened and my chest stung. I looked around my counter to find which one I might have given her instead. I found the one I gave her in a display on the opposite side of me. "Oh no..."

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When I saw The Spirit Of Merlot clerk I was feeling sheepish. My hair was a mess and I was wearing miss-matched clothes. It was like I got dressed in the dark. Which I did. Anyway, I tried hiding my tired eyes from her because of my paranoia from the night before. She took me to a section in her store and showed me a merlot with a riddle on the back of it. My logic is that if my date and I needed an ice breaker that could work as one.

I went home and started getting ready for the lunch date. I put a light layer of dark green eyeshadow with some black mascara, and a layer of eyeliner on. I put some concealer on beforehand to blend my features together. I didn't put any highlight in though. For the last touch I put on some dark velvety purple lipstick. I just brushed my hair and pinned part of it back. Then I put on some green dangling earrings and put on a low hanging amethyst necklace. The only other accessory I added was some small silver bracelets. I had a slim black dress that frilled out at the hips, and to finish the ensemble I wore a set of silver heels.

Then I went to the restaurant to meet James for our lunch date. I'm sure I'm not allowed to bring my own wine to most places but here is an exception. They don't mind if you bring your own as long as you tell them at the door.

When I got to the restaurant I was led to the patio, it was beautiful outside. The sun was shining and a light breeze was flowing through my hair. I should have worn my black cape-line summer hat. It has a silver ribbon above the cape-line, it would have gone perfectly with my outfit. Adding on some greenery or a purple flower would have rounded out my fashion statement. Oh well... I did my best to stop myself from nit picking at my decisions before James arrived.

To prevent further nail biting I pulled out the bottle of merlot and poured myself a glass. I figured just a sip would be enough.

After I drank the wine I read the riddle on the back of the bottle. Which I should have read before tasting it. I'm not sure if I would have taken it seriously if I did read the riddle first anyway. I'd probably end up in the same situation. This is was the riddle said;

A taste of wine. A drop of a dime. Now you are back in time.

Just a taste, and a different place, is where it takes.

Taking a chance, for just a glance, will make you dance.

This drink makes one think, they are someone else. Don't forget to talk about yourself.

Drink something -

I didn't get to finish the last part before I thought I saw James walking towards the table. I waved at him and he sat down. He introduced himself to me. This time in person. "Good morning. I'm Victor - "

I cut him off, "Victor? I thought your name was James."

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I saw Victoria from a distance, she looked fantastic. I thought her black hat would have gone with her outfit perfectly. It was a cute one. Those makeup tones looked great on her completion too. When I got to the table I introduced myself. I know her and I already know each other. Heck you could say we are two peas in a pod, cut from the same cloth, made from the same mold... You probably get the idea. She asked me "I thought your name was James?"

I sat down and said "oh! Yes I use my middle name on my social media platforms. I hope I didn't make this weird already."

The waiter came to the table and asked Victoria "Are you waiting on anyone else?"

Victoria said "No, thank you. I think we'll get started." I wasn't very hungry. So I just sat and talked with Victoria about her endeavors, and what our plans in life are. Basically our end goals for our relationship.

The lunch date was a smash hit in my books. Then the waiter came with the bill and handed it to Victoria. I bowed my head, and waved my hand to her, passing it off.

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It was strange; the fact that James' name was actually Victor. You'd think it would have come up at least once in these past months... Of course I was starting to feel weary, so I made small talk with him for most of our lunch date. Just personal goals of ours. Come to think of it I did most of the talking...

"Would you like the bill ma'am?" I was so absorbed by the mystery sitting in front of me that I didn't hear the waiter the first time. "Ahem, Ma'am would you like your bill?"

I jumped, "oh jeez! Sorry about my absence there. That was embarrassing. Yes please could we get..." I looked over at Victor to see if we were splitting or if he was taking the whole bill. He bowed his head and waved his hand at me. Oh, I was paying for both. Alright. Another weird thing about him I guess. It might be just me, but I don't think I'm with the right person right now. "I'll get one bill please. Thanks." The waiter looked at me confused then went and processed the bill. I pulled out my purse and rummaged through the contents. When the waiter returned he slapped the little folded bill book in front of me. I startled and change fell out of my purse onto the table.

"Sorry ma'am I didn't mean to make you jump. I hope you're alright." The waiter looked apologetic. It was my fault seeing James, (who's name is actually victor), has had a different light cast upon him. It wasn't very flattering.

I got up from the table and thanked Victor for the lunch date. He then had loads to say. "Why don't we go to the water fountains and have a relaxing walk? Why don't we go to the salon next time? Why don't we have a picnic somewhere nice?"

I cut him off "I'm sorry Victor but I don't think there will be a next time." Victor had a blank look. As if trying to process what I was saying to him. Then turned away. He and I walked out of the restaurant together. As soon as we walked out the doors there was a loud ticking sound in my head. Really after one glass of merlot, every sound has gotten amplified? That sucks. The God’s know I'm going to get a headache later.

Everything started closing in around me and I was being pulled back through the restaurant. The bill was unpaid for, I was talking backwards, and then I was back to the moment I had my sip of wine...

By Aron Visuals on Unsplash


I saw Victoria from a distance, she looked fantastic. I thought her black hat would have gone with her outfit perfectly. It was a cute one. Those makeup tones looked great on her completion too. When I got to the table I introduced myself. I know her and I already know each other. Heck you could say we are two peas in a pod, cut from the same cloth, made from the same mold... Anyway, you probably get the idea. She asked me "I thought your name was James?"

I said "Ah yes, I use my middle name on social media. You know, that black hat that we own would have looked amazing on you!"

She looked at me for a moment, confusion written on her face. "We?"

It took me a minute to realize what I said. "Oh sorry, I just figured since we are a couple. Your things are my things. My things are your things. That sort of thing." Nice save Victor.

The lunch date was a smash hit in my books. Then the waiter came with the bill and handed it to Victoria. I bowed my head and waved my hand to her, passing it off. Once Victoria had paid, I asked her about what we should do after we leave the establishment.

She looked at me and stuttered, "look James - I mean Victor, you were great online but I don't think this is going to work out, sorry." That was disheartening. I was looking forward to this because of the amount we have in common. Too bad... I walked with Victoria to the outside of the restaurant to see her off.

Then everything started closing in around me and I was being pulled back through the restaurant. The bill was unpaid for, I was talking backwards and I was back to the moment I was walking towards the table waving to Victoria...

By Peter Forster on Unsplash


I felt something strange had just happened to me but I didn't think anything of it. James was walking towards the table, and if I wanted to make a good first in person impression then I needed to chill out. I took a deep breath and introduced myself. "Hi James, I'm Victoria."

He smiled and said, "my name is actually Victor, I use James as an alias online. I hope we can still have our date without things getting too weird." I suppose having an alias is a good security measure. Why has that never come up during our conversations though? That's when I started having an abnormal amount of déjà vu.

I drank from my wine glass, Victor and I talked about our goals but I was the one talking the whole time. Then I was brought the bill and paid for lunch. Before I paid I dropped a load of change on the table. Then Victor and I left the restaurant. Victor started suggesting what to do next time and I was about to respond and hesitated. Victor looked at me with a raised eyebrow "what?"

I cocked my head to the side "I'm sorry, but haven't you said this all to me before?"

"You know, I'm starting to feel like I have..." Victor scratched his head and looked at his feet.

Then we were back through the restaurant and I was drinking my wine again... That's when I started getting really tired. I saw Victor walking towards me. His hair was a rats nest, there were bags under her eyes and his clothes looked soaked in sweat. Once he sat down I said "You look like I feel Victor."

He looked surprised "you know my real name?"

"Didn't you tell me?" I asked.

"I think I did... I'm not too sure at this point, everything is a little blurry." His voice was trailing off.

"You're telling me. I feel like I've had several glasses of this merlot." I turned the bottle and read the first lines out loud, "A taste of wine. A drop of a dime. Now you are back in time. Hmm, do you think that we're in some kind of time loop do you?" I heard a snore coming from Victor's direction. A nap would be amazing right now. Oh well. The waiter came to ask if I wanted the bill. I grabbed my purse. When he slammed the black book down I jumped and my change fell out . My eyes widened, I dropped a dime. Oh my god, I dropped a dime. This can't actually be happening. The riddle is a spell? Like a potion? How do I stop dropping the dime? I have so many questions. I quickly read the second part of the riddle. Just a taste, and a different place is where it takes. Victor and I left the restaurant and before we went our separate ways we were back to the beginning of our date... again.

I looked around and found myself at the water fountains. It was a beautiful place to walk if someone wanted to go there with their significant other. The wine bottle was in my bag but the glass was in my hand and still had wine in it. I couldn't stop myself from drinking it.

I saw Victor coming towards me from the same direction he did when we were at the restaurant. I waved to him, and he slowly waved back half asleep. If I didn't feel the exact same way I might have made fun of him for being so exhausted.

Once he reached me, we ended up in a movie theater. Then a basketball court. Then on a farm where people were pig wrestling. We were stargazing one second, then we were cloud watching the next. I couldn't stop drinking the glass of wine in my hands to save my life. I was getting more exhausted by the minute but no time had actually passed. This is how things got incredibly irritating.

My patience has worn down by this point.

I took a minute and read the next part of the riddle. Things were happening so fast that I didn't have the chance to read the whole thing, I could only read in increments. The next part of the riddle was this; taking a chance for just a glance will make you dance. "What!?" I looked at the bottle of merlot in my purse and Victor and I were transported to the middle of a dance competition...



I waved to Victoria and caught up with her at the water fountains. Victoria must be exceptionally drained. If that's how she feels I'm definitely going to reflect it in some way. Empathy for a close friend of course.

She was right, the way the sun glows through the water makes this place an amazing spot to talk and relax. Too bad it's usually busy. Not right now though. Odd. We were just about to start our walk when we ended up inside a movie theater.

I was suddenly walking in a pitch black room and knocked into a row of seats. "Ow! For Pete's sake. If I had just showed up on time, I wouldn't be having this problem." Once I sat down a romantic movie was about to start.

Boing. Boing. Boing. Victoria and I were on a basketball court. What happened to the movie theater? I wished Victoria would just pick a place and stop fretting over what would be best to impress. Seriously, this is getting irritating. She would have enjoyed herself either way, if she wasn't making this big of a fuss.

Oink, oink. Screech. Oh my, I was so lost in thought there I didn't realize we've moved on to another place. A farm no less. I guess that makes sense. The whole recommendation of wine for pig wrestling was on her mind all day. I don't know why she didn't bring it up during the lunch. That way she wouldn't have ended up here based on the magic of a potion she was given. I know suddenly I'm just full of info. Don't judge me! I'm not a creeper.

I could hear Victoria hyperventilating beside me. I tried to think of something that would be more relaxing and not as fast paced to calm her down. She loves stargazing; it was my best go to. She still seems a little unhinged though. I switched the thought to cloud watching. "Is this any better? Do you feel okay yet?" I asked Victoria. I don't think she heard me. My voice was lost in her commotion.

One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. Then I found myself backstage at a dance recital, where people were practicing their sequences. I don't think Victoria knew I wasn't with her while she was on stage. I ran to her to try and make the situation better. When I found her she was dancing perfectly to the ballet music. Strange because she sucks at ballet. I've seen it. You may be wondering; how could you have seen her dance if this is the first time you’re meeting? Well... Stop asking questions.

I could hear the sound of wedding music in the background and both Victoria and I were sucked into her friend's wedding. An event that she needs a plus one for. She tells me everything. I met up with her and said "Looks like you're getting better at dancing eh?" She looked away from me and blushed. "It's nice that I can make you smile now." I looked around and saw fairy lights all over the hedges at this outside wedding. It was beautiful just like Victoria. I wish she would realize that sometimes. The only magic she needs to make a place magical is herself. I took her hand and set myself up in a lead dance position to have a slow dance with her. We flowed easily. It was nice to be working together for once. Then everything went dark.

Soft meditation music started playing and her and I were sucked into our bathroom. I moved and water sloshed against me.

“Oh no! Not this one!”

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Meditation music was playing, my mascara was running down my face and I felt comfortably warm in a mint smelling room. Then I moved and water splashed over my tub. Which brings us back to this moment. "COME ON! This is a bit much isn't it!?" On a first date and we're in my bathtub. Granted the rose petals, red water and candles make for a romantic ambiance. It's a bit close for comfort on a first date though. Lucky my tub is deep so neither of us can see each other's naked body. I found my bath table in front of me with the bottle of merlot sitting on it. Of course, why wouldn't it be here. There has to be something written on the bottle to help me get out of this never ending loop! See wasn't that confusing, irritating an overall really exhausting!? I still can't stop myself from drinking the wine but this time the glass was in the bath water. I looked to Victor partially checking him out. He asked "what's the next part of the riddle so we can get out of this?"

“Right sorry. I was getting distracted. The next part says; this drink, makes one think, they are someone else. Don't forget to talk about yourself."

I looked at Victor and said "well that's going to be a challenge, you haven't talked about yourself all damn day! Why won't you share anything with me about you? It wasn't hard online!" I waited for a response to my irrational yelling. Preparing myself for an angry tear down of my flaws.

Victor sat up a little straighter and looked hurt. "You don't know who I am. Do you?"

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"I have been talking about myself. To be fair maybe in subtle ways but you can't blame me. You never listen to what I have to say anyway." I looked at Victoria and she wasn't getting what I was saying to her. "Okay. I'll try to make it clearer. Your black hat is also my black hat." She raised her eyebrow. A very common look from us... "This is frustrating..."

"Yes it is. You're not making any sense!" Victoria shouted.

"I can't tell you who I am. You should already know! You want to know what I know?

I know that you constantly nit pick at yourself for no reason. I know that we ended up in several different places today because you couldn't decide what would make a better first impression on your date. I know that you suck at dancing, and that you're getting better. I know you care so much about the way you look you're not paying attention to how naturally beautiful you already are.

You are magic Victoria and you light up every room you walk into. You don't need fairy lights to express it. Not saying it's wrong to do. It's still visually appealing but all you need is yourself. You're an amazing person, and I wish you would stop forgetting that.

We ended up at a pig wrestling match because you couldn't get it off your mind. I knew stargazing and cloud watching would calm you down, when you were on the verge of a panic attack because I care about you. There are two reasons we are in a bath tub; one, you're curious about my body and two, you think that is absurd for a first date." I grabbed Victoria's hands from the water and leaned towards her.

She leaned in and kissed my lips. Then pulled back and said, “that was really sweet of you to say. Your not James. If you’re not him, who are you?”

"Seriously? I thought I already told you. Oh alright fine, but this is your last hint. You picked this character out for me. My name had to be Victor because it's a boys name, and you've only got your male interest on your mind. I keep making up this alias because you’re afraid that James is hidding a real name. So let me ask you. Who am I?"

"What is one thing that only I know?" I had a sharp breath when she asked her question.

Then I looked down and fiddled with my hands. "When you get nervous, you think you're not good enough for anything. Then you try to find ways to make up for that empty feeling. You don't talk to me... I wish you would. That's okay though. When people talk to themselves they look crazy."

"Themselves, our, we." *Gasp* "my subconscious?" Everything clicked for her, and I didn’t need to finish her request. “It all makes sense now. The waiter giving me the bill straight away. You knowing about my black hat and my nervous ticks. You not drinking the wine yourself but ending up in every place I went at the time I drank the wine myself. Woah... So, I just kissed me???”

I nodded my head and slowly started to disappear. "Ha ha! Look at that. We passed that part of the riddle. What's next?"

She looked up at me while I was fading back into her thoughts. "Drink something nouvèau, and be released from your bind to this merlot. What does nouvèau mean?"

I looked at her and said "it's a way to say new in French. Drink the water from the tub."

She giggled. It's been so long since I heard her laugh. It's nice...

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I giggled at Victor's suggestion. Then looked up to see him giving me a loving look as he disappeared. I don't feel as drained now that he's back to being a part of me. I drank the red bath water. What? It was the only other liquid available. Then I was back at the restaurant. Did it work? I put the merlot away and didn't bother taking it out.

I waved down the waiter "excuse me sir, could I please have a glass of water?"

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I just can't catch a break. I've been running into accident after accident on my way to my lunch date with Victoria. First there was a construction hazard, and then I ran into a three car pile up. It's just one thing after another. I'm twenty minutes behind. I hope she hasn't left yet. I crossed my fingers and whispered "please be there, please be there."

I got to the restaurant and found Victoria on the patio. Sipping on a glass of water I walked up to her and I introduced myself. "Victoria? I'm James."

She stood up and shook my hand "It's nice to meet you in person for the first time. I was thinking, maybe we could go for a walk around the water fountain park after lunch?"

I smiled softly "that sounds lovely. I'm glad you have some plans, because I couldn't think of anything." We had our lunch and I paid for both of our meals. We talked about our goals and what we want out of this relationship. A marriage and children eventually. Then we went to the water fountains. There were pools of water and beautiful fountains glowing with the sun. Victoria looked stunning in the sunset as fairy lights started to light up around us. I told her about all the trouble I had getting to lunch.

She said "Don't worry, your timing couldn't have been better. I learned a lot about myself."

"In twenty minutes?" I questioned

"Yeah. More or less. Ha ha." Her laugh is so beautiful.

I told her "your laugh is lovely."

By Akshay Nanavati on Unsplash


Told you so.

I love you Victoria.

By Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash


About the Creator

Amber Fierce

I am Canadian, I’ve loved writing from a young age and wanted to see where it would take me. Now I’m testing myself by writing for different genres. I write song lyrics, and fiction stories the most. Happy reading! Xoxo

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