Of The Divine American and Charming Spaniard
– To love Again
“Angel, please get the door,” Sam shouted from the kitchen where she was busy preparing lunch.
“Yes, mommy!” little Angel shouted back. She went to the door, stood on a low stool and tiptoed to reach the door knob. The moment she opened the door, she let out a scream of delight, “Uncle David!”
Sam heard it and smiled broadly as she quickly wiped her hands on the apron she was wearing and headed out to the foyer. He had called an hour ago to say he was heading to the house and a minute earlier she saw a car approaching the main gate from the CCTV monitor in the kitchen. And now there he was, standing tall in the doorway, blocking out the sunlight that came from the scorching hot afternoon sun outside.
Sam opened her arms and embraced David like a long lost brother. David held on to her, grateful for the warmth and love she offered him. Tears gleaming in her eyes, she asked quietly, “How are you doing, David?”
Breathing deeply, he summoned up the courage to smile and replied, “I’m feeling much better. Thank you, Sam. I really appreciate what you and Urs have done for me.”
“Please David, we’re family, remember?” Sam turned towards Angel and said, “How about a hug for Uncle David, young lady?”
Sam stood and watched while David kneeled down and hugged the little almost-four-year-old as if she was his own daughter, his eyes squeezed tightly as he struggled with his own emotions, small drops of tears appearing at the corners of his eyes.
Sam turned her head and quietly wiped her own tears away. She couldn’t let him see that; she had to be strong for him. How she wished Urs was home right this moment. He would know what to do and how to react. He had been their rock to lean on during those dreadful months. It was comforting though to know that he would be back shortly from a trip to town for some groceries.
When David let go of Angel, Sam managed to take control of her feelings once more and told David to move his luggage and bag upstairs to one of the guest rooms.
“Please Sam, can I have the guest room in the other wing?” It was almost like he was pleading and Sam cursed herself for not thinking straight.
“Of course, David, that building is all yours. You know, Urs and I have been so busy in our little corner here that we sometimes forget that there is another part of the house out there.”
David smiled, “I hope Urs has added a pantry or a small kitchen in there like he said he would. That way, I don’t have to keep coming here to check out the fridge.”
“Oh he has. You know how he is. Once he sets his mind on something, he gets it done. He has scaled down the gaming room to make way for the kitchenette. When he comes back, I’ll tell him to stock up the fridge. That’s not to say you can’t come in here to make use of whatever you need though.”
“Thanks, sis. I don’t know what I’d do without you. I’ll move my stuff over there and come back here when I’ve showered.” Sam patted his arm and gave it a little squeeze. She retrieved the key to the smaller wing from a key holder and handed it to him. Urs liked to refer the smaller wing as the Entertainment Centre because it had a pool table, a gaming room, a gym and a mini theatre on top of two bedrooms upstairs and a common bathroom. It was used to house his large extended family when they came to stay.
“Lunch will be served soon. Urs should be back any minute now.”
“Mommy, can I go help Uncle David unpack his bags?” Angel offered with her big brown eyes pleading with her mother. Sam looked at David and saw a hint of his trademark wide smile, though not as wide as before, but still it raised her hope a little. He nodded at her silent question and she gave her daughter the go-ahead. So with David pulling his luggage behind him and Angel dragging his backpack along, they walked hand in hand toward the Entertainment Centre.
It wasn’t long before Urs returned home to find his very emotional wife staring at a photo album. Sam was sniffling uncontrollably as she flipped through the pages of the album and Urs couldn’t help but felt alarmed.
“What happened, Sam? Why are you crying like this?”
Sam cast aside the album and threw herself into her husband’s arms. “David is here. He’s at the EC now.” There was no need for more explanation as Urs held her close.
“It’s alright, Sam. Cry as much as you want right now, but please, not in front of David. He’s done enough crying already. Remember what I said to you before I left to spend time with him? We’re all he has here; we have to be strong for him.”
Sam nodded and tried to wipe the falling tears away but they kept coming back. Urs took her face in his hands and looked into her eyes, “I know it’s difficult, especially since you’re so close to Sandra, but please for the sake of David and our children, who will no doubt pick up on your sadness, get a grip on yourself.”
With those words, he kissed her passionately and deeply in a bid to make her forget her sorrow. As always, it worked wonders for her and she began to calm down.
“I’ll go check on Gracie and Tony. They should be awake by now,” Sam said shakily as they pulled apart. Urs held her just a while longer before letting her go. He watched as she walked up the stairs to the children’s room and then began busying himself with putting away the groceries he bought. He carefully picked out some items which he thought David might need and set them aside.
He wondered briefly how David was holding up. The past few weeks the youngest Divo had been in touch constantly and Urs could feel that he was starting to feel depressed again. After discussing with Sam he invited David over to stay with them. Urs hoped that being around familiar faces might help him forget about the loneliness.
The aroma of Sam’s cooking got to him and made him hungry. She had come a long way with her cooking skills and he was glad. Not only were the dishes she made delicious, they were also nutritious as she was keenly aware of his preference for healthy eating. She would surf the internet for new recipes and then modify them to make them healthy and tasty.
This, of course, would not have been possible if she was still working for the police force. Having three little children to take care of, she had no choice but to leave the career that she had worked hard all those years before they married. And whenever Urs asked if she regretted that decision, her answer was always a convincing ‘No’. Urs knew deep in his heart that this was where he belonged: this woman, their children and their home.
He went about setting the table for lunch. Soon, he could hear excited chattering coming down the stairs. Then, a little brown curly-haired head appeared at the dining room entrance. It was Anthony, his nearly 3-year-old son. Little Tony called out ‘Daddy’ and ran into his father’s arms. Urs swung him up like a little toy and the boy giggled happily.
Then a little tug on his pants leg made him remember another toddler was waiting for his attention. He put Tony down and picked up his twin sister, Grace, the way he did her brother. While Anthony had Urs’s curly hair, little Gracie had her mother’s loose, wavy curls. Delightful giggles soon filled the room when Urs started playing catch with his twins, running around the dining table. Sam watched for a minute, a contented smile adorning her beautiful face, before going into the kitchen to bring out the food.
Both toddlers were then asked to go over to the EC to invite Uncle David over to lunch. They were smart little kids and rather independent too and hand in hand they walked over to the next building and knocked on the door. The door buzzer was too high up for them. It was awhile before Angel opened the door.
“Uncle David?” Anthony said in his little man’s voice. He could form complete sentences but sometimes preferred to just use the key words. Angel opened the door wide to let them in and brought them upstairs to where David was just putting his clothes in the wardrobe.
“Hiya, little tykes!” David cast aside the shirt he was holding and held out his arms to them. The twins ran into his embrace, and little Gracie stole a kiss on his cheek. The smile on David’s face was priceless, if only Sam and Urs were there to see. It was the true David smile that they had missed for the past twelve months. Already, he was beginning to feel that the wounds were healing.
As the Buhler family and David Miller sat around the dining table for their afternoon meal, Angel and the twins on their high chairs that their father so lovingly made for them, Urs looked at David and said, “It’s good to have you back, David.”
“Thanks. It’s good to be back here.”
The meals progressed with friendly chatter among the adults. Occasionally there would be little squabbles among the three children but all Urs needed to do was gave them a serious look and a, “Stop it!” It effectively stopped any further arguments among his children.
David looked on with amusement and wonder. He recalled his younger days when he squabbled at the dining table with his sisters. His dad’s command had never quite had the same effect until he threatened to punish them one way or the other.
“Uncle David, would you take me to my music lesson, please?” Angel asked boldly. She loved David the most among the guys of Il Divo, except her dad of course, as David was the one who would spend the most time playing with her whenever Il Divo had a gathering at the Buhler residence. Uncle Sebastien and Auntie Ginny had their own children to take care of, while Uncle Carlos, although he loved little children, talked so fast that little Angel could hardly understand what he was saying.
“Now Angel, Uncle David just flew into town so he must be tired. Let him rest today and tomorrow, and you can climb all over him if you want to, and if he allows,” Urs reasoned with such love and patience that David couldn’t help but felt a little melancholic. What if…but before his thoughts could form into something solid, he stopped them.
“It’s alright, Urs. A little trip into town sounds like a good idea. I need to pick up some stuff anyway. But, why is she starting lessons so young?”
“She saw some children learning to play the piano in a music school and asked if she could join in. I got her a private music teacher instead. She’s enjoying it. Right, Angel?”
Angel nodded her head earnestly and began to tell David about what she learnt during lessons. David listened intently and marvelled at how well she could speak at her age and had no doubt about her ability to learn music at such a young age. Of course, pre-school must have helped too.
Urs informed him that there were some items in the kitchen that he could stock up his fridge with and that dinner would be at 7.30pm. He said he would call Sebastien and see if he and Ginny could come over for a little get-together.
“Unless, of course, you prefer to do this some other day?” Urs asked as an afterthought. It only just occurred to him that perhaps David would like to have a little time to adjust to staying here and also time to pull himself together.
“Yes. Let’s do it some other day, like, maybe this Friday?” David suggested. He just didn’t think he could face the others yet. Urs felt like kicking himself for not being sensitive enough and smiled apologetically at his friend.
They continued their chat in the living room while Angel went to her room to retrieve her bag. She popped into the kitchen and told her mother that she was ready for class. Sam smiled and hugged her, then warned, “Please Angel, don’t mention anything about Auntie Sandra, all right?”
Angel nodded. She might be just a child but she seemed to understand very well what her Uncle David had gone through. Urs and Sam had prep her about David’s stay with them and explained how badly things were going for her favourite uncle. She had promised her parents she wouldn’t make him sad by talking about Auntie Sandra. Kissing her mother goodbye, she skipped out of the kitchen and into the living room where the rest of the family was.
“I’m ready to go now, Uncle David,” she announced, and before she left with David, she hugged and kissed her daddy. “Bye Gracie, Tony!” she shouted to her twin siblings before walking out the house holding David’s hand.
“How long do you think it’s going to take before he breaks down again?” Sam sniffled as the onions she was cutting stung her eyes.
“Oh, come on, Sam. You’ve cried buckets today already,” Urs said as he went to hug her from behind and nuzzled her neck. He knew it was the onions but it wouldn’t hurt to make her laugh. Sam laughed and turned to kiss him before returning to her task.
“Seriously, I don’t think he’ll break down again. It’s just the anniversary that’s making it hard on him. He’s grieved enough and he knows that it’s time for him to pick up the pieces and start living again. It will be tough but I’m sure he’ll pull through.”
“Yeah, I remember thinking he would die along with Sandra the way he cried when she stopped breathing,” her voice faltered as real tears fell from her eyes. The memory had to be the worst for her, to witness a wonderful couple being torn apart by the senseless act of a teenage drunk driver.
Sam’s words brought Urs back to the day at the hospital, when they all crowded around Sandra’s bed, listening intently to her last words to all of them. He remembered exactly the same words that she whispered in his ears, “Please don’t let David be lonely, Urs. Help him find love again.” He had promised that he would.
Feeling his eyes stung with tears, he hugged Sam closer to him and breathed in deeply her scent, trying to distract the profound sadness that he suddenly felt. Sam put down the knife she was holding, washed her hands and led him up the stairs to their bedroom. There, they sought to alleviate the pain of loss that they both felt, by kissing, touching and making love to each other passionately.
The love-making was hurried but therapeutic nonetheless. They were aware that they didn’t have much time to spare since their twins would be waking up from their afternoon nap soon, and that David and Angel would be back anytime soon.
David had left Angel at her music teacher’s house and went off to do some shopping. He had a few items to pick up and went about his business in the shopping mall. An item in the display window of a wedding boutique caught his eye and he stopped to look at it. It was a stunning red gown worn on a mannequin. He stood there staring for a good five minutes before he realized someone was talking to him.
“Excuse me, sir, would you like to come in and have a look? We have a wide variety of designer gowns if you’re interested,” a professional-looking young lady approached and stood beside him.
“Um, no, I’m just browsing that’s all.” Blushing, he gave a little smile and turned to walk away quickly. When he was sure the lady was out of sight, he slowed down and shook his head. That dress, it was almost like the one Sandra had picked for their wedding banquet.
His heart ached so badly that he decided to leave the mall and take a walk in the park. He needed to get away from people and things that would remind him of Sandra but most of all, he needed Sam’s reassuring touch. That was why he took up Urs’s suggestion to stay with them. Sam was the only one who could get through to him without having to say too much. Even though she reminded him of his beloved Sandra as they had become close friends since Sam’s wedding, she was the one he wanted to see most in his darkest hour. His shoulders shook as he hung his head and cried into his hands. Had it been a year already?
It took a call from Angel’s teacher to bring him back to reality and he headed to the teacher’s home to pick up the little girl. Looking at the little one who had a big smile on her face made him realize that perhaps life wasn’t that bad after all. He remembered the day when Urs handed him the phone and little Angel in her sweet tiny voice had told him to take good care of himself, “Mommy said she would be very worried if you didn’t eat or sleep right, that is why she sent daddy to look after you.” That was when he understood that he wasn’t alone in this world.
Angel clung on to his hand as they made way to her daddy’s car, chatting excitedly about the things she learnt that day.
It was almost Friday; Thursday night to be exact. Sam was sitting at the front porch sipping her lemonade when David appeared and sat down opposite her.
“Where’s your Uber Lord?” he casually asked.
“Oh, putting the kids to bed. Grace wouldn’t sleep if he didn’t sing them a song and Anthony always insists on a story from daddy. Angel benefits the most as she enjoys both the singing and the story.”
David laughed at the image he had in his mind of what was going on upstairs in the children’s room. “So what does daddy sing, opera arias or hard rock?”
“Most of the time it’s children songs although they’ll get the odd Mozart now and then.”
“Hmmm, that’s so unlike him. I remember he used to shun changing nappies and anything to do with baby talk. Heck, I was even angry when he left you to do most of the child-minding stuff on your own during the tour.”
“People change, David. Besides, we had an agreement that I would take care of the kids and he would take care of the house. Did you know that he did most of the housework?”
David shook his head. It was amazing what love could do to a man. His thoughts then switched to the present as he remembered why he was there.
“Are they coming tomorrow?” He had a mixed feeling about the dinner. He wasn’t sure he could handle the reunion but he couldn’t wait to see his other friends again.
“Seb and Ginny are coming with their little ones. Carlos isn’t coming.”
Sighing, David looked at Sam with sadness written on his face, “I guess that’s it for Carlos?”
“It’s not good. They’re talking about divorce.”
“This is so stupid, Sam. I’m still grieving for the loss of my love and they’re saying goodbye to each other. Don’t they know that true love is hard to come by? Why can’t they try to work it out?” The hurt was evident on his face.
Compassion overwhelmed Sam as she reached out to touch his face. “I’m not sure about the reason behind all their problems but I’m sure they tried to work things out.”
“How is Carlos coping?”
“Shattered. The last time I spoke with him, he sounded so sad and wistful. I asked if he would like to come here and spend some time with us, he said no. I think he’s still trying to change Joanne’s mind. He’s still in love with her.”
“What about Joanne? Does she still love him?”
“I think so but I haven’t spoken to her in a long while. She has been busy with her tv programmes on top of some other projects that takes her out of the country. She’s young and ambitious but I’m sure she does love him still.”
Just then Urs appeared with two cans of beer in his hands. He handed one to David and opened the other one for himself as he settled down on the chair beside Sam.
“Talking about Carlos?” They nodded. “Just got a call from him. He’ll be flying in next week. I think you’re going to have a housemate, David.”
“Maybe you should change the name of the building from Entertainment Centre to Heartbreak Hotel,” David quipped.
Urs chuckled at the suggestion. “Healing Heart Hotel, my friend, Healing Heart Hotel.” Then he looked closely at his friend, real concern showing in his eyes. “Are you alright, David?”
“I don’t know, to be honest. Sometimes I thought I could pull through, other times it just hurt so bad I wish I could die,” David answered quietly. There was a moment of silence before he continued, looking up with a smile, “But I’m not going to give up so easily. Sandra will never forgive me if I did. I just need a little bit more time.”
“Take your time, buddy, we’re not going anywhere,” Urs said, then as an afterthought, joked, “Besides, it’s a real hassle moving the kids around.”
This brought a big smile on David’s face and Sam was happy to see that. This was the smile she had been waiting to see, the smile that she so loved to see. It brought back memories of his and Sandra’s wedding preparations. He was so happy they were finally getting married that he couldn’t wipe the smile off his face whenever they talked about the wedding. Sam thought he had to be the happiest man alive then and Sandra agreed and confessed happily, “I live for that smile, Sam.”
“How are you, my brother,” Sebastien greeted David with a bear hug.
“Alive and kicking, but barely,” David answered with candor, drawing a concerned look from his friend. “It’s ok, I’ll pull through. With so much to do at the EC, I’m beginning to enjoy my little holiday here. And that creek at the back of the property has such breath-taking view, it takes my mind off everything.”
Sebastien knew David was just trying to make him feel better so he decided not to question him further. He would find out from Urs and Sam about how he was really coping. Ginny gave David a warm embrace and smiled into his eyes. “I’m so happy to see you again, David. In fact, if you hadn’t come here, we would have flown to the States to see you.”
“Shucks! I should have stayed where I was and waited for you to come over. Saves me the trouble of packing and unpacking.” Ginny playfully punched him on his arm and then hooking her arm through his, walked him into the family room, leaving Sebastien to handle their two children.
“Aunt Ginny! Uncle Seb!” Angel cried out when she saw the small group approaching the room. She ran forward and hugged the adults, her twin siblings followed suit. “Lily!” she called out as she ran towards the four-year-old daughter of Ginny and Sebastien Izambard. Lily smiled shyly at her friend as Angel held her hand.
“Go on, say hello to Uncle Urs and Aunty Sam,” Ginny urged her two children who obediently did as they were told. “You would have thought that these two little monsters would be anything but shy,” Ginny remarked with a roll of her eyes, “Why, they were close to strangling each other just before we left the house!”
Sam laughed and ruffled Nick’s hair indulgently.
“Angel, could you take Lily and all the little ones to the playroom?” Urs asked his daughter.
“Yes, daddy,” and off the little ones went, including the twins and Lily’s little brother, three-year old Nicholas.
“She’s so obedient,” Sebastien looked on in amazement. “She seems to have grown up a lot since we last saw her.”
“If you hadn’t pampered our kids, they would be as obedient as Angel is,” Ginny couldn’t help but sounded disapproving. Sebastien blushed a little as he looked sheepishly at his wife.
“I can’t help it. Whenever I wanted to punish them for doing something wrong, they’d look at me with those sad puppy eyes and my heart just melt. They must have learnt that from you, Ginny.” Ginny smacked him on his arm before turning her attention to Sam.
“How’s my sis doing? Is your husband of any help around here?”
The girls hugged and Urs replied on Sam’s behalf, somewhat smugly, “Sam is doing very well, thank you for your concern. As for me being of any help, look at my children and you’ll know I’ve been hard at work around here. Would have loved a number four but wife said three is enough.” Laughter rang around the room at that quick wit.
“I miss Il Divo world,” David surprised everyone with this announcement.
Sebastien stole a look at Urs, who just smiled and agreed, “Well, perhaps we could do a mini tour, just Europe?”
“If you’re planning to do that, I hope you’re not going to leave us behind,” Ginny turned to her husband and looked earnestly at him.
“Of course I’m not. It would be hectic bringing all the kids along but it would be good to have them around,” Sebastien assured her.
Sam looked at Urs and said with a raised eyebrow, “Your previous world tour ended less than two years ago. Now you want to do it all over again?”
Urs walked over and placed an arm around her reassuringly, “We’ll bring the kids along. We’ll manage, like we did during the last tour. Besides, now that they’re older, it should be easier. And, they love travelling.”
David looked on with mixed emotions. On the one hand, he really wanted to get back on stage again; on the other hand, he wasn’t sure he could cope with travelling without Sandra beside him. Although she didn’t always travel with him when Il Divo toured, still they remained close with each other through phone calls and video chats. This tour would be so different, did he really want it? Urs asked what was on his mind.
“I’m not sure if I want it but I think I need to get out there and start living again. And the only way I know how is to get back on stage and do what I do best. So maybe I don’t want it, but I do need it.”
Sam was glad he didn’t try to hide his feelings. Being able to talk through the pain was a step toward recovery for him. She walked over and gave him a hug and an encouraging smile, “I’m sure you’ll manage. We’re here for you.”
Over dinner, the men discussed about the upcoming album that was on the cards. It was supposed to be out six months ago but because of Sandra’s passing, they had shelved the project to a later date. They decided it would be good if they could do a mini tour to promote this new album. Of course, it also hinged on Carlos’s decision.
The children were chatting animatedly among themselves. Nick telling his friends about the Transformer toys that his daddy bought for his birthday and Anthony listened with envy. Urs noticed that look and said to him, “Do you want that for your birthday, Tony?”
The little boy nodded enthusiastically and said, “Yes, daddy.” And to everyone’s delight, he threw in a little blinky-wink for extra measure, squeezing both eyes shut while giving his best smile, an act only one other person could execute to perfection: his father.
“Now, where did that come from?” David laughed.
“And where’s the THUD warning and THUD cushion?” Ginny exclaimed amid all the laughter. “At the rate he’s going, Urs, he’s going to win over all your Ubers and more!”
Urs couldn’t help himself either as he chuckled, “I didn’t teach him that, it must have run in the family.” Tony seemed pleased he got everyone so happy so he continued smiling.
“You’d better tell him he should use it only on females, otherwise he could be getting all sorts of unwanted attention when he grows older,” Sebastien finally managed to talk, wiping away tears of laughter.
When all the laughter died down, little Gracie announced, “I want a Barbie doll house and lots of Barbie dresses for my Barbie.”
“But you already have many dresses for Barbie,” Angel rolled her eyes at her little sister.
“But Barbie will grow up and they won’t fit anymore!”
Angel, Lily and the adults all laughed at the innocent reply.
“You silly goose, Barbie is just a doll, she won’t grow up like us,” Lily explained like a grown-up kid.
Grace looked at her with her big brown eyes and as if her little world had suddenly crumbled around her, started wailing, “That’s not true! Barbie will grow up!” More wailing ensued.
“Now, now, Grace sweetie, please don’t cry. Look, everyone’s laughing at you. Come, let’s go and clean up your face, all right?” Sam excused herself and took Grace by her hand and led her to the bathroom. On the way there, Sam tried to explain to her daughter why Barbie couldn’t grow up.
David and Sebastien couldn’t stop laughing, and Urs smiled. At least with the little kids to provide some form of amusement, David wouldn’t feel so lonely. But he had made a promise to Sandra and he hoped he would be able to fulfill it. Then his mind switched to Carlos. What would he think about their idea? He wondered aloud and that set the rest of the group thinking and talking about Carlos Marin, their Spanish Divo.
Through Sebastien, who was closest to Carlos, they learnt that the couple had a heated argument when Joanne’s friend saw him leaving a hotel with another woman. Carlos denied cheating on his wife and said that the woman was a childhood friend whom he had met up for a little catching up. It didn’t help his cause when the woman called him several times on his mobile and one night Joanne answered it. It was the last straw after a string of arguments centered round that same woman. This happened two months ago.
“They exchanged heated words, he said something awful and she said she’s had enough,” Sebastien explained. “They’ve been living separately for the past month and Joanne finally put the papers on the table for him to sign last week. He was stumped but luckily wasn’t stumped enough to pick up the pen and sign. He told her he wouldn’t sign.”
“This is crazy. How many times have we told him to stop flirting, especially since he’s married? He may not have been interested in the other woman but she might feel differently,” David remarked with a shake of his head.
“You know how hot-headed they both are. Besides, it’s in his Latin blood to flirt,” Sebastien replied with a shrug.
“That doesn’t mean it’s right for him to flirt. It’s just an excuse. Well, it’s his life anyway. If he keeps at it, it’s going to end in a divorce sooner or later,” David could hardly contain his anger as he said those words.
Sebastien was taken aback by that outburst and was not very pleased about it. To him, David was being insensitive to Carlos’s plight. Urs, on the other hand, was more understanding. “I know how you feel, David. And I agree with you that he’s playing with fire. He’s coming over next week so maybe if he let us know what really happened, we may be able to help.” He looked up to see Sam nodding at him in agreement as she took her seat at the table again.
“What about Joanne. How does she feel right now?” she asked Sebastien.
“She agrees to shelve the divorce for now, but still refuses to take him back,” Sebastien answered quietly.
“Well, at least that’ll buy Carlos more time to devise a strategy to win her back,” Ginny chipped in.
“It will have to be soon because she’ll be travelling in a few months to film the travel documentary.”
David still couldn’t forgive Carlos for taking his wife for granted but he knew he loved Joanne very much and that was enough for him to want to help his friend in any way he could. His own world had fallen apart with the loss of his fiancée; he really didn’t want to see one of his best friends feeling the pain of losing a loved one.
As dinner progressed, the rest of the talk among the guys centered on their new album while Ginny and Sam exchanged notes about their little ones.
David spent the Saturday playing with the Buhler kids. They played at the playground at the back of the house. They were his salvation. He found he could totally forget the emptiness when he was with them. Angel was especially sweet, always so thoughtful and sensitive to his feelings. Whenever he had momentarily lapses and stared into space while thinking of Sandra, like when he said something to the kids and then remembered saying those words her, Angel would gently tugged at him and smiled, “A penny for your thoughts. Daddy always says that to me when I’m thinking.”
On Sunday Sam packed a picnic basket and they all headed down to the lake for a little picnic after church. Stretching his full frame on a blanket with his head propped up on an elbow, David casually remarked, “I’m surprised Seb didn’t buy the property further down. I thought he wanted a piece of this setting.”
“Well, they found a place before the offer came around and it’s a much bigger house than this one.”
“Sandra would have loved to live here,” David said absentmindedly, as if to himself.
Handing him a sandwich she made, Sam observed him for a while before saying, “The house is still up for sale, David.”
“Yeah, but what would I do with it now?”
“Start all over again. Fall in love again. Sandra will always be in your heart, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love another woman.”
Turning to look at Sam, David gave a devilish grin, “Do you happen to have a twin?”
Sam chuckled and slapped the arm that supported his head, causing his head fall forward, “Get serious, David!”
Urs was playing in the water with his three children when he heard laughter coming from his wife and David. He turned to look at them and saw them playfully wrestling and whacking each other, like two little kids. He smiled. It had been a long while since they did that during the tour. Sam would always give as good as she got, and David being the big kid, would always keep trying to rile her.
When Urs turned his attention back to his kids, he found that he was almost drenched to his underwear as the three little ones had ganged up to splash water all over him. He picked up the nearest kid, Gracie, and put her over his shoulder, then with Tony tucked under his other arm, he told Angel it was time for something to eat. With two screaming children struggling to be freed, he headed to the picnic area behind Angel.
“Look at what the kids did to me,” Urs announced as he let the two little tykes down.
“Good job, kiddos,” David laughed.
Sam refused to let her husband sit on the blanket, “You’ll wet everything.”
Scowling, Urs sat down next to Sam on the grass, “So, what happened here?”
Sam told him their little conversation about the house further down the lake.
“If you’re interested, I could talk to the owner,” Urs offered David.
“Thanks, but not now. Can’t imagine living in a big house alone.” There was a hint of sadness in David’s reply.
“Don’t be silly. A guy with a look like yours won’t be lonely for long. Divas around the world are just waiting for the announcement that you’re ready for love again.”
“Yeah, but Sandra wasn’t a Diva, and I wasn’t a Divo when we met. It’s not easy finding someone who wouldn’t make that kind of connection, you know, David Miller from Il Divo?”
“No, but if I managed to find one, I’m sure you’ll find one too. Besides, I’m sure many people still haven’t heard of or seen Il Divo yet.”
Il Divo had stormed into the music scene globally right from their first album and their last world tour showed just how successful the group was. Their French and Swiss Divos, Sebastien and Urs, had gotten married in a secretly planned wedding in which their brides, Ginny and Sam, were kept in the dark until the day of their wedding. This wedding plan was hatched in the hospital where Sebastien stayed when he suffered a knife wound trying to save Ginny. All that had happened almost five years ago.
The men decided to shelf the next world tour after the double wedding to allow the newly weds to adjust to their married life. Soon after the wedding, Ginny gave birth to Lily and Sam went into labour and delivered Angel Elisabeth Buhler. This postponed the tour further as the two Divo dads wanted time to bond with their babies. It was eighteen months later that they started touring the world again.
While the two newly promoted dads devoted their time to their families before going on tour, the other two unmarried members of Il Divo had gone on to work on other solo projects: David starred in some operas and musicals, and Carlos sang operas as well as did some musical productions. Carlos and Joanne were married before the tour in a lavish ceremony and had been married for more than two years now.
As for David and Sandra, they never got to plan their wedding until just before the tour ended because of their hectic schedules. Sandra was given a lucrative role in a movie production and David had several opera engagements which he couldn’t turn down. They had both agreed to wait till the tour ended to get married.
But the wedding never took place. A month after the world tour, David lost Sandra to a car accident just two months before their wedding. Saying that he was shattered was an understatement. He was plunged into depression and had only recently been able to pick himself up, until Sandra’s death anniversary a month ago put him back into depression again.
News that Sandra was run down by a reckless teenage drunk-driver hit Sam very hard as she and Sandra had gotten very close to each other ever since Sam’s wedding. Sandra would always call her for advice on matters of the heart, and Sam would always lend a sympathetic ear when she needed to rant about the infuriating David. The couple had been to stay with the Buhlers on a couple of occasions.
Sam became very quiet as she reminisced about all those conversations she had with Sandra and their visits, and Urs began to worry.
“Are you alright, Sam? You look sad,” Urs asked tenderly.
“She’s just jealous ‘cos I’m looking for love again,” David quipped.
“You wish!” Sam retorted and proceeded to punch him on his arm.
“Buhler, of all the women you gotta pick this tomboy,” David protested, putting his hands up to shield himself in case Sam decided he needed more whacking.
“Tomboy to you, but a woman through and through to me,” Urs smiled as he looked at his wife lovingly. Sam blushed a little at the open affection by her husband. After years of marriage to her Swiss Divo, she still felt amazed by the intensity of their feelings for each other. Normally, she would have kissed him for being so sweet to her but she was ever so mindful of David’s feelings and settled for a demure smile instead.