Under the warm, twinkling lights of a small trattoria in the heart of Italy, Alex sat across from his fiancé, Rena. The aromas of freshly baked bread and simmering tomato sauce wafted through the evening air, creating a setting that seemed to be ripped straight from a romantic movie. A year had passed since their relationship had narrowly escaped destruction. He couldn’t believe how far they’d come, especially when he looked at Rena's beaming face across the candlelit table.
“There’s a really cute hotel down the road from here,” Rena said. “We can stay there for the night. It’s never fully booked.”
“I’ll do whatever you want,” Alex said while sipping from a glass of wine. The atmosphere between them was far from the stale, monotonous routine they'd fallen into back then. Rena was now a beacon of liveliness. She was an extremely social party animal. She interacted easily with his friends, her laughter filling the air, and her animal-like spirit made sex way better.
Their relationship only got better. They trusted each other more than they did a year ago. They'd begun to explore the world together, venturing beyond the confines of their familiar lives. But Alex wasn’t expecting to learn so much more about Rena – he thought he knew everything. Throughout their travels, Rena had surprised him at every turn. He learned that she was fluent in Italian, Russian, Spanish, and French. She slipped into each language with ease, making friends with locals wherever they went, haggling at markets for cheap souvenirs, and ordering meals in charming eateries. She knew exactly where to go despite not having to research things beforehand.
Their trip to Europe was a perfect example. When Rena had suggested being their translator, Alex had taken her offer with a grain of salt, not knowing her linguistic prowess. But as she navigated through the foreign streets, engaging in fluent conversations, he was flabbergasted. Rena was full of surprises, each one adding a new dimension to her personality and deepening his love for her.
Now, in the heart of Italy, Rena's Italian flowed like a native speaker, her conversations with the waiter bringing a smile to his face. As she translated the menu, explaining the intricate details of each dish, Alex couldn't help but admire her. This was a woman of the world, a woman he was lucky to call his own. He was going to break up with her, but her personality kept him locked in.
It wasn’t just her personality that seemed to get better. She was actually able to finish her business degree, so she was excited to be starting work after they got married. She used to complain constantly about school, especially about Miss O’Neal, her old teacher who passed away suddenly. The abrupt death seemed to have an effect on Rena – she took school more seriously, and she complained way less.
He also couldn’t stop staring at her. Her physical beauty only got better. Rena looked at him across the table, her eyes sparkling with love and laughter. His heart swelled at the sight, gratitude washing over him. What had once been a relationship on the brink of collapse was now one filled with love, trust, and mutual respect.
In the glow of the candlelight, their glasses clinked together, a toast to their future. Despite their rocky past, Alex felt nothing but anticipation and excitement for what lay ahead. In less than a year, he would be calling this remarkable woman his wife, and the thought brought a broad smile to his face. With Rena, he felt at home, no matter where they were in the world.