Translation of Love - By Alice Montalvo-Tribue

To my daughter, Eva Rose. You’ll never know how much you inspire me to be better at everything I do. I love you.

To my husband Arbin for your unwavering support of this dream.

To my mom for your constant belief in me.

The sleepless nights are what get to me the most. In the daylight, hours there’s no time to think; the hustle and bustle of the day serves as a bandage to cover up the gaping hole in my existence. Always knowing that there’s something missing but not being able to figure out why or how to fix it. I toss and turn and, though my body is exhausted and begging for sleep, my brain is on a schedule all its own. Running a mile a minute, thinking about lost love, loneliness and the fear of never feeling adored. Or worse yet, feeling like you are adored only to find out that you’re wrong. In the silence of the night, there is nothing left to do but to give in to the pain, the emptiness that comes from knowing that the idea of what you once thought was love was nothing more than an optical illusion. Smoke and mirrors clouding your mind and judgment until it fades and you find that everything you once believed in was a lie. A moment of pure clarity that alters the course of your life forever and shatters your heart. It’s a memory that plays again and again in my mind, night after night, keeping me awake until finally my body wins the battle and I fall into a restless slumber.

Why is it that I can’t get it together today? From the moment I opened my eyes this morning, over an hour late because I forgot to set my alarm clock last night, nothing has gone right. I should have just pulled the covers over my head and called in sick. If waking up late wasn’t bad enough, I managed to get a flat tire on my way to work (thank goodness my dad was free to save me from that drama), spilled coffee on my blazer after showing up almost two hours late, and now I’m stuck on a line waiting to get into the only bookstore in town that has the latest vampire series in stock. It’s the only thing my niece, Gemma, wants for her birthday this year and if I show up to dinner without it she’s going to be so disappointed. I can’t imagine why there is such a line to get inside. I pull my cell phone out of my purse to check the time. Six forty-seven, plenty of time to get to dinner by seven thirty if I can maneuver my way through this line. I look over my shoulder to a group of three girls standing behind me. They look around the same age as I am but they’re dressed more like they’re hitting the hottest club in town tonight searching for single guys.

Girl number one has her long, chocolate hair curled and teased to perfection, her black chandelier earrings look like they weigh a ton and she is wearing a black corset top that pushes up her bust just enough to expose the maximum amount of cleavage possible. Her midriff is barely covered and she’s rocking some super skin tight jeans which look almost painfully painted on. Her red spiked heels are so insanely high, I’m surprised she can even walk in them.

Girl number two, with her almost black, curly hair is wearing a strapless, grey sequined top which she has paired with countless bangle bracelets and a black, ultra mini skirt that is so short if she bends down she will surely have a wardrobe malfunction. Her black stiletto heels finish off her look making her legs look a mile long.

Girl number three has mahogany hair cut into a stylish bob. Of the three of them, she’s wearing the most makeup, which looks almost caked on. In fact, I’m almost positive that she is wearing fake eyelashes because no one’s eyelashes can be that long. Her nude-colored top blends into her skin perfectly, her jean shorts leave little to the imagination and her nude-colored wedges give her optimum height.

Looking around the crowd of people, I realize that I look out of place. My long, brown hair is up in a ponytail. I have barely any makeup on with the exception of some bronzer, mascara, and a nude lip-gloss. I lost my blazer to a coffee mishap