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"I want a divorce." Those were the words uttered by Hugo that echoed through the room and Beatriz's mind. Hugo and Beatriz had been married for almost ten years. They started dating while studying Business Administration. After graduating, they decided it was time to get married. Hugo became a Senior Analyst in Beatriz's father's pharmacy chain, while Bia decided to get involved in social projects. They were considered the perfect couple by everyone who knew them. But even the perfect couple had their problems. Constant fights, conflicting decisions, and irreconcilable differences permeated Hugo and Beatriz's life. Until one day, Hugo decided it was time to put an end to what was once a happy relationship. However, during the divorce process, someone from Beatriz's past reappears, making her see beyond herself. Until destiny changes the game. Now, Beatriz needs to make a decision that will change her life and give her the chance to have what she truly desires.
Glass and broken pictures, clothes scattered on the floor, and almost absolute silence in the room. It could be said that a hurricane had passed through. The scene had been repeating itself more frequently over the past months, no longer surprising the neighbors or the residents. The residents were present in the chaotic scene, tired and pensive. Beatriz sat on the bed with her head lowered, and Hugo stood near the bathroom door, leaning against it with his eyes closed.
Once, that scene meant another incredible and passionate night of love, but now it only represented their mutual hatred.
"I want a divorce... I need a divorce... I need to live again," Hugo revealed, breaking the silence. He decided to approach the woman with whom he had just had a terrible fight. He knelt in front of her and looked intently at her face.
Her face, yes, the face of the woman he had been passionately in love with for years. The woman he had sworn eternal love to. It was still the same face of the young woman he met on New Year's Eve. A story he loved to tell those who asked how they met, but now he didn't even care to remember.
Today, it was a pale face with a few wrinkles, but still a beautiful face. The nose was still slender, complementing the shape of her face. She still had the three moles near her left eye, as well as the freckles. The eyes, those eyes he claimed were perfectly shaped, round and slightly slanted at the corners. The expressive brown eyes he once knew no longer meant anything to him.
"I met someone," Hugo confessed, holding Beatriz's hands. "We haven't gotten involved yet. In fact, we only had coffee, but I felt alive again. It's as if I could... If I could love again!"
Those words hit Beatriz like a punch. For the first time, she looked into Hugo's face, desperately hoping to see remorse, but all she found in those black-as-night eyes were the truth of his words.
"I swear I tried, Bia," Hugo continued, resting his head on her lap. "I swear I tried to salvage our love, but we both know it's over. As well as our dreams... For God's sake, say something!"
"What should I say? You've already decided everything for us," Bia replied sarcastically, pushing him away from her lap. She held his face in her hands. "Tell me, what choice do I have?" She continued, her voice filled with anguish. "I still love you! You're the love of my life! You're the reason for my existence! AND EVEN KNOWING ALL THAT, YOU DON'T WANT ME ANYMORE!"
"We can't stand each other anymore, Beatriz! Look at our fights! Look at us! We just fought, and we're already starting again," Hugo retorted, standing up. He couldn't carry on with this any longer, so he turned his back and declared, "I'm leaving the house today, and tomorrow I'll start the paperwork. I ask that you sign the divorce papers as a memory of what we had."
"Are you going to her house?" Beatriz asked sarcastically, walking towards Hugo. "Are you going to celebrate the death of our 'eternal love' with her? Will you tell her that the same love you swore to me will now be shared with her?"
"She doesn't know anything. I'm not even sure if she's the one I will love," Hugo responded, turning to face Beatriz. "I'm going to Jorge's house, and I ask that you don't follow me."
"I'm sorry to inform you, but this time I won't," Beatriz retorted bitterly. "I have my pride, and since you've made up your mind, go away. Take your things and go. But take everything! EVERYTHING!"
"Don't worry, I will. I just ask that you sign the divorce papers, please," Hugo requested, his tone serious.
"Do you really think you're going to take my family's money with you, you swindler?" Beatriz accused, now holding a lamp in her hands. "That will never happen. You will leave this house the same way you entered it: without a penny in your pocket."
"I earned everything here!" Hugo claimed, getting agitated. He pointed his finger at Beatriz and continued, "I grew in this company! I have as much right as you do. In fact, you're the one who spent all the money over these years."
"On charity!" Beatriz retorted, throwing the lamp at Hugo. He managed to dodge it, leaving the lamp to shatter against the wall, further fueling Beatriz's rage. "You jerk, you heartless man."
"Enough! I'm tired of this!" Hugo shouted, grabbing Beatriz. "It's over!"
"I'm glad we didn't have children so they wouldn't see the fraudster you are," Beatriz fired back, struggling to break free from Hugo's grip. She knew that hurting him with those words would be effective. "I'm glad I didn't make that mistake."
He let her go, as Beatriz had predicted, throwing her onto the bed. The blackness in Hugo's eyes revealed the pain he felt upon hearing those words. How could she? he thought, disturbed. Without saying a word, he headed for the door, leaving Beatriz stunned on the bed. Hugo could never have imagined that their relationship would end like this.
Hugo goes to the kitchen in search of the housekeeper, Helena, a sixty-year-old lady who had always worked for Beatriz's family. She is sitting and talking with the driver, Antônio, a newly hired young man by the couple.
"Helena, please go to my room and pack my bags. And tomorrow, I need all my things packed. Send them to Jorge's address," Hugo instructs, looking at the fridge magnets. He looks for a taxi number, as Helena usually leaves them there for her own use.
"Yes, sir," Helena replies, walking towards the room.
"Where do you want me to take you, sir?" Antônio asks, standing beside Hugo.
"Nowhere, I'll take a taxi this time," the boss replies, grabbing a taxi number from the fridge. He's not sure if he's going to his friend's house or a hotel, but at that moment, anywhere is better than his own home.
When Helena enters the room, she finds Beatriz convulsively crying on the bed.
"Don't be like this, Mrs. Beatriz," the maid pleads, sitting on the bed. "Soon, Mr. Hugo will come back home... as always."
"No, Leninha," Beatriz denies between sobs. "Not this time. This time it's the end. The end of everything! He already has someone else! He replaced me!"
"Oh, Mrs. Beatriz, this will pass. Everything in life passes. You two are such a close couple. It's just a phase," Helena stands up from the bed. "I'll organize Mr. Hugo's things."
"He wants his things?" Beatriz asks angrily, getting up from the bed. She goes to the closet and starts throwing all of her husband's clothes and shoes. "Then take everything! And what doesn't fit, burn it! I don't want anything of Hugo's in this house! If he doesn't want it anymore, neither do I!"
Helena looks at her employer, astonished. She had never seen Beatriz so distraught. She enters the closet and embraces Beatriz. She has known her since she was a child and has always treated her like the daughter she never had.
"Calm down, Mrs. Beatriz. It's just a phase," Helena caresses Beatriz's head. "Everything will be fine."
"Will it, Leninha? Will it really?" Beatriz questions between sobs.
"Whatever is meant to be, ma'am, will be," Helena assures her.
After much resistance, Helena finally manages to get Beatriz back into bed and starts organizing Hugo's things, under the lost gaze of the beautiful Mrs. Gouvêa Abraão.
When Hugo goes upstairs again, his suitcases are packed and placed in the middle of the living room. He considers going to the bedroom to say goodbye to Beatriz but decides against it because she might beg him to stay, something he's not willing to do, at least not this time. He grabs his things and leaves the duplex, closing the door behind him.
Upon hearing the sound of the front door closing, Beatriz considers getting up, but her body doesn't obey her. So she lies back on her bed and continues to cry. She wishes it were all just another one of her nightmares.
One year later...
The first few weeks were quite easy for Beatriz, as it wasn't the first time Hugo had left home and claimed he would never come back. After three months, the first divorce papers arrived for her to sign, and she tore open each envelope without reading them. By the fifth one, she started burning them. Eventually, she let them pile up.
She only left the house for essential errands, which included charity events and visiting her mother's house, Miranda Gouvêa, whom she always turned to for guidance. Fear begins to take hold of her mind, perhaps this time he would gather the courage and never return.
"What do I do now? If he doesn't come back... I... I don't know what to do," Beatriz comments, trying to hold back her tears. She knows her mother hates drama, especially in a restaurant.
"Maintain the same posture as always: refuse. Eventually, he will get tired and realize that this divorce w
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