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My teeth chattered, and I tucked my head in between my raised shoulders as a gale almost blew me over. Maybe walking around the city in December wasn’t the best idea. I had gotten fed up with being indoors because of the miserable weather and needed to get out.

A gale blew into me, making me swerve right. I grabbed a handle and then walked inside a coffee shop. My chin raised, and I blew out a breath, relieved to find solace in a warm shelter.

I sipped coffee while staring at the trickled rain that had devolved into a downpour. My hand held up my chin as I sighed. I loved Chicago, but not in winter. Everyone seemed more jubilant and friendly in summer, which seemed like a distant memory. I craved long days, wearing my cheeky denim shorts and admiring smiles.

My lips slightly curled as I thought about basking in the sun and walking into the sea to cool off my balmy skin. I was certain I couldn’t wait months for summer. What was keeping me in this gloomy town? Perhaps, the hope that the following day would be bright.

Two weeks had passed, and that hadn’t happened.

I had money saved from working as an assistant in a clothing store during the summer. Staying with my parents had its perks. I didn’t have to worry about rent or feeding myself. Actually, my life would be near-perfect if it weren’t for the chilly weather.

Having nothing planned for the near future, I booked a plane to Medellin, Columbia. I figured that my US dollars would go far there, and the warm forecast sealed the deal.

The smile I usually wore in summer had reemerged as we landed in Medellin. I looked at the sky and couldn’t see a single cloud. The people around me walked upright, chests sticking out and jaws loose. I saw numerous smiles, and the boisterous streets showed me that I had made the right choice.

I snapped my head left and right, eager to consume my surroundings. Chicago was the last thing on my mind as I saw men’s muscular chests bulging from their vests, and women’s smooth, tanned skin and perky tits revealed from their low tank tops.

After two days of sightseeing, I went to the Tayrona National Park. I was perched on a boulder as I looked down at the seafoam splashing the laidback tanners. Palm trees the height of triple-storey mansions lingered over the beach.

My chin rested on my knee as my arms wrapped around my shins. I realised that my mood was strongly linked to climate, and I craved tropical weather.

I hopped down the hill and then laid my towel on the sand. Seconds after reclining and closing my eyes, I heard an American voice say, “You’re definitely not from around here.”

I opened my eyes and saw a man my age smiling at me. I sat up and said, “No, I’m not. I’m from Chicago.”

He stuck his hand out. “Robert from Missoula.”

I shook his hand, smiled and said, “I’m Charlotte.”

“Let me guess,” said Robert. “You couldn’t stand Chicago’s miserable winter, so an affordable sunny destination seemed much more desirable.”

I smiled. “Yes. What gave it away?”

“Just a hunch. I figured everyone from the States had the same motivation to be here as me.”

I sat up, stretched out my legs and then leaned slightly back as my hands dug into the sand behind me. Robert glanced at my chest, then looked at the sea and said, “What a wonderful sight.”

I was convinced that he was talking about the peek at my tits. Maybe I wished it were that. God knows months had passed since my last bang. Robert didn’t have dashing looks, but his smile kept me attentive. I love friendly people.

“You look like somebody who’s got their whole life figured out and knows exactly what she wants.”

“You really think so?”

“No,” he said, smiling.

I smacked his shoulder and smiled. “You’re cheeky.”

“It’s all I’ve got.”

“I’m sure you’ve got some interesting travel stories,” I said.

“I’ve seen quite a bit of Europe, and I’ve got plans to explore the rest of Latin America.”

“I’d love to see all of Latin America.”

“What’s holding you back?”

“I just recently graduated, then spent the summer working.”

“No way?” he said. “I also just graduated. This is my gap year.”

I raised my eyebrows and smiled. “Technically, I guess it’s mine as well.”

“Looks like we have some things in common. Both of us like adventure and haven’t yet figured out what we want to do with our lives.”

I tittered. “I guess.”

“I’m here until tomorrow; then, I’m off to check out Cartagena. You?”

“I’m spending the night here, but I don’t have set plans yet.”

“Why don’t you join me in Cartagena? It’s better than wandering the streets by yourself, and who knows, maybe we help each other figure out future plans?”

Usually, I wouldn’t go with a stranger, but something about Robert’s company made me feel safe. I guess it was his incessant smile and my holiday mindset that made me keen on adventure.

I contemplated his proposal for a second, then nodded and extended my hand. “You’ve got yourself a deal.”

We spoke on the beach for another hour before taking a walk.

That night, we had dinner and spoke about the countries we’d like to visit. The longer we spoke, the more we discovered our commonalities.

Robert liked that I was an aspiring author, but I disguised my laziness as writer’s block. Every writer knew that their lack of ideas was due to the unambition to think. I felt terrible about writing every other week. Nothing would make me happier than making a living by writing.

Robert mentioned his passion for observing and immersing himself in different cultures. I loved that he was open-minded and admired his surroundings. I saw in his eyes that he embraced his environment and captured a mental note of it.

The following day, we flew together to Cartagena. Our connection made me feel that we had been friends for years. We had escalated our friendship pretty quickly, but I figured that being in the vacation mindset helped expedite the process.

Robert took numerous photos of me at tourist sites. He said that I had the most beautiful smile, and he loved seeing it. That stretched my lips further. He took pictures of me in several poses at each location. I felt that he couldn’t get enough pictures of me, and that made me feel special.

That night, we had dinner. Since he had paid for the first dinner and I enjoyed our outing, I treated him to a meal. He was flattered and said that he would repay me by massaging me. I knew where that would go, so I went with it.

To save money, we rented a room and split the cost.

On the bed, Robert sat on my bum as I lay prone and rested my forehead on my crossed arms. His hands slid over my bare back and then squeezed my shoulders. I moaned.

“Hope you don’t mind if I massage your legs,” he said.

I smiled, eager to feel his hands on the rest of my body. Robert shifted to the edge of the bed, then rubbed my calves before sliding his hands over my thighs. I felt his hands brush my ass, but he lowered them. I figured that he wanted to see how I would react.

After massaging my legs for a few minutes, Robert said, “I’m gonna slide my hands up your body to complete the massage.”

His hands were on my ass for a few seconds before sliding them over my back, squeezing my shoulders, then sliding them down my back and over my ass. He rubbed my ass for a few seconds, then squeezed both cheeks.

My face pressed on the duvet as I stretched my arms above my head and clenched the sheets.

“You like that?” asked Robert.

I murmured.

He sat on my bum, slotted his hands under me and grabbed my tits. He squeezed them, then perked his bum up as I rolled over onto my back.

Robert looked down at me and grabbed my tits. I smiled as he fondled them. He looked at my g-string, then at me and smiled. He shifted down to my legs and pulled off my g-string, staring at my pussy.

I watched him get off the bed, slip the g-string off my legs and drop it on the floor. We smiled at each other as Robert admired my body. His glittery eyes and wanting smile showed me that he couldn’t wait to get his hands on me.

My legs spread open, feet hoving over my face. Robert kneeled on the floor and then licked my pussy. I closed my eyes and smiled, feeling the tip of his tongue slightly tickle and moist my pussy. My top lip sucked in the bottom one as Robert waggled his tongue.

I arched my back, and he slid his hands over my abdomen and then squeezed my tits. My hands cupped his as I moaned.

I opened my eyes as he stopped licking my pussy. He lay on me and put his dick inside me. My arms crossed over his back as he penetrated. His deep breaths blew into my ear as he bobbed over me.

My hand lowered to his ass, and I grabbed his cheek and squeezed it. I liked that it was hard. Even better than that was his hard dick making my pussy wet.

After giving it to me missionary for some time, Robert lay on the bed, and I got on top of him. I liked being on top of a guy to show him what I could do.

My hands pressed his chest after I stuck his dick into my pussy. He ogled my tits, and I looked down at him and smiled. As I jumped on his dick faster, he closed his eyes and curled his lips. I loved pleasing him.

Robert thrust, his dick going further up my pussy and hitting the spot. I screeched several times and squeezed his pecks as I grimaced. As he continued, I dunked my head and panted, nearing an orgasm.

I craned my head up and pleasure pierced out of my mouth as I came. Robert’s smile revealed that he was satisfied with pleasing me. He grabbed my waist and flung me onto my back, and I shrieked.

He stood in front of the bed and pulled me towards him, then stuck his dick inside me. Robert thrust rapidly, making me scream. I saw a vein protrude by his temple as he clenched his teeth, and I knew that he was close to ejaculating.

He pulled his dick out and came on my chest and tits.

The following morning, we had a buffet breakfast at a restaurant across the road. The food in Columbia was cheap and delicious.

We had stuffed ourselves, so we walked for hours for the food to digest while sightseeing. After the sunset, we had a salad and then went back to our room and had sex.

Our plan was to spend the next week together in Medellin. After exploring it for four days, we realised that our funds were low. Neither of us had bought a return ticket, so we still had to incur that cost.

At the airport, I got a direct flight to Chicago, but Robert booked a connecting flight from New York to Missoula.

We put our bags in front of the chairs in the waiting area and looked at each other. I wish that Robert had looked at my smile, but he was staring at a woman that looked at him with tears pooling her eyes. I tightened my lips and frowned to prevent the tears from spilling out of my eyes. Our time together felt that it had lasted a few minutes.

I rested my head on Robert’s chest as my arms wrapped around his back. He kissed my forehead and said that everything would be fine. I struggled to believe that since I was returning to miserable weather without him. If he had returned with me, Chicago would not seem as gloomy.

We held hands as he walked me to the boarding gate. I walked slowly, wanting to delay our parting.

At the gate, he smiled and said, “Hey. Chin up, soldier. It’s not that bad.”

My compressed lips barely curled. I badly wanted him to tell me that he planned to visit me. I wondered if this was the last time I would see him.

Robert kissed me and wished me a good trip. As I passed the boarding gate, I looked back at him and waved. He curled his fingers together to form a heart. That shattered more pieces of my heart. Tears spilt out of my eyes, so I looked down and walked off.

I couldn’t stop thinking about Robert during the flight. Although our time together was limited, it was more significant than most of my relationships. My chest deflated as I blew out of my mouth while staring out of the window. Forget about him, Charlotte. He’s gone forever.

As the plane landed in Chicago, my eyes closed. The winter was going to be more brutal than I had imagined since the snow had fallen.

My shoulders raised, chest expanded and then my cheeks bloated as I blew out a breath, bracing myself for the cold onslaught.

By the time I got home, my cheeks had reddened, and my nose was running. The only thing I wanted to do was curl up under three blankets and hibernate for the rest of winter.

That plan changed two days later when my phone rang. I sat up and smiled as I heard Robert’s voice. Hearing it felt like the sun had illuminated my room and warmed my skin.

“You didn’t think I’d forget about you?” he asked. My silence prompted him to say, “You did, didn’t you?”

“I was a bit worried that I might not hear from you again.”

“No chance of that. How you holding up?”

“Not so great,” I said, despondent.

“I had a crazy idea, and I wanted your opinion.”

“Tell me,” I said, sounding curious.

“Since we had so much fun in Columbia, I thought we get back onto the road in a few months and make it a permanent venture.”

“How? Isn’t your life in Missoula? I thought this was only your gap year before you enrol in college.”

“That can wait. I’ve got a good feeling about this. I’m certain it can work.”

“What’s the plan?”

“Let’s work and save for our first trip. I was thinking that we make money from our travels. You said you wanted to make a living off writing, so I thought you could start a travel blog. Your first blog could be about our Columbia adventure.”

“Okay, sounds good. Maybe you can record our trip, and we can post that to the blog that I’ll write. Since you’re so observational, I can write, and you can capture our adventures on video and photo.”

“That’s a great idea. Worst case scenario, if the blog doesn’t take off in a few months, we can work part-time jobs at the countries we visit.”

I smiled, picturing our adventure. “I think it can work. We’ll make chasing the sun our theme.”

“I like that.”

I felt much better after our conversation.

The following day, I headed to the mall with my resume. Since it was the festive season, a few shops needed staff urgently. I took the highest offer and started working in the morning.

I worked every day, including weekends and public holidays. Every dollar I made went into savings. I didn’t have time to go out or spend money. My sole focus was saving as much as possible. That was going to be my last winter. Wherever the sun was, that’s where I would be.

Robert and I spoke via video call every few days. He kept busy by delivering pizzas and bartending. He said that he made good tips. I loved seeing him, but I missed our intimacy. Every few calls, I rubbed my pussy for him, and he stroked his dick and told me how badly he wanted me. Once, we came at the same time. It was amazing, but I couldn’t wait to feel him inside me again.

I wrote the first blog and detailed our Columbia adventure. Of course, I omitted our intimacy, but I have to admit that I was tempted to include it. The blog received a thousand views in the first month, showing me it had potential. The second blog was about my life in Chicago, and the third listed some of the places Robert and I would visit.

After the snow had melted and the sun had peeked behind the clouds, we had saved enough money to visit, at least, four countries and stay for three months.

First on our list was Thailand. Robert would meet me at O’Hare Airport, where we would fly out together.

I was in the waiting lounge when he appeared. His smile magnetised me, and I ran towards him and leapt into his arms, my legs wrapping around his waist. He smiled, looking up at me. I cupped his face and smooched him.

As my feet touched the ground, I put my arms around his neck and kissed him again.

“I missed you,” he said.

“You have no idea how much I missed you.”

“We better get going.”

I nodded.

We held hands on the plane and smiled at each other often. Chicago was a distant memory and a place I may never see again. Parting ways with my family was difficult, but being with Robert made it easier.

The first thing we did in Phuket was to have sex. Robert had me in doggy style on the bed; we did it in the shower, and we even banged on the balcony after midnight.

The following day, we explored the city and beaches. Robert captured our experiences on his phone, which had a high-pixel camera, and I made notes for the blog.

We explored Malaysia and the Philippines in the subsequent two weeks. The blog had gained traction, receiving ten thousand views in a month. We used the videos to market our t-shirts, an on-demand company printed and shipped. My blogs included an affiliate link to a travel agency.

The following month, we went to Indonesia, South Korea and India. The money from affiliate marketing and t-shirts had accumulated to a significant amount, allowing us to travel.

Robert and I kept getting closer. Not only did our emotional bond strengthen, but we also viewed our relationship as a business partnership. I knew that I was in love with him when he told me he could see spending the rest of his life only with me. We were twenty years old and madly in love.

After Asia, we followed the sun to Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Robert and I couldn’t have been happier. We were living our dream lives in each other’s arms and making good money. We discussed having children but still continuing our travels. Our children would receive an online education, and when they were older, we’d feature them in our videos. Our goal was to evolve documenting our journeys into a family adventure.

Everything changed in Cape Town, South Africa. Robert and I wanted to see that magical place, but I wished we had never gone. It was when we went paragliding off Table Mountain that tragedy struck. My gut told me that we shouldn’t do it, but Robert insisted.

The instructor told us that Table Mountain was one of the most difficult paragliding launch sites in the world, but he ensured us that his instructors were experts.

My heart pounded against my chest as I watched Robert and his instructor get ready to launch. As they reached the cliff, Robert tripped over a rock, stumbling and dragging his instructor over him. They tumbled down the hill, and Robert’s head smashed into a boulder.

My heart felt like it stopped beating, and my chest clogged up. I struggled to inhale as the lump in my throat suffocated me.

An ambulance rushed Robert to the hospital, but it was too late.

My body felt like it ceased to function. I was surprised that I could breathe.

A month later, I had built up enough strength to leave Robert’s grave in Cape Town and carry on travelling. I didn’t desire it, but I knew that’s what Robert would’ve wanted me to do.

In every country, I planted a flag with Robert’s name to commemorate his life. I captured each planting on video and cried every time.

After three years of travelling, I booked a ticket to Chicago. Robert’s passing made me realise that our time on Earth was short and that I should spend the rest of my days with the people I love. Robert would’ve wanted that for me more than anything else.

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