I had simply forgotten how beautiful the drive from my home town, Ploiesti, to the beautiful Sibiu, in the heart of Transylvania, was. So I got into my car later than I had intended to, stopped for gas and properly chilled beverages for the road, then headed towards the Prahova Valley mountain resorts. I wasn’t really looking forward to the winding road taking me up and down the mountains, curve after curve, or the threat of rain.

Of course it did not start raining until I reached the first touristy resort, Sinaia, because what are curves and narrow mountain roads without a little downpour? I just wanted it over and done with. Arrive in Sibiu, see my dad and his wife, read a little, sleep a little more, enjoy my nearly ending vacation, that sort of thing.

Something happened after turning left in Predeal and heading to Rasnov, on my way to Sibiu. Maybe it was the empty mountain road that required a bit of driving skills showing off. Maybe it was the beautiful evergreen forest surrounding me, spiced up with the other trees slowly putting on their fall leaves outfit. Maybe it was the rain or my general state. It definitely was Bon Jovi singing Always!

Some wheels turned in my heart and some pieces fell into place in my head. I grabbed my phone and put the song on repeat, turned the music louder and started bellowing the lyrics. Who cared I couldn’t get it right? There was no one to hear me. So I just screamed away to my heart’s desire.

No truer words had ever been uttered:

[blockquote style=”1″]And I will love you, baby – Always
And I’ll be there forever and a day – Always
I’ll be there till the stars don’t shine
Till the heavens burst and
The words don’t rhyme
And I know when I die, you’ll be on my mind
And I’ll love you – Always[/blockquote]

I did mean them with all my heart. Well, it’s easy when the one you’re singing to is an idea, a wish, someone you envision! My brutal honesty, the ride, the song, a conversation from a few days earlier with a friend, it all helped me find a whole in a certain shield I have been diligently building for the past couple years. It’s still there, but I am slowly breaking it down. And I know what I want. I know I don’t have to choose. I know I can and want to have it all. Because I deserve it, because I am worth it! Career, and love, and friends, and fun, and loud music! Don’t you think you’re worth it too?

As ideas and plans and present and future bliss surged through me, I did. I still do, which is an unexpected bonus. But at that moment, I truly believed for the first time in so long. Enough to scream the words to the rain and the mountains and the sky and whoever else was listening.

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A pleasure to meet you! I’m Alina Popescu, an author, traveler, and hopeless coffee addict. I write urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and sometimes even contemporary stories. A significant number of my books are LGBTQ fiction and romance.

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