To be handsome, vain, intelligent. Eternal youth had always been his goal. His beauty, an infallible weapon of conquest, combined with his seduction skills, was always a great advantage in his relationship with women.

Since he was very young, his clear eyes granted him success among the opposite sex. His features, his easy-going demeanor, his abilities to charm others led to certain success. And he enjoyed it. One could say he perfected it throughout his entire life.

He got married young. That episode must have not been considered a happy one. Perhaps a good investment. She came from a wealthy family. Beauty and financial stability are not stressful. Peace of mind prolongs physical appearance. No circles under one’s eyes, no unnecessary worries...

He continued with his life of conquests. Secretly, of course. But, even so, it would still interfere with his marriage. In spite of having children, they separated. There were rumors of children out of wedlock, albeit unconfirmed.

They spent some time apart, but decided to live together again. They carried on like that until the children were of age. Then each of them went their own way. At first their relationship wasn’t good, but time heals everything and eventually they even became good friends. They went out for dinner, theater.

He was a good father, a good friend, a good lover. He carried on with his career throughout the years. A bit under secrecy, because the fact that he had another woman, who he kept a bit under secrecy, didn’t stop him from exchanging warm looks with every young, seductive lady that crossed his path, under any circumstance, be it in the workplace or a social setting.

Time passed. Age increased. Conquests diminished. He became crankier, as it tends to happen with older men. Until she had enough. She left. She was fed up with living almost in a cloister. He was left alone. He couldn’t understand why he had no one.

He tried to get back together with the mother of his children. In vain. She was cured of the passion of her youth.

He was left with only the mirror, his eternal companion, where he studied his wrinkles, which were becoming more and more visible to his utter despair.

ISABEL VARGAS is a teacher and attorney retired from public office. She specializes in language and technology and has published over 300 articles in the Diário da Manhã, a newspaper in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul.

She contributes to publications by The Brazilian Chamber of Young Authors (CBJE) and has contributed to the publication of over 100 books.

Isabel has earned several awards, including first place and honorable mentions for her short stories, articles, and poetry. She wrote book prefaces for publisher Celeiro de Escritores and worked on literary reviewing. She also had work published in Varal do Brasil, an on-line Swiss magazine.

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