Mark Johnson
3 min readJun 10, 2022

“But put on your crown, my Queen, and we will build a new city on these ruins,” Andrew said with complete and utter faith. He felt this in his heart as he stretched his hand to Nadia. She was kneeling at his feet, shamed having been turned asunder by Patrick, the man she so desperately loved.

Feeling both heartbroken and confused as to what to do, Nadia looked at his outstretched hand up from the gallery floor of Andrew with a tinge of anger, feeling he was the lesser of a man than Patrick. Still, she also knew he had secretly pined for her and was attentive to her every need. Although she loved Patrick, she’d have faint dreams about Andrew and how being with him would mean so much for her self-esteem and their fun.

Patrick was not like this. A better-than-average-looking man, tall with an arrogant side. He came from a well-off family and was in line to take over the family winery once his father passed it on. Furthermore, his heritage made for a nasty entitled demeanor that at first appealed to Nadia, but given time, she shined it on as she came from a middle eastern descent but was born in the states. In their three-year relationship between her and Patrick, she feared it would come to this but never really believed it would happen.

Andrew, of African descent, dark with an athletic build, was a close friend and nemesis of Patrick she had met after dating Patrick a few months. They began talking as friends, each other from the jump sharing similar tastes in things such as a love of music, reading, and adventures too unique to explain. When it came to Patrick, on the other hand, he could be much like his father, his nose in business financials looking for the next thing that would improve dividends. It was a fluke of a meeting that she ran into Patrick on a good day where his likable qualities were on full display, and it was this exact moment she fell for him.

Still on her knees, on the floor in a black knee-length skirt, high heels, and a white lacey blouse looked up at Andrew. His hand was still outstretched, looking at her with soft, caring eyes anticipating her to grasp his hand at any moment. A gesture that would symbolize more than just gentlemanly chivalry, but that she would now be choosing to take up with Andrew and forsake Patrick after what had just transpired.

Nadia took in a breath. Her body had taken a jolt upon falling to the ground, but her ego and all the passes she gave Patrick hurt her more. It would all be so much easier to take up with Andrew if her heart wasn’t involved keeping her from just switching sides. She began to brace herself, giving her time to decide what to do. She knew Patrick would move on if he had not already behind her back, but if she denied Andrew so defiantly as not to take his hand up after knowing how he felt about her and the life they could lead, she didn’t know if he’d be able to bounce back. Denial and embarrassment would be too high.

She looked down, knowing Patrick had stomped off in a blaze of explicative and unintelligible words. Nadia had the slightest of thoughts of Patrick coming back and apologizing. Feeling if she made a decision too hastily, Patrick would walk in on her, taking Andrew’s hand. Even at that, would she take him back as he so clearly stated he was done with her and pushed her aside, to which she lost her balance and fell to the gallery floor? She’d be foolish to take him back.

Maybe Andrew wasn’t the right choice either. He’d have to understand she’d need some time, and perhaps she could start up right then and there, Andrew, a man after her own heart who was offering to crown her as his Queen — and building a new “city” on top of the ruins of the old. The choice was hers, all hers.



Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is a University of Chico graduate, a lover of the creative arts, avid photographer, with an undying entrepreneurial spirit.