Sunlight streamed into the room of the penthouse he bought the last time he was in New York because he was getting tired of staying in expensive hotels. He had moved into the unit although it was still being renovated. It overlooked Central Park.
It was Saturday morning. Kecia blinked, trying to adjust her eyes to the brightness. She glanced over her shoulder and saw that he wasn’t there. She sat up, rubbed her eyes and then, throwing off the covers, she got out of the bed. She put on one of his bathrobes and went into the washroom. She brushed her teeth and then went into the living-room.
He was standing at the window and turned when he heard her. His expression was drawn. After they hugged and kissed, he gestured to her to have a seat. She went and sat down on the sofa while he sat on the chair facing her.
“I have something to tell you, Kecia.”
She knew that something had been troubling him but wasn’t sure what it was. Now, he was about to tell her. She hoped that he wasn’t going to break up with her. She loved him so much. She didn’t want to be with any other man. He was it for her. She wanted to spend the rest of her life with him–grow old with him.
She could still remember the first time they met. It was at Central Park. After leaving the library where she had gone to immediately after leaving the university campus. She spent a couple of hours there, researching information for an assignment. When she left there, she went to the park.
He was already there, sitting on the bench beside the Spring blossoming tree. He appeared deep in thought but glanced up when she sat down beside him. “Good evening,” he said.
“Good evening,” she replied, thinking that he was very handsome and looked to be in his early to mid-thirties. A quick glance at his hand told her that he wasn’t married.
“I’ve been to New York before but this is the first time I’ve visited this park. I’ve heard so much about it.”
Disappointed, she asked, “You’re not from New York, then?”
He shook his head. “No, I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. I’m here in New York on business.”
“What’s Baltimore like?”
“It’s a diverse and colorful city known with a rich history, diversity, beautiful harbor, unique museums and known for its top notch hospitals. A lot of millennials are moving there.”
“How long are you in New York for?”
“Two weeks. This is my second day.”
It was so easy talking to him although he was a complete stranger. “Are there any other places in New York, besides Central Park you haven’t been to as yet?”
“Yes, there are a few such as Rockefeller Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Times Square.”
“What about a Broadway show?”
“Yes. A couple of colleagues and I went to see A Chorus Line.”
“I’ve been to Rockefeller Center and Times Square but I’ve never been to the Met.”
“Perhaps we can go to the Met and Times Square together.”
She smiled shyly. “If you’re sure you want to be seen with me.”
“Why would I mind being seen with a beautiful young woman like yourself?” he asked, looking and sounding surprised. “What’s your name, by the way?”
“It’s Kecia. What’s yours?”
“Yes, it is.”
“I knew a guy in high-school whose name was Seong. He was dating one of my friends.”
“I meant what I said about us going to the Met and Times Square together, Kecia. Here’s my card. Please call me at this number. It’s my cell. We can arrange to meet here again if you prefer.”
“All right.” She took his card and put it in her wallet. She glanced at her watch. “I’m sorry but I have to go now.”
He stood up when she did. “It was a pleasure meeting you, Kecia.”
“It was a pleasure meeting you too.”
She grabbed her knapsack and hoisted it on her back. “Goodbye.”
“I will,” she promised.
“Good night, Kecia.”
She called him the following day and they went to the Met and then for lunch afterwards. The following night, they had dinner in Times Square. They saw each other every day during his stay and they spent the last night before his departure in his hotel room after she treated him to Fried ice cream.
She looked forward to seeing him whenever he came to New York and being with him. Was that now about to change? She earnestly hoped and prayed that it wouldn’t. Heart racing, she asked, “What is it that you want to tell me, Seong?”
Seong took a deep breath. “When you and I met I was married.”
She stared at him, stunned. “You were married?” she repeated. She was relieved that he wasn’t breaking up with her but at the same time he was telling her that when they became involved, he was married.
“Yes. I’ve never cheated on my wife–ex-wife. We’re divorced now. I never cheated on her nor ever planned to until I met you, Kecia. That day in Central Park, you walked into my life, sat down next to me and the moment I looked into those big, beautiful eyes of yours, I was hooked. I knew that I was doing was wrong but I couldn’t walk away even if I wanted to. I had to see you again. You brighten my life in a way that the bright lights of New York or any city couldn’t. Until I met you, I never knew what it was like to feel joy.”
His words and the expression on his face were very earnest. Still, she didn’t like the idea that she had been in a relationship with a married man.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that I was married,” he continued. “I should have told you that day in the park but I was afraid that if I did, you would get up and leave.”
“I would have,” she admitted. “It would have been hard but it would have been the best thing to do.”
“What about now?” he asked, his expression tense. “Are you going to walk away from our relationship because I wasn’t honest with you?”
“Kecia…” her name was a broken whisper as he slumped in the chair.
She went over to him and put her arms around his shoulders. Her eyes were moist as they met his. “I would be a fool to walk away from you and a lifetime of happiness.”
He put his arms around her waist and held her tightly. “I love you so much,” he muttered thickly.
“And I love you, Seong.”
He covered her face with passionate kisses.