The last time they saw each other it was at Bea’s first Halloween party. Bea was an American living in Paris. When she first moved to the city, she had a conniption when she learned that they didn’t really celebrate Halloween and that it was overshadowed by La Toussaint, known as All Saints Day, a national holiday in France. She decided that she would throw a Halloween party, complete with candy and costumes.
Her party was a blast. Besides tasty Creole and Indian food, they served spicy tonic pumpkins. They were poured into little pumpkins with straws. To him, it tasted like creme soda with a hint of pumpkin. He was getting one for herself when she went over to the table. He handed her one and she took it.
“Thanks,” she said, smiling.
“You’re welcome.” They moved away from the table and went over to another part of the room which wasn’t as crowded. “Are you here alone?”
“Yes. And you?”
“What happened to Pilar?” Pilar was the Cuban woman he had been dating.
“We broke up.”
“A couple of months ago.”
She wasn’t sorry to hear that at all, just surprised. There was talk that they might have tied the knot. “Why did you break up?”
“We wanted different things.”
“She wanted marriage and I didn’t.”
“What about you? Aren’t you dating?”
“I was but it didn’t work out. I wasn’t really into him.”
“Oh. You look great, by the way.”
“Thanks. So, do you.”
They spent the rest of the evening with each other, talking, catching up. Then, when it was time to leave, he offered to give her a ride home. She was grateful. It was almost midnight and she didn’t feel like riding on the subway. Taking a cab was out of the question–too expensive.
On the ride over, he asked her to go to the amusement park with him the following day and she readily accepted. Instead of him driving, they agreed to meet on the platform of the station closest to their destination. And here he was. When the train pulled into the station, his eyes scanned the faces for her and smiled when he spotted her.
As soon as the train stopped and the doors opened, he stepped off and headed towards her. After they greeted each other, they headed off to the amusement. It had been a long time since either of them had been to one and it was so much fun. They felt like kids again riding the roller coasters, eating cotton candy and getting their pictures taken in the photo booth, playing some of the carnival games and checking out the view from the top of the Ferris wheel.
It was evening when they were leaving. “The night is still young,” he said. “How about dinner?”
“Sure,” she said. I know this great West Indian restaurant where we can go.”
They walked to the subway and took the train, getting off three stops later. The restaurant was ten minutes away and was bustling with people. The air was pungent with mouthwatering smells of food. “I’ve never been here before,” he remarked. “It has a very nice and friendly ambience.”
“I’ve been here a couple of times. I love the food and the staff.”
He opened the menu. “Everything here looks good. What do you recommend?”
“Try the Cod Accras.”
He did and he loved them. For dessert they had Old-fashioned apple tarts with coconut which they washed down with Bissap juice which was actually a Hibiscus flower drink. Afterwards they went for a stroll before heading to the subway.
On the train, they talked about their evening and made plans to see each other again. He got off at her stop and walked her home. He went with her up to her apartment. “I had a great time,” he said.
“I’ll be in touch,” he promised. “Goodnight.”
He waited until she went inside her apartment and locked the door before he went away. He was looking forward to seeing her again. On his way to the subway, his cell rang. When he saw who the caller was, he grimaced. “Why are you calling me, Pilar?”
“I need to see you, Gavyn.”
“I’m sorry but that’s not possible.”
“We’re no longer in a relationship, remember?”
“How can I forget? I miss you, Gavyn. Can’t we give it another go? I promise I won’t mention marriage again.”
“Pilar, you’re a terrific woman, but I think we would be better off going our separate ways. I wish you all the best. Goodbye.” He ended the call. If she called him or texted him again, he would have to block her. Hopefully, it wouldn’t come to that.