I stand at the pier in Barcelona, waiting to board. In my luggage I have my essential essentials and worn out wigs. It’s a balmy evening and I’m set to go on the Heart Escapades cruise. This is my fifth time going on a cruise for singles. Maybe this time around I will get lucky and find love.
It didn’t matter if he were single, divorced or widowed. At fifty-seven, I can’t be too picky, especially since all of my siblings were married and had grandchildren. I think I’m a fairly attractive woman but ever since I was a teenager, I didn’t seem to have luck with the opposite sex. Every guy I developed feelings for ended up liking one of my sisters instead.
“Perhaps it’s because you’re too desperate,” my mother used to say. “Men run from women who are too desperate.”
I’m a little embarrassed to say that I have tried everything–the personals, dating services, singles’ dances and singles’ clubs but the results are always the same. Men just didn’t seem interested in me and I can’t understand why. And the years were going by and I’m getting older. A couple of years ago, I had just about given up when a neighbor mentioned the Lonely Hearts cruise.
It was a cruise for singles of all ages and backgrounds and nationalities. I said to myself, why not? So, I decided to go on it that year and met lots of wonderful people but none of the men showed any interest in me. Disappointed but not discouraged, I went every year for four years. This was the fifth time. I hope with all of my heart that I will meet someone.
Hours later, the massive and sleek Independencia pulled out of the harbor and set sail for her first stop which was in Nice. I am in my cabin, setting out the outfit I’m going to wear tonight. My anti-aging creams and lotions are set out and so is my chestnut wig. I brought it along with my auburn one because my hair is completely grey. I find this very depressing because all of my sisters, including those who are older than me, only have a few grey hairs although I suspect that they are probably dying their hair. I refuse to dye mine. I don’t want to deal with any mess, any restrictions and any painful chemical reactions so I bought two wigs. I wear them only when I’m on the cruise.
I carefully apply my anti-aging foundation to hide the fine lines and wrinkles. My wig looks a little worn but when I put it on it looks fine. It may not be as luster as before but that doesn’t matter. I take my time and brush the brown tresses before I put my make-up on. I give myself a look over and satisfied, I leave the cabin.
I make my way to the dining-room and over to the table where I will be sitting for the entire cruise. I’m the third person to arrive. The man and woman smile as I sit down. We introduce ourselves. The man is attractive and looks to be in his mid-forties and the woman was average looking and probably in her thirties. They are both from New York. I tell them that I’m from Manchester, England.
As we are talking, others arrive at our table. Two men and two women. Three more are expected to join us. Soon, everyone is there and we are getting to know each other. So, we have one English woman–me, two Americans, an Italian man, a Greek man, a French woman, a Canadian woman and a German man.
I find myself being drawn to the German man and a couple of times, I catch him watching me. My heart skips a beat. Is it possible that he finds me attractive? I hope so. Perhaps, after dinner, he and I can go somewhere and where we can be alone and get to know each other better.
Dinner is a sumptuous affair and I’m stuffed by the time I finish the dessert. As we leave the table to go our separate ways, the German approaches me. “I’m on my way to the Promenade Deck,” he says. “Would you like to join me?”
I’m bowled over that he wants to spend the rest of the evening with me. “Yes, I’d like to,” I reply, smiling.
We make our way to the Deck and sit in the lounge chairs. This is a nice and quiet area, better than the being on the lido deck which, as I recall, is always buzzing with people.
“So, is this your first time on this cruise?” he asks.
“No. This is my fifth.”
His eyebrows arch. “Really? You must really like it.”
“I guess so. Each year we visit a new port and I get to meet really nice people.”
“I hadn’t planned on taking a cruise but my sister encouraged me to come and I must say that I’m happy I did. I wouldn’t have gotten to meet you otherwise.”
I blush. “I’m happy you came too,” I’m quick to tell him. He is a very attractive and charming man. I hope that he and I will spend a lot of time with each other.
We end up spending the rest of the evening, talking and talking. It is after mid-night when he walks me to my cabin. “Goodnight,” he says.
He is about to walk away when he turns back and says, “Will you join me for breakfast, say at around 7:30?”
I smile sedately. “Yes, I will.”
He smils. “Good. I will see you in the morning. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.” I let myself in my cabin and after closing the door, I lean against it. I smile. This cruise is off to a very good start.