This evening Maxime and I are on a luxury dinner cruise in New York City. We’re in first class and are enjoying amuse bouche, French for “mouth amusers” at our own private table before dinner. We are sipping non-alcoholic aperitif cocktails.
It is such a magical evening. I feel like Cinderella with her handsome prince whose lingering gaze makes my face feel hot and my heart pound. I’m so madly in love with him, I can’t think straight. I hope he’s in love with me too.
Dinner was sumptuous. I enjoyed every morsel. Maxime had the braised beef short ribs and I had the oven-roasted flounder. After dinner, we went topside to relax on the outdoor patio deck and admire the views of Manhattan’s skyline. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center.
It was a beautiful, balmy evening. As we stood there, Maxime came and stood behind me. I felt him wrap his arms around me and smiling, I leaned against him.
We stood out there for a long time. There were live jazz entertainment and dancing but we preferred to stand there on deck and enjoy the breathtaking views. As usual, I didn’t want this night or our date to end. One more day and then, he would be heading back to London. I pushed the thought out of my head and concentrated on enjoying this precious moment.
Before the cruise ended, we managed to get another passenger to take a couple of photos of us. We backed the water with me standing in front of him and his with his arms around me. When he was gone, I would look at those photos every single day, remembering him, his eyes, his smile, the way he looked at me, his hands, his…
“Sarifina, it’s time to go.” Maxime’s voice interrupted my thoughts.
I looked around me and realized that we had arrived at the pier and people were disembarking. Smiling sheepishly, I followed him off the boat, his hand holding mine firmly as if he didn’t want us to get separated. When we got off, we walked a little distance and he hailed a cab. After we climbed into the back seat and sat down, I turned to him and said, “Thanks for dinner and the cruise. I had a really, really wonderful time.”
He smiled and held my hand, lacing his fingers through mine. “You’re welcome,” he said. “I had a really, really wonderful time too.”
“It was like seeing New York for the first time. It looked so beautiful.”
“And you look lovely.”
My face suddenly felt very warm. “Thank you,” I said shyly.
And that was when he leaned down and kissed me. I felt as if I had died and gone to Heaven. It was my first kiss ever and I was thrilled that it was with him. His lips felt soft, firm and warm. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sensation. I don’t know how long the kiss lasted but when he pulled back, I wished it had lasted much, much longer.
I opened my eyes and they met his. “I’ve wanted to do that for a long time,” he admitted.”
“I’m-I’m happy you did,” I replied. My lips were tingling. I hope he enjoyed the kiss as much as I did.
“Tomorrow’s our last day together, how would you like us to spend it?” he asked. We were still holding hands.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Coney Island.”
“I haven’t been to an amusement park since I was a child.”
“I love amusement parks. I’ve been to Darien Lake and Six Flags.”
“When you visit London, I’ll take you to Chessington World of Adventure. I think you’ll enjoy the Vampire rollercoaster, Rameses Revenge and Kobra.”
“It’s a stomach-churning water plunge.”
“It spins you through the air on a track at a speed that may make you dizzy.”
“I’ll have to make sure that I have an early breakfast.”
He smiled. “You can close your eyes and hang on to me.”
I liked that idea. “I’m looking forward to that.
“And I’m looking forward to spending another day with you.”
We had reached my house and when the taxi pulled up alongside the curb, we got out. Maxime walked me to the door. We faced each other. The porch light was shining on his handsome face. I thought my heart was going to burst because it was so full of love for him. “Good night, Maxime,” I said, wishing that he didn’t have to go.
He reached out and caressed my cheek, making my heart leap in my chest and my stomach somersault. “Good night, Sarifina.”
I leaned against the door and watched him as he walked to the waiting taxi and got in. I waved and waited until it was out of sight before I turned and let myself into the house. I couldn’t wait for tomorrow to come when I would see him again but at the same time, I dreaded it because it would be the last time we would be together before he returned to England.
My mother was alone in the living-room. My father was in his study. I went and sat down on the sofa next to her. “How was your evening?” she asked.
“You don’t look like it was. What’s wrong?”
“Mom, tomorrow is the last time that Maxime and I are going to see each other and then, he’s gone.”
“Maybe it’s just as well.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Sarifina, he’s more than twice your age.”
“His age doesn’t matter to me, Mom. I’m crazy in love with him.”
“What about him? How does he feel about you?”
“I can tell that he cares about me.”
“You said that he had a wife but she died. Do they have any children?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“You know your father is going to have a problem with you dating an older man.”
“Mom, I’m going to be twenty this year.”
“This man’s old enough to be your father, Sarifina. You should be dating a boy your own age.”
“That’s what Maxime said.”
“No, he isn’t and neither are you. I’m in love with him and there’s nothing you or Dad can do about it.” She got up from the sofa.
“Please tell me that you and he haven’t–“
“No, Mom, we haven’t done anything except hold hands and have one kiss at the back of the taxi he brought me home in. He’s a perfect gentleman which is more than I can say about some of the boys my age. Good night.” She walked out of the room.