At five o’clock sharp, I left the office and headed off to meet Jully. I’m not sure why I was so excited to be seeing her again and yet I was. Every time I thought about it, my heart skipped a beat. After she had left me earlier today, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I found myself constantly checking the time which seem to be moving very slow. Finally, when it was ten minutes to five, I started getting ready to leave.
I wished everyone a good weekend and was out of there. A few minutes later I was pulling out of the parking lot. And here I am now on my way to Massachusetts State House.
She was waiting for me when I drove up. My eyes ran over her, drinking in the black tank top and jeans which hugged her. A denim jacket was draped over her shoulder. Her hair was different. It looked like her natural hair and it suited her.
She hurried over when she saw me and got into the car. “Hi,” she said when she closed in the door and we pulled away. “You’re right on time.”
“I’m always punctual,” I informed her.
She looked and smelled nice and I couldn’t help glancing at her. I was distracted by her bare shoulders and couldn’t help wondering if they felt as smooth and soft as they looked. Heat surged through my loins and I shifted uneasily in my seat.
“I was thinking that instead of just having drinks, we can have something to eat,” she said.
“Sure.” I was feeling a bit hungry.
I parked the car nearby and we walked to French Quarter. We got a table near the window. It was a Friday evening so the place was bustling. We both ordered the Nola Hot Chicken sandwich but I had mine with onion rings and she had the sweet potato fries. Since I was driving, I had an iced tea and she had a Cane River Punch.
“You’re not married, are you?”
Her question caught me off guard and several minutes passed before I replied. “No, I’m not married.”
“I didn’t think so but thought I’d ask any way.”
“I’m not wearing a ring.”
“That doesn’t mean anything. I know plenty of married men who don’t wear their rings.”
“If I were married, I would wear my ring.”
“Good for you. What about a girlfriend?”
“Yes, I have a girlfriend.”
“Would she have a problem with you being here with me?”
“Why would she? This isn’t a date. We’re just having a bite to eat.”
“You’re right. This is perfectly harmless.”
Yes, on the surface it seemed perfectly harmless but underneath, emotions were churning inside me. “Is that your natural hair?” I asked because I found myself becoming distracted by her perfectly shaped mouth.
“Yes. Do I look like a regular woman now?”
“I’m really sorry about the prostitute remark. It was stupid and insensitive of me.”
“Apology accepted. Now, let’s just bury the hatchet.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to bury it in me instead?”
She smiled. “Yes, I’m sure.”
“I’d like us to be friends.”
“I’d like that too.” I said that although deep down inside, I wanted to be more than friends.
“So, tell me about yourself.”
“What would you like to know?”
“Have you always lived here in Boston?”
“Yes. What about you?”
“I moved from New York.”
“Why did you leave New York?”
“I got a job offer here which I just couldn’t pass up.”
To be honest, I was happy that she had left New York or I wouldn’t have met her. “Did Dave move here before or after you?”
“Before. I stayed with him until I got my own place.”
“I’ve never been to New York. What’s it like living there?”
“We lived in Brooklyn which has an urban vibe. Lots of families and professionals live there.”
“How long have you been living and working here in Boston?”
“Seven years. Do you have any siblings?”
“I have an older sister.” My sister, Miriam looked more Asian than me although she was a little darker with curly hair.
“Is she here in Boston too?”
“Yes. She teaches at Boston University.”
“What does she teach?”
“Good for her!”
“Yes.” I toyed with the straw in my glass. “Do you have a man?” I held my breath as I waited for her answer.
My question seemed to startle her but, she quickly recovered. “No, I don’t.”
I was so relieved to hear that it made me realize how much I wanted to be more than her friend. “Are you doing anything tomorrow?” I asked. My heart was pounding. I was nervous because I was about to ask her to go out with me.
“Would you like to catch a football game at DCU Center in Worcester tomorrow evening?”
“Which teams are playing?”
The Massachusetts Pirates and the Frisco Fighters.”
“Sure, I’d like to go.”
“So, you’re a football fan?”
“Yes. I’m also a fan of baseball and soccer. Dave and I used to go to a lot of the games before he got married.”
“Do you and his wife get along?” I sensed that there was something there.
“No, we don’t.”
“How does Dave feel about that?”
“Badly, of course, but there isn’t anything he can do about it.”
“Is she the reason why you and he stopped going to the games?”
“Yes, it is. Anyway, such is life sometimes.”
We talked about other things and then, it was time to leave. I didn’t want the evening to end. “May I give you a ride home?” I asked her when we were standing outside.
She shook her head. “No, thanks. I’m going to hang out at the waterfront for a while before heading home.”
“All right.” I wondered if my disappointment showed on my face.
“Thanks for a very pleasant evening,” she said.
“What time is the game tomorrow?”
“It’s at 8:05 but I was thinking that we can go somewhere close by to grab a bite to eat first.”
“Sounds good. I’ll meet you right here tomorrow at 5:00.”
After she pulled on her jacket, she smiled and winked at me, making my heart flutter before she walked away.