When I dropped Mandy home, she wanted me to spend the rest of the day with her but I told her that I had things to do and asked for a raincheck. She was disappointed but after hugging and kissing me, she saw me to the door. On my way down in the elevator, I called Jully.
We arranged to meet at an old bridge. Half hour later, I was there, waiting for her when she showed up, dressed in an off the shoulder black top, jeans and high heeled orange shoes. She sported a black hat and wig.
I stood there, hands in pockets and a smile on my face. Outwardly, I looked calm and cool but my heart was beating fast like a drum. “Hi,” I said when she reached me.
“Hi,” she replied with a smile. Her eyes traveled over me. “You look very handsome.”
“Thank you. And you look gorgeous.”
“Thank you. So, what do you feel like doing right now?”
It was on the tip of my tongue to say, “Right now, I want to take you in my arms and kiss you.” Instead, I said, “I was thinking that we could drive to Concord and spend the rest of the afternoon there.”
“That sounds great. I’ve always wanted to go there but never got around to it. That’s where Walden Pond and Louisa May Alcott’s Home are.”
“Let’s go, then.”
We left the bridge and went to where my car was parked. Soon, we were on our way to Concord. “So, how was the wedding?” Jully asked.
“It was nice.”
“So, you had a good time, then?”
“Yes. What about you? After leaving church, what did you do?”
“Well, I went straight home, changed and had something to eat. Then, I relaxed on the sofa and read another couple of chapters of Chocolate Rivers and Licorice Trees.”
I glanced at her. “What’s the book about?”
“It’s about two people from two different cultures who meet and fall in love. She’s African and he’s European. I guess the author called it Chocolate rivers because there are rivers in Africa which are brown and Licorice is native to Europe and Asia.”
“Is it an interesting book?”
“Very. I have two more chapters left.”
“Do you read a lot?”
“Yes. What about you?”
“Sometimes. I watch a lot of Front line and other documentaries when I’m not watching sports.”
“What does your girlfriend like to do?”
“She likes to shop, read magazines, travel and try different types of cuisine.”
“Does she know that you’re with me right now?”
“Are you going to tell her?”
“I guess so. If you want me to.”
“It’s up to you,” she said. “You don’t have to rock the boat if you don’t want to.”
“Let’s talk about something else,” I suggested. I really didn’t want to talk about Mandy.
“All right. Let’s drop it. Have you even been to Faneuil Hall Marketplace?”
“Yes, about a year ago. I went there for the food although they were selling some interesting things.”
“I went there a couple of weeks ago with a friend. I bought this hat and these shoes I’m wearing now and she bought wares for herself and her daughter-in-law.”
I was relieved that her friend was a female. I had no right to be jealous but I couldn’t help it. I didn’t want to think of Jully with another man. Aside from her brother Dave, I wanted to be the only other man in her life. It occurred to me that I had never been jealous over Mandy or any of my previous girlfriends. If it didn’t dawn on me before it dawned on me now–I was falling in love with Jully.
When we got to Concord, we visited Walden Pond first and spent a while just admiring the natural beauty. Well, Jully was admiring the view while I was admiring her. I could hardly keep my eyes off her. I wanted to hold her hand. I wanted when people saw us together, they thought we were a couple.
We passed the sign written with Henry David Thoreau’s words and saw the cabin by the pond where he lived. Our next stop was the Orchard House where the Alcotts lived. It was there where Louisa wrote Little Women. After a tour of the house, we explored the gardens and grounds. “Little Women was one of my favorite classic novels,” Jully said as we headed back to the car. “I always thought about what it would have been like to have sisters.”
“It’s a favorite of my sister’s too. Next time we can check out the Old Manse Home where Ralph Waldo Emerson’s grandparents lived.”
“Isn’t that the same house Nathaniel Hawthorne rented before he married his wife?”
“Yes, it is.”
We went to the Old North Bridge and as we crossed over, we stopped to look at the various monuments surrounding it. The one which stood out for me was the 1836 Battle Monument. It was at this bridge where the “shot heard around the world” took place. This was during the Battle of Lexington and Concord. I stood there, imagining what it must have been like back then.
I have always had a great fascination and love for American and European History. When I wasn’t watching Front Line, I was watching the History Channel. My friends can’t understand why I’m into History. For them, it’s boring unless it has to do with World War II. So, when they visit, we end up watching the Military Channel.
After we left there, we decided to have dinner in Concord before driving back to Boston. She googled restaurants and we settled on Bistro 238. I parked the car and as we walked towards the restaurant, I held back and watched Jully. She stopped and turned to look at me over her shoulder.
For a moment, it felt we were the only two people in the world. Everything and everyone around us seemed to fade into obscurity. All I saw was her. All I was aware of was her. She looked so beautiful, I couldn’t think straight. I wanted to capture that moment, that look, that smile.
I whipped out my cell and snapped her a few times. I checked to make sure the photos came out all right and when I saw them, I felt very warm inside. The images were there for me to look at whenever I wanted.
I saved them and tucked my cell back into my pocket. Then, I walked over to her and we continued on our way to the restaurant.