“I love the way you play,” he said.
I smiled, flattered. “Thank you.”
We were standing backstage at Carnegie Hall. I had invited him to the performance and was thrilled that he actually came.
“The way you played that piece it was as if you were telling a story. You had me hooked.”
“Joshua Bell, the celebrated violinist once said that when you play a violin piece, you are a storyteller and you’re telling a story.”
“I would like to hear your story. How about going for a cappuccino with me?”
“Yes,” I said without any hesitation. I wanted to be with him. Since we started working at the same company, I have wanted to get to closer to him. This was my opportunity. I quickly put my violin away and followed him to the parking lot. The café where we went was about a twenty minute drive. It was a nice and cozy place. I have never been there before. We managed to get a seat beside the window.
After ordering two Lattes, he asked, “So, how old were you when you first started playing the violin?”
“I was five when I started learning how to play it. My father loved classical music and he used to play it all of the time. I would sit and listen it, especially the music featuring the violin. I told him that I liked the violin and wanted to learn how to play it. He took me seriously and got a friend to teach me.”
“Five. Wow. That’s very young.”
I smiled. “I’ve heard of children starting as young as three.”
“My sister started playing the piano when she was nine.”
“What about you? Wasn’t there any musical instrument that you wanted to learn how to play?”
“I liked the saxophone but never got around to learning how to play it.”
“Most people like the saxophone because of its cool image.”
“And most women think it’s sexy.”
“That’s true. When my sister met her husband he was playing the sax at a Jazz club.”
“So, if he hadn’t been playing the sax, she wouldn’t have been interested?”
“Well, it turned out that it was how he looked as he played was what really attracted her to him.”
He laughed, revealing even white teeth. “Whatever works.”
“Yes. Twenty years later and they are still happily married.”
“What about you?” he asked.
“That’s good to know.”
I was surprised to hear him say that. Did he want to have a non-professional relationship with me? Was I reading more into this than there was? Did he just want to be friends? All these and other questions swirled around my head. I didn’t know what to say. I just smiled.
He continued, leaning over, his hands clasped in front of him, his eyes meeting mine directly. “I have wanted to ask you out for a long time now but wasn’t sure if you would want to date someone you worked with.”
It’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking my Latte at that moment or I would have choked on it.
“You look surprised,” he commented.
“I am,” I quickly admitted.
“Why?” he asked.
“Well, there are other women at the company, especially in our department whom I thought you would be more interested in.”
“Yes, there are but I’m not interested in any of them,” he reached over then and covered my hand. The skin tingled and my stomach did a cartwheel. “I’m interested in you.”
I felt warm all over. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Say you’ll have dinner with me tomorrow night.”
I felt like a giddy schoolgirl. “Yes.”
He smiled again and I felt my knees go weak. We ordered sandwiches and sat there for another couple of hours, talking. The following night he took me to an upscale restaurant in Soho where in the background Jazz music was playing. I smiled when I heard the saxophone. We had a very pleasant and enjoyable evening together. I laughed a lot and felt totally relaxed with him. After dinner, we went to Club Shelter where we had a blast. I don’t recall ever having such a great time with anyone, not even my sister who used to be a real party animal.
It was after mid-night when he took me home. We stood outside of my place, facing each other. I didn’t want him to leave. I didn’t want our time together to end. “Would you like to come in?” I asked. I waited, hoping that he would say yes.
Instead, he said, “If I do, I might not want to leave.”
Heart pounding wildly against my ribs, I stepped the foyer as I replied, “What if I don’t want you to leave?”
His response was to come in and close the door behind him. The expression on his face thrilled me and I gasped when he pulled me roughly against him, his eyes smoldering as they met mine. Then, we were kissing like two crazy people. We barely made it to my room where we had an explosive session. Afterwards, we fell asleep, wrapped in each other’s arms.
He left the following morning after a shower and breakfast. We made plans to see each other that evening. No one in our department knew about us until the day we announced our engagement.