“What the fuck? I can’t believe this bullshit!” I exclaimed, while in the bathroom. I was washing my hands after coming back from my cigarette break and I noticed that the seam on my side, from hip to armpit had completely split. Damn, I wasn’t even surprised just pissed off. I knew from prior experience that if you buy something from Rio De Jeneiro chances are it wasn’t going to last long. But damn, this was the first time I’d worn the tunic. You’d have at least thought that it would last one time.
My brain quickly scanned to a pic of the maxi dress I saw in the Bolton’s window last night on my way home. Yeah, that dress would work except I really hadn’t wanted to look like I was trying that hard on our first meet. The tunic had a sexy shape but the color and cut hinted a very casual, understated vibe. The maxi dress was like KAPOW – accentuating my boobs, booty and the curve of my hips. It definitely brought sexy back. The boy was already second guessing my whole operation, I really hadn’t wanted to hit him in the face with all of me.
On the other hand the devil on my shoulder piped up. Right now he’s a skittish rabbit on the fence, might as well hit him with something that will push him over one side or the other. Let’s see what happens.
I gave in to my darker side and decided to buy the dress when I went out for lunch in a few hours. I was gonna go all the way and set the trap for my Bengal tiger.
When I got back into the office Charlie was hard at work shakin’ a leg and bangin’ away at her keyboard.
“Hey” she muttered, “you just getting in?”
I threw her a grave look. “No girl, I been here. Just went out for a cigarette. You must have just gotten in.” I said pointedly.
She pursed her lips and tightened her jaw but blessedly kept silent.
It was just before 5:30pm and I was standing outside of the theater. Judging by the looks I received on my walk over, the dress was all that it promised. I was full of butterflies. I hadn’t heard anything from Imtiaz since our strained exchange this morning. I half expected a text declining to meet instead nothing at all. I was trying to resign myself to disappointment when my phone suddenly buzzed.
“Hey Catrina, I’m going to be late. This stupid fuck Derrick didn’t give us our checks yet. I’m still at the office waiting for him to come thru. I probably won’t be at the theater until 6:30.”
Damn, that was a whole hour. But I was relieved. I hadn’t realized it until now but I had been certain that he would stand me up. The butterflies were back in flight.
“It’s no problem. Take your time. I’m going to buy the tickets and take a walk.”
“No don’t do that. I’m the guy. I got this.”
I laughed out loud startling a few passersby. How cute is that? He wants to pay for everything. Wow, romantic.
“Listen it’s cool. Plus I don’t know if the tickets will be sold out by the time you get here. Don’t sweat it. You can get dinner.”
“Damn that’s not how I wanted our first meeting to go Catrina. Alright, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“Don’t sweat it. I’ll see you soon.”
I kept it light as if more would spook him and proceeded into the theater. I scanned the showtimes and figured 8:30pm would be a safe bet. We could have dinner first and then watch the movie I rationalized while making the purchase.
I secured the tickets in my new Davenport bag by Gregory Silvia. Since I started this job with Posh I felt like my life had been on an upgrade. I wanted my style to match. Two of my favorite purchases that aligned with my new fashionista attitude were my Davenport bag and my Gucci Twirl bracelet watch. I never use to be one for labels and I can’t say that I am now. But ever since I hit my 40’s, I think I’ve earned the right to splurge on a few classic items that I’ve fallen in love with. And I’ll be honest, I feel different when I’m rockin’ them. I feel invincible. I feel special. I feel like I’ve reached a whole new status. And since the only person I’ve ever competed with or compared myself to is me then all I am is me, just on another level. Who can be mad at that?
I walked around the city thinking about how I would feel when I finally laid eyes on Imtiaz. Would I be nervous? Would I know the right thing to say? Would he be nervous? So many questions about where things would go from that point forward. How far was I willing to take things? How far was he? I don’t know. It’s hard to play out the fantasy past the point of initially meeting after so long.
I walked for what seemed like a very long time. I wanted so badly to text him and ask what the hold up was but I restrained myself. I tried to be patient. I tried not to think that he might be second guessing the entire situation and decide to stand me up. Just when I thought I might lose my mind, I heard a familiar sound coming from my bag.
“I’m still here waiting for my check. I can’t believe this guy fucking up my plans like this. Catrina I will understand if you can’t stay and you decide to forget about seeing me and go home. But I really hope you give me a chance and wait. Please wait for me. I promise I’ll make it up to you.”
I was simultaneously relieved and pissed off. He would at least be another hour. Of course I was going to wait. If I went home we may both turn chicken and decide against seeing each other completely. This was way too torturous to go through a second time. I took a deep breath.
“You better,” I replied, reflecting a confidence that his last words invoked.
I figured I’d head back to the theater and exchange the tickets for the 9:15pm showing. Hopefully that would do the trick.
“Good news, he just came in and is handing out the checks. This fucking asshole. I’ll be on my way to you in ten minutes. I’m really sorry. Thanks for waiting.”
“Great. I’ll see you in a bit.”
I figured I’d take another walk and kill some more time. What else could I really do?
Another hour ticked by slowly. I was tired of walking. I was sick of waiting. He should have been here by now, I thought as I paced the theater.
I gave in to my paranoia and texted him.
“Hey where are you?”
“Sorry. I’ll be there in a few minutes. I’m downstairs. I just got nervous. I’m having a cigarette.”
My eyes widened in anger. This motherfucker had me waiting for over three hours and he’s gonna relax and have a cigarette? Is he fucking for real? At this point all I feel is angry and ill used and like I should have chosen to go home and fuck this bullshit. But what I typed instead wasn’t a reflection of everything I was feeling.
“Listen Imtiaz, while I can appreciate your nervousness, I have been waiting for you patiently for over three hours. Will you please just come up?”
I crossed the expansive hallway, away from the escalators to look out onto the street. I scanned the crowd in the front of the theater. If he was among them I couldn’t tell from this height or angle.
All of a sudden, I could feel a flush creep across the back of my neck. I turned around and there he was in all his young boy swag, cap to the side, baggy jeans, loose black T, scanning the crowd for yours truly. I started my walk toward him, gently swaying my hips the way that I do. He catches the movement of my dress and raises his eyes toward mine and when they meet I can feel the heat spread from the tips of my ears to the soles of my feet. He breaks out into a grin and holds out his arms wide as I fall into them, encircling my hands around his waist. The feeling all too familiar and natural between us. It felt so good to be in his arms, this brown skinned boy with all of his charms.
He pulls away slightly, placing his finger under my chin, tipping my face up to plant a soft kiss on my cheek. The world stopped as we gazed into each other’s eyes, each unable, unwilling to look elsewhere. We were lost.
And so it began.