I could feel his breath in my ear, whispering love songs while we danced slowly to a Sinatra tune. My mind whirled, going far into the future, imagining the beautiful children with his height and my brown skin, with his soul and my beautiful eyes. His arms around my waist touched my heart. His long fingers played Moonlight Sonata with my soul.
The song came to a stop, and he took me by the hand and walked me to our table. The dimmed lights, the candles, the hushed tones in which people spoke, and the discreet waiters made the place magical. The whole night was out of a Cary Grant love scene, and I was the leading lady.
We finished our meal with a piece of a rich, creamy New York cheesecake and a cup of black coffee. I savored dessert, letting each bite melt in my mouth. The conversation was easy and laughter flowed freely. He picked up the check, leaving a generous tip, and then he helped me up to leave. His hand in the small of my back felt strong, and I let myself be guided, wishing to follow wherever he would lead.
He gave his ticket to the valet, and promptly his black Cadillac came to us. He opened the door for me, and fastened my seatbelt. His cheek caressing mine as he did so. He then climbed onto his seat and drove, my heart wishing he’d never stop.
But he did.
He stopped in front of my apartment building, he walked me to the front door, where he proceeded to take my hands in his and kiss them softly. In his deep voice he thanked me for the evening, for the conversation, and for the company. His goodnight kiss touched my collarbone for a second, and then he was back in his car, while in a daze I waved good-bye.
It was the most fantastic date I’d ever had, I went into the elevator almost floating. I sang Frank’s song over and over in my head. I walked into my apartment and straight into my bedroom. I slipped off my violet dress and my high heeled shoes, and collapsed onto the bed, hugging my pillow to my side, dreaming dreams of John all night.
In the morning, still with a song in my heart, I walked into my kitchen. I turned on the coffeemaker, thinking to myself that finally, after so many ills, after my husband’s death, after the loss of my job, after losing my home, God had forgotten that I was made for misery, and I would now be given happiness.
I thought of his strong hands, and his laughter, and I was giddy. I went outside my door to pick up the paper, and when I came inside, I heard the ring of the coffeemaker, signaling it was ready for me. I walked in there and grabbed my favorite mug, sat at the table, and saw, front page, pictures of the terrible accident that informed me that God had not forgotten me.