Before leaving the Omni Star Hotel, I had the concierge pack up a goody basket filled with coffee, roast beef sandwiches, fried chicken, and some of the most devilishly delicious petit fours this side of the Atlantic.
I poured us both a cup of the coffee from the hotel’s thermos. The coffee had a rich nutty cinnamon flavor that eased us into conversation.
“This isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I asked you to join me in New York,” I said.
“No! Exactly what did you have in mind?”
“Well, I thought that we …… I hesitated before finishing the statement. I took a sip of my coffee and turned to look out the car’s window. A bag lady was walking past pushing her shopping cart, loaded down no doubt with everything she had in the world. It was about six degrees out and mostly likely, she was wearing the only that she possessed in the world. A gray fuzzy matted thing and she had topped it with a gray shawl someone had knitted a long long time ago and because of prosperity, had thrown away. She walked bent over, not from the ravages of age, but from a lack of love and support.
“I thought perhaps we could pick up from where we left off, last Christmas.”
“You mean me in a towel – he chuckled — and you saying no. I’d hoped we wouldn’t start there.”
“Things are different now.”
“How are things different now, he said turning his head to look at me.
“My husband’s ghost isn’t standing between us anymore.”
There was a momentary silence in the car while I held my breath. Was I wrong about his feelings? Had I waited too long?” I heard the leather of the car seat crunch as he shifted his body around in order to kiss me.