It all started the next week…
My worst relationship ever had ended. Kester and I had our final break up.
I decided to go out with this girl that I genuinely wouldn’t even call a friend, Brianna. Brianna was the daughter of my best friend, and she was always envious of me for how close I was with her mom—being that her relationship with her mom was nearly awful. And maybe she was jealous for other reasons as well—I have no idea, and it has never felt worth my time or energy to address the matter. So I thought, why not kill two birds with one stone. I needed a night out, being that I hadn’t dated anyone normal for at least a few years, and she needed to know that I cared about her too—which I did, despite knowing how much that she despised me.
So Brianna and I went out. We decided to go dancing at this famous restaurant called Giuseppi’s near Bleecker Street, which was about a half hour from where I lived, but Brianna wanted me to pick her up first, even though she lived in the opposite direction. But I didn’t mind. I was just happy to be getting out. I truly lost touch of what it was like to be out and about, without having to be afraid to look at, talk to, or God forbid, flirt with anyone other than Kester-Fuck. So I had great hopes for this to be an exciting night out. Therefore, putting a little extra effort and going out of my way to pick her up didn’t phase me all that much.
We walked into Giuseppi’s and I danced the night away. I know what you’re thinking… Where the hell was Brianna? Well, she sat along the side of the bar giving me what I’d like to call the “evil eye.” I thought it was kind of strange that the more fun that I was having, the more miserable that Brianna looked. We didn’t stay too late. Besides, Mom told me that she wanted to see me early in the morning. All I could think was, “What a bitch! Letting me drive out of my way to pick her ass up only to have her want to leave and head home an hour later.” It’s not like we were having a cup of coffee. I needed this night. It was my first night out with “friends” in a long time. I suddenly felt that I deserved to feel happy and enjoy myself. However, I figured that leaving was probably the best decision, being that I was kind of tired of watching Brianna seethe from jealousy as different men would approach me to dance. Bitch.
I dropped Brianna off and headed straight home. It was merely 10:00pm and Brianna was pooped on the one night that I was ready to live it up. Whatever… On my way home, I got a phone call from my boss saying that I was getting a promotion—the promotion that I’d been waiting and hoping to get for the past year. I was so excited, like I had just discovered Red Vines on a deserted island. I called Mom the next morning, knowing that she wanted to meet pretty early, and I suggested that we go to the temple together and pray. I also wanted to share with her the good news about my promotion. But the last thing that I wanted, was to tell Mom about my sucky experience at Giuseppi’s with Brianna. If she even knew about Brianna’s attitude and jealousy, I’d never hear the end of it. So I basically just wanted to skip to the good stuff, and tell her about my promotion.
I felt so great. It was like a new beginning. The worst was all behind me and everything good was going to start happening. After all, I had seen enough bad times, I figured, and now I knew it, I just knew that it was my turn to embrace happiness in my life. It was finally my turn to smile.
I met Mom at the temple. And when I saw her, she already had this look on her face as if she’d already known what I wanted to share with her. I told her that I’d share some good news after the services were out. My mom, however, was so impatient and persistent that holding out on her never seemed to get me very far. So just as the service was about to end, I tried to gather my thoughts to tell Mom the good news, not to leave out any details… But before I could speak, she suggested that we get some of the snacks that the temple had laid out for the congregants. I was definitely a hungry congregant, so I figured, “Sure, I don’t mind if I do!” I could tell that Mom was having a hard time finding her way through what seemed like a herd of cattle that had never seen food before, so I thought I’d give her a hand. So I asked her to go ahead and sit somewhere, and to save me a seat, and I’d bring her some snacks and a drink.
The table was packed with people on both sides. It was one of the most unorganized situations where food and Jews got lined up. It was like watching the “Jets” and the “Sharks” rumble over Maria’s Virginity. O.K. Maybe that’s not a good comparison, because neither side was Jewish. But still, it’s a Holy place, and a congregation for the love of God—pun intended. So anyway, as I walked around to squeeze myself through the rowdy and hungry pack of Jews, I felt something strange run through my whole being. I felt someone looking at me. Only I didn’t know who it was until I looked up from my empty plate. And it wasn’t just someone—it was the most beautiful man that I had ever seen. I suddenly felt very self-conscious.
He smiled. I smiled. And BOOM, it hit me, and boy, did it hit me. It was the first actual angel I had ever seen and he was right there, across the table, staring at me, and then he spoke…
“Hi.” He said, keeping a faint smile.
“Hi.” I smiled back. My heart pounding…
He starts saying something, or perhaps it was one of the hungry congregants shouting across the ocean of food.
“What?” I said.
“Have we met before?” He said.
“No, definitely not.” I bashfully responded.
He awkwardly continued to make small talk with me, occasionally looking down, then up, and showing signs of complete humility, and then he looked straight into my eyes.
“Oh God,” I felt. I didn’t even know what to do, what to say, or even think for that matter. No one looked at me in such a way before that, I could feel every hair on my hairless, pale arms stand up, but in a good way. “Was it lust? A rebound? Maybe love at first sight?” I thought.
No, this was the real deal.
Meanwhile, Mom appeared to be getting impatient for me to come back with her food. I could see her from afar giving me “the eye.” But I had just experienced a connection like I’d never felt before, nor did I even think was remotely possible to feel. It was nothing short of what Doris Day would consider, “Magic.”
From the second that our eyes met, I knew that his hazel-brown eyes would eat me alive if I let them. And it truly felt like the end of me—even though, I knew that it was only the beginning. Ricky was my “new beginning.”
He was simply enchanting. Like something right out of a Fred Astaire movie.
Moments later, after separating what seemed like two pairs of curious, yet cupid-struck eyes, I went back to Mom with two huge plates of food. What! These new-found emotions made me really hungry. Anyway, I felt speechless, and Mom could see what was happening, like as if “something” was up. She has always had this way of analyzing every little expression and crease on my forehead to the point where she’d become some type of mind reader or something. I seriously need to consider getting Botox.
Mom asked, “What did I miss?”
I said, “What do you mean? Oh, well, I had really good news to tell you, but…”
“What is it, Alana?” Mom inquired.
“I think I just met someone. There are no words, only feelings, and perhaps, only thoughts… Mom! Are you listening?” I demanded.
“Yes, Alana. Of course, go on. Which one is he?” As Mom makes an eager attempt to display some interest in what I’m saying.
“Mom! Stop pointing!” I felt mortified, because for five minutes she was pointing at maybe 10 different guys asking if “he” was the one.
“Him? Him? Is that him?”
“Good grief, Mom!” I uttered, nearly under my breath, as I tried hiding my face from embarrassment.
“Oh, sorry. So which one is he then!” Mom said.
“Strange, I don’t know where he went. Maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of him on our way out.” I said.
Mom always had a way of embarrassing me, and usually, without even trying. I was fearing what would happen if he actually saw me again on our way out of the temple, and I wondered what Mom just might do to embarrass me then—Nothing, I hoped.
So we quickly gobbled up and finished off our grub. And just then, I saw him, so I started tugging on Mom’s shirt.
“What? What is it?” Mom exclaimed.
“Mom, that’s him!” I said.
I continued, “Don’t point Mom!”
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