The maître d’ standing in the foyer swung one of the heavy doors with beveled glass panes open by as I approached. He whispered in the foyer.
"Are you meeting Edward?"
Nodding, he replied.
The crowded tables blurred past as I followed, pleased he had the maître d’
look for my arrival. Then I saw him, sitting behind a secluded table. Edward,
his jet black hair combed straight back, clean shaven. His clear, inquisitive blue
eyes looked up, our eyes met; his full lips broke into a smile, white teeth
flashed as he rose to his full six foot plus height.
Unease swept me, afraid he would want to hug at my table arrival as others turned to watch. Instead as my chair was pulled back by the maître d' he simply said.
"Eleanor, I’m so happy you came. You look beautiful!"
His expensive blazer and proper deportment matched the establishment’s upscale
decor and silverware as did his resonant timbered voice. Not outright handsome,
he was nice looking, a pleasant face to view. It was his mannerisms, urbanity and
voice which pushed him into handsome.
Seated, I was glad I came, his presence dissipating my anxiety, his voice
mesmerizing. Looking across the table, my heart knew I was his. Wearing his
shoes, dress and earrings told him so also.
He ordered a rose' wine by its French name and flush with wine, his voice
and charm we ate. We talked but I did most of it. For desert we had sherry and
shared a flan brulee, all new to me.
Tipsy by wine he walked me from the restaurant to the adjacent Century 21 Theater
to see the movie Chinatown.
In the safety of the dark theater I put my hand on his knee and then his
thigh. At "The End", I let him hold my hand for the first time as we
walked up the aisle to the lobby. There he turned me to him.
"Stop for a glass wine. I’ll show you my place."
"I need to use the phone."
In the security of the wooden phone booth I closed the folding door, called
home to assure all was okay and reported.
"I'm going to be a little late."
Avoiding an argument, I hung up agreeing to be home by midnight. Edward
walked with me to my Dodge Dart. I thought.
At least it's not my station wagon.
Following his Porsche I became nervous again as dinner's wine confidence ebbed, telling myself.
Just miss a light, turn, go home, say I got lost.
Instead I followed closely while he ensured we made the lights together.