Chapter 9, part 1

I opened the door and entered my house, feeling my heart fluttering like crazy and with a sticking smile on my lips.

I lay down on my bed, but I didn’t have a wink of sleep. I was thinking about Eric and all that had happened. I sighed, filled with euphoria, and checked the time, 3:00. Oh my god, how am I going to wake up tomorrow for work?

Fortunately, at some point, I finally felt my eyes closing.

Even though I had fallen asleep so late the next morning, it was not difficult for me to wake up, and that was due to the sweet anticipation of tonight’s appointment.

I got ready for work, and at the last moment, before I left, I remembered it and ran to the closet, opened it and took the dress I had decided to wear in the evening. I intended to take it to the laundry to freshen it up. It was a tight midi green dress, with wide straps, marking my perfect silhouette out for Eric’s eyes.

Fortunately, they confirmed to me that it would be ready by the afternoon. When I got to work, I met, as always, Nancy.

“Good morning!! Is someone happy today, or does it seem to me?” Nancy asked me, playfully.

“Good morning to you too! Yes, you are right. I am thrilled,” I replied.

“And the reason? Can you tell me?” Nancy continued in the same tone.

“During the break, at the cafeteria, there will be all three of us,” I told her and started walking away to my office.

“I look forward to it!” I heard her say loudly.

I sat down at my office and started working. That was the first time that the hours were passing so annoyingly slow.

When break time finally arrived, we went to the cafeteria, and as I promised, I told them what had happened with Eric, but without going into full details.

“Ooh, this is amazing!” They shouted excitedly.

“Shh…, calm down your voices. We had become a fine spectacle to the people here.” I told them while I was giving them a nod to get their voices decibels down.

“Why didn’t you tell us anything earlier?” They asked me almost in a whisper.

“Everything happened so suddenly. Even me, I have not realized it yet.”

“And where will he take you tonight?” Emma asked me.

“I don’t know. He didn’t tell me. It will be a surprise!”

“You have to be gorgeous tonight,” Nancy told me.

“Yes, make him lose his mind with you,” Emma said in her familiar comical style, and we laughed.

“I will do my best,” I replied to her cheerful.

“And tomorrow, we want all the hot details,” Emma said, blinking her eye to me.

I laughed but avoided answering.

We returned to work, and another marathon of endless minutes began. At the end of the workday, the girls wished me to have a very nice time, and we separated to go to our homes.

Before going home, I went through the dry cleaning and took the dress. By the time I entered the house, it was already 6:00. I had three hours to get ready. I had to do it quickly and efficiently.

I took my bath, washed my hair, dried it, and made it into light curls with the hair iron I had after putting on my meticulous makeup, which was different from what I wear every day at work. I wanted to be very beautiful tonight! Unique!

When I was over with everything, I looked at the time, 8:45. Okay, I was fine! All I had to do was to get dressed, and I would be ready! So, I wore my dress and my black heels sandals. I took my purse and threw in everything I would need. In the last step of preparation, I went to the closet and got my black scarf. I was ready! I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled contentedly!

My cell phone started ringing. I looked at it, and it was Eric. I smiled and replied, “Yes?”

“Are you ready?”

“Yes, I have just finished.”

“Nice because I have just arrived. I’m under your house. I’m waiting for you.”

“I’m coming.” I put my cell phone in my purse and left the house.

I came out of the apartment building and saw him in front of me. He approached me and hugged me from the waist. “I have no words. You are so beautiful!” He bent down and kissed me very gently on the lips.

“And you. You are very handsome in your suit.” I told him, and he smiled.

He took my hand. “Let’s go. The reservation is for nine-thirty.” He opened the door for me, and I entered. He closed it carefully, and he went to the driver’s seat, started the car, and left.

All the way, he was holding my hand and asking me various questions about how I slept at night, if I was late today at work, how I spent my day at work, and all this kind of stuff. I answered all his questions, and also I noticed that he was listening to me very carefully, which pleased me very much.

“We arrived.” He announced to me a little later, and I realized that it was a restaurant. We entered the parking lot of the restaurant, found a space, and parked it.

When I tried to open the car’s door to get off, Eric stopped me.

“No, wait. I will come to open it for you.” He got out of the car and opened the door for me to get off. He offered me his hand. I took it and got out of the car.

We got face to face. “I can’t take my eyes off you,” and from the expression on his face, full of admiration, I understood that he meant it. He engaged his fingers with mine, and we proceeded to the entrance.

The doorman greeted us with a slight bow and opened the door for us.

As soon as we got inside, another gentleman approached us. “Have you made a reservation?”

“Yes, for two people. On the name Eric Smith,” he replied to him.

“Yes, of course, Mr. Smith, welcome. Please, follow me.”

We followed him, and he led us to our table. Next to our table was another round table for six people, which was still empty. But I, while I was passing near the table, managed to read the sign with the names on it:








“Beautiful names.” I thought and smiled. The gentleman who led us to the table pulled my chair and helped me to sit down. I noticed Eric’s stiff face, and I understood that he wanted to take care of me, but the gentleman overtook him.

“It doesn’t matter,” I whispered to him. “Come and sit.”

I removed my scarf from my shoulders and rested it on the back of my chair. I took the menu in my hands and began to read it abstractly. I was giving my mind to the next table that would soon host the six girls. I caught myself waiting for them impatiently.

“Shall we bring you something to drink?” The gentleman asked us.

Eric looked at him. “Yes, I would like you to bring us the best red wine you have.”

“As you wish, sir.” He told him and walked away, puffing himself out.

Soon, a waiter came with the wine. He opened it with skillful movements and served us in glasses. He left the bottle on the table and left.

When we remained alone, Eric touched my hand gently and asked me. “Do you like it here?”

I wandered my gaze on the modern design of the restaurant. Our table was in the center of the hall.

“Yes, I like it. Very much.” I smiled.

“I’m glad you like it.”

He took his glass in his hand and made a toast: “To you.” He said, looking at me in the eyes.

“No. To us.” I corrected him, and Eric smiled.

“I will not object to that. To us.” We clinked our glasses and drank. The wine was tasteful, with a mild taste that leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste on our palate.

“Do you like wine?”

“Yes, it was a wise choice,” I told him.

The waiter came again.

“Have you decided what you will get?” He asked us formally.

Eric made a nod to me start first and tell the waiter what I had chosen.

“I would like the vegetarian lasagna under the mornay sauce.”

“Excellent choice, Miss. You, sir?” addressed Eric.

“I will take the beery beef pie with flaky pastry, and also for a starter, we want cream cheese and smoked salmon roulade.”

The waiter noted our order on the machine he was holding and left. I turned my head and looked at the empty table. “When will they finally come?” I thought, and at that very moment, I saw the gentleman who had accompanied us, now was leading a group of girls.

I wondered if they were the girls from the next table. They were talking cheerfully to each other and laughing, and they were getting closer and closer to us. The gentleman pointed to the round table next to us, and I smiled imperceptibly. I began to watch them discreetly. Six young and fresh girls around 21-22 years old.

They were speaking to each other vividly.

“Phoebe, come and sit here next to me,” said one of the girls.

“Okay, I’m coming,” I heard her answer and saw her approach the girl who had shouted at her.

“I want to sit next to the celebrant,” said one of the girls, laughing.

“They probably came to celebrate the birthday of one of them.” I thought.

“Marianne, I’m talking to you, aren’t you listening? Where is your mind?”

The sound of his voice so close startled me, and I looked at him.

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