December 3rd, 1990
Flight from MAN – JFK
Lexington Hotel, New York City
Air traffic and weather problems combined to make landing at JFK difficult so we made a stop first in Boston, where we refueled, before trying again, this time successfully.
The sight of the skyline as the crew bus drew closer to Manhattan filled me with the usual excitement and unlike Rowena and Sally who were shattered from a late night in Chester, I felt energized and raring to go.
Not relishing the thought of another night, where I couldn’t talk to David, I rang Christopher, who sounded more than keen to meet up. I arranged to meet him in the lobby, where, even in the huge crowd, he stood out and I couldn’t help but notice the extra glances he garnered as we made our way outside.
“You got it going on, boy,” I drawled, stepping into the revolving door.
“Right back atcha, girl,” he grinned. His slow mock drawl putting mine to shame.
Outside, in the bitter cold, he offered his arm and when the wind smacked us as we rounded the corner, he motioned to the Irish bar we happened to be walking by. I nodded yes and we dashed inside.
“Brrrrrrrr,” I said, my teeth chattering. “It’s brutal out there.”
“But toasty in here,” he laughed. “What do you want to drink?”
“How about a sparkling water, with lime, please.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Why aren’t you drinking?”
“I’ve had my fill of booze for the year. Maybe next as well!”
“I don’t know you,” he said, making me laugh.
With our coats off and drinks ordered, I asked how life was treating him.
“I’m planning on proposing to Laurie,” he smiled. “I’ve already asked for her Father’s permission.”
“Wow, that’s fantastic news!” I exclaimed, sliding off the bar stool to hug him. “I’m so happy for you.”
“Thanks. I hope she accepts.”
“She’d be stark raving mad not to!”
His smile was wide. “You have the best expressions.”
“Tell me about the ring.”
“What is there to tell?”
“Honestly,” I said, rolling my eyes. “You men are hopeless. Tell me where you got it. What it looks like. How you felt choosing it. How you knew which one to pick. Tell me how you plan to propose. And are you nervous about doing so? Is that enough, or do you need me to be more specific?”
He cracked up laughing. “I guess that’s good for now.”
Just so I don’t forget, here are his answers;
The ring came from Tiffany’s (of course!)
Princess cut, set in Platinum, which he knows is Laurie’s favourite because whenever she comes across such in any of the many bridal magazines she subscribes to, she lets out a little sigh (how lucky is that girl?)
He felt nervous purchasing the ring, “I want her to love it.”
All he would say about the proposal is that it would take place over, “the holidays.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to tell you, I just don’t want to jinx it. Does that make sense?”
“Yes, that makes perfect sense.”
“Ok,” he said. “Your turn.”
“Let’s see… my favourite is an emerald cut, set in platinum, with-”
The look of bewilderment on his lovely face threw me into a fit of laughter. “I’m just kidding, I assume you’re looking for an update on my love life?”
“You had me there,” he chuckled. “And yeah, fill me in but let me get another beer and are you sure you don’t want as you would say, ‘a proper drink?’”
“No thanks. This water is incredible. I had no idea how great water is! Especially when you add a slice of lime. Really kicks it up a few notches.”
“You are cracking me up.”
“If I have one more sip,” I continued. “I’ll throw up! Let’s get some shots.”
He gave me a look that I can only describe as adorably quizzical. “For real?”
“For real,” I declared. “We need to celebrate your upcoming engagement.”
“I’m all for that, what do you want?”
My boyfriend back.
“Ohhhhh,” he smiled. “Is that where this is going? Last time we drank tequila together, you and Frankie almost missed your flight home.”
“Exactly! So, get the good stuff please. I need something smooth that’ll go down easier.”
“You got it,” he grinned.
We downed a couple of shots of tequila, then Christopher asked how things were going with David. I got a little choked telling him, but managed to share most of what happened. He kept shaking his head in a gesture of disbelief. “Are you sure he’s gay?”
“He dumped me for a guy!” The shots were clearly taking effect.
“But you two were, together, together, right?”
“Yes. I did sleep with him on more than one occasion. That’s the first question everybody seems to ask.”
“I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. This is crazy. Do you think he might be…experimenting?”
“I don’t think so. Shit,” I nodded, my voice cracking. “It’s so confusing.”
“Oh, sweetie,” he said, sliding off the bar stool. “Come here.”
He circled his arms around me and pulled me into a tight squeeze that felt sooo good. The tequila was telling me to kiss him but I knew that was a bad idea. We held onto each other longer than we probably should have and when we drew apart, he cleared his throat and placed his hands on my shoulders.
“It’s gonna be fine,” he said, reassuringly. “I’m always here if you need me.”
“Thank you, I appreciate that.”
“What is it your friend Stephen always says?” he asked, sitting on the stool.
“Love is a bitch?”
“That’s the one,” he nodded. “Let’s get some more shots and talk about that bitch we call love.”