Suburban Adolescent prompted me to share this experience, after I told her this story in the car last night. This story is 100% true, and took place years ago when I was just beginning to curtail my former bad-girl ways. I was engaged, at the time, to some Scottish guy way too old for me, and he’d brought me along to New York for a business trip. He would work all day and chat with his insanely boring friends, and I would wander the streets falling in love with a city that’s like no other. Evenings, we would go out for dinner with his friends, and I would drink until I was half blind trying to pretend that I would be happy in our future together.
Late afternoon in Manhattan. The snow had been falling heavily for the last hour. Those huge flakes of sticky wet snow that blanket the sidewalks of the city and allow you to trace the steps of those who walked before you on a particular slice of pavement. The sky was a gray monotone, and when I looked up the skyscrapers seemed to disappear into the clouds and swirling snow. I was walking, headed for a coffee shop, watching the snow fall and lost in my own scattered thoughts. There was this businessman leaning up against the polished granite side of a building, there was a brief moment of eye contact and then I was walking past him.
He said, “you’re beautiful” in a heavy New York accent.
It wasn’t a line, or the opening of a conversation, or the beginnings of some cheesy spiel, it was just a matter of fact statement said in the same tone of voice as if he’d said “It’s Snowing!” I looked back over my shoulder, smiled, and said “thanks” and kept on walking.
I walked down the block, right on 2nd ave, and was just beneath the awning of a big hotel when I heard steps pounding up behind me. He grabbed my wrist, and spun me to face him and wrapped his other arm around behind me, crossing the small of my back and letting his hand rest on my waist, pulling me close to him like we were ballroom dancing.
Were I the paranoid sort, I would have been freaking out about being mugged, but I felt safe, and happy in his arms. He smelled of aftershave, cigars, and slightly stale beer, his morning shave already growing out into stubble along his jaw line.
He looked at me and said, “You can’t let it end like that.” And leaned down and planted this huge kiss on my lips.
Of course, I kissed him back. Right there on 2nd Ave, making out in the falling snow with a complete stranger like some sort of godless harlot.
He asked my name, asked if he could take me to dinner, buy me a drink, marry me and father my children. I said no.
And this guy, whose name I will never know, said ok, thanked me for the kiss, for the perfect relationship, kissed me again, and walked off into the falling snow while I stood there grinning, to stunned to thank him back.
I called off the engagement to the scottish guy a week later, and called off the entire relationship a couple of months after that. I moved back home to the Middle East, met the man of my dreams, and lived happily ever after.