I wake up the next day, at 2 in the afternoon, which sounds late, but not really when you consider I was awake until 6.00 am. I take a shower, dry my hair, put on make-up and pull on my clothes --- denim pencil skirt, a black vee-neck tee-shirt and my tall black boots.
Two hours later I lock the apartment, board the A train and brave the Herald Square Macy’s to make my return. I bought an INC Dress – but I am taking it back because I have the same dress in a different color. And I think having $80 in savings is a better decision.
I wander into the shoe department and nothing, and I mean nothing jumps out at me and says “Desi Girl, you must buy me!”. I breeze through the pajamas and bathrobes – and decide against buying anything because I don’t want to carry it over to Town and Country’s.
Around 6.00 pm I stop by a pizza place and order a cheese slice and Diet Coke. This is one the GREAT things about New York. Slice and soda for $4. I won’t lie – I’d love to be having dinner with Town and Country – but I don’t mind eating alone, eating within my means and being self-sufficient. I have male cousins, whose wives are incapable of taking care of themselves that marriage was going to be their option in life. While I want to get married – I am glad that I am not one of these pathetic (in my opinion) women who married into my family and is now completely dependent on a man.I think it is great to have someone to rely on, but to be totally at their mercy isn't for me.
I toss my paper plate and soda can into the garbage and recycling receptacles and head over to Town and Country’s. I get within a few blocks of his house and realize that I am going to be early. So I text him to find out his ETA. He texts back and says he is home and I can stop by anytime. I pop a piece of gum into my mouth and walk up his stoop steps and ring the bell. I can hear his footsteps against the floor coming towards the door. This happens when there is nothing inside to absorb the sound. Empty apartments are like that too, hollow, ready to embrace the new tenant, the new life, the new memories, the new.
He opens the door and smiles. He is in jeans and a button-down and $800 brown shoes. He leans to peck kiss on my cheek but I go for the hug. Awkward. He shuts the door and says, “Nice boots.” “Thanks,” I reply. “Come upstairs and see the leather chairs I bought for the dining room,” he says and heads up the stairs. I pause and inhale deeply before heading up. The stairs have been stripped to their foundation, so just the framework exists, there are no planks to step on. Gingerly I follow Town and Country to the second floor. “They are in the sitting room, there – try one out and tell me what you think. I need to run upstairs,” he says. Fine with me. I am more than happy to not have to go upstairs with him.
I duck into a dusty room where all the furniture is covered in plastic except a dozen chairs with orange-tan leather seats and dark wood backs and legs. The leather is smooth and flawless. And I end up running my hand against several of the chairs. They are buttery, silky, supple. I sit down on the fourth chair and cross my legs. I look up and find Town and Country staring at me. “These are very nice chairs,” I say. “You look very nice on them,” he says. Why does he have to be sexy? “Thank you,” I reply. “So I have some items I’d like you to research, but I am hungry – have you had dinner? I know a nice French place around the corner,” he suggests.
I am not at all hungry. “Sure I could eat a salad," I say. "Salad? At a French restaurant?” he asks. “Yes, it has been some time since I have had greens,” I reply. “As you wish,” he says.