Gabriella had been in the United States for a few months on a work permit of some sort, but had been in other parts of the country. By the time I noticed her again, she was already getting ready to go back to Colombia. It seemed a repeat of the scenario we had the year before. You can read about our relationship here: A Chat with Gabriella, Which Movie Plot Am I Living Out?, and Gabriella Redux. I was convinced there’d be a bunch of back and forth, but before we actually hooked up, she’d be back in Colombia. Imagine my surprise when she contacted me on a Thursday morning in early September, 2019 and said she was back in New Jersey. She was available that very night to meet up.
During the period of our initial flirtation a year earlier, Gabriella had stated unexpectedly her feelings ran deeper than I thought our superficial relationship warranted. We flirted, petted, sexted, videoed, all virtually. Yet, we did not really know each other. How could we? You need real contact to fall in love. Lust…that I knew could be accomplished through satellites and wires, pictures and videos. There’s a whole industry devoted to lust delivered virtually. And I most certainly had fallen head over heels in lust with her, but not love.
Whatever she may or may not have been feeling faded with our dying communication though and now it felt almost like we were old friends that once had a non-contact sexual fling. We were meeting up as amigos of the opposite sexes, as penpals, as representatives of our two countries and cultures, if you will, almost like diplomats of two extremely amicable countries.
I made arrangements to meet her at a friend’s house in one of the small cities about 15 miles south of me. There are few of these quasi-cities that are primarily made up of Hispanics in the county south of me, which clings to the Hudson River. A woman like Gabriella could reside there and never have to speak a word of English. I got home from work, showered, changed into weekday evening neat, but casual (jeans and a polo for a warm September night). Driving into that area is always tough, because there’s always so much traffic, especially at that hour when folks were still commuting home from work. The streets were narrow and one-way. The houses crowded each other and were a little rundown. Following the directions from Waze, I got there in about 45 minutes. In the fading light of dusk, I saw her waiting for me in front of the house. She too was dressed casually, but that late day sunlight lit her just right and she looked golden. How to greet her? How to greet her, I thought. Double park on the crowded street and run around the car to open the door? Shake hands, a hug, a peck on the cheek, maybe even the double kiss like the Europeans do? Very genteel, very amicable. I had texted her a description of my car and how I was near. Before I had a chance to even put the car in park, she dashed over, hopped in my passenger seat, and smiled while saying, “Hola, James.” We kissed…on the lips, as diplomats do. French diplomats.
….to be continued….
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