Eleven of Seventy Six
| Second Street
Pam and Charlie approached the hostess station and were asked, two for lunch?
The hostess as well as staff were dressed in bright Mexican skirts, the traditional dress. Yes please, Charlie replied. She grabbed two menus and two specials flyers and led them through several rooms towards the back.
This place was huge, there were probably one hundred fifty customers but it seemed almost empty. They were seated against a wall with several windows allowing them views of the decorative garden.
It was serene with waterfall and Coy pond, beautiful cactus and exotic flowers.
Their waitress came over, bringing a bowl of salsa and large basket of chips, setting them on the table. She smiled and introduced herself as Marta. She asked if they would like drinks. Charlie, Pam said, I haven’t had Sangria in so long. Should we get some?
Charlie turned to Marta and asked for a pitcher of Sangria. She smiled and told them she would be right back. They poured over their menus; there was so much to choose from.
Pam decided on a chicken quesadilla and Charlie chose an enchilada plate. Both dishes came with refried beans and fiesta rice. There was always a topping of spicy nacho cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Their sangria arrived with two large glasses. Marta took their order and quickly disappeared.
I am so glad you came with me, Pam told Charlie. I am having such a good time. What time does the stroll start, he asked?
Just as it starts to get dark, she replied, you know when the Christmas light come on. It’s very romantic, she continued, giving him a wink.
They drank their Sangria and had small talk; the entire time Charlie baffled by the difference in her.
He spoke of his students and how proud he was of them. How bright they really were. She listened intently. Their food arrived and of course the plates right from the oven. It was delicious.
Pam leaned over with her fork and swiped some of his meal. He found this so cute and smiled. She had this quality of being so free and yet seemed to suck you right in and make you want her all the while seeming to be not accessible
She was kind of amazing. Charlie was quickly being sucked right in and he did not mind. As they ate, he kept looking at her. Her hair was different, as well as the makeup. Her hair was darker and the makeup looked to be professional.
She had also added curl to it and he had not noticed the length before, having been inebriated during most of their time together. He just loved this look.
They finished their meals and Sangria, Charlie, with the help of his date. He paid the bill and they departed, full and happy. We have a couple hours, how about some window shopping, Pam asked? Anything for you, he responded.
They walked through the mall, holding hands and stopping and pointing at this and that in the windows. There was a pet shop. They stopped and went to look at the pups.
There were labs, collie mixes, even a Burmese Mountain dog. All so beautiful and looking so needy and adoptive. Pam was oohing and ahhhing over these creatures and it touched Charlie greatly.
What a great soul she seemed to have. They moved on after a time wandering here and there. There were thousands of people walking about but seemed not to bother them.
They stopped and sat on a bench. She leaned in and kissed him deeply, her hands holding his face. Her tongue probed him and he had no resistance. He became oblivious to all about him, just enjoying this tiny space they inhabited.
They sat a few minutes, watching the crowd move past. There were teen girls all girly and sharing all kinds of information with their counterparts. Hugging and holding hands. They were doing their best to attract the attention of the moronic boys, too dumb to understand young females.
Young females too off the wall to be understood! Hormones raging and never in control. Pam and Charlie watched this parade go by and laughed. They got up had a quick kiss and went to the car.
Dusk was coming and Pam quickly got them to the stroll. They parked and she grabbed him by the hand pulling him from his seat, leading him by the hand. They arrived at the village and quickly found where they needed to be, the lights of the village, twinkling and sparkling. It was so beautiful and peaceful. They walked among hundreds of others all enjoying the season.
Charlie had his arm around her and she had hers around him. They were at peace. The stores all lit up and the smell of hot chocolate filling the air along with the smell of cookies and peppermint, the air so still and brisk.
Christmas songs played from speakers set up just for this occasion. There were children darting in and out between parents trying to calm them.
The storefronts adorned with amazing decorations, some of the windows glazed in a frost of snow. Scenes of Dickens era villages in some windows with the Grand Hotel as the centerpiece surrounded with charming cottages , horse drawn carriages, cotton all piled up to appear as mountains of snow.
The cottages all lit and the hotel ablaze with lights all seeming so safe and cozy. It was terrific! As they walked and came close to the village center, the sound of carolers could be heard.
A gazebo built long ago held the singers and a crèche placed in front of the bandstand. Baby Jesus, the three wise men, the Star of Bethlehem, it was all there in its intended glory for the world to enjoy.
Charlie and Pam stopped and listened to the carolers, arms around one another. Local pastors, priests and Rabbi’s all-in attendance walking among the visitors shaking hands, making small talk and wishing all a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah.
This was the most serene time Charlie could bring to his mind. Their stroll almost over, Pam suddenly said, Charlie wait right here, Ok? She disappeared into a store named Puritan, a clothing store.
It was around five minutes before she came back out. She had a small, flat box with her and handed it to him. Here, she said with a grin.
What is this? A gift? She couldn’t stand his stammering any longer and grabbed the box tearing it open and handing him the contents. It was a merino wool scarf, wonderful in color and ever so warm and soft.
She grabbed the scarf from him and wrapped it around his neck, pulling him close and kissed him. He ran his hands through her hair. It was so soft, thick and silky, and cold! This had been the most special day of his new life, he was on a cloud. Let’s go she whispered in his ear, her warm breath enticing him.
Back at the car, the heater running, they started to warm. Pam put on a cd she had; it was incredibly melodious, almost spiritual.
Who is this Charlie inquired? Why this Enya hon. They are an incredible Irish band. You’ve never heard them? No, I haven’t but listening to this I wish I had known them long ago!
She smiled and gave a bit of a giggle, pleased with herself she had given him another gift today. As they passed a Sears store on the way home, she made a quick turn into the parking lot and pulled up close to the door.
Come on she told him and got out of the car. He obliged. At this point he would do almost anything she asked. She grabbed his hand and dragged him into the electronics department.
What are we doing, he asked? We are getting you a Cd player. Were going back to your house, eat pizza and listen to Enya!
Ok then! They found a suitable player and Charlie paid for it and they were once more on the way home. Pam made several different turns. Charlie had no idea where he was but trusted her and said nothing.
She pulled into the parking lot of Sweet Tomatoes Pizza. Charlie, you’re gonna love this pizza. I certainly do! They went inside and ordered a Neapolitan a thin crust pizza with sun dried tomatoes, fresh crushed garlic, onions and sausage. They made it a large.
It was going to take twenty minutes. Pam looked in her purse and found some change. She made her way to the juke box and dropped in the change. Charlie, she said beckoning him with a devilish grin. She held up her index finger and motioned for him to come. He did and they danced. Their pizza was ready before the quarters ran out and they headed home.
The drive home only took a few minutes. Pulling up to his house all Charlie could utter was Son of Bitch! What is it Charlie?
These Goddamned drug dealers are parked in my driveway again. I’m going to have to take care of this!
Sweetheart, Pam said, listen, we have had such a wonderful day, we have dinner waiting, music coming. Let’s forget this nonsense tonight ok?
Let’s make this day about us, not them? The thought of souring his day with her saddened him and he agreed. They parked on the street and collected their new purchase and dinner and went to the house. Pam turned on the oven to warm the pizza, Charlie lit the candles, turned on the electric candles and lit up his tree.
Charlie grabbed some glasses and a bottle of wine bringing it to the table at the couch. They sat, drinking their wine, eating their pizza and talking. Charlie told her, I never had pizza like this! It is so skinny, I never thought it would fill a tooth but three pieces and I am stuffed. Just great stuff! She looked at him and said they all say that!
They hooked up the CD player and put on Enya. They drank their wine, ate their wonderful meal Watched the candles and gazed at the tree. Pam went and got the comforter from Charlies’ bed and brought it to the living room. She laid it out right under the tree and lay down. She looked at him but said nothing, just waiting. Charlie did not need a second invitation and joined her. They made love so passionately under that tree, lights ablaze, candles glittering.