Another scene from my story about Lisa and Paul (you read last week about the the misunderstanding which separated them). Now they've met again (several years later) and started to fall in love again. Lisa accompanies Paul (by now a famous volcanologist) to New York City where he has done several TV interviews. Here's part of their first evening in NYC.
Twenty minutes later they were in a yellow cab, which took them down Broadway and through the crowded neon-lit Times Square until they turned off and approached the Hudson River. The cab came to a standstill at the pier and Lisa looked at Paul, her eyes wide. “We’re going on a boat?”
“It’s not just a boat, it’s a luxury motor yacht, and all to ourselves. Well, apart from the captain and the crew.”
Lisa looked in amazement at the sleek white yacht. “You’ve chartered this? For us?”
Paul put his hand against her back as they approached the ramp. “I thought it would be fun.” Then he stopped. “But if you’d rather do something else?”
Lisa looked back at him. “No – no, this is amazing. I love it.”
The captain was waiting at the head of the ramp. “Welcome aboard the ‘Mistral’,” he said holding out his hand. “I’m Steve and your host will be Antonio. We’ll give you the chance to settle in and then we’ll start the cruise.”
Their host, a young good-looking Hispanic, led the way down the steps to a surprisingly spacious lounge with two long comfortable cream couches and a well-stocked bar. Beyond the lounge, at the front of the yacht, Lisa could see the dining area with a round table covered in a white cloth and set with silver tableware and two silver candles.
“What would you like to drink?” Paul asked.
“White wine, I think.”
“May I recommend the Chardonnay?” Antonio said. “We have a very nice one by Louis Jadot.” Paul raised his eyebrows at Lisa and she nodded.
“Well, this is certainly different,” she said as he sat down beside her. “Where are we going?”
“Around Manhattan and up the East River, then back past Liberty and Ellis Islands.”
As Lisa started smiling, he looked at her curiously. “What?”
“I was just thinking. This afternoon we did the free ferry trip to Staten Island and now look at us.”
“Life’s changed for us both in the last five years, hasn’t it? D’you think we’ve both changed too?”
“I suppose we must have. We’ve changed careers, we’re living in different places. Where are you based now, by the way?”
“I have an apartment in Los Angeles. But of course I do a lot of travelling.”
“Where have you travelled to?”
They continued chatting until Antonio told them that the captain was about to set off. “If you’d like to go up to the fly bridge, I’ll let you know when dinner is ready to be served.”
He took their drinks up the few steps to the bridge, which was surrounded by windows on all sides and they followed him, then stood watching as the yacht moved slowly out into the Hudson River. On their left were the Manhattan skyscrapers and on the right were the New Jersey docks. It was still light, but the sun had already begun its descent to the west.
“Looks like it could be a nice sunset,” Paul commented. “And we should see all the lights of Manhattan on the way back.”
His predictions proved correct. They went down to the dining area as the yacht cruised slowly towards the southern tip of Manhattan. It was an excellent meal, accompanied by different wines with each course – crab cakes, chicken in tarragon sauce with julienne vegetables and fresh fruit slices with a chocolate dip.
The lights were already on as they approached Brooklyn Bridge, looking like a necklace of pearls, and by the time they reached Williamsburg Bridge they could see the sun beginning to set behind lower Manhattan.
“Come on,” Paul said as the yacht started turning for its return trip. “Let’s take this wine up to the bridge and then we can really see the view.”
As they stood watching the sun going down, turning the whole sky to a soft pink before it slowly darkened, Paul slipped her arm around her. Automatically she leant against his shoulder, loving the feel and the scent of him, and wishing that this night could go on for ever, that they didn’t have to return to reality again.