Songs and Movies say you had me from "Hello". God how wrong could they be? You had me from the minute I saw you, way before words were ever spoken.
You picked your head up from whatever it was you were doing, and our eyes met.
Yep at that moment I knew what it felt like to be struck by lightning. I couldn't breathe, every sense was heightened, my heart pounded in my ears, my brain locked out any intelligent thought, and I just had to sit down, my legs wouldn't, no couldn't hold me upright. Your eyes consumed me.
When I finally remembered to breathe, I realized we weren't alone, and slowly, oh so slowly, I was able to pull myself out of those captivating brown eyes, which had owned me so quickly and so completely.
My brain tried vainly to run several commands to my body, and failed miserably.
"Now, attempt to function,
act like my life had not been completely changed, nor that my soul had
been laid claim to".
"Oh yea, I could do this÷ Oh yeah I could ÷ Just as soon as I can breathe".
"Come on now, this was not I. I don't lose control. Especially in a crowded room".
"Well now, let's see just how relaxed and unaffected I can appear. Outwardly anyway".
Yep. That's what I did. Not well, I'll admit. But, I tried and as I said, failed miserably.
"Oh yeah, why exactly
was I here again? Oh I remember now. Work. Oh yeah I remember. Now this
is really bad. I never ever get distracted from work. Never, do you hear me. Oh God, what is happening
"Okay, Breathe"! "Go on,
do it.. Breathe". "Okay now why was I here"? "God those eyes". "Ease
up already". I screamed at my brain, but it continued to fight with my soul.
"Well idiot, all you have to do is look away". Oh but I can't. I can't break this sweet wonderful
"Look away idiot". "Get a hold of yourself". Hell if this doesn't end soon, I may have to. In more
ways than one.
"Okay enough already"..
"Work remember Lieutenant". "Work". "Police work, investigations"
" W O R K" ÷..
Okay, oh yeah, I remember.
I was actually here to see your roommate, or is she your girlfriend/lover.
Oh well that thought made my heart contract. Your girlfriend/lover at least I think she is, but maybe I'm wrong. Ok yeah right sometimes it happens. Not often, but with my luck, this will not be one of those times.
Oh, whom am I kidding? I'm
not even in your league. I mean look at this house. A chalet at a ski resort.
I bet this is your winter home. Nice house. Actually, maybe I should have
come up in the daytime. Then I could have gotten you to take me up on the
Yeah..Hey now back to work. Ah okay now. But hope springeth eternal. Especially if your overwhelmed by an overworked mind actively engaged in a Lesbian fantasy. Back it down woman, enough already.
This is still way out of my league. Damn I'm only a Philly cop. Granted this house is only in the Poconos and all. But I couldn't afford it. I can barely afford the tolls on the turnpike to get up here. Well not true actually the city will reimburse me. I am here on official business after all. Oh God. Official business.
Right. Let's get to work. Start with the introductions.
Wow all that took place in less than 3 minutes. See a brain in a terrible thing to waste. God no wonder I have a headache. Lieutenant. Introductions..
"Hi", I hear my mouth saying. "I'm Lieutenant Joyce from the Philadelphia Police Department, I am here to speak with a Ms. Armani, is she available"? God how lame that sounded. Then again, Ms Armani has some serious connections somewhere for her to be able to get a Police Lieutenant to drive from Philly to here just for an interview about a robbery at her jewelry store. Yep girlfriend is connected to someone, somewhere higher up than me, that's for sure.
Anyway, back to the story.
Then it happened, you spoke. It was a simple reply, nothing out of the
ordinary. Just, "sure Lieutenant hang on I'll go call her, she's at the
resort". Your voice went right through me, to my soul and I felt as if
I had heard it before, a long time ago. I had to force myself back to the
present. "Oh, I thought we had a set time, I'm sorry I was told Ms Armani
would be expecting me". I replied, amazed I could speak at all. " Oh no
problem, they had a small problem at the resort and she ran over to take
care of it, but she took her cell phone in case you got here before she
got back, I'll just call her", you replied. "Why don't you take your coat
off and make yourself comfortable " you tell me. With that I went to the
living room and sat on one of the two white couches in front of the fireplace.
God what a beautiful place. Then it hits me. Who is this woman, Ms. Armani
why would she be running over to the resort to fix a problem? So me being
me, I ask the question. "Does Ms Armani always run over to fix problems
at the resort"? " Sure she does", you reply, "after all she owns it".
Once again my brain goes into overdrive. "Oh sure this woman is involved with a multimillionaire, don't think she's gonna be interested in a Cop".
Enough of this already. I am completely overwhelmed by you, my body knows it, but my brain continues to try to fight it. I can't stop, I must stop, God. You are so amazing. My brain continues it's fight with itself, and no matter how it turns out, I look like an idiot. Great attempt at a first impression.
Then you appear in front
of me. "Oh shit, how long was she standing there"? My brain tries
to refocus. I didn't hear a word you said, I was captivated by your lips
moving. "Hello Lieutenant, are you okay"? You ask. God I must look like
an idiot. Yep all professional decorum out the window. "Yea, impress
her with your brain freeze, idiot, way to go". "Who me"? "No
I'm fine thanks, your place is just so beautiful I was a little dazed".
"Yeah it was the place that had me dazed, oh sure". Well you must
have bought it. You thanked me and offered me a cup of coffee. I noticed
however, that you didn't claim nor disclaim ownership of the chalet. No
additional information was forthcoming, like "yes we've had it for years",
See a Cop's mind works in weird triangular circles. You just learn to live with it.
So anyway, there I was sitting in the living room of a house that is worth nearly 10 times my annual salary, with the most beautiful, alluring, soul consuming woman I have ever met and all I can come up with to say is. "Coffee would be great, thanks". Pitiful, just pitiful. I also took this moment to notice that all of the people who had been here earlier had left. I was alone with you. Yep this big bad tough Philly cop was scared to death. In an attempt to appear calm, cool and collected, I asked where everyone went. You smile slightly, and I am captured by the enticing way your lips curl slightly when you do that. Just then I realize that I haven't heard a word you said. God, I must stop this. I can't continue to be consumed by this woman. Besides, I have nothing to offer her. How ridiculous. Yes, I am attracted to her, but even if she could be attracted to me, I am not available. I have been in a relationship for over 4 years; I shouldn't even notice her. Okay then rocket scientist, why do I? Oh goodie, now I'm having an argument with myself and neither of us is winning. Yep, I'm going insane, that has to be it. The relationship I'm in hasn't been an easy one. My lover has never liked the fact that I'm a cop, and at least once a week reminds me of it. She has recently taken to telling me this when we are in public, usually at some Police function or other. I'm surprised I haven't heard any complaints from my peers. Hey, idiot, the woman is talking to you, think you can stop feeling sorry for yourself long enough to listen. "I'm sorry", I mutter, "so where did you say everyone went"? "Oh, you back again"? You say laughingly. "You do tend to go away a lot, don't you"? Oh shit caught. I just nod and shrug my shoulders. "Sorry just thinking about the case" I lamely stutter. You move around the room collecting glasses from the kitchen table and explain that I came at the end of a staff meeting for the resort, and the people here were employees of the ski resort. Oh that explains it. I smile to myself; the cops I supervise would die to have roll call in a place like this. I'd never get them out to the street. Guess everything happens for a reason.
Just then the front doors
of this castle, oh ok, chalet open and in walks Ms. Victoria Amani. Ms
Victoria Amani was approximately 5'6, 120 lbs. (maybe), short salt and
pepper hair, brown eyes, olive complexion, which gave away her Mediterranean
heritage, and she had a air to her of old money. Her whole being oozed
the presence of beaucoup bucks. She must have been a knockout in her day.
Striding towards me in confidant steps as I rose from the couch was a woman
nearly 75 years old. I was totally confused. No one had told me how old
Ms. Armani was, just where she was. "Well Lieutenant ", she spoke, "it's
a pleasure to meet you". "Sorry for the delay, but I hope my granddaughter
made you feel comfortable during your wait". "Her granddaughter",
My brain screamed. How totally wonderful. This could turn out to
be a very interesting trip after all. " Oh yes ma'am, she is just wonderful".
Oh great God above why did I say that. Well you are wonderful.
"Good", she replied," shall we get to work"?
"Yes ma'am," I reply. Then Ms Victoria Armani begins to explain to me the particulars of the robbery at her jewelry store. As it turns out the store, which is located in, South Philadelphia is one of 10 she owns up and down the East Coast. Yep, like I said old money. It seems that several of the jewelry stores have been robbed in the last 3 months all in a similar fashion. There were robberies in Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, all by 3 people wearing ski masks, and all had involved the alarms and phone line being tampered with. This one in Philadelphia was the last in the series, but we caught a break, the video camera in the store captured the entire event. Ms. Armani had given a copy of the tape to the assigned investigators, and since I was next up on the wheel, the questions the video brought up fell to me to get the answers. It did appear from the tape that the robbers had a working knowledge of the layout of the store and the placement of the jewelry. They appeared to move as if by memory to only the cases that had the most expensive pieces of jewelry in them. They never even cast a glance near the cases with the watches or silver jewelry. They only took the gold and diamond items. More interesting however was the fact that they did not break the glass cases. Instead they went behind the counters and opened each case from the rear. This by itself would not be unusual. But Armani jewelers are one of the only jewelers who have individual glass break alarms on each case. Each of these alarms is wired into an internal alarm, which is wired to an external alarm horn. This external alarm would sound with enough decibels to wake the long dead, and would not be disarmed by a problem with the phone lines. So this is it in a nutshell. Someone close to the Armani operations could have possible planned or committed this robbery and perhaps all or some of the others. I had received preliminary reports from Miami and Boston, which seemed to indicate that the same pattern of case entry had occurred in those, and I felt I would receive similar findings when the other reports arrived. If that became the case, then I would have enough similarities to request that this job become linked to the others on a Federal level. Not that local cops like to call in the FBI, but there was too much here, not to consider the possibility. So here I am. I drove all this way so I can bounce my theory off Ms. Armani, and see if she knows of anyone close enough to her operations to know her security setup.
After several hours and way too much coffee, I am on my way South bound on the N.E. Extension of the PA Turnpike, driving back to Philadelphia with a list of Armani personnel with the required security clearance. I still don't have a clue why I could not have done this interview at my Headquarters, but who am I to have those answers. The thought of you, those eyes and that voice consume me. So consumed actually, that I almost take the wrong exit onto the main PA Turnpike to head to I-76 into the city. Believe me when I tell you, being distracted by your memory running around inside my head is not something I want to do while trying to drive. But the thought of you is everywhere. I just can't get you out of my head. Actually what I can't get out of my head is the thought of how can I see you again. Just then it hits me. I never got your name. Yep that's you, the nameless woman of my dreams.
As it turned out, it would
be months before I would see you again. The investigation was indeed taken
over by the Feds, as were all my files. I hadn't heard a thing about the
investigation for over 4 months, and during that period I put an end to
my relationship, which should have been put to death years before.
It was a very messy, public break up. As much as Sharon didn't like my being a Cop, she had no problem calling every Cop she knew to tell them what a terrible person I was and outing me to as many colleagues as she possibly could. It had been very bumpy career wise. While my department adheres to all Federal Laws which apply to discrimination. Each Cop is an individual with his/her own opinions. So, I became the top on the list of the Gossip machine through out the department. Let me tell you, if you ever want to have something get around just tell a Cop, the gossip web in the Police Department spreads rumor and innuendo faster than taking an ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Luckily for me, I had already informed my boss that Sharon would do everything in her power to destroy me. In an attempt to appease her vindictive streak, I gave her everything. Including my house. Finally, after I paid off all her Credit Cards, signed over the House, and wrote her a check for five thousand dollars she called off the war. It appeared that it wasn't me she didn't want to lose, it was my checkbook. Within 2 weeks of my moving out, she was dating someone new, a lawyer in the DA's office. I had met them at another Law Enforcement dinner, and endured Sharon gloating as she crossed an entire banquet room just to make the introductions. I sent out a silent prayer for the A.D.A., she was in way over her head. Ah, but moving along. I attended the party alone, and left that way, I had no intentions of jumping back into a relationship anytime soon.
So my mind was somewhat occupied
by thoughts not of you. Well, most of the time, anyway. I could go maybe
2 or 3 hours, without some memory of you flooding my head. I learned to
live with it and moved on. Actually I also moved into a small apartment
which overlooked the Delaware River near Penns Landing. I had also taken
up a new hobby, running. I would run along the river early in the morning
right around sunrise. It was my way to strengthen my soul. The relationship
I had been in was nasty at it's best, and had left me with a lot of emotional
cuts that I was attempting to heal. Not to mention an empty bank account.
I have always had a thing for sunrises, and running into one each morning was my way of confirming my reclamation of me.
It just one such morning,
as I was on my return lap, that I ran into you. Literally. See Penns Landing
is a multi use facility built by the city. It's sort of a park, museum,
out door arena, and marina all wrapped into one. So as I was running along
the path between the river and the marina, you stepped off your moored
yacht out on to the path and I almost ran you into the river. Before I
knew what was happening I had my arms wrapped around your waist and just
barely kept you from going over the railing into the water. I don't think
I even saw you before the collision. Then, I heard your voice. My heart
started beating so rapidly I knew death had to be imminent. That voice,
no I must be imagining it. I must be totally insane.
"Lieutenant" my mind faintly heard. "Lieutenant, you can put me down now", you said, as you looked up at me and smiled. "Oh shit, you moron, function," my brain screamed. Somehow I managed to return your feet to the ground. My arms however were another story. Having you that close to me, feeling how your body fit so right against me, smelling that wonderful scent of lavender which was gently rising from your hair. Oh no, my arms had a mind of their own. Just at that moment I chose to look into your eyes and the soul consuming shock was so intense, my brain overruled my arms. I jumped back as if once more struck by lightening. Hard as I tried, I could not speak. I just stood there looking at my arms as if they didn't belong to me, or if mine they had betrayed me in some way. It wasn't until you laughed that I began to reenter Earth's atmosphere. The sound of your laughter rolled over my brain causing me to begin to smile, a smile that was stopped by my lips which chose just then to start talking. I couldn't apologize enough, couldn't belittle my clumsiness enough and couldn't stop asking if you were okay. I was amazed when your reply was, "I'm okay really, it's my fault I wasn't watching where I was going". I attempted to apologize again, but you would hear none of it. I then realized that I should leave, what more could be said. "Move idiot, just put one foot in front of the other, and go home," I heard my brain say. Hard as I tried, I couldn't move. You once more captured me. I knew I should just take my leave and go, but I hesitated. My brain was running on full out overload, "God the last thing I need right now is to get close to anyone. I can't handle losing one more connection in my life. I am not ready to start anything, not even a friendship. Although I must admit, my dreams about you contained material I had never considered doing with any friends I had up to this point. Honestly friends just didn't do the things I shared with you in my dreams." Just as I found the strength to face you and say goodbye, you took my hand. Softer than anything I had ever felt before, yet your touch burned into my soul. I heard you speaking but couldn't make out the words. If only I could just focus. Oh ok, now I got it. You were asking me to let you make it up to me, by allowing you to take me to breakfast. Oh sure I can see that scenario. The rich girl and the mute, that'll make a great breakfast. I knew the time had come to speak, it was now or never. I tried to appear calm as I found my mouth saying, "oh no thank you, that won't be necessary". You picked this time to become relentless. You would not take no for an answer. So, I tried a compromise. I invited you back to my place for coffee. Much to my surprise you accepted. "Great idiot, now what do you do, she said yes" my thoughts screamed.
Before I could think about what was happening I found us walking into my apartment. I realized that I must look a site, since this was my 5-mile run day. I started the coffee, excused myself and headed to the bathroom to take a shower and change. You said you would take care of the coffee when it was done as I headed for the shower. Then you added, "take your time Lieutenant, I'm not going anywhere, I'll be here when you get back". Panic gripped my heart. Just how long could I hide in the bathroom? I had taken the longest shower in history. Actually, it was so long that I ran out of hot water, so I gave up and got out. I changed clothes and returned to the kitchen. Then you did it. You had to do it didn't you? You smiled again, that smile, the one that starts in your eyes and slowly make its way to your lips. The one that leaves me breathless. The one that makes me focus on your lips, imagining what they'll feel like on mine or on me for that matter. Yeah you know the smile.
Then the most amazing thing happens. You speak. "Lieutenant, there is something I have to tell you and when I'm done", you say, " you might not want me to be here". Oh God, what could you possibly have to tell me that would be so awful that it would cause me to send you away. Oh shit, maybe you're going to confess to the robberies. Down Lieutenant, do you always have to think like a cop? Let the woman explain before you formulate conclusions. I find that I have somehow moved to a kitchen chair, thinking I guess that if I'm sitting down whatever you have to say will be easier to hear. "Okay", I finally reply, "But I can't think of anything that would make me send you away." Oh now why did I have to go there?
"Lieutenant", you state as your begin to frown, " this is not easy for me so just let me talk and get it out before I lose my nerve." My only response is to nod. Before I can get a word out words begin rolling out of your mouth. " Listen Lieutenant, you may already know this, but I'm a Lesbian. I had been in a relationship that had ended just before I met you at my grandmothers. I have tried very hard to forget you, but it appears that I cannot. I didn't just happen at Penns Landing today. I had found out about you moving here and running along the river in the mornings, so I took my boat there and when I saw you I did the first thing that came into my mind to stop you. I'm really not a stalker, but I needed to talk to you. I needed to tell you all this, and hope that you had felt the same thing I had at the Chalet. I don't even know if you're gay, I have watched you for about a week now and all I have ever seen you with are men. I am sorry if this offends you, but I had to know if you felt the connection, or if I was just losing my mind." Much to your disbelief and then anger, my reply is to laugh and shake my head. Well see if I ever do that again. " You know Lieutenant, I expected a lot of things from you when I told you this, but laughter was not one of them" you reply with a coldness that I feared would never go away. Oh shit I have to do something. Don't let her leave idiot; tell her, my brain rambles on. As you reach the front door, I find my voice. My mouth and brain are definitely not connected. Instead of confessing my undying love for you, the following comes out of my mouth.
"Wait" I hear my mouth say, "what's your name?" You stop dead, wheel around and reply, not surprisingly, "What? I tell you all that and your only answer is what is my name. You can't be serious"? you scream. Okay, Lieutenant, it's now or never. "Yes " I reply as I stand up, " I would like to know your name, so when I tell you I think I've fallen in love with you, I can start the sentence with your name". Your body moves towards me, tears are falling from your eyes, your whole body appears to be shaking. What choice do I have, I open my arms and wrap them around you as you fling yourself against me. "Christina, my name is Christina," you whisper into my chest. I raise your chin and lean down to lightly brush my lips to yours, stopping a mere breath away to say, "Christina, I'm in love with you, and now that I finally found you again, I don't know if I can ever be without you." Then I let our lips touch. Musicians, movies, books, they all have it wrong. The feeling I got at that moment was a religious experience. It confirmed the fact that there is a God, and that God does indeed hear all prayers. I also realize that both of us are crying. I am completely over whelmed by just one light tentative kiss, my entire being is shaking, and I have to sit back down. As I sit, I pull you onto my lap, and lightly run my lips on your neck, up to your ear, across your jaw, and then finally back towards your lips. Before I can get there, you turn to meet me. This time the kiss is not tentative. Your lips devour mine, your tongue demands entry into my mouth and I eagerly comply. Your hands begin to run my body. "Lieutenant", I hear you say, "I'm in love with you too." I smile, and whisper into your ear, "it's Cecilia, my name's Cecilia", then I lightly begin nibbling on your ear lobe. I hear the sharp intake of your breath, as you pull me into another soul igniting kiss. God I want this, I want you. More than I would let myself believe. I feel a fire coming from deep in my soul. I had held my heart back, not wanting to have it danced on again anytime soon. But your kiss set it free. I give it to you freely and completely at this very minute. Later, as we move to the bedroom, my soul would learn the fine art of surrender.
"Hey hon, we'd ya go? It's
our son's wedding for God's sake, don't go away on me again". Oh shit,
how could I have gone back to our first day together? We have been together
everyday since and that was over twenty years ago. I guess sitting in this
church watching our son James all dressed in his black tie and tails waiting
at the alter brought it all back for me. I know the love that burns under
the look my son now has in his eyes, as the wedding march sounds and he
catches his first look at his bride to be in all her finery. I've seen
that same look reflected back at me as I looked into your eyes. I turn
and take your hand and bend down and lightly kiss your fingers. God how
I love you. I feel your fingers lightly on my chin, gently you raise my
chin and our eyes meet, and once again I know what it feels like to be
struck by lightening.
I wake up as the sunlight
moves across my face, but I can't move. There is something holding my body
to the bed. Wait, oh god what have I done? Then I slowly open my
eyes and find you draped across my body, your arm across my chest, your
left leg throw over both my thighs, and your head buried into the area
between my shoulder and left breast. I attempt to move and feel your arm
tighten around me. Without warning you slowly run your tongue over my left
nipple and hold it gently between your teeth. "Going somewhere", you ask
still holding onto my nipple with your teeth. My reply takes a while since
every nerve ending in my body is firing at once. When I can finally breathe,
I shakily reply, "Um, I was going to make coffee and maybe start breakfast".
You release my nipple and laughing reply, "oh no darling I'm going to have
my breakfast in bed." Several hours later, after you show me the pleasures
of gourmet dining, I lie in bed unable to move. I am amazed by your ability
to break through years of protective walls. Walls I had built to shut out
everyone who tried to get close. From the first moment you touched me,
I surrendered to you. I remember my brain screaming "Oh we're in trouble
here", but my body refused to listen. For the first time in my life,
I had a battle with myself and won.
Then there you are standing at the side of the bed, holding a mug of coffee, "hey babe, coffee"?
"Yo, babe, coffee"? Oh
God I did it again. I flashed back to us in the beginning of this glorious
ride. Here we are now at the wedding reception. You are sitting next to
me with that gorgeous smile on your face, just shaking your head. "Hon,
the waitress wants to know if you want coffee", you laugh. "Oh yes please",
I whisper, "coffee would be great thanks". I know the questions will be
coming, so I try to get the answers out first. "Babe this whole thing just
makes me remember the way we met, and how we got together and how wonderful
the first time we made love.. But as usual, I couldn't get it all out because
I hesitated and then you jumped in. "Oh just the first time huh÷well wait
until later, I'll show you wonderful" You know it's amazing how quickly
a person can drown in a sip of coffee. I found out just how quickly as
my brain processed your remark. Now if I can only learn the premise of
breathe air, swallow coffee, I may live to enjoy you making me feel as
if I've died and gone to heaven, over and over and over÷
"Oh come on idiot,..Breathe"!.
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