Melanie sits up in bed, pondering over her marriage, and when it started failing. It is early in the day, around twelve in the afternoon. Her husband, Jim, is down South this weekend on another business trip in the Florida Keys. Usually, Melanie dreads the day when he leaves town on business; however, now she needs this time for herself to think through her thoughts.
She forces herself out of bed and walks into the bathroom. Buddy, their chocolate lab, runs over to the bathroom door and taps at the door knob with his nose. This has always been Buddy’s way of letting her know he needed to go out. As of lately, Melanie has been forgetting about everything else going on around her. Her heart has been aching at the thought of losing Jim. She quickly snaps herself out of it, and let’s Buddy out in the backyard.
While she's standing outside and looking around, the breeze blows through her hair as she closes her eyes. There she was, walking down the aisle towards Jim, in a beautiful nature preserve in the outskirts of the city. Long, flowing willow trees were surrounding them and their guests, as they were sitting in the white wooden chairs on each side of the walkway. Crystals were hanging and swinging from the flowing trees. The sun was setting, and glimmering through the dangling gems. Setting a beautiful, calm and serene backdrop to their ceremony. Canon in D was playing on the violin by a friend of theirs, whom was nestled aside one of the trees, but still visible to everyone.
The grass was covered in white rose pedals to form the aisle towards where Jim was standing. Melanie walked alone, holding her bouquet of white roses. Her white strapless dress was shaped like a mermaid, with a sweetheart neckline. The beaded, coral-colored sash around her waist created a stunning focal point. Her long, laced veil slowly dragged behind each of her steps, collecting rose pedals along the way.
Once their eyes met, Jim could see a twinkle in her eyes. What only took several minutes, felt like an eternity for Melanie until she met Jim at the end of the aisle. She was overjoyed marrying her best friend and the love of her life. Nothing could go wrong. Her heart was fluttering and butterflies grew in her stomach as she inched closer to him.
He gazed into her eyes as he clutched her hands. The vibration between the two of them was euphoric. A gust of wind blew through the lifeless crystals, which made jingle sounds around them. Clusters of dark grey clouds were rolling in rapidly above their heads. As the officiant began speaking, a drop of rain landed on the bridge of Jim's nose. It suddenly came down harder all around them and their guests. People were dashing out of their seats to the overhang in front of the reception hall where Melanie initially walked out.
The wedding planner rushed umbrellas up to Jim and Melanie, as well as the officiant. "They always say it's good luck if it rains on your wedding day," stated the officiant. Melanie smirked ever so slightly, but was feeling unsettled over all of it. "Do you want to continue this outside honey, or have them move us inside?" Jim said to his soon to be wife. She remembered the thoughts she had in her head at the time, and she was speechless that the wedding seemed to be ruined already. She sat in silence for a long moment. It felt like she was unable to speak. The overwhelming feeling overpowered her.
It was difficult for her not to think this was bad luck or a sign, yet she tried not to overthink it and instead embrace it. "Let's brave it out, and continue on," she softly replied. "If we get soaked, we get soaked." They held their umbrellas over their heads, and stated their vows to one another. By this time, most people were waiting by the canopy. Melanie's dress was saturated towards the end of the ceremony. As they walked back down the aisle holding hands, after being announced husband and wife, Melanie whispered in Jim's ear, "I'm going to freshen up in the bathroom, and will meet you in the changing area I was in earlier."
Melanie picked up her dress with both hands, and dashed through the rain to the private restroom on the side of the reception hall. The bathroom was elegant with hues of gold, beige and white. The shiny gold patterned wallpaper filled the interior façade of the room. The white and beige speckled marble slab on the vanity was a beautiful combination with the gold fixtures. She pulled some paper towels from the dispenser and blotted her face. As she looked at herself in the mirror, she felt sadness. Her hair was wet and matted; and make-up was smeared across her face. Clumps of mascara were settled in different spots along her eyes.
Tears of black ink rolled down her face. She wiped her moist face, but the streams of water did not stop. "Knock, knock," someone stated outside the locked door. "It's your mother, honey. Everything okay? Can I come in?" Melanie slowly opened the door to peek through the crack. "Hi Mom," she replied while opening the door. "Sweetie, are you okay? What is wrong? You just married the love of your life, you should be happy right now."
"Yes, I am happy of course, Mom. I wasn't expecting the rain storm to pass through. The weather forecast seemed fine when we checked this morning. I don't know, I just feel that maybe this is a bad sign. Did I just make a mistake? And look at me. I look like a train wreck." Melanie's mother took a handful of paper towels and helped clean her dress. "Honey, you look absolutely stunning. A little rain and smeared makeup doesn't mean it's bad luck. They actually say it's supposedly good luck."
"I don't know if I believe that. It doesn't even make sense to me. Why would rain, which ruins your outdoor wedding ceremony, be good luck? I think people are just trying to make light of the situation when they say that. I want statistics proving that it actually brings couples good luck." Her mother exhaled a loud, audible sigh. "Honey, now you're just being negative. Look on the bright side. That man out there has treated you so well over the years and you are very lucky to be with him. Now freshen up, and let's get out to the reception." Her mom closed the door behind her. Melanie finished cleaning herself up, then walked out to begin the new journey she was on.
Her mind then reminisced over their honeymoon they went on the following day to Fiji. Jim’s parents paid for an all-inclusive private resort with their own private honeymoon suite, and infinity pool overlooking the beautiful Fiji waters for a solid seven days. Outside on their private lanai, there was an outdoor shower located around the corner, surrounded by stones and pebbles. The palm trees were lined up along the perimeter to create extra privacy in their villa. It sure was paradise for them.
“Babe, who could you possibly be talking to on the phone right now? We just arrived to celebrate our honeymoon only an hour ago.” Melanie inquires to Jim. “It was a business call, just had to take care of a few things.” She looked at him in awe, and remembered that feeling of being so in love with him. As well as proud to be his wife now. When she walked out to the lanai, she glanced along the horizon, grinning from ear to ear. How did my life get so lucky? She thought to herself.
Their honeymoon consisted of lots of alcohol, skinny dipping, food and sex. Melanie remembered the steamy hot shower they took outside on their private deck. Along with licking whip cream off each other’s bodies. Then cleaning off in the pool, naked, while sipping on champagne that had fresh raspberries in them. Food was delivered buffet style on carts and trays every day to their suite, at least four times a day. They never went starving. And the alcohol never went empty in their refrigerator, as the staff kept replenishing that as well.
One of the days they were there, they went horseback riding through the waterfalls. It was so peaceful and beautiful, and was just the two of them. On that day, they tied the horses up to one of the trees, threw off their clothes, and dived off the cliffs into the falls. That was another moment they had a sexual encounter in a public setting. The spontaneity of sex in the beginning of their marriage was blissful and exciting. It all started on their honeymoon, and gave Melanie a boost of excitement moving forward.
Several other couples were staying at the same resort, also on their honeymoon. They connected with some of them, but stayed to themselves most of the time while they were there. There wasn’t a day that went by that they didn’t drink and stuff their face with unhealthy food. It was hard not to since everything was inclusive and unlimited. Even late at night when the restaurants on the resort were closed, the hotel offered room service in the wee hours. Most of their honeymoon was spent intoxicated. Which probably explains why they were having sex in quite some extravagant and daring places on the island.
At one point, they even tried fooling around on the beach in the middle of the day because of how drunk they were. Neither of them even realized there were several others surrounding them trying to enjoy some peace and quiet by the seaside. The hotel manager had to tell them to take their “business” to their hotel room, or they were to be removed from the beach. Melanie was so embarrassed, since she has never been in a situation such as that. However, at the time, the humiliation wore off as quickly as the news came because of her level of intoxication. In the moment, it was well worth the risk. Of course, as soon as they got caught they excused themselves and didn’t show face again on the beach that day.
More than a few times, Melanie oversaw Jim on his phone. Each time she asked what he was doing, and each time he told her it was “work”. She didn’t think twice about it since he always had hectic days and he was a very dedicated businessman. Even at home after business hours, he was working on his phone or his laptop. At least that was what he made her believe.
Melanie's eyes gradually open. Her mind is wandering all over the place at this point. Was their relationship doomed from the beginning? Over thinking thoughts were brewing in her imagination again. She sees Buddy out in the distance. The bright green grass is glowing throughout their acres of land. Jim always complained about mowing it, and often would suggest they pay for lawn care. Yet, Melanie did not agree that it was a justifiable expense. The trees that surrounded their patio were blooming shades of purple and pink. In the distance, you could see white specks on the other trees as well. Although Fall is Melanie's favorite time of year, she really enjoys Spring in the city as well.
Buddy is smelling around the trees and the fallen flower buds when a hummingbird fly’s by and grabs his attention. He chases it around the yard while Melanie watches and smiles. She walks out in the grass to grab the now light-yellow tennis ball sitting next to one of their lounge chairs. As she’s picking it up, Buddy notices and immediately darts towards her. Right before he reaches her, Melanie throws it far into the distance for him to fetch. He quickly chases it, picks it up with his mouth, then runs back to her. She continues throwing it for several minutes until it was obvious that he was wiped. He slowly walks back towards her, panting heavily. “Let’s go get you some water, Buddy.”
Melanie walks back inside, feeling anxious to open a bottle of wine already. The stress and anxiety have been weighing down on her heavily. Dark, heavy bags were noticeable under her eyes and her skin is quite pale. And she has lost several pounds over the past few weeks from eating less. Her body is frail and thin, where it looked as if she were dying from a serious illness of some sort. Her friends even told her she looked sick. She didn’t realize how bad she looked to others until she looked at some photos of herself from several months ago in her phone. It was hard to believe how alive she looked months ago compared to today.
The stress was not only affecting her internally, but more visibly externally. Nothing seemed to work to calm her nerves, or slow her heart rate down. Exercising wasn't helping and at this point she lost all motivation for that. Normally, when she takes Buddy on long walks it helps ease her mind. Even just being in nature with fresh air or near the water helps. Lately, nothing like that has worked to ease her stress. It hasn't worked in months, and only seems to be getting worse.
She heads back towards the master bedroom. As she passes through the kitchen, she realizes she still hasn't eaten much today. She walks past the fridge, and grabs a banana from the fruit bowl on the counter. An orange falls out of the bowl and onto the floor. Buddy scampers over to attempt a quick snatch. "No!" she yells in his direction. He runs off, with his tail tucked, and plops back down on his bed. Melanie picks up the orange and places it back into the basket before opening the refrigerator. She stares at all the open shelves and empty drawers.
One lonely Corona Light bottle is situated in the middle. The refrigerator light shined on it so brightly, that it called her attention immediately. It isn't like her to drink in the middle of the day, but she is not in a good headspace to care right now. She reaches in to snag it, before opening the drawer next to the fridge. Frantically she shuffles around random silverware, rubber bands, paperclips and other items. The search for a bottle opener seemed endless. Then she suddenly could hear “Ahhhh” of Angels singing in her head as she locates it.
Snap. The bottle cap flings onto the counter. The sound of a crisp, fresh, cold beer opening is so pleasing to her ears. Melanie tosses the contraption back into the junk drawer, and slams it shut with her hip. The bottle cap remains lifeless and still on the counter next to the coffee maker. After she leaves the kitchen, Buddy rises from his bed and sniffs around where the orange tumbled earlier. He locates a couple crumbs and licks them up faster than he could even recognize what they were. Nothing else seems interesting enough for him, so he meanders off.
Melanie stares off into the living room, like a deer in headlights. In her mind, the memory of her words “How did my life get so lucky?” kept replaying. To think, here they were in a much different position now. It is so confusing to her why things have shifted so dramatically for them since they got married a couple years ago. There may have been some signs that something was changing for Jim, but Melanie was so infatuated with him that she didn’t recognize any of it. As she’s staring off into space, she thinks of all the times Jim seemed a little off or shady when it came to his phone. He would constantly flip his phone over and face down. It was always on silent or vibrate, in his pocket or the bathroom. Pretty much anywhere he was, his phone was attached to his hip. She’s never felt the need to snoop on his phone but now she was starting to wonder.
Melanie walks back to her bedroom, with Buddy now by her side. The king bedspread is freshly laid out across the bed, with a clump in the right corner where she normally sleeps. Without Jim in the bed, his side was still made perfectly without a crease. Shades of bright white, pinks and purple tones were spread out on the comforter. She slumps down on the bed, snuggles into her bundle, and clenches the cold beer in her hands. As she sits up against the grey cushy headboard, she takes a sip of the beer. The liquid tingles and burns as it glides down her throat to her stomach. In an instant, she burps from the air in her swallow.
As she sits up in bed, drinking her beer, a rush of adrenaline takes over. She chugs the remaining ounces of liquid, then changes into yoga pants and throws a hoodie over her t-shirt. It has been a long time since she went into the city, let alone by herself. Once she got her keys, she is out the door and in her car headed towards to the train station. As she arrives, all she takes is her purse with a self-help book she’s been reading and her cell phone.
The train arrives five minutes after she sits down at the bench waiting on it. After getting on and selecting her seat, she starts reading her book until she reaches her stop in the city. Melanie shoves the book back in her purse, gets off the train and walks from block to block. She doesn’t stop, until she runs right into central park. The adrenaline begins to slow down in her blood stream as she walks further in the park, into the peaceful nature around her. While strolling through, she finds a bench overlooking a lake. Right as she is about to sit down, she realizes she still needs to eat.
Melanie moves along through the city streets again and locates a hot dog stand. There were so many memories she had at these hot dog stands with her Dad when she was little. Each time she traveled to the city with her family, her Dad would sneak her off to get a hot dog and pretzel for them to share. The smell of the food and the city brought back fond memories. She orders a hot dog and a coke, then sits on a ledge so she could people watch.
There are thousands of people running all around her. Some people are rushing past, while several others are stopping repetitively to snap a photo. The number of tourists in the city is quite impressive. As she is getting lost people watching, she looks up towards the sky and at the buildings. The reflection of the sunshine is bouncing off the buildings and mirroring onto others. The city is so beautiful, she thinks to herself. Melanie closes her eyes, while still looking up towards the sky. She could feel the sun basking on her skin.
Soon after, she snaps out of it to finish her hot dog, then decides to stop over at Starbucks. There is a coffee shop at almost every corner in the city. When she walks by, the aroma of coffee takes over her senses and forces a smile on her face. There is something about coffee that makes her feel more alert and happy. She waits in line for several minutes before ordering a latte. “Melanie,” the barista calls out. She picks up her beverage, then heads out the door for more city exploring. Even though she lives close to the city, she felt like continuing her adventures as a tourist for the day.
Melanie walks outside with her Starbucks in hand, and heads towards Rockefeller center. She pays her ticket to view the city from the rooftop deck. After making her way up to the top, she stands outside overlooking central park. The scenery is breathtaking from this point of view. She sips on her coffee, which has cooled down now, as she takes in the sites. There were several people and couples surrounding her. She notices a couple nearby having a serious fight over something but she could make out what they are arguing over. Melanie thinks to herself, it is such a beautiful day and this is such a spectacular view, I don’t even understand what could be so important to be fighting over right now.
Once her coffee cup is almost empty, she heads back down to the streets towards the Museum of Modern Art. While walking past each building, she tosses the now hollow paper cup into one of the trash cans adjacent to the museum. When she walks inside the and pays the fee, she moves from one gallery to the next in awe of the talent and artwork. Each painting that is catching her eye, halts her from moving on to the next for several minutes at a time. She spent a couple hours in the museum to get her art fix; then left to head back to the train station and back home.
Melanie arrived at Kristin's New Year's Eve party, assuming she would most likely be depressed the entire night as the single, lonely gal. There were high hopes she may kiss someone at midnight, but she knew that most likely wouldn’t happen. Many of Kristin's male friends all seemed to have girlfriends most of the time. Yet, this time around, a few of the guys came with male friends, too.
Melanie noticed Jim the instant she walked into Kristin's house. He was chatting with a tall, beautiful blonde. Her initial thoughts were that the woman was a model, and Jim was probably her boyfriend. He looked so handsome wearing a charcoal colored suit with a blue collared shirt underneath the jacket. It brought more of the blue out in his eyes. They were beautiful. His golden-brown shiny perfect hair fell along the side of his face with a slight wave. Melanie wanted to feel the smoothness of his flawlessly shaven skin. The jawbones of his looked strong and tough like his physique. He was sexy as hell to her, and one of the hottest guys she has seen around in a long time.
Melanie continued walking through the house to find Kristin. She noticed Jim caught her staring at him as she walked by. They shared a moment of curiosity through each other's eyes before she stepped around the corner. Kristin was in the kitchen setting out more food and drinks. "You've done a great job decorating the place. Where's my party hat?" said Melanie.
"Thanks. Yeah, I was up all day making hors d'oeuvres and buying all the decorations. I am exhausted right now but the party is just getting started so I need to get this done. All the goodies are over there on the table." Kristin said pointing to the table, but the direction pointed straight to Jim and the blonde.
"Oh, you mean right next to that hot guy and his girlfriend?" "No, here inside the kitchen. Oh, that guy is Jim. He is Derek's buddy." Melanie nods as she listens intently, "Who is that girl he is talking to? Are they together?" "That’s Adriana. She is a model from Europe and knows someone else here or something like that. I met her about thirty minutes ago. I have no idea if they know each other or not, but they aren’t together like that I don’t believe." "Oh ok, well can I help with anything? We have a few more hours until we ring in the New Year and you need to have some fun, too." "No go enjoy yourself. I'll be around in a few minutes. I have a few more things to get done first."
Melanie grabbed the bottle of Tanqueray and tonic water. If she wanted to feel better about herself and to possibly muster up the courage to talk to this Jim guy, or any guy for that matter, then she needed to drink up. Liquid courage, she thought to herself. She grabbed a red plastic cup and poured the gin halfway up the cup, then filled the rest of the cup with tonic water. Before deciding to go back in the room where he was, she thought a shot or two before her drink concoction should do the trick even more. Melanie took a hold of the Patron, and consumed a couple swigs straight from the bottle.
"Woo!" "Wow Mel, you are quite the drinker, huh?" Kristin laughed at her, but also seemed impressed at the same time. "Yeah well, if I want to grow some balls to walk up to this Jim guy, and impress him, then I need to be a little tipsy at first." They both laughed. "Well, good luck then!"
In the other room, Jim was still having a conversation with Adriana. Melanie walked out of the kitchen holding her drink and immediately locked eyes with Jim again. Adriana kept brushing her body against his and flipping her hair around, seeking the attention back to her. Her hair looked to be platinum-blonde, and not natural at all. It was obvious she was turning him on. Jim's eyes had determination in them as he looked back at her. Her blonde curls bounced around while she flirted with him.
Melanie was comparing herself to the beautiful blonde and felt pathetic. She looked around to scope out the other men at the party, figuring it was probably a lost cause with Jim. There wasn't much of a selection, since most of the guys had girls on their arms. It was hard to tell who was taken or who was just mingling with women. She felt alone and down on herself in that moment. Melanie walked away with her head down in utter disappointment in herself. It was rather pitiful if others were watching. The satin dress she wore swayed with every motion her legs took towards the sofa. She sat down, then crossed her legs like a lady.
A man was sitting right next to her. His hair was a little scruffy, with dirty blonde flickers of color. It covered most of his forehead. His eyes were a deep chocolate brown, which did not strike her as unique in any way. She did however like his face; he had this puppy dog expression to it. She didn't realize she was studying him for so long because he noticed she was staring at him without speaking.
"Hi, I'm Kevin," he said while putting his arm around Melanie. "Oh, Hello. Sorry I didn't mean to stare. I'm Melanie." "Very nice to meet you Melanie. Are you here with anyone?" "Well, not exactly. I stopped by to enjoy the New Year's party with some friends. How about yourself?" "Nope. Not with anyone. So just to stop by? Are you that busy of a woman?” He sarcastically asked. “Well, I mean, I….” Kevin cuts her off mid-sentence, “Listen, I really just want to know if you are a single girl or not? I need a girl to kiss someone tonight at midnight. You may be the lucky winner for me. You in?" Melanie felt uncomfortable and was speechless at his cockiness. Also, at his lack of manners. She managed to get out a few words.
"Um, yeah my boyfriend should be here soon. You might want to move on to some other woman who is “lucky” enough to be in your presence." Kevin looked at her astonished. “Boyfriend? You said you weren’t here with anyone…” She had to find another way to escape from this conversation. Jim noticed what was happening and saw that she looked stressed. He immediately walked over and squeezed right in the middle of Kevin and herself. "Hey sweetie." Melanie smirked, "Oh hi, um honey." Kevin had a puzzled look on his face, then quickly took off.
"I saw you from across the room; you looked like you needed someone to save you from that dude." "Oh, did I? Well, I was doing fine, thank you. Since when did you have time to glance over at myself with your girlfriend all over you?" Melanie didn't mean to come off so blunt, but the alcohol was kicking in.
“Well, look at you. Been observing me too, huh? That’s Adriana. She's not my girlfriend, but a lovely lady at that. To tell you the truth, talking to her is like talking to my friend’s daughter, whom is around ten mind you. I was hoping for a more intelligent conversation this evening. When she was talking on and on about her modeling career, I glanced over at you and darted away from her as quickly as I could. It was my escape from that conversation. I should be thanking you."
I knew she was a model, Melanie said in her mind. "Well, you’re welcome then,” she grinned. They continued talking for hours and it seemed they were hitting it off. Their conversations consisted of childhood, family, their favorite flavor of ice cream. He was acting like such a gentleman to her, jumping up to refill her drink each time she was low. Either he was being a gentleman, or Jim was trying to get her drunk enough to get in her pants. Melanie didn’t seem too worried about that in the moment. At this point, she was just happy to have found a man to possibly kiss at midnight. And a good one at that. At one moment during their conversation, some drama unfolded with Adriana. Melanie was tipsy that she couldn’t focus on what was happening, but people were yelling in some areas and others were gasping in shock. Then suddenly Adriana and her friend were out the door.
The countdown from ten was already there. And just like that, it was officially the new year. "Happy New Year Melanie." "Happy New Year Jim." Jim leaned in for a kiss. Melanie was in heaven. She was on cloud nine and thought she just met the man of her dreams. The end of the night felt so perfect. Shortly after they rung in the New Year together, as to grip a hold of the euphoric high she experienced, she decided to call it a night. Even though the night was so blissful and she didn't want it to end, but it seemed more appropriate to do so. In hopes he will ask her out on a proper date soon.
The following day rolled around rather quickly, being that most of it was spent with a hangover. Even dealing with that, it was hard for Melanie to avoid looking at her phone the entire day, hoping to hear from him again. Twelve hours passed since they last saw each other, before Jim texted Melanie.
"Good afternoon beautiful. Meeting you last night was a breath of fresh air. How are you feeling?" Several minutes passed before Melanie noticed he sent her a message since she was trying to keep herself occupied. Once she saw his name on her phone, her heart palpitated in excitement. She immediately responded with a slight lie, "I'm feeling pretty great, actually. And meeting you was quite wonderful for myself. How are you feeling?" Jim responded a few minutes later, "I'm doing fine myself. You free later?"
She jumped up in excitement, after seeing he was possibly asking her on a date. That was much sooner than she anticipated. Yet, she didn't want to come off as desperate or boring that she didn't have plans on New Year’s Day. "I did have plans with some friends, but I believe they had something come up," she lied again. Jim didn't respond for several hours at that point, which had her over-thinking that maybe he lost interest or made other plans. During her detox to try and rid the hangover, he responded back. "Great. I'd love to take you out on a date if you'd like? Ever been to Gramercy Tavern? Let's meet there at 9:30 PM."
The thrill built up inside her body. What am I going to wear? How should I do my hair? What shoes should I wear? She was already driving herself crazy with her thoughts. Since it was in the dead middle of winter, there were only so many outfit options to wear. Scarves and boots were her favorite accessory during this time of year. It was quite early before their date, but the adrenaline had her frantically rummaging through her closet.
Yellow dress or black dress? Jeans or a sexy skirt? Long sleeve shirt or short sleeve? Heavy jacket with less clothing or lighter jacket with more clothing? Boots with heels or without? The options seemed endless in her kooky mind. Clothes were piling up on the floor and bed of her studio apartment. Buddy, at only six months old, saw the mound of clothes on the floor and within no time he jumped on top. He moved them around with his paws to make the perfect accumulation to lay on.
Melanie finally chose what she wanted to wear after ferociously searching through and trying on several different outfits. She settled on something comfortable and sexy. Dark blue skinny jeans, with an inviting but casual beige shirt, followed with a scarf and tan heeled ankle boots. In addition, she added a blazer. Time could not pass fast enough before she would be taking the subway to the restaurant.
All dressed up earlier than expected, she dozed off into a cat nap. Which turned into a few hours of deep sleep without her realizing it. Completely unexpected. By the time she woke up, she was rushing to finish getting ready since she was running late for the subway and walk to the bar. It was already nine o'clock. She took a couple shots of cucumber flavored vodka she had in her freezer to calm her nerves. As she touched up her makeup and spritzed a couple sprays of perfume on her body, she rushed down the stairs. Since it was too late for the subway, she whistled for a taxi. It was always easy calling a taxi in the city; they were everywhere. Within thirty seconds, a yellow cab pulled up next to her.
She dove in. "Gramercy Tavern, please." The cab driver didn't say anything in return, and drove until reaching the destination. Melanie arrived close to 9:45 PM, which was fifteen minutes later than she was scheduled to meet Jim. When the driver pulled up to the restaurant, Melanie handed him a twenty-dollar bill before rushing out. There he was, standing at the door, looking as handsome as she remembered from last night. He was wearing black pants with a matching sport coat. The shirt underneath was a light purple shade that matched the pocket square in his jacket. Jim grabbed both of Melanie's hands, pulled her in, and gave her a passionate kiss. The rest was history.