She was already more than ten minutes late, but was hoping that she wouldn‘t miss him when she arrived in the Starbucks coffee shop in Ocean terminal. Apparently she could not find him at once so she queued up to get herself a cappuccino. When she found herself a table with 2 available chairs she looked around again, but still couldn‘t make him out in the Starbucks. Then her cell phone rang.
Hello Francesca, you look darn good in your black tank top
Hi Tino, where are you? How do you know what I am wearing today ?
I saw you leaving the Starferry, and it‘s not too difficult to make out a 150 year old woman who still looks as if she was almost 120 years younger, is it ? I was at the Starbucks already before 10, but I couldn't get in.
Are you fishing for compliments here ? What do you mean you couldn't get in ?
They don't let young lawyers without a tie into the Starbucks. You know, when I got there I tried to get me a caramel macchiato, but they turned my request down and sent me away again.
You are kidding and trying to pull my leg.
No, I am serious, didn't you say yourself that young lawyers should rather focus on work and be really efficient than spend their time entertaining senior citizens?
Alright, now, let‘s stop the joking for a moment, where are you just now?
I‘m in my room of the Marco Polo Hong Kong hotel. Isn‘t it a coincidence that the room number is exactly the date when we first met in
Bay beach? …and it‘s the only one on this floor overlooking the nice view of the harbour side and I can see the Star Ferry too. That‘s how I found you this morning.
I don‘t buy this Tino, but anyway, do you want to come down now ?
I can‘t ‚cos they won‘t let me in. But why don‘t you come up and meet me in my hotel room ? If you get here even before 10.40, you can take a great shot with the sun actually being mirrored in the IFC2, you only get this great picture during a time slot of around 10.40 to 10.45 each day and only on sunny bright days as today. I saw you brought your camera, good idea, perfect day …
She gasped for a moment, then replied:
Now, wait a minute, Tino, wait a minute, are you asking me to come to your hotel room ? Why should I do this ? I mean, why do you believe I would do this ?
Why you would do this ? Oh, well, see, I just believe in ordinary miracles…
You believe in ordinary miracles ?
Yeah, and oh, can I ask you a favor ? Do bring me a tall Caramel Macchiato from that Starbucks you are just now in please, I really love that stuff …
A click, then he was off. She looked at her watch. It was 10.20 now, she still had a few minutes to consider what she would do. She felt a tickle in her tummie, yet at the same time a little uneasy, maybe it was because she felt she did not have everything under control, as she would usually have. But that tickle felt just like a thrill and she had always loved thrills more than being in a well protected, safe environment, so she quickly finished her own drink and then queued up again to get a tall Caramel Macchiato to go…
A knock against the door. A voice that sounded familiar. Another knock. But it was not her who was knocking at his door, she suddenly realized when she heard the familiar voice of her Amah again: Ma‘am, 8:25 already, didn‘t you want to get up by 8:15 today? – Thank you, Pearl, yeah, I must have overslept, thanks for waking me up, Francesca said. It took her a few minutes to realize that she must have been dreaming of this date to come. She was a bit excited, but did not have any time to let this sentiment linger. She had to rush in order to make it on time to meet up with Tino in the Starbuck‘s Café in the Ocean terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui. She got up, took a quick first hot then cold shower, felt already much better, dried and rushed herself into some casual clothes. Should she wear the black tank top she was dreaming of ? Not that she was superstitious but she knew it looked good on her, so she put it on. She finished a light breakfast her amah had prepared for her, packed up her camera gear and hesitated for a second if she should take her 328 convertible and find a car park in Admiralty or Central before getting on the Star Ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui or if she should just ask her amah to call her a taxi. Another look at the watch, it was 9.10 already, gosh, now she really had to run. She decided against the cab, one never knew how bad traffic in the tunnels would get. When she turned her red BMW convertible right onto
Repulse Bay Road and accelerated to feel a gentle breeze flow around her hair she knew she had done the right thing to take the car. The Star Ferry ride would be a nice one on this bright and sunny day. Maybe she‘d get a few nice shots on the ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui. She felt excited, it was the first time she was dating him and it was her first time ever that she was dating a man whom she had only seen once before, merely for more than a few minutes. But was she really dating him or was she only seeing him, meeting him ? Not that she was neither unexperienced nor not mature enough to handle all kinds of situation, but she simply had no clue where this would lead her to.
She decided to take the more scenic road via
Stubbs Road to Central and thought back in time again, when she was out in
Bay beach, next to the Tin Hau temple, right at sunset time, just waiting to capture the right moments with a perfect red glow on the water. She knew it was only a minute or two when the sun would give her the exact colors she wanted, when by coincidence and all of a sudden he walked by, enjoying a walk on the beach and approached her with his request if she would send him a softcopy if the pictures turned out to be nice. She was surprised but also felt flattered for she recognized in the tone of his voice that he was really interested in her photographic skills when usually most men who approached her were only after the one thing... She knew that she always attracted men and she knew that men knew that she knew so they would usually stop bugging her after her first look back revealed that she was not interested.
She was now turning from
Wong Nai Chung Gap Road into
Stubbs Road, her Audemars Piguet wristwatch said it was close to 9:30. Francesca liked to wear that watch, the latest gift from her husband, but she only liked it for the look and not for the value or status it would represent to others. She knew she was so well-off that she did not have to care about sufficient funds to finance her lifestyle, but she also knew that she could do with less, if it was necessary. She had gone through those other times too and she was grateful for it because it kept her feet on the ground. She made a left turn on Queen‘s Road East and her mind focussed on him again. She had sent him the photo he had requested and they had started to become pen pals by e-mailing each other at least a couple of times per week. She wondered how he could make available the time for it, she wondered what he was really after, gosh, she wondered what she was after…
She wondered what little she knew of him and still felt like she had known him for years. They had started to flirt via mail, a strange, yet unique experience to her.
She parked her car in the park house right next to the Star Ferry pier and walked over to the ferry entrance for the upper deck. One could see the self-confidence in the way she walked and the way she looked around finding herself a suitable window seat and getting her camera gear prepared - just in case …
The ride was smooth and she enjoyed the mid morning sun, it really was a perfect morning with excellent visibility, comfortably warm with just over 23 or 24 centigrades. She took a few pictures but was not really enthusiastic about it for her mind was still set on other things. When she got off the ferry at the Tsim Sha Tsui side it was already five past ten, she would be late and she really became excited now with her heartbeat accelerating when she finally got to the Starbucks. Don‘t be childish she reminded herself and took a deep breath looking around to watch out for him. When she could not find him she just queued up to get herself a cappuccino and found a table with 2 chairs by a window. She doublechecked that he still was not there and took the first sip when her cell phone rang. Then she heard his voice and she started getting a goose bump when he said:
Hello Francesca, you look darn good in your black tank top …
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Frank Sperling.
Published on e-Stories.org on 09/16/2008.