Cast of Characters:
Standish Moss Hartfield "Stan" or "Moss"
Caterina Fiorenzi "Cat"
Samuel Edwards Hartfield "Sam" - older brother to Stan
Albert Leverett Hartfield - "Stan's father"
Mary Hartfield - "Stan's mother"
June Hartfield - "Sam's wife"
Peggy's Cove is not a name or a place that many people would recognize unless they had been there or had a very good memory for trivia. It is a tiny community on the southern coast of Nova Scotia, and not known for any particular reason other than the picturesque nature of the area.
Nonetheless Sam Hartfield stood on the rocks overlooking the water, looking out across the blue-gray expanse. It had been five years and another lifetime since he had last been here. Many things in our lives can change us - sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Events that we cannot control change our lives and the lives of others. Such was the case with Sam, who last had stood on this shore what now seemed to him so long ago. This is a story about what Peggy's Cove meant to him, and it is the story of two loves lost in a most tragic way.
Standish Moss Hartfield was a handsome six-footer with a trim build, sandy hair, and piercing blue eyes. He was born in Boston to a family that had been in the area for almost two centuries and was quite well off, financially. He had an excellent education, graduating with a BA and then an MBA from Harvard.
His older brother Sam (Samuel Edwards Hartfield) was a brilliant engineer who graduated from MIT and was in the process of forming his own company making specialized integrated circuits, located outside Boston. Stan looked up to Sam, and they were quite close.
Stan wanted to get into banking. New York was where there were many major banks, and he had interviewed with several of them while still at Business School. Although he would miss Sam, he moved to Manhattan shortly after receiving his MBA, accepting an offer from Manufacturers Hanover bank in their international department. He had attracted the attentions of many beautiful women from the beginning of his freshman year, and had many relationships, although nothing that lasted. He was always receptive to opportunities where he could meet new women, and didn't often go home alone from the parties to which he found himself frequently invited in the city.
Unlike Stan, Caterina Fiorenzi was a country girl and only child from upstate New York. She developed an early interest in art, and by high school, was becoming quite talented with her drawings and paintings. Her family, while not poor, had to scrimp and work hard to make it possible for her, even with several scholarships, to attend the State University of New York at Oswego, which had an excellent Fine Arts program. She did well enough there that she was asked to transfer to Purchase College in Westchester County (also part of SUNY) with a full scholarship for her last two years. There was a much stronger arts program there, and the easy access to the treasures of the nearby New York City museums was an inspiration and source of great joy to her. She received a BFA with high honors in 1993, although this was overshadowed by the death of both her parents in an automobile crash on the New York Thruway the previous summer, leaving her with no living relatives. She and a couple of female classmates decided to try to make it in the big city, and moved into a cramped apartment in Manhattan. A good looking dark-haired girl, 5' 8", with a nice build, she had had a few affairs by the time she graduated, but nothing that lasted more than a few weeks.
They were lucky. Her roommates both found jobs with advertising agencies, and Caterina, deciding that she wanted to pursue a career as a serious artist, but still needing employment to pay her share of the rent, opted for freelance work. She was able to establish business relationships with the agency where one of her roommates was working, and also, the next year, with a couple of emerging World Wide Web design firms who didn't have graphic artists on their own staff.
While they weren't actively into the party scene, they did enjoy a few informal gatherings, usually with other classmates and their friends, or co-workers.
They were generally easygoing affairs, usually with nothing besides wine to drink, often with a veggie plate with a nice dip or cheese and crackers.
Caterina, who had started to call herself æCat', met a few young guys and even went out with one of them a few times and had a brief relationship, but he stopped calling her and she didn't really care a lot.
One cold evening in late January of 1994, she was at another party. Across the room, she saw a tall good-looking guy with sandy hair and intense blue eyes. He caught her eye, and she smiled, She felt more of an attraction to him than she had to any man in several years. Soon he was making his way across the room.
"Hi - I'm Stan Hartfield" he said.
She replied "I'm Caterina Fiorenzi, but please call me Cat".
They briefly told each other a little bit about themselves before Stan suggested that they leave the party and grab a bite to eat at a nice Indian restaurant he knew. She quickly agreed; they got their coats, and made their farewells to the hosts. Stan hailed a taxi when they got out to the street, and they took a short ride to the restaurant. When they got there, they were pleased with the delicious fragrant aromas of the Indian cuisine, and also that there was only a short wait for a table. Cat told Stan that she had only had Indian food a few times in her life, and that it probably wasn't a good example of the cuisine; she asked him to order for both of them.
Over a delicious dinner, they talked more about themselves - their childhood dreams, their college experiences, and their jobs and career aspirations.
Neither of them were skiers, but they both liked the outdoors and hiking. By the end of dinner, as they lingered over their tea, they both knew that they wanted to see more of each other, and Stan wisely didn't immediately suggest that they go to his apartment. They exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, and then, when they stepped out onto the street, Stan started looking for a taxi. Not seeing one for a moment, he gently put an arm around Cat, and looking into her warm brown eyes, gave her a gentle kiss which went right to her core. She kissed him back with enthusiasm that surprised her, and put her arms around him for a quick hug.
The moment was broken when a taxi careened around the corner and stopped almost in front of them to discharge a passenger. Stan quickly hailed it and Cat gave the driver her address, knowing that Stan would want to see her home and then go on to his place from there. As they rode through the cold streets, they sat close to each other. All too soon, they got to Cat's apartment building. They quickly kissed again, and she jumped out of the cab and raced for the door to get in out of the cold.
"My God", she said to herself - "I've never had a man make me feel like that!
I think I'll perish if he doesn't call me soon".
Unknown to her, Stan was having very similar thoughts. He'd never met a woman who affected him as strongly as Cat had in just a few hours. He was definitely going to call her soon, and let the relationship develop at her pace; the last thing he wanted to do was to move too quickly and drive her off.
Cat woke up Saturday morning, warm and cozy in Stan's bed. For the past two months, she had been spending almost every weekend in his apartment. Their lovemaking last night had been more than usually tender and satisfying, and remembering it, she smiled and moved closer to him. He stirred and mumbled something incomprehensible - he rarely woke up without a lot of difficulty - and was about to go back to sleep when Cat snuggled up closer and caressed his face. He responded, moving closer to her, and snuggling, their bodies face to face, their arms gently holding each other. "Mmmmm," Cat murmured, almost purring. With a growl, Stan flipped her onto her back, and started caressing her body, starting at the neck, working down to her luscious breasts, and soon moving down to her bellybutton and the magic spot between her legs. Her hands were every bit as busy, working their way around his neck, his shoulders and back, across his chest, and eventually gently touching his enlarged organ.
"Now" she exclaimed - "Now!" Stan didn't need any more encouragement, and they were soon joined for a repeat of the previous night's tender activities.
Half an hour later, they woke up again, still in a close embrace. Stan said "Good morning, lover; are you up for a walk on the beach today?" Cat, still reveling in the sensations of their closeness, just responded lazily "Mmmm - sounds good. Where did you have in mind?"
Stan replied "How about a quick ride down the New Jersey coast? The beaches will still be deserted at this time of year, but it's not supposed to be too cold today, and it should be nice. Also, I know a great seafood place where we can get a wonderful dinner." Stan answered, as he started disentangling himself with an eye to starting a pot of coffee.
.... There is more of this story ...