I'd always thought I possessed all the time in the world and the idea never occurred to me things might change. The thing is; I was so positive I would always be with Carol; I really thought we would be together forever. I was so positive time would wait for us; that it would wait for me to get all of my business' in order, and then we would have time for the rest of our lives. Had I known the big "C" was waiting around the corner, and was going to ravage that lovely body and then steal my Carol away from me so early; I swear I would have done so many things differently.
If asked today if I would give up the corporations, the money, and all of my success just to have her back, I'd gladly do so. I would consent to be a pauper if I could just have her back and she could be a part of my life once more. However, I have learned one cannot dwell on the "what if's" or the "I should have of's" ... I know you have to move on with life and yet ... more than two years later ... I find I miss her more than ever. I would say don't dwell on the past; but if the truth be know, at night, when my dragons escape in my mind and then are allowed to roam free; my guilt and sorrow is still all consuming.
After she died, Saturdays just seemed to become my day to spend with Carol. Allow me to explain; part of her gravesite consists of a large, chocolate colored granite bench, big enough for 3 or even 4 people to sit on. This bench stands just in front of her marker, and when you sit on the bench; you can look right down on her. Anyway, every Saturday for the past 2 years I've gone and sat on that bench and talked to her. Every Saturday I'd sit there sharing with her the week's happenings, just talking to her grave marker. I'm sure many people thought me very strange, and as strange as it sounds, I've always felt somehow she was listening and understood. However; the entire previous week I was attending meetings out of town and for the first time since her death, I wasn't able to make my normal Saturday meeting. Instead, I was to visit her the next day.
My corporate plane arrived very late Saturday night and today, Sunday, was going to have to be my day to visit. I asked my driver Walter to stop at the flower shop and I picked up something to take to her marker, something I never do. When we arrived at the cemetery, I asked Walter to park the car in the normal space I usually use and I got out of the car and headed towards Carol's grave. Her resting place is just over the crest of a small knoll and has a nice view of the cemetery. As I came up over the rise and stared ahead, I saw somebody was sitting on the granite bench ... on OUR granite bench ... someone was desecrating my darling's final resting place and I felt anger welling up inside of me. As I started to walk towards the bench, I was totally prepared to tell this person to get off what I considered to be "our bench".
I stormed around in front of the bench and came to a fast stop staring down into two interestingly deep blue/grey eyes looking up at me, set in a lovely face. The eyes were slightly misty from crying and she looked up at me with a startled look on her face. My anger seemed to quickly seep away as I gazed down at the charming young woman sitting on the bench. The surprised look stayed on her face and with a shaky voice she asked, "Oh ... how come you're here today?"
I was completely taken aback by her question and I queried, "I don't understand; how do you know today isn't my normal day to come and visit?"
Her face turned red with embarrassment and she stood quickly, "I'll leave."
Responding promptly, I begged her, "No! Please sit down. Please don't leave. Tell me, why'd you make the comment about this not being 'my day'? How do you know that?"
As she sat back down, she moved to the end of the end of the bench and motioned for me to sit down on the other end. She was silent for a moment as she gathered her skirt and long coat against her body. It was as if she was collecting her thoughts as well as her clothing. Finally, she began, "My Mark died a few days before your wife. I was here the day you buried her and I saw you. I come here often ... to ah ... visit Mark, and I noticed you were only here on Saturdays. So, any day I come other than Saturday, I sit on this bench. Mark is buried just behind us."
I turned and saw the marker with Mark's name on it, along with the date of his birth and death. When I looked back into her face, I was surprised with my feelings. For the past two years, I'd not really noticed another woman. I would speak to them every day at work, but today was the first time I was actually sitting one on one with a woman since Carol passed away, discussing something besides business. In the past, I wasn't even interested in looking at another woman, but for some reason, this woman sitting in front of me had caught my attention.
What I also found strange was when I had turned back from Mark's marker; I thought I had seen something in her face as well. I had not been interested in meeting other women; that didn't mean I wasn't aware if a woman found me interesting. However, as I considered what I thought I had just noticed, it occurred to me it wasn't possible now, I was at least twice her age; why would she be interested in any man my age? Especially somebody as beautiful as this young lady was. I decided it was best for me to leave and I started to stand as I commented to her, "I will leave you to your privacy. I am sorry I disturbed you."
She reached out and touched my sleeve, causing me to stop. "Wait. Please don't leave. This is your bench and your place of solitude. I am the one who is intruding. I am the one who should leave." As she finished speaking, she started to rise.
"Would you consider the idea that we both sit here ... together?" I asked her softly.
She looked at me. I could see her deliberating what I had just asked and then she settled back down on her end of the bench.
"Good morning. I guess we never got that part of our conversation taken care of." I smiled at her comment and then asked her what happened to Mark and she told me about the car accident involving a drunk driver speeding the wrong way down the freeway at 2 in the morning. She went on to share her anger and her sense of loss, she shared so much of her past two years of pain and I allowed myself to open to her words, which helped me realize I had felt some of the same feelings she was describing to me. She asked me what had happened to Carol and after a few minutes, I realized there were tears running down my face, and how much I was sharing with her about my pain and anger. I told her how hard I had worked to create the business empire I ran, but now that she was gone, it didn't matter as much anymore. I told her how much I wished I had done things differently and how I wished I had spent more time with Carol. I didn't know if it was the outpouring of my grief for the very first time since her death, or the embarrassment of sharing so much so quickly with a stranger, but suddenly I had an overwhelming need to leave this woman I just met. I quickly stood and told her that I needed to depart
"Please wait..." she implored. "Don't go..."
"I'm sorry, I have to leave." And I strode off to my waiting car.
Sitting in the back seat during the drive home, and for most of the next week, I found I could not get the young lady's attractive face out of my mind. Her soft blue/green eyes, misted with her grief and her lovely face haunted me. Along with thoughts of her was also the guilt; I should not even be thinking of another woman after Carol. Why did my mind keep returning to her sweet face and those beautiful eyes? And then the other fact would occur to me; I was at least twice her age and what was I thinking ... how could I even contemplate anything with her in any way considering my age? I started to feel I was truly an old fool.
It wasn't until 3 days after I saw her sitting on the stone bench that I realized I didn't even know her name. And I found each time I thought about her, I ended up embarrassed about my feelings considering the difference in our ages. I realize we only spoke for a short time and neither of us really mentioned anything about a relationship, but it seemed to me there had been a spark ... or was it really just an old fool dreaming? I did know I kept thinking about her and wondering what she would be like ... and then the guilt would kick in, along with the feelings of what an old fool I was.
Saturday came and I prepared myself for my weekly visit to Carol's grave. On the way to the cemetery, I kept fighting the urge to ask my driver to go faster, but I held my tongue. After we parked, I sat for a moment in the back seat and pondered if she might even be there today. As I sat in the cocoon of my back seat, mulling it all over, unexpectedly I became shocked by the realization of my feelings; the feelings I really hoped she might be there today. I wondered what was going on in my head. Why those few moments with her last Sunday captured my imagination so quickly? Then I remembered what she told me; she didn't come on Saturdays because she knew I would be there; but I still possessed the hope she might be there today.
My driver Walter opened the door and I got out of the car and headed off across the damp, morning dew covered grass. As I came up over the rise, I saw somebody sitting on the bench. My heart leapt and I was truly bewildered by the happiness I felt inside. As I thought about it, I realized I was happier than I had been in the past 2 years. As I approached the bench, she stood and looked up. "Good morning," her voice was sweet and musical. "If you wish, I will leave."
I quickly replied, "No, please stay ... um ... I wondered if you would be here today ... actually I hoped you might. I think I need to talk to you."
"That's interesting; I was hoping we could talk today as well. But you go first, what did you want to talk to me about?" she asked with a puzzle look on her face.
"Well, first off, I am sorry how I ran off the other day, but I was embarrassed when I became such a cry baby..."
"NO!" She raised her hand. "Stop!" She had spoken with such force and her voice was so sharp it startled me. She smiled to soften her words and continued, "You showed me how you felt; that was real and I felt honored you'd share it with me. Forgive me if this is a bit forward, but I think it was the first time since Carol died you allowed so much of your feelings to show to anybody."
As she paused, I nodded my head affirmatively. I felt as if she had slapped me in the face. It was true; it was the first time since I lost Carol I had talked to anyone about it. It was the first time I cried in front of anybody and expressed any of my anger and grief. I could feel myself getting embarrassed again because I shared so much with a total stranger. As I sat there, somehow she seemed to feel my embarrassment. I felt her hand on my sleeve and as she spoke, I heard her voice, soft and gentle as she could possibly speak, "Please ... please don't pull away! Your words touched me last week and I was surprised by what you told me. You seemed to express things I have been feeling but hadn't realized were inside of me. Thank you for sharing and trusting me that much."
I smiled at her. It was time for me to confess as well. "There have been mixed feelings all week about last Sunday. In ways I am so embarrassed and yet I found that being able to share everything really has made me feel better." Let's face it, there was no way I was going to share with her the rest of my feelings. I had no idea how she felt about another man, or anything along those lines, let alone the fact I was old enough to be her father ... or more. No, I was going to just let things be. "I hoped all week I might find you here, and yet ... I was both afraid and embarrassed. Anyway, I am pleased you are here and we had a chance to talk. You know, I don't even know your name."
Her laughter was gentle and I liked the sound of it. She extended her hand as she spoke, "Hi, my name is Amber." I bowed my head slightly as I took her warm hand in mine and told her my name.
"I know," she colored slightly, "I asked at the caretaker's cottage."
Her face grew even more flushed than before. She dropped her head and I decided the gentlemanly thing to do was to drop it for the time being. To help ease the moment, I asked her to tell me some more about Mark. For a moment she brightened as she told me how they met. She had a couple of amusing stories about the two of them and then I saw the light go out of her eyes. Tears started to creep from the corners of her eyes and then run down her cheeks. "Damn it!" she cried. "Two years now and I still cry when I think about him."
"Well, is that such a bad thing? You must have really loved him."
"I did in the beginning." She sobbed.
"And when he died?" My voice trailed off.
She lifted her lovely face, tears streaming over her cheeks and she shook her had in a negative fashion. She lowered her face and continued to cry. I so much wanted to reach out and put my arm around her, but I feared the advance would not be appreciated. I reached into my back pocket, pulling out a clean handkerchief and handed it to her, silently thanking mother for instilling the importance of always carrying a clean handkerchief. She opened it and held it to her face. With one great hiccup, she seemed to settle back and she looked so beaten down. In a voice as soft as I could use, I spoke to her, "Would it help to talk to me about it?"
She smiled a very brief smile and then in an almost whisper she started, "I don't know ... I think part of the reason I keep coming here is to deal with the guilt I feel about his death. I do know the night he died he was just as drunk as the person who hit him. He had been drinking all evening and I made some comment about something and he struck me in the face and knocked me to the floor. I screamed at him to get out and he kicked me several times as I was lying there. Then he slammed the door and left. I don't know what I did wrong, but it was my fault he died that night. I told him to leave. I knew he was drunk and he should not be out driving around. I told him to get out of the house and it was my fault he died." Again, tears welled up in her eyes.
Her confession angered me. The words seem to just come out of my mouth as if somebody else put them there. My tone was so abrupt she drew back as I spoke, "You are not at fault. The bastard hit you. Look at me," she was looking into her lap now, "look me in the eye..." I reached over and gently lifted her face so she was looking at me. "No man has any right to hit a woman. Perhaps it is because of my age, but I have always believed that. A man has no right to hit a woman for any reason. You had every right to tell him to get out. You were protecting yourself! It was not your fault he decided to drive drunk! And, it is not your fault somebody hit him in his car. You need to keep telling yourself it was not your fault ... because it wasn't."
Amber's face fell and she lunged at me. My arms encircled her body as if they had their own mind and I held her as she wept. Her face was against my chest and my chin rested on the top of her head. I could smell the fragrance of the shampoo trapped in her hair, she smelled fresh and I reveled in the delightful smells of her. I gently moved one hand up and placed it alongside of her face to take her head and hold it to my chest. As I held her crying in my arms, I could feel her finally releasing some of the pent up guilt she had kept stored within. As she wept, I found I too had started to cry again. For some reason, her allowing me to experience her grief touched something inside of me, and I felt more of the pain, grief and guilt I had kept stored deep inside for the past 2 years, welling up and finally leaving.
How long we sat there holding each other and crying I don't know. When her crying stopped, she looked up at me and I will never know why I did it, but without thinking, I moved my face down to hers and I kissed her. I was completely unprepared for her reaction. As soon as our lips touched, her hands went to each side of my face and she returned the kiss with deep hunger and amazing passion. Her lips parted and I felt her tongue gently touch my lips as if questioning if her action was acceptable. When I opened my lips, her tongue slipped between them ... questioning ... searching ... exploring. My tongue reached out and touched hers and I heard a deep groan escape from within her body. Suddenly my mind clicked and I realized how wrong it was what we were doing. I gently pushed her away and she softly cried out, "No ... please don't pull away."
"Amber ... stop. Listen to me. You are feeling venerable. That is all this is. Besides, look at me ... I am old enough to be your father or..."
"I don't give a shit!" Her response held a touch of anger. "I am sick and tired of all the expectations and rules and..." she gave a slight hiccup from her crying. "As far as I am concerned, age has nothing to do with it. A person's age is irrelevant. I thought I had married one person and he turned out to be something else. I don't know what happened ... but he was my age and at the end, I was ready to leave him because he was just a spoiled brat. A mommy's boy who resorted to violence to get his way."
"Amber ... I am sorry, but to me your age is a factor. And I still haven't forgotten Carol."
Her voice took on a firm tone as she continued, "I am not asking you to forget anything or anybody. I am just trying to tell you I think you are an attractive man. I have watched you for two years now and I think I know a bit about you. I enjoyed being held by you just now. I really liked being kissed by you." She paused and took a breath. The silence grew between us until she finally said, "Well, say something."
"I think I need to go. I always thought Carol was my one and only ... and ... well ... I need to go." My head was spinning and my feelings were all screwed up. I could not believe how I felt; I was so attracted to her. Yet, the worst part was her age, looking at her made me feel like a dirty old man. Well, maybe not that bad, but to me, her age was a factor. I stood and said my good bys and started to head back to the waiting car.
I heard her call out, "I'll see you next week?" And it sounded like a question.
I stopped and turned back to look at her, "We'll see." I responded.
The week next week was difficult. Between a lot of problems at the company, I also found I couldn't keep my mind focused. Every time I let my guard down, thoughts of her came flooding in and I found it was difficult to push them to the back of my mind. By Friday, a part of me couldn't wait to see if Amber was going to be waiting on the bench tomorrow; then there was the other part of me consumed with guilt about those feelings. I still felt like I was cheating on Carol in some way; but the most difficult thing I found was the age difference between us. That feeling was presenting the most difficult of all for me to deal with.
Saturday morning came and I decided I would go to Carol's grave and if Amber was there, I would explain to her just how I felt about everything. I would explain how things were and put a stop to anything before it really got started. Walter pulled into the parking lot and I glanced around at the parked cars. As I looked around, it dawned on me I had no idea what kind of car Amber drove. I chuckled to myself about my looking since there was no point. Walter asked me, "Sir, what's so amusing?"
"Nothing Walter ... just something that occurred to me. Please wait here."
I headed towards the gravesite and as I crested the knoll, I saw the bench was empty. Empty... "Empty!" The word filled my head. Amber wasn't waiting on the bench after all. A deep sadness consumed me and I was taken aback at how intense those feelings were. I could not believe how disappointed I was to see Amber was not there waiting and I now realized just how much I hoped she would be. It didn't matter she had no idea if I was going to be there or not, it was just she wasn't there and now I realized I had wanted her to be there.
When I got to the bench, I felt if I wasn't careful I was going to start crying. I slumped down on the bench and as I sat there, I started thinking about all the strange new feelings stirring within me. I stared down at Carol's grave for a while and then asked out loud, "Would you mind if I started to see another woman?"
From behind me a gentle voice spoke, "I really think she would want you to." I spun around and found Amber standing there. "Sorry, I am late." She smiled timidly and continued, "I didn't know if I would find you here. I am really happy you're here."
I stood up and was surprised how quickly and easily the words came out, "When I came over the knoll I couldn't believe how depressed and disappointed I was after I saw you weren't sitting on the bench. I knew we didn't have an appointment or anything, but I was so sad when I thought you weren't going to be here today." I paused for a moment and then continued, "I think we need to have a talk about what's happening."
Amber smiled at me, "I would agree." She stood there for a moment, looking around and then looked up at me. "Would it be OK for me to ask you to go someplace else ... besides..." Amber waved her hand towards the two graves and continued, "and share a cup of coffee or something?"
I understood her feeling and I nodded my head affirmatively. As we turned to head back towards the car, the sun came out from behind a cloud and I thought it seemed to beam down on both of us. Something caused me stop for a moment and I turned back to look at Carol's grave. I'm sure it was just the light from the sun, but the way it was shining, it actually appeared as if her gravestone was glowing and at that moment, I knew she was giving me her approval. I knew Carol had somehow been showing her approval and it was OK for me to befriend Amber.
As the two of us walked side by side, I looked over at Amber walking next to me and was pleased to see the top of her head came just above my shoulder. Since I am rather tall, I have always liked a woman to be tall as well.
Amber stopped at the end of my car, staring at the driver holding the back door open. She seemed startled, "This is your car?" she blurted out.
"Yes ... why?"
"I've seen it here before but I thought it was a funeral car or something. I never realized it was yours." She looked from the car to Walter standing next to the door and then back at the car.
"Does it make a difference?" I noticed the unhappy look on her face. "What's the problem?"
Amber shrugged her shoulders, "No problem, it's just that the last time I rode in a limo it was when ... well ... the day of the funeral and I ... ah..."
It suddenly occurred to me my car and driver was perhaps bringing back unhappy memories. I put my hand on her shoulder and turned her to face me, "Would you rather take your car?"
"No!" She said with some force, "actually, I think I want to ride with you in your car," Amber gave me a little grin, "and then I will have a better memory to replace the one I have." She was so sweet the way she said it, it felt as if my heart was going to break. I adored her smile; when she smiled, her whole face lit up and her green eyes would twinkle. Her smile made her face soft and warm and I liked the way her smile made me feel happy inside.
We climbed into the back of my car and I instructed Walter to take us somewhere where we could get a cup of coffee. We rode in silence for a couple of blocks and then Amber asked, "This is different than the limo's they use for funerals, isn't it?"
"Why do you ask?" I asked her in return.
"This is a lot nicer than the other one I was in. I mean, look at all the wood trim in here and you even have a little desk there. This is not like the other limo at all."
I had to chuckle, from her comment. "Yes, it is a lot different. This is a company car. It's made in Germany and is quite a bit more expensive than what a funeral home would have." As I finished, Walter pulled in behind a small coffee shop located in a shopping mall. We went in, placed our order and then found a table outside with an umbrella. Amber sat across from me, looking with an expectant look on her face. The pause grew longer and longer as I continued to stare into Amber's deep green eyes. Finally, she grinned at me and asked, "Are you waiting for me to blink first?"
I laughed and shook my head in a negative way. "No, it just seems I have so much to say and I really don't know where to start."
"OK, tell me why you were so disappointed when you thought I wasn't there this morning."
She went right for the heart. I was still working on that one question. After some thought, I started, "I haven't stopped thinking about our kiss all week long. In ways, I feel it was wrong because I still have issues about Carol and I felt I was cheating on her, but I think I am feeling different about it now. But there is one thing which hasn't changed ... the difference in our ages. Amber, I am at least old enough to be your father and perhaps even your grandfather! I have a real problem with that. Looking at you makes me feel like a dirty old man." I grinned at her with my last remark.
Her laughter was sweet and musical; she reached out and put her hand on top of mine. "OK. How old do you think I am?" I looked at her, trying to appraise her age. I am very aware that trying to guess a woman's age can be a very dangerous thing. It was as if she sensed what I was thinking, as she demanded, "I want you to be honest. Don't try to make something up. Tell me exactly how old you think I am?"
"I know that guessing a woman's age is dangerous," I smiled, "honestly I would guess you to be somewhere in your late 20's ... early 30's at the most."
Amber beamed at me and squeezed my hand. "You are way too sweet. I will be 38 on my next birthday. That makes me starting middle age at least!" She giggled with her remark. There was a long pause and looking directly into my eyes, she asked, "So what's your problem?"
I gave a small laugh, "First off, you do not look anything like what I thought a 38 year old woman should look like." She grinned at this remark and I continued, "My problem, as you put it, is that I will be 61 my next birthday. Look at it this way; you are young enough to be my daughter! Amber, you are a beautiful young woman and I am flattered that you kissed me; but to be honest, I feel like a very foolish old man to be even thinking about you the way I have over the past week."
Amber arched one eyebrow, paused and in a very soft voice asked, "And exactly what thoughts have you been thinking about me?" I could feel my face growing red as I squirmed in my seat. Amber placed her hand again on top of mine and squeezed it. Her voice was soft and more intense, "Tell me, what you were thinking about me?"
I could feel my face growing hot as the words stumbled out, "Amber ... ah ... this is really embarrassing. I was being foolish and I had thoughts about you men my age aren't supposed to have about women your age." I continued to fidget in my seat, "Now please stop with the questions. Besides, this is not what I wanted to talk to you about!"
She ignored my comment and continued, "Do you mean you had erotic thoughts about me?" She paused again and I could feel my face was flushed. Amber lowered her voice so I had to strain to hear her. "Did you think about making love with me," another pause and she added, "The way I've thought about making love with you?"
I could not believe my ears. What did she just say? I felt light headed and everything around us seemed to become very bright. Things were spinning around in my head. I sputtered and finally asked, "What did you just say?"
"You heard me!" she laughed. Amber lowered her voice again and looked me directly in the eyes, "But since older men have problems hearing ... I asked if you thought about making love with me the same way I have been thinking about making love with you." Amber laughed harder at the look on my face.
This conversation was getting very uncomfortable. Lucky for me there was a table between us or she would have seen the front of my pants sticking out. Things were going way too fast and I felt I needed to stall. Taking a sip of my coffee, I stared into her beautiful eyes. Her hand was still on top of mine and I still felt things were still moving way too fast. I had no idea on how to slow them down. "Amber ... look ... I ... um!"
"Stop!" She squeezed my hand tightly, "I have watched you for two years come and go at Carol's grave. The first year I thought I was losing my mind. I was interested in you but I thought my feelings were because I was trying to forget Mark ... or I was trying to forget what I did to him. I thought perhaps an older man would be a father figure to me; that perhaps you could help me deal with my feelings about Mark. Over the past few months I began to see I needed to move on with my life." Amber paused and I could tell she was thinking over what she wanted to share with me next.
'I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't found me sitting on the bench that day. I wanted to talk to you, but I was afraid to say anything. I guess it was good we accidentally met the way we did." Another long pause, "Our conversations have made me think and made me examine what I am doing with my life. I have not been on a date since Mark was killed ... and I'll bet that you haven't either since Carol passed away! Am I correct?"
I nodded my head yes. She squeezed my hand again and continued, "I am pleased we are having this talk, but I think I would like for you to take me to dinner. I know this is a bit forward, but I want to see more of you." As she finished, she folded her arms across her chest as if to say, "So ... there!"
I carefully considered what she had said. It was true; I had not been with another woman in any way, shape or form in over 2 years. I was still a bit puzzled about the feelings I'd had as I left Carol's grave, but I was positive she somehow sent me a message she approved of Amber. I know Carol had heard me all of the times I visited her grave and talked to her about each week's happenings, and I know Carol had approved of my budding friendship with Amber. Looking across the table at the lovely young woman sitting there, I decided it was time to move on. I did want to have dinner with her. Just maybe, I wasn't too old for her after all.
"How about dinner tomorrow evening?" I asked her.
"Are you sure?"
"I wouldn't have asked you if I wasn't."
"I would love to. Thank you for asking." Amber dropped her head for a moment and then looked up grinning. "Pick me up at 7:00." She reached into her purse and took out a business card. "I work out of my house, this is my address ... and my phone number if you need, or want to call." She grinned again with her disarming grin.
All day long I felt like a big kid. Anytime I happened to glance in the mirror I found myself grinning back. I was very happy about the upcoming evening and I knew I hadn't felt this happy since a long time before Carol had died. I found even when I did think about Carol, all feelings of guilt were gone. I didn't understand it, but somehow I knew inside she approved of this date with Amber. DATE! I said the word out loud; "Date!" and I had to laugh. I couldn't believe I was actually going out on a date. At my age, I was really going out on a date ... and best part of all, I was extremely pleased about it.
Walter drove the limo down the long drive and pulled up in front of Amber's house. When he came around and opened my door, I clambered out of the back seat, ascended the front stairs to her home and rang the door bell. When she opened the door I was in shock. Until that moment, I hadn't realized I'd only seen her with her coat on. Now she was standing in front of me in a beautiful, well designed dress which called attention to her voluptuous figure. The color of her dress enriched the color of her hair and complimented her coloring. The dress also called attention to her lovely full breasts and displayed a generous amount of cleavage.
"That dress is beautiful. You sure make it look great." Amber smiled at my compliment and slowly spun around to show the entire dress. I noticed her waist was trim and I really liked how the dress flowed out over her shapely hips. I was pleased at how astonishing she looked.
Amber picked up her coat from a chair beside the door and handed it to me and I held it for her as she slipped it on. Once she put it over her shoulders, she turned and looked back smiling up at me, "Thank you." she whispered. I was compelled to lean over and kissed her softly on her cheek.
I made reservations at one of my favorite restaurants even though it had been a long time since I was there. The restaurant sits perched high on a hill over looking a wide expanse of water and from the lofty perch; you can look down at the passing ships below. Off in the distance snow capped mountains were visible and the sun was settling down between them preparing for its evening sleep. When I called for the reservations, I asked for my old favorite table and much to my surprise, the staff not only remembered me, but was able to accommodate my request. Once Amber was seated, she looked off at the setting sun remarking how beautiful the view was. It made me happy she was enjoying both the restaurant and the view so much.
We ordered drinks and later ordered a couple of bottles of wine to share with dinner. I told several old stories from my past as best as I could. I wanted to impress this beautiful young woman sitting across from me. She told me about her childhood and her college days. Twice she lightly touched on the subject of Mark however I didn't ask her any follow up questions. I wanted her to tell me everything she wanted to about Mark; I was in no rush.
The evening was perfect. After the fantastic sunset, the full moon cast its light across the water of the bay. Dinner was amazing, each course was very well prepared and I couldn't remember ever having a better meal at this restaurant. After dinner we sat and talked. The more we talked, the easier it was for me. I found it was easy to talk to Amber. She was funny, witty, intelligent and very charming and I enjoyed the far ranging subjects we covered. The way she grasped what I was telling her about any of my stories relating to business showed her understanding about the business world. Dinner was over and our after dinner drinks were finished and I realized it was time to go. When I stood up to pull back her chair, I was very grateful I didn't have to drive since I was feeling very mellow from the wine and the drinks we had consumed over the course of the evening.
Walter had brought the car around and it was waiting at the main door of the restaurant when we came out. Once we were inside, Walter headed towards Amber's home. When we arrived, Walter stepped around to open the door for Amber as I got out of the back seat on my side; then I walked her to her front door. After the door was open, she asked me if I wanted to come in. I really wanted to, but I was afraid of where it could lead. When I declined, she bowed her head a moment and then look back up at me, "Please ... please come in," she whispered.
"I don't think that's a good idea. I have your number, can I call you sometime?" The look on her face made me feel so sad, it was as if her puppy had died, but I did not trust myself to stay any longer. My desire for her had grown throughout the entire evening, but I had no idea if I could even perform anymore.
"Why are you so afraid of me?"
"I'm not ... I am just still having a problem with..."
"I really thought we were past that!" She snapped back. "If you are referring to our ages, please get over it! If it is not a big thing to me, why is it to you?"
"Well..." I was stumped. I didn't dare tell her I was scared that "it" might not work anymore. Maybe it was all of the drinks, or because I had not been with a woman for 2 years, but I could feel my resolve swiftly weakening. I thought perhaps I would go inside and just talk to her for a moment. "Just a second, let me tell Walter what's going on," I told Amber.
She pointed to the open door, indicating I should go inside and wait. She slipped past me as she told me, "I'll take care of Walter, and you just go in and sit down." I watched her walk out to the limo and chat with Walter. After a second or two, Walter got into the car and I watched him drive away as Amber returned. "What did you say to him?" I asked her with some alarm.
"I told him I would take you home later. Now go inside, it's cold out here." Amber took me into the living room and turned on a couple of side lamps. She walked over to the couch and sat down; patting the space next to her, indicating she wanted me to sit next to her. I walked over and sat down, turning my body so I could look at her face. She reached over and picked up my hand, looked at it for a few seconds and then placed a kiss in the middle of my palm.
"What was that for?" I asked.
"Does there have to be a reason? Maybe I just wanted to," she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye. Still holding my hand, she lifted it to her cheek and nestled her face into the palm. Her face was soft and I responded by caressing her cheek. Amber moved her head a little, indicating that she was enjoying my touch.
After a while, she stood and then turned her body, sat back down so she was now lying across my lap, facing me. It seemed natural for me to just reach out and slip my arms around her. As I drew her to my body, a long sigh came from deep inside of her and she seemed to mold her body against mine. Just like when I had held her in the cemetery, my face was now resting against the top of her head and I could smell her hair; she smelled wonderful.
She finally leaned back and looked up at me. I leaned forward and placed my lips on hers. Again, like before, she took my face in her hands and returned the kiss with strong passion. When my lips parted slightly, her tongue slipped quickly between them, searching, probing, finding my tongue and caressed it. When we finally pulled apart, her breath was ragged and she stared at me with wide eyes. Once more I was taken with the comeliness of her face and the deep green of her eyes. She pulled my face back to hers and kissed me again with passion.
My pants were becoming uncomfortably tight with my growing erection. There had been no sex since Carol's passing and I found I was getting extremely turned on. When our kiss broke again, I looked into Amber's eyes and whispered, "This needs to stop. I am getting very turned on and I haven't had sex in over two years."
"Neither have I ... and I want it to be with you!"
"Please shut up and kiss me again..."