Seth called two weeks before he left for Jamaica. He wanted to remind me to get his parents at the airport as they had a connecting overnight flight from Miami to Jamaica. They would also do a connecting flight from Miami back to Kentucky on their way back from the wedding. He joked about missing me at the wedding especially at the bachelor party. He knew I was without a girlfriend for a while so he was teasing me.
Seth’s parents and a family friend were to arrive at 2 PM at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. I would pick them up and then take them to Seth’s place to stay. Apparently the family friend was to guide his parents on the trip as it was their first time traveling on a plane.
Seth was in Jamaica taking care of his wedding and his move there. I called ahead to hear that the American Airline flight was delayed. I was no longer in school so my days were free. I slept late and then went to work at night. I was beginning to get really lazy.
I got to the airport at 3 PM and parked near the Delta terminal. I never parked at the airport. Whenever I had to pick-up someone at the airport I would drive around the airport until I saw them outside the terminal. I did this to save money.
Seth’s parents were not regular travelers therefore I had to meet them inside the airport. I walked into the terminal and I spotted Seth’s parents with a young blond lady. At first I did not recognize the lady with them. As I got closed I realized who the young lady was.
It was Amber. Seth never mentioned he had invited her to the wedding.
“Hello,” Seth’s mom said with a big smile.
I was so focused on Amber I almost forgot to greet everyone.
“Hello, how was your flight”, I gave a general greeting to everyone.
Seth’s dad shook my hand and his mom gave me a big hug.
“You remember Amber?,” Seth’s mom asked.
“Sure,” I replied.
Amber gave me a “friend” hug. I held on a little longer.
She smelled really great. I did not want to let go of her but had to.
“Let me get your bags,” I said.
Amber was dressed in a white sun dress and no makeup. She was stunning.
Amber and I never re-connected after my visit to Kentucky but I thought about her a few times. She had written me a letter but I never wrote back. Hopefully she never asks me about the letter.
Seth’s father sat in the front of the car and the ladies in the back. The conversation in the car to Seth’s place was very general. We talked about the weather in Florida and Kentucky.
We encountered some traffic on the I-95. I expected this as there was a lane expansion project on the highway. It was just about rush-hour time. Seth’s parents were shocked by the traffic and asked a rhetorically question, “How do people live with such traffic?”. They came from a small town where there was no traffic.
Amber was silent but our eyes met a few times as I glanced back in the rearview mirror.
We were having a conversation with our eyes. I would look at Amber she would look back at me it’s as if our eyes could speak. Our eyes were saying; When will you and I have a conversation? When will we be alone?
Seth lived in a nice condo with a view of the beach. It was in Aventura which was in North Miami Beach. He would always said, why live in South Florida if not near the beach?.
His condo was the perfect place for a bachelor and I am sure Seth used it well before he got engaged to Krystal. The lease would be up in 2 months.
“How far is the beach from here?” Amber asked.
“Not too far,” I replied.
“Can we go there?” Amber asked looking at Seth’s parents. She was seeking their approval.
“We are tired and wanted to rest” replied Seth’s dad, “You young people go on. Just remember we go to bed at 9:00 pm”.
It was his way of setting a curfew for her. It did not matter. I just wanted to be with her. I was celebrating inside my head as I could not let them see by excitement.
Amber grabbed a sun hat and we were off.
Then I did something stupid. As soon as we get in the car I asked,”Do you want to go to my place” as soon as the words left my mouth I know I had done something stupid. Something I could not take back.
“What type of girl do you think I am?” she asked. She had a disappointing look on her face. I blew it.
“No, I did not mean it that way. I just bought a new house and wanted to show you. Where do you want to go?” I replied.
I was lying. Since breaking up with the “crazy Cuban” I had stayed away from any type of relationship. I had not had sex in a while. I was treating her like a one night stand by asking the question. I also forgot that Amber was a born-again Christian. Hopefully my lie will help me stop the “bleeding”.
“As I said, let’s go to the beach,” she replied, “ I saw it from the plane and want to dip my toes in the water.”
The Haulover Beach was just down the road. It was a nice beach and had a boardwalk.
On the way there we talked. We picked up where we left off on my visit with Seth to Kentucky where I first met her. The conversation was engaging just like our previous meeting
. As the beach came into view I found I was talking to myself. The two-way conversation stopped.
“Wow, this is beautiful” Amber said in amazement.
She was opening the car door before I was fully parked.
She rushed to the water leaving me behind. She was like a child in a toy store. I sat on the sand while she was knee high in the water.
After her frolicking in the water she came and sat beside me.
“Thank you” She said with a big smile “I can’t wait to go to the beach in Jamaica, maybe I will come back with a tan”
Amber was very pale like the typically white person who lived outside the state of Florida.
It was Amber’s first time at the beach. She wanted to enjoy it. Seeing someone appreciate the beach that most people in Miami ignore made me feel I needed to visit it more.
We became engrossed in a conversation again. Then she asked the question I wanted to avoid.
“Why didn’t you write back to me?” she asked.
I had gotten her letter a week after I came back from Kentucky. She had expressed that she liked me and we could be pen friends. I was engaged to Rosa at that time and did not need any complications in my life.
“I never told you this but I had a girlfriend back then.” I replied.
“You could have wrote back and told me“, she replied.
“I did not want to hurt you,” I replied.
She stared out at the sea.
There was a moment of silence.
“What is your new home address?” she asked.
“I can write it down for you when we get back to the car” I replied.
“No, tell me” I will remember.
I told her the address. She repeated it back to me after hearing it once. I was impressed.
She took my hand “Let’s walk along the shore line. I always dreamed of doing this with someone I cared about.”
She had a big smile on her face. I was a part of her romantic fantasy.
As we walked along the shore line holding hands she asked another tough question.
“Why are you not going to Jamaica to the wedding?” she asked.
Seth and I agreed that we would tell everyone that my job would not give me the time-off.
She accepted the explanation.
The ambiance on the beach was perfect. The sun was setting and the reflection on the water was gorgeous. We were talking when we saw another couple ahead. At first glance I thought they were wearing skin colored bathing suits.
“Those people are naked” Amber said shocked “what type of beach is this?”
She asked the question in a way that made it seem I had something to do with it naked people on the beach.
I had no explanations.
I visited the beach a few times years ago with different girls but never saw nudity.
Amber was very uncomfortable. I was too.
We left the beach and went to the Aventura Mall. We ate at the food court. We then walked the mall holding hands. The time went quickly. It was almost 9:00 pm. I took her back to the Seth’s condo. We both did not want to part ways so we stayed in the car and talked some more. I wanted to kiss her so badly but was careful not to do or say anything that would offend her.
As she got out the car to go upstairs she made a confession.
“I really like you. If I were not a Christian woman I would have gone to your place.” She confessed.
I was speechless. I did not want to say the wrong thing.
Amber squeezed my hand and gave me a peck on the lips.
“Thanks for a wonderful day. Maybe we can do it again when we stopover again on the way back to Kentucky.”
“I would like that”‘ I replied.
As I drove back home my mind was on the wonderful day I spent with Amber. In an ironic way it felt like I made love without actually making love. I was satisfied.
The next morning I picked up Amber and Seth’s parents for the airport. Even though nothing happened between Amber and me it felt like I was pretending. Our conversation to the airport was generic.
I took their bags out on the curb and said goodbyes. I shook hands with Seth’s father and hugged his mother. As I reached to hug Amber she stretched her hand and gave me an envelope.
“Please mail this for me.”
She then gave me a brief hug, turned and walked with Seth’s parents into the airport terminal.
It seemed like she was walking in slow motion. She was gone.
Police were writing tickets so I had to rush back to the curb and drive off.
I put the envelope on the passenger seat. I was still thinking about Amber.
When I got home I looked at the address on the envelope.
It was a letter addressed to me from Amber.