Running to catch the elevator to the third floor; Nina’s heel broke off the bottom of her shoe leaving her to hobble onto the lift as the others inside giggled. Nina smiled as best she could and tried to laugh off the death of her beloved black pump. Great. Just great. An interview with the assistant manager of the lingerie department and today’s the day I lose a shoe.
I am standing next to my mother in the elevator when I sense the presence of someone else in the crowd. I look around and notice the man to my mother’s left. Why do I sense him? Who is he to her? I cannot take my eyes off of him. He seems so familiar to me.
Don’t worry about it. You looked cute falling on your face.
Looking up to see the face belonging to the voice Nina could only muster, Excuse me?
I said it’s ok. We all saw it was an accident. Could happen to anybody.
The face was clean shaven. Brown hair. Nicely shaped eyebrows and mouth. I like his teeth and his shoulders and the slight spark in his green eyes.
Hi. I’m David. David Crystal. And you are…? Oh the spark in his eyes….
Nina Santander. Hi. I feel so stupid right now. God! I have an interview with a Mrs. Zittel in a half an hour and I’m going to walk in bouncing up and down like a carousel horse.
Ha! Ha! A flair for the drama. I like that. Well, do you like to dance Nina?
What? Dance? Dance what?
Dance. Do you like to dance?
Yes sure. Why?
Well I can’t very well have a dance partner who’s going to break off her heel every time the music plays. How am I supposed to lead you?
David I’m sorry but I don’t understand you.
Alright. Let me try this again. May I take you out to dinner tonight and I will show you? Is that ok?
Ummm….I don’t know you.
No. That’s true. Do you like to dance?
Yes David. Smiling now, Nina understands the game he is playing. I like to dance.
Nina. May I take you out to dinner tonight, with new shoes of course, and then take you to dance with me?
Yes. David Crystal. You may.
Excellent. Here’s my card. Write your name, number , and address on the back of it.
Yes please. How else am I going to find you?
Oh yes. That’s right.
The elevator doors opened to the third floor and Nina bounced up and down out the doors with David smirking at her constant change in height.
On second thought. The two heel heights might be a good idea. We can invent a new dance move.
A flair for the drama. I like it. Yes I do. Shall I pick you around 7:00 tonight?
That’s fine. I will be ready and waiting.
Bye for now Nina.
Bye. David. Nina watched as David slowly turned around to walk toward the credit check department. I like his shoulders.
I know this man. He is familiar to me. Who is he?
Nina turned around to walk toward the lingerie department and found Mrs. Zittel neatly folding the girdles in the foundation section in the back. The interview went well and Mrs. Zittel didn’t mind a bit about Nina’s broken shoe. It was agreed that Nina would work in the department part-time while she worked on her MBA. She would start work on Monday of next week. It would turn out to be a perfect fit for both ladies as they got along well and worked easily together despite the forty-year age difference.
Nina is nervous about her sudden dinner date with a man she knew nothing about.
This is so unlike me. I never take risks like this. Am I crazy?
The knocking jolted Nina out of her thinking fog and she jumped to open the door.
Hi. You look great.
Thank you, David. You look very handsome yourself.
Well, I wanted to impress you.
And where are we dining this evening sir?
That is my surprise.
And what a surprise it was when David pulled up to a retirement home and walked Nina to the cafeteria.
What are we doing here?
It’s Thursday night and I am the dance instructor here, David explained with that ever-present spark. Don’t worry. There will be dinner. With some of the finest people I know.
David and Nina spent the evening sitting at a round table with two other couples. Silvia and Arnie from Queens and the Shilowitz’s from Delray.
So how do you know David dear?
Oh Silvia. I broke my shoe and David laughed at me in the elevator and then he asked me to come out to dinner with him tonight.
That’s the best way to know a man you know.
By accident. The best way. That way you can’t see the road too far ahead. Keeps you on your toes.
Nina laughed and listened to the stories that Silvia told about her dear Arnie and how they met when he was a paratrooper training in Fort Benning.
Nina, don’t listen to her. I knew the moment I laid my eyes on her that we would spend the rest of our lives together.
David went to the microphone near the dance floor and announced that the first dance class of the evening was about to begin and for everyone to please take their places. The music starts. It is an old Doris Day song. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.
Nina rose from her seat as David took her gently by the hand, led her to the dance floor, and placed his free hand on the small of her waist.
They embraced politely and looked into each other’s eyes. In that moment I had a sense of awakening. My whole being was alive and tingling. And then I knew. I know him. He is my father. My father’s name is David. He has brown hair. Green eyes. Will I have my father’s eyes or my mother’s? I could barely contain my excitement as I knew. My last name will be Crystal. My father. My father has met my mother. And she is smiling inside.
He is so handsome. I wonder what his kiss is like? Does he see me? I like the strength of his hand on my waist. He is looking into my eyes and I cannot look away. David, who are you? I like to dance like this with you. I like you very much already.
Story to be continued…..