I was having dinner in Boston’s historic waterfront district with the gang, even my brother Rumi had showed up. We were at Trade restaurant. Trade has an industrial feel with a brass colored floor, high ceilings, exposed brick and a variety simple ceiling lamps, that hang like stars from they sky. It doesn’t sound fancy but works for Trade giving it a hip casual feel, especially at night. We were here celebrating Armand’s return from the dead. I’m being dramatic I know but he was so completely off everyone’s radar that we were all feeling antsy. Casey was there with a date I didn’t recognize. All I knew about Colin was that he was doing a PhD at Harvard Business School. I meant to call her on it later. As expected he was wearing a tan pique blazer with elbow patches. His sandy hair had a short tousled look and there was the presence of the slightest bit of stubble – adding a little testosterone to his pretty boy look.
“It’s not even a real date. Just someone I met recently,” she had said when I asked who she was bringing, but I could tell by her black silk blouse (with a round sequined color framing her throat like a choker) and slit shoulders with sheer cascading sleeves…a glammed-up seventies look, that she must be more than a little interested in him.
It was nine o’clock and I was starved. I looked over to Melanie. She looked like a knock out in black and white print sleeveless asymmetrical tunic.
“Why don’t we start with some flatbread,” I suggested. Mel complied by ordering the mushroom and figs flatbread (with Gorgonzola, sage pesto and walnuts), and Colin, not as adventurous suggested the 4-cheese flatbread (with tomatoes, basil and arugula). As I bit into my flatbread I could feel my stomach giving me a high five. I looked over to Rumi he was enveloped in 4-cheese flatbread looking halfway presentable in a green long sleeved cotton tea and jeans that did not look like they had been through the wringer. It wasn’t long before we chose half a dozen small plates all exploding with flavor combinations.
Fried polenta with spicy aioli, lime and queso fresco
Tuna crudo with wasabi aioli, radish, Serrano chili, yuzu and fried wonton
Chicken meatballs with provolone, sage and pine nut
Crispy potatoes with paprika and cumin
Pomegranate roasted eggplant with tahini, garlic yogurt and fried capers
Every bite I took made me want to take a second and a third bite. I had a mouth full of fried polenta when Casey asked, “so what happen with you and Mr. Drop Dead Gorgeous last week?”
“You, mean Mob Man,” said Rumi
“I am intrigued, who is this mystery man,” asked Armand.
“He is my elusive neighbor and he is not a gangster, but he is in private security among other things I gather.’
I remembered the day all too clearly. I had just finished afternoon tea with Rukhsana auntie and Casey and their stood Javier inviting me into his Rolls Royce Phantom. I slid into the soft leather.
There was soft music playing in the background. I remembered the sultry sound of saxophone jazz in the middle of the afternoon. As he drove he apologized for seeming unapproachable and hoped he hasn’t come off like an ass. I was watching him drive; maneuvering his car as fluidly as if it is an extension of his body. Every now and then he turns to glance at me. He told me his father was South American, from Chile and his mother French. He grew up in the United States and South America but has traveled all over. When we get to the building, he handed the keys to the valet and walked me to my apartment, before we are said goodbye and he was about to ask me something. I was breathless with anticipation when I heard a loud thumping sound coming closer and closer. I looked up and it was Harry running down the hallway. I had never seen Harry run before and his body glistened with perspiration.
“Sorry to interrupt Boss, but we gotta a problem.”
I smiled back at Javier. The moment was over.
“Perhaps a rain check,” he said giving my had a squeeze and I was left alone outside my apartment watching Harry walk off with my date and knowing that I would call him on the rain check.
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