Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chapter 10

Sophie took a final look around her kitchen. She just finished putting final touches on the brisket and placed it in the warming drawer of her oven, latkes were fried and were sitting in the same drawer. Table was set and ready. But why did she feel like something was missing? “Oh crap! How could she forget…the Menorah!” She reached in the display case of her wall unit and pulled out the ceremonial candle holder. It was a beautifully crafted modern piece made of crystal with silver accents. She quickly ran a soft cloth over it to polish and placed the first two candles in their spots. “Perfect!” she thought as she placed the Menorah in the middle of the table.

David slowly pulled in the driveway of the address she had given him yesterday. Getting out of the car he took a look at the modest two story house. He was walking toward the front door when he felt someone watching him. Glancing up toward the second floor window he saw a huge gray cat perched on the window sill, intently staring at him through the glass. “Well hello Sasha!” he thought as he pressed the door bell.

Sophie saw Sasha jump off his perch as the door bell rang.

“Behave! You monster!” she admonished him as she reached the door to let David in.

Her breath hitched at the sight that greeted her: the familiar black leather coat was draped over white silk shirt and tight black dress pants. The straw colored curls were perfect, and the blue eyes were sparkling. And that smile…as far as Sophie was concerned, Jon’s “million dollar” smile just came in a distant second…

“What’s wrong?” David asked looking at her stunned expression.

“Nothing….Not a dammed thing!” She noticed the flowers and a bottle that he was holding and shook her head “O David! You didn’t have to bring me anything..”

She moved out of the way, finally letting him in. She took the beautiful roses he brought her and inhaled their scent. “Ahh! Thank you David! Please come on in!”

He followed her up the stairs into the kitchen. The smell that greeted him was painfully familiar, and very comforting at the same time. It was like being in his Bubbie’s kitchen all over again. All the comforting memories of his childhood surfaced in his head as he smiled.

“I forgot to ask what you’re serving, so I wasn’t sure what wine to or I brought the blush.” he said handing her a bottle of White Zinfandel.

“Perfect, I love blush” she said taking the bottle from him and placing it in the fridge to chill.
She took his coat and put it away in the hallway closet as she motioned him to follow her in to the dinning room.

The table was set with a silver table cloth and white china with silver accents. David smiled at the Menorah in the middle of the table.

“What? You wanted a Hanukah dinner…”

“Yeah! But where are the dreidels?” he laughed.

“Oh, you want to play kids games?”

“Well…an adult version comes to mind!” he grinned. Seeing her puzzled looked, he elaborated “We COULD play the Strip Dreidel version…”

Sophie just rolled her eyes and shook her head Men!

“Just give me a couple of minutes to finish the salad, and then we’ll eat” she said as she motioned for him to sit on the couch.

“Do you need any help?” David offered.

“Nope, I’m good!” came a reply from the kitchen.

I bet you are! he thought to himself as he got comfortable on her sectional and took a look at his surroundings. The living/dining area was L-shaped. Though on a small side it was light and airy. Furniture was kept to a minimum, but little personal touches were everywhere, making the room feel very cozy. Something soft and warm landed on the couch next to him. He smiled at the long haired creature that was sniffing him intently. “Do I pass the inspection?” he asked the cat. Sasha climbed into his lap and curled up…I guess so

Sophie came out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on a towel, and stopped dead in her tracks.

“O My G-d! I’ve never seen him do that! He never warms up to people THAT quickly, if he does at all!”

David laughed and stroked the soft fur. “Well, I guess he thinks I’m trustworthy and loveable!”

Sophie nodded and smiled ”Well the dinner is ready when ever you are!”

They moved to the dining room and proceeded to enjoy the brisket and the latkes and all the traditional trimmings. After his second helping, David leaned back “This was fantastic! Thank you Sophie!”

“You got room for dessert?” she asked?

“What you got?”

“My grandma’s recipe poppy seed roll up and a lemon sponge cake” she replied.

David patted his belly and groaned “Have mercy! I need a break!” His gaze fell on the Menorah… “I think it’s time to light the candles”

“Oh, I don’t think I remember the brocha” she whispered.

“I do” he grinned as he got up. “You’ll light the candles,and I’ll say the prayers…deal?”

Sophie grabbed the matches from the shelf in her kitchen and came to the table. She felt him stand behind her as she lit the middle candle. She heard him softly sing the prayer as she used the middle candle to light the one on the right of the Menorah. She felt his hand on her shoulder, his breath in her hair…and all of a sudden the holidays did not seem so hopelessly lonely…

As he watched the woman in front of him light the first candle in the age old tradition of the Hanukah, David felt the warmth fill his body…fill his heart…and all of a sudden the holiday season and beyond… felt very promising!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chapter 9

As he walked through the hotel lobby David marveled once again at the amount of snow that fell over night. “Hope she makes it.” he thought. He could not believe how much he was looking forward to seeing Sophie again “That is if she makes it through the damn snow!” He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw a green MDX waiting for him in front of the entrance.

Sophie greeted David with a huge smile and a shy good morning. He was having none of that. Reaching over to her, he brushed his thumb over her cheek, chuckling over her immediate blushing, he leaned in for a proper kiss.

She felt her cheeks burning as he touched her, then the sensation of his soft warm lips on hers took over. The grumbling of his stomach brought them both back to reality. Laughing, David leaned back in his seat “So where is that breakfast you promised me“

“Mmmm, Ridgewood “ okay Soph get your mind back. It was just a kiss, yeah and the Mona Lisa has a frown on her face.

“Will we be able to get there in this snow?” he asked.

“Sure, I’ve gotten to work through weather much worse than this. Also the roads are already getting cleared” Sophie replied, starting the SUV and pulling out of the parking lot.

They talked while she drove them, and before they knew it, they were parking by the post office across from the “Country Pancake House” in Ridgewood. Surprisingly, the place was half empty and they were able to get a table by the window. Laughing over the 80 plus choices of the pancakes on the menu they made their selections and placed the order. The waitress brought them their coffee and hot corn bread with chocolate chips and left them alone.

Taking a sip of her coffee, Sophie let her eyes wonder over the man seated across the table from her. He was wearing a black sweater with a silver peace sign necklace peaking from the V-neck, his eyes were twinkling like two bottomless blue pools, and those straw colored curls were just perfect. Unable to resist, she reached over the table and gently pulled on one the curls, straightening it then releasing it and allowing it to spring back.

David looked at her stunned “OK, What was that all about?”

Sophie giggled as she replied “ Sorry, but I’ve wanted to do this for the longest time. Call it a fan’s fantasy.”

David could not hold back a smile as he shook his head “You are sooo gonna get payback for that!”

“I’ll take my chances” she laughed as their breakfast arrived. They dug in and made their way through the enormous portions.

His breakfast done with, David leaned back and watched Sophie finish her coffee. “Sooo, what does a man have to do in this neck of the woods to get a Hanukah dinner?”

“Well, he could always order out from the Kosher Nosh and hope that they will deliver…or he can find himself a nice girl who will cook him one” she replied.

“Are you a nice girl….Sophie?”

She almost choked on her coffee laughing. "I could be...."

“So what time do you want me to come over tomorrow?”