Cherie – Chapter 16 – Brief Repose

Cherie is off for winter break from school, so she has some flexibility. Not much, but a little. She was able to come downtown today to meet me for lunch. If my daughter Lorelei was working the lunch shift instead of dinner at her job today, lunch with Cherie would have been a completely different experience.

But I’m always happy to see my love. Cherie had an appointment in the morning. She texted me to say she was finished and available to meet. We met at 17th and Chestnut. It was raining today and I remembered my umbrella this morning, but forgot it when I left the office for lunch. So this time, instead of me sharing my umbrella with her like on our first date, she was sharing her purple one with me. I’m holding it over her head. She doesn’t seem to mind the rain as usual.

We arrive at Devil’s Alley. It’s a little after 11am, which is brilliant because the place is dead. The food at Devil’s is great, but the service has always been a little slow. It’s been that way for years. But… if you get there early it’s a whole different story. The place is dead.

The host gets off the phone and asks us where we want to sit. I say upstairs and up the steps we go. We get a nice quiet table in the back. Our server is on point with the specials, but we know what we want. We order the amazing dry rub wings to start. I think they’re the best in the city. She goes with the blue cheese burger and I get the pulled pork sliders. Mine comes with coleslaw and hers with fries. She likes slaw and I like fries, so we’ve got the perfect share plate.

It’s really nice to see her. She’s wearing her glasses today and she looks sexy smart. I tell her than I noticed she wore her contacts last time we were together. “That’s so I could see you!”  she says. I tell her that men are visual animals and it’s always better in bed when we can see our partner.

“I know, that’s why I woke you up at 6am last Saturday to fuck me again, so you could see me.” she says.

I just laugh as the waiter approaches. She loves to play with me like that. It only makes me want her more. But we’re in a restaurant, and our next intimate encounter is a week away.

We’re chatting about the holidays and life. She finally got a new phone from her dad for christmas. She loves it. I don’t know what she had before, but she didn’t like it. It seemed like it was always going dead. She whips out the iPhone 7 and it is brand new. My phone seems old in comparison. (As long as it works I don’t care what kind of phone I have) It’s lean and slim like her.

I’m happy to be having lunch with her. Just sitting across the table from her is wonderful. Looking into her eyes and holding her hand. She never wants anything. She didn’t even want anything for Christmas. I had a glorious Christmas with her, but the gifts we exchanged didn’t come from a store. She says she really doesn’t want things. She’s happy with what she has. If she wants something, she’ll work and save for it. I asked her if she and her son’s father ever exchanged gifts at Christmas. She said they did, but it was no big deal. She said that she would rather see him put the money for her gift towards something else for her son. That’s really sweet and selfless.

It’s a good week for me to spend time with her. Work is slow. The rain has stopped, so after lunch we head down to the store to get a case for her new phone. I can’t believe how expensive some of these cases are now. That’s a cottage industry unto itself. I saw cases that were over sixty dollars! For a hunk of plastic? That seems like a ripoff to me, but if you drop one of these new elegant phones on the pavement…

The sales girl who was helping us showed the strength of  the case on her phone. While talking to us, she literally tossed the phone like twenty feet away. It bounced against the front of the counter. She goes over and picks up the phone and it was fine. We were sold. I found it a brilliant sales tactic and I congratulate the girl.

Cherie picks out a winner and it’s the same make as mine. (Otter Box)

The rain has stopped. Cherie says she has to use the restroom. I know where every liquor store and clean bathroom is in Philly. “Follow me.” I take her to Sofitel. They have super clean and very private bathrooms. It’s the only place my buddy Church will go for an ‘away game!’ The Ritz Carlton has my other favorite bathrooms in the city. You gotta know stuff like this when you live in a city.

Cherie’s been working so many hours at her two hospital jobs, that I can see that she’s just tired. I think between finals at school, raising her son, and all the hours she works, it’s taking a toll on her. She says that she may have to leave the one job once school starts again, because it’s just too much. Sometime you have to choose between money and health. I really care about her and her well-being is far more important to me than anything else. She did really well in school this past semester, so she’s moving forward with her education.

She said she walked past a place called the Velvet Lily earlier today. I know the place and the owner. It’s a high-end sex shop down in Midtown Village. They sell all sorts of toys and what not. I tell her we’re too far to go back down there, because I have to be at the salon at 3pm and she has a 2:38 train to catch. But there’s a place on Walnut called The Passional that has stuff like that. I have never set foot in the place, but Cherie loves sex and I may get some ideas based on what she looks at in the store.

We go in, and it’s downstairs from a head shop called Wonderland. First thing I see is a bunch of silly bachelorette party crap. Which I find sort of obnoxious. Cherie isn’t interested in it either. I point out a wedge-shaped pillow that improves the angle of things during sex. “As if you don’t twist me and flip me around every which way enough?” She smiles. I laugh and move on. The store isn’t that good, and I wonder how they stay in business. Don’t most people buy all this stuff online now? I’m thinking about getting some things, and I can probably just go through Amazon.

It looks like Cherie is unenthused in regard to this store, so we leave. I think it’s cute that she always asks where we’re going because she doesn’t know her way around Philly. I always assure her where we are, and where we’re going, and when we’ll get to where we have to be. I don’t mind it at all. She makes so many decisions every day, that she likes relying on me to do all of that when we’re together.

We know it’s coming. The time when we’ll have to part. I take her into the BNY Mellon building to escape the damp chilly day. I know the whole Suburban Station network like the back of my hand. I can even tell you at any point where we are in relation to the street level when I’m down there. Like my father before me, I’m an explorer. My dad could always find ways to locate things and shortcuts to everywhere. That’s when having anxiety and OCD are a good thing. You’re always looking for and angle or an alternate escape route.

I take her to her train platform and we sit down on one of the red metal benches. I’m close to her. I take her hands in mine. The train is coming soon. I kiss her neck, and whisper to her:

“I miss you already.”

She whispers back. “We’ll be together soon.”

A slight breeze. It’s coming. A light appears down the track, and the train roars into the station. We rise and I walk her over to the door.

We kiss, and she’s gone.

 

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