At eight on the dot, the doorbell rang. Both were standing at the door. Mom greeted them and brought them to the living room. I was on the couch. When I saw them come in, I stood up, and greeted them.
“Hello, Maritza, Hello Arturo, is nice to see you, both.” I said.
“Hello, Genevieve, is nice to see you, too.” Maritza and Arturo replied in unison.
This time, Arturo sat on the chair, and Maritza and mom sat on the love seat. Mom had a small coffee table in the living room, and had removed all her decorations from it. Instead, she had set it to hold the three cakes she had for them to try that night. The first one had a traditional vanilla cake flavor, with almond flavored frosting. The second cake consisted of amaretto-flavored layers. In between the layers, there was a creamy frosting filled with fresh cherries. The third had a rum flavored filling in between two layers of vanilla cake with a hint of pineapple and coconut flavor. Mom had set plates, forks, and napkins for them to use. She had already cut them into pieces.
Maritza was the first to try the cakes. Arturo followed. Mom and I waited for them to try all three. I had made coffee and placed cups on the table for them. I had set a coffee tray with milk, sweetener, spoons, and napkins, just the way mom liked it. They both helped themselves to a cup of coffee. They each tried a piece of cake, and followed with a sip of coffee. It was quiet. Neither was saying much. It, almost, felt awkward. After a few minutes, Maritza liked the Amaretto flavored cake, and Arturo liked the rum flavored cake.
“I pick the Amaretto flavored cake.” Maritza affirmed.
She did not even ask Arturo if that would be OK with him. He looked at her and it was obvious that her announcement surprised him.
“Wait a second.” He said, “I thought we are making a decision together. How can you say, I pick the Amaretto cake, when you have not even consulted with me. Am I not included in this decision?”
‘Katherine, do we need to give you our final decision tonight?” asked Arturo.
It was obvious that he was not happy with Maritza’s outburst. He asked mom if they could let her know in a couple of days. Mom said it would be no problem. Mom did not want another argument over cake. First, they had argued over the size, and now she wanted to avoid an argument over the flavor. Mom asked them if they would follow her to the office. I stayed behind, to put away the cake and clear up the dishes of the table.
Arturo turned around and asked, “Genevieve, are you joining us in the office, we want to review the wedding invitation.”
“Let me tidy up, and I will be in in a few minutes.” I answered him.
“Do you need help with the dishes?” He asked.
I knew that he was looking for a reason to be alone with me. I had avoided him, and he wanted to talk to me.
“It is just a few dishes, go along, I can handle it.” I said to him, while I smiled.
“Are you sure?” he insisted.
“Arturo, Katherine needs you in the office. There a few things we need to look at.” I heard Maritza calling for him.
“Maritza, you don’t need my help with the bridesmaids’ dresses, so go ahead and pick those out. I will help Genevieve with the dishes and I will be on time to pick out the limousines?” He said impatiently.
Maritza agreed and went in the office with mom. Arturo stayed behind. He picked up some of the dishes; I picked up the others, and brought them in the kitchen. We were alone in the kitchen. He put his dishes down, and grabbed the ones of my hands. I stepped away from him and headed back to the living room to get the rest of the things. He followed me. He grabbed the coffee tray; I grabbed the coffee pot and one of the cakes. We brought them to the kitchen. I headed back to the living room, he followed me, again. I grabbed the second cake, and he grabbed the last one. I went back to the kitchen and placed it on the counter. He did the same. The whole time I would not look at him. I did not want to see his eyes. He knew I was avoiding him.
I was facing the counter. He was behind me. I felt him get close. I did not move. He continued to get closer, until I could feel his breath on my neck. I was petrified. I did not want to make a sound. I felt his hands touch my waist. What is he doing? Why can I not move? He needs to stop. I did not make a sound. I was a willing victim.
He whispered, “Genevieve, I cannot stop thinking about you. I need to see you. Please, let’s meet tomorrow at the Parisian Café by the newspaper building. I will be there at noon. Please, be there.”
I heard his words, but could not make a sound. I was standing there motionless. My mind started racing and all I could do was nod. I agreed, silently. I wanted to meet him. I needed to meet him. I wanted to say yes, but words would not flow out. I was speechless, yet filled with excitement. I needed to contain it. I could not let it out. I wanted to turn around and look at him, but all i did was stand still.
He finished his words and moved to my side. He helped me clean the dishes, put away the cakes and acted as if nothing had just happened. When we finished, we went in the office. Mom and Maritza had finished the bridesmaids’ dresses selection. The dress she picked had a white undertone, with an overlay of a soft teal lace. The sleeves were elbow length. The dress followed and accented the natural curves of a woman. It was romantically styled and graceful. The choice was one I would have made.
Mom presented the limousines packages. They chose the limousine together and both agreed without any issues arising. When they were finished, mom brought out the wedding invitation preview that the print shop had provided. We then reviewed it. The print shop had done a remarkable job. They were able to reproduce the teal color to match the theme. Teal was used for the borders; the rest of the invitation was white. The contrast produced by the two colors proved to be beautiful. The lettering was cursive and old style. There were no misprints. They both agreed to accept the invitations and no changes or modifications were needed. Mom was thrilled. Even though, they had not decided on a cake flavor, the rest of the evening was productive.
I excused myself. I explained that I had to complete an assignment. I said goodnight and left the room. Finally, I could breath. I had held inside the emotions I felt when Arturo and I were alone in the kitchen. He was so close to me. I felt his breath. It was warm, inviting, and tantalizing. When he put his arms on my waist, I felt every part of my body warm up to his touch. My mind could not think. All I could do was feel. His breath and his arms felt good. I liked the feeling. I felt his warmth, I heard his whisper. I was not dreaming. As much as I had enjoyed that moment, I knew that it was wrong. My emotions were mixed up. I have wanted to be with Arturo all of my life. Now, he wants me, but he is engaged. What am I to do?