August 3rd 2011. I awoke that morning after my lengthy workout at the gym and my muscles were aching, along with something else…. my tooth. When I went to work at The Metivier Inn, I asked my Russian friend Ayrat (he was tall and thin with black hair which he wore it in a close crop cut) about my new found place in Russia named Ufa. I was interested to know where in relation was it to his hometown Kazan, Russia his hometown.
“Why do you ask?” he questioned.
“I met a woman from there yesterday, but I can’t quite remember her name” (it’s only because Albina’s name was different, like trying to remember Enel after hearing it for the first time).
“I know a lot of girls from Ufa, Russia where did you meet her?”……
“Mission Point Resort,” I answered with enthusiasm.
“What did she look like?” I was hoping he at least knew her name, so I described the beautiful woman I had encountered…but Ayrat did not recall of whom I spoke.
As the day continued my tooth began to bother me even more. I needed a dentist. My boss told me there was a dentist on Mackinac Island, and of all places the office was at Mission Point Resort. When I got off work I made it a priority to go to Mission Point Resort, I showered changed clothes and I was on my way. When I arrived at Mission Point Resort and before I went to the dentist office I detoured to the gym, I thoroughly walked around hoping for another glimpse of her, I searched but…nothing. I spotted Müge a young lady I met from Istanbul, dressed in Mission Point’s customary lime green and khaki; working at Mission Point Resorts Bike Rental, located directly across from the gym.
It was Wednesday or “Booty-Night” as the Islanders called it, the evening festivities usually consisted of Island workers letting loose and enjoying the night at Horn Bar.
“Are you going out?” Müge asked.
“I may, but if I do go I’m not going to dance, I just want to listen to music.”
She chuckled “You not dance? I doubt that….. you like to dance to much, I don’t see you just to sitting around”
“I’m serious…” I interrupted myself, “Do you know if the dentist is here?” the pain in my mouth reminded about my toothache, after all it was part of the reason why I went Mission Point in the first place.
As Müge and I walked toward the dentist office we noticed Maxine a woman I knew from Jamaica, and Mary, Mary was draped in a tie-dyed t-shirt and white shorts with a black dog (that looked like a Labrador Retriever) sitting on a bench. As we walked toward the group I glanced to the right and noticed the slim figure of a woman… about 5 feet 4, holding a camera.
It was her!!!! Albina stood still for a moment this time wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with a flower design and black pants with her hair neatly tied in a pony-tail, she aimed her Canon camera I heard the distinctive sound of a crisp “click” as she snapped a photo of Maxine, Müge, Mary and the dog. I stood almost weak, my heart rate rapidly increased. After taking the photo Albina gracefully walked toward me, almost as if she were tip-toeing.
“Hi,” she said. When Albina spoke, I heard her Russian accent piercing through in the smallest of greetings.
She smiled in the same manner as she did the day before. Without any new Russian vocabulary words, I decided to respond in English.
“Hello,” I answered, “Are you going be here for a second, I’ll be right back I just to go see if the dentist is here.”
“Yes, I’ll wait here”, she said. Now that I was in Albina’s presence, I could really care less about the toothache (but since I was there and she said she would wait for me it gave me a chance to gain my composure). I quickly dashed up the stairs skipping a few, checked the dentist office… not there… before returning to Albina I entered the bathroom and made sure my appearance was in order. I made my way back down the stairs to Albina, I was so mesmerized, I looked deeply into her brown eyes, I almost failed to realize that she asked me a question.
“I’m going to Horn’s tonight are you going to be there?” Albina asked.
“Yes I’ll be there,” I replied.
“Can I have a dance with you?” she asked.
Now I was completely taken by surprise. I had just told Müge that I wasn’t dancing….but obviously destiny had other plans, I began to smile again as I nodded my head and told her “Yes!…I will be there for sure.” Now my plans for the evening had definitely changed, I no longer wanted to be a spectator. As I walked away a smile crept across my face, I wiped my now sweaty hands on my pants and turned around for one more gaze. I smiled again thought… Yes, it’s her…and tonight we dance….. At Horn’s Bar.