The Amazing Days that followed…..

When the sun had gone down on “The Sunset Cruise”***** the days that followed were phenomenal. I had got to know Albina’s friends; Regina Akchurina, Irina Sam, Karina Sharipova we all hung out together along with; Gary Lawson, Jack Hook, Mike Leitmeyer, Kevin McConnell. We often gathered at Horn’s Bar for dancing and drinks….then on to Island Slice Pizza for an after party snack or The Sea Biscuit Café where Albina and I ordered a Whitefish Sandwich that was served on Russian Black Bread coleslaw, it was something different to her palate… she adoringly referred to it as fish and apple….. and on late, late nights we would go to Goodfellows where Winston (my roommate) and the late night chef would make extremely spicy flavored chicken wings. The smell of the horses, new arriving tourist either by ferry or yacht, the aroma of caramel flavored popcorn, and of course the delicious Mackinac Island fudge had all but become a part of our lives as Islanders. People gathering in Marquette Park played various sports and Boys and Girl Scouts displayed their pride as they marched to raise and lower the American Flag… than periodically the boom of the cannon that was fired from Fort Mackinac. There was a day when Albina, Regina and he boyfriend Gary visited me at Metivier Inn…once again I saw Albina’s passion for photography exude itself…. we all walked up the path that led to the back of Metivier to the astonishing Gardens amerced you in an array of color… flowers and trees… she  enthusiastically photograph them..

“I have to go back to work,” I said as I kissed her lips and headed in … as Albina, Gary and Regina their session I to had a session of my own to finish…more Russian words from my boys. I often placed the new words I learned in the notes section of my cell phone… when Albina saw me scrolling threw to find the she laughed…..I had intended to put as many word as I could fit in this little thing. perhaps the entire language…if it would only fit.

And when Albina was at work and I was off I visited the shops on Main Street… looking for something for Albina…I wondered in and out of; Nadia’s, La Galerie, Lilacs and Lace…The Loon Feather and many others…  and even traveled off Island to Mackinaw City… still unable to find what I wanted… the nearest big city from Mackinaw City was Gaylord Petoskey which was a 3 hour roundtrip… and I would most likely miss the ferry. I didn’t give up though… I eventually Found what I was looking for… It was now 23 days since August 2nd, 2011 the day I first laid eyes on  Albina Tagirova (a gorgeous woman from Ufa, Russia I had met at Mission Point Resorts Activity Center on Mackinac Island…and fallen in love). After that initial “Привет*”and an unforgettable evening at Horn’s Bar** the four days that lingered between Horn’s… and that night only by Loves design our paths crossed again on Jamaican Independence Day*** and of course our first date****, Albina and Regina came again to visit me at Metivier… we made plans to see each other at our bench in front of Mission Point. August 25, 2011.   IMG_1987 IMG_2003 IMG_1496IMG_1514IMG_1515 IMG_2448 IMG_2458



Horn’s Bar**
Jamaican Independence Day***
our first date****


A night to remember…. The Bonfire

IMG_0013The following morning after the events of Booty Night, I arose early from my bed still enchanted by the last evenings dance with Albina and the walk home. I took a shower than ironed my dark tan pants and my burgundy Metivier Inn uniform shirt with a white “high wheeled bicycle” emblem on it. I brushed my teeth and reported to work. I had an early start that morning because my co-worker Kevin returned hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan to spend time with his family for five days, which meant I had to work from 6:30am to 8:00pm. I continued to think about Booty Night throughout the day,the dance,the way Albina and I moved, her scent, and those hypnotic brown eyes. When 8pm finally arrived the lengthy hours had taken their toll on me, I was exhausted; I barely had time eat dinner before falling asleep, subsequently no partying, no hanging out and unfortunately no time for the gym, therefore no a chance to see Albina.
I wondered had I missed opportunity to ask Albina about personal life..was she single?, was there someone significant to her on The Island? or was there a boyfriend back in her home country waiting for her?, but because she was concerned about her friend Karina after the mayhem that ended the Booty Night, I just wanted Albina to be consoled. The next four days slowly crawled by… my body was at work, but my mind heart and soul was still consumed by the memory of walking Albina back to Mission Point.

August 8th, 2011 as my day at Metivier carried on, my manager Blanca Prentler let me off work a few hours early. And after third thirteen hour day I needed to catch up on some much deserved sleep, so I took a nap. I awoke in the evening of the same day and finally had the chance to enjoy the night. I took a shower, found an outfit to wear and matching sneakers, grabbed my mp3 player and decided to go for a walk.

As I left Harts Inn something was different about this evening, yes I was refreshed from my nap, but there was something on the air that I couldn’t discern. I felt compelled to go for that walk…. preferably toward Mission Point, I yearned to see Albina I wondered if she would be there and would our paths cross again. Taking hold of my mp3 player, scrolling through my playlist and immediately particular song almost began to scream… “play me!! play me!! I’m perfect!!” I selected that song than optioned the play mode….to repeat!

The soft lull of the violin slightly flowed as the music began to play…
adrenaline began to course through my body, then the pounding in my heart commanded me to say…..

“Sing to me Fergie!”

” I Can’t Go Any Further Than This….”

“I Want You So Badly, Its My Biggest Wish…”

The melody slowly crept its way over Fergie’s voice, music came to its crescendo, the beat rumbled in the ear buds, a tingling chill enveloped me and my heart began to warm as I began my stride towards the woman I love.
As the Black Eyed Peas “Meet Me Half Way” played in my ears, it seemingly drowned out that unforgettable sound of the clip- clopping horse shoes also the buzzing sound of the tourist. The bass line song had taken such a hold of me like music often does, in so much this time that my steps were in rhythm with the song. As I strolled through Main Street, the normal highlife feeling that came along with Mackinac Island swarmed the inhabitants as I drew near to Mission Point. Suddenly the melody in my ear buds changed, there was extra bass, and it seemed another music source overrode what I was listening to. I paused my MP3 player, there was music playing. I could see an orange glow and embers of fire flickering in the sky. The sound of reggae music blasted in the distance and Islanders of plenty gathered around, in a celebration of Jamaican Independence Day.

“Hmmm…?” I thought “ahhh she must be here!”

I began to patrol the crowd, looking intensely for Albina, I weaved through the people I kept my head in constant motion. I walked through every group, and cluster of people, I searched high and low, all through the gathering…..than I began to notice that the crowd began to thin out ,and finally after an hour and a half of anticipation…. there was no Albina.
The night had all but come to an end….the dj playing the tunes had turned the music to a hush to accommodate what was left of those who stayed until the end. I took a deep sigh….looked at the time and realized that I again had another shift at Metivier Inn awaiting me. “Maybe some other time,” I murmured to myself. I reproduced my mp3 player and looked at the song that called out to me earlier, I nodded my head and realized that it was time to head home. I took one more glance back at what was now the end of the bonfire, than looking down at the mp3 player in my hand I stuffed the ear bud in my left ear and head back.

“Hey whats up Enel?…” spoke a familiar voice.

It was Steve Daws he was one of the first people I had met on Mackinac Island thanks to my brother.

“Whats up Daws….” I said in a somber tone…as I began to put the other ear bud in my ear, slowing raising my head after pushing the play button to continue to listen to The Black Eyed Peas.

As Fergie’s voice began to break through the soft violin instrumental I glanced to Stevens’ left and noticed that he was not alone. Standing next to Steve was an enchantingly beautiful woman….5’4″ wearing a gray with pink flower patterned hood, dark navy Capri’s pants accessorizes with a pink watch…long hair and brown eyes…ALBINA! Steve continued to speak to me but the words were drowned out by the fast pace thumping of my heart and “Meet Me Half Way” still playing in my headphones. The anticipation of tonight’s journey had come to its monumental peak, the tired and weariness that I had felt earlier after the search was now gone. I looked at the pair of them standing together and wondered was Steve the answer to the boyfriend question I had pondered on for the last few agonizing days…. Albina looked at me as pleasant as she did when we first met at the gym…

“I Missed You..” slowly crept though Albina’s, soft lips.

Steve had noticed the words that proceeded from Albina’s lips, he continued to speak but noticed that I was entranced not buy his conversation, but by the woman in his company. I babbled a few words to Steve, than he noticed than I was engulfed by Albina…. “I’ll see you later, ” Steve finally said, “See you Albina.” Steve began to walk toward the Quorum, disappearing down a dark path. Still in awe about what Albina said, I asked if

“She wouldn’t mind taking a walk?

As we strolled along the track that led around Mission Points Glow Golf area, the crowd that was still left from the bonfire also thinned out…. until we were the only two left. Now was my opportunity to ask all the questions that I held inside and contemplated… I asked her usual questions;

“where was she from?”

“what brought her to Mackinac Island?”

and, “how long has she been in the U.S?”…

I also asked her when was she leaving….. but the answer to that question was something I was unprepared to hear…

“I’ll be leaving in September,” she said looking into my eyes.

I had not actually realized that the six months that I lived on Mackinac Island was soon coming to its end, I planned on leaving November 1st(only one month away). My mind and heart began to race at her answer. I hadn’t taken into account that the woman who I saw just a few days ago was leaving, and unlike ever before my heart, mind, body and soul knew

“I AM in Love”.

And the woman who I Loved soon she would be gone. And not knowing if I would ever see her again. As we continued to walk we made our way back to the entrance to the Quorum, Albina and I sat on a black metal bench with wooden seat and back. I looked into Albina’s eyes, and noticed that they were a bit glassy… she rubbed her eyes as babies often do when they are sleepy… she smiled,

“Must almost be her bedtime,” I thought.

“It’s getting pretty late, and i don’t want to keep you out much later…do you have to work tomorrow?” I questioned.

“Yes,” she replied… I could still hear her accent peaking its way through.

“When can I see you again?” I asked

“I have Wednesday off,” she answered.

Perfect! I had to work the evening at Metivier Inn so I at least was available for most of the day.

“Wednesday’s fine… morning or 10am be ok, I have to work that evening…?” I asked with great anticipation.

“10 am if fine,” she said. We both stood up from the bench and I walked Albina to the path of the Quorum.

“Good night,” we said in accord. We embraced each other…as we slowly let go until our hands released each other grasp. Albina gracefully tip toed her way down the path until she disappeared like Steve had done hours earlier. I started walking back toward Harts Inn… and smiling continuously.. I had gotten the answer to the most pertinent questions of all…. Albina wanted to see me again…… So now I must wait 2 days for…..

“Our First Date….. A Romantic hike to see St. Anne’s tablet.”