“A Stary Night awaited ….Forever”

The evening of August 25, 2011 had settled itself in.. I arose after my nap from work at Metivier Inn, took a shower and proceeded to get dressed. When I left Harts Inn I removed my cell phone from my pocket and began practicing my Russian words…..  looking at the scenery I began to notice subtle changes on Mackinac Island….little hints of autumn were slowly appearing here and there, The Season was now beginning to wind down…. most, if not all American students returned to their hometowns to begin fall semester classes. To my knowledge this was a regular event around this time of year on Mackinac Island… the Americans than other nations; the Asians, the Turkish, English, Irish, and unfortunately Russians which meant Albina’s departure date was soon approaching. Along with the changes, Horn’s Bar now rearranged the infamous “Booty Night” from Wednesday to Thursday…. I strolled my customary route; Market Street…. to Hoban Street…to Main Street. I saw more glimpses of the seasons appending end,….. but Main Street retained its luster!! The echoing bass of the new Booty Night made its presence known…and The Mustang Lounge was even in on the action.. tourist and Islanders alike indulged in the spectacle. Bar hoppers staggered and glided through the street, crowds of people gathered some loudly talking,  laughing, and constant flashing from cellphones and digital cameras, they packed the front porch dining  area of The Mustang Lounge while D.J Edge and Tony collaborated and mixed songs entertaining the masses… when I got to Horn’s I peaked in to say

“What’s up?” to my fellow Islanders and of course to D.J Brevin.

But Horn’s was not my stop…… a beautiful woman awaited me at our bench…. my walk resumed. Once past Marquette Park the music of The Mustang and Horn’s began to take a back-seat to the sound of stray bats squeaking, crickets chirping, bells in the harbor and the sound of Lake Huron… I passed The Cloud, The Harbor View, and St. Anne’s Church. Arriving at Mission Point , Albina was just making her way from the path leading from The Quorum. We gave each other a hug, than a kiss and sat on our bench for a few minutes chatting and enjoying the silence, it was one of the few times in recent days past that we were able to spend time by ourselves without our friends. The occasional cluster of people would leave The Quorum in bunches male and female to partake in the new Booty Night. Albina and I also discussed dropping by to check it out, but for now we wanted some alone time. Mission Point was now completely quiet….. with the exception of the white noise provided but nature. It seemed that God had adjusted the evening for us….. uncharacteristically a  warm evening breeze fluttered by the evenings were chilly as of late…. the heavens opened and there was not a cloud in sight….and against the backdrop of this cloudless mural all the stars came out and gave the best twinkling they could…bedazzling the sky like fine shards of glass…. I’d never seen such a display like this any evening on The Island….was it all just for us?…the orange hue of the dimly lit evening path lights that surrounded Mission Point Bistro and Glow Golf Course were the only man-made source of light. The water sprinklers sprayed a mist on the lust green grass of the grounds leaving dew droplets dripping from blades of grass. We both sighed as we succumbed to the ambience…

“Let’s go for a walk… the less light the more stars we can see,” I said

“O.k” Albina concurred.

When we approached the Glow Golf Course and began to make our way through the grass we noticed Albina’s canvas shoes were starting to get a little wet.

“I’ll carry you,” I suggested. Albina was a little skeptical of being picked up, but… I did it anyways…I swept her from her feet and began to carry her piggy-back style thought the grass toward the trail we had walked just little over two weeks ago when we met that night at Bon Fire. She laughed cautiously…than holding her breath and closed her eyes as she pressed her head against my back. When we reached the path I put her down she exhaled. Still more silence… the warm breeze began again… the surreal sound of Lake Huron gently roared near the shore and waves kisses the rocks… the sound of sea foam rolled back into The Lake…stars were still beckoning for our attention. I wanted to talk about the upcoming event of September 10th…but we tried not to dwell on the sensitive subject of Albina returning to Russia….we just wanted this moment this night. The clattering sound of small pieces of gravel being crushed under our feet broke the silence between us. I picked up a few rocks and tossed them into The Lake. We found ourselves at a small opening that over looked the adjacent Round Island…. I stood behind Albina as we both gazed at the beauty of the evening the moon outstretched a path in the water…I smilled picked her up by the waist and turned her around now with my back facing The Lake, I wanted to convey the new words I had learned today…so I pulled my cell phone from my pocket and wrapped my arms around Albina’s small waist. As I scrolled through the texts…than memos… and notes to todays Russian phrases…I realized that I could only find half of the words….

“за меня”…. in fact that’s all I remembered. How could this be? I practiced all day at Metivier, before I went to sleep and a before I came here to meet Albina. During my attempts to remember and scrolling through the phone Albina laid her head on my chest.

“Are you alright?,” she asked concerned as she removed her head leaning back. I Smiled…

“I’m fine….nothings wrong,” I now said feverishly and nervously stumbling with the cell phone. “Why do you ask?” I continued.

She laid her head on my chest again to see if there was a change… then removed it again now placing her hand over my heart. My chest was pounding! My heart rapidly beat as if it wanted to burst from my chest.

“Uhhhh…your heart…I’ve never seen you like this,” she said referring to my usual calm demeanor. She stepped away…. breaking my hold from around her waist. Still fumbling…..

“I’m trying to find my new Russian words I learned,” I explained.

“What does it say? let me see…” she asked trying to peer at the phone. I tried to remember but all that came back to me was.

“за меня……” I uttered. Albina let out a small chuckle and held my right hand which was a tiny bit sweaty.

” she began,…. “…… ‘ Me to you?’…. o.k. say it in English and I will translate it”

I pleaded within….”come on!”

“Baby…. say it in English…” she began to caress my back as she drew near……jokingly… “remember you can’t put the whole Russian language in there”

I looked at Albina….. the stars had began to glimmer in Albina disarming brown eyes…I stopped fumbling with the phone and….. then in that moment all was clear…my mind, heart, body and soul had calmed down… the world had gone silent…. I again wrapped my arms around Albina’s waist and held her tight….than embraced Albina

“Is that Karina?” I asked glancing past Albina’s to the open field of The Glow Golf Course….. the hug was broken as Albina turned to see her on coming friend…… she swayed her head back and forth….no one……

“I don’t……” Albina began….

She turned back around toward me…but I was no longer standing before her, the words had returned……..

“Выходи за меня замуж?”

I asked my smooth baritone voice the words finally came out clear and smoothly from the bottom of my heart… and parted my lips profoundly… I knelt before Albina on one knee baring a princess cut, white gold diamond ring…bowing in submission to the unmistakable moment that happened just 3 weeks earlier on August 2nd when I had fallen in love at first sight, and 2 weeks after our first date.

“да!!!” …… “да!!!!” Albina replied with excitement.  I asked in English…and the answer was the same…..

“YES!”                                           IMG_1243                                                          IMG_1434






A Chilly/Hot Evening on the BoardWalk

When I arose the next morning I walked to Metivier Inn to have breakfast, but todays breakfast was a  more delightful…

“What’s up,” I said to Kevin as I walked past the front desk…

Yes!! my coworker had finally returned,… even more fantastic I had the day off. I had planned to go to Mission Point Gym to exercise, but my main reason was to see Albina. The mornings were always special at Metivier Inn, I really enjoyed sitting down and chatting with the people who became my second family, and since Metivier Inn is a Bed & Breakfast I also had the opportunity to eat with the guest that stayed at the Inn. After a light breakfast I walked back to Harts Inn, put on my exercise gear and rode my bike to the gym. As fate would have it Albina and Regina were returning from breakfast.

“Good morning… how was breakfast?” I asked. As we walked up and embraced each other.

“It was o.k. I’m full,” Albina replied.

I told Albina that Kevin had returned and asked if she would like to see each other after she got off work. “Of course!” she said. I hugged Albina once more and placed a kiss on her forehead. We made our plans to meet up again later on at 7pm which gave me time to exercise, freshen up and also take a nap. I watched as Albina and Regina walked into the employee entrance to the Quorum, my heart was finally happy…. I am happy….Pow” from the Black Eyed Peas began to play.

Later on after my work out….he alarm on my cell phone rang loudly, it was 6pm… I had only taken a cat nap, but it was enough to get me by. I had pre ironed my white dress/casual shirt and black denim jeans, so all I had to do was shower, get dressed and put on cologne. From Market Street to Main as I walked the aroma of Mackinac Island Fudge encompassed the air as I walked past the various fudge shops. I briefly stopped at Baxter’s Coin Shop that I saw featured in the movie “Somewhere In Time” and smiled. Tourist  zig-zagged through the streets on their bikes, horses steadily strode, and dock porters carried guest luggage on their bikes through the chaos of Main Street. When I made it to Mission Point Albina was approaching our bench. I crossed the street, she was elated to see me, as she turned around wearing a short-sleeved black Mario shirt similar to the one she wore that unforgettable night Horn’s with subtle grayish colored cargo shorts that tied at the bottom. As we headed to town….


“Smile!,” Karina was standing on a small mound at Mission Point Glow Golf Course with Albina’s camera.

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I an excited moment we smiled, hugged as Albina slightly kicked her leg back, I could hear the shutter of camera… click….

“Thank You'” Karina said, than we continued toward town Albina tucked her arm under mine and snuggled close as we walked.I wanted to stop by Island Slice Pizza for her to get a bite to eat, but as always she had already eaten…This evenings air had taken a chill to it, I wondered would it get much colder… because I planned for us to walk the shoreline. When we reached the edge of town just past the Mackinac Island Library we sat on an old wooden bench and listened to the water splash against the shore. I revisited some of the conversation we had on our first date, but his one was about a family and marriage… I soon noticed that Albina’s breathing had changed when I said the word “marriage”… Albina’s breathing had stopped. I could only imagine the ecstasy of the word as it plunged Albina’s heart and mind into the moment women have dreamt of as little girls…the part of life where you have found the one you love and wish to spend forever with.

Image                  IMG_6140                  IMG_6131

“Breathe,” I said with a smile

“you’ve done it again,” I chuckled. This wasn’t the first time this happened it also occurred during our date at Anne’s Tablet, the same reaction to subject at hand. We began to talk about Albina’s life in Russia, that is when I learned about her love for photography than I asked

“Do you know any of my boys (referring to Ayrat, Ilgiz, Timur and Ruslan)?”

Chill bumps began to form on Albina’s arms. I moved closer, wrapped my arms around her than vigorously rubbed her arms to keep her warm. Something also arrived along with the cold air that rushed ashore from Lake Huron…bats, the bats were quite native to Mackinac Island for anyone who has stayed on The Island were used to seeing them. Mini swarms flew past us, sometimes circling the bench, others flying aimlessly up and down the street and shoreline. I figured to had gotten much colder than I wanted it to be for Albina… and the night was no longer young, we were close to Harts Inn and I anticipated the temperature dropping as the hours went on, I’ll grab us jackets for the walk back to Mission Point. We got up from the bench and walked to Harts Inn, we walked up the steep stairs that led to my room…. I picked up a black jacket for me to wear and a gray hooded sweater that zipped up the front for Albina. I helped Albina put the sweater on and zipped it, it was quite big on her but she looked cute wearing my oversized sweater… than put on my black jacket, as we headed out I turned off the lights as I held her hand to walk her down the stairs.

“I Love You,” smoothly imparted from Albina’s lips breaking the silence….. and just as the final word fell from her lips…our fate is sealed.

“I Love You,” expediently from mine lips as well. I quickly turned around on the steps, and took a step up toward Albina… her breathing had once again changed as it had on the bench, but this time it continued as she breathed heavier…I picked her up, throwing the door ajar as we forced our way back into the room.. as my breathing also had changed corresponding with hers….I could feel her breath press its way from her mouths as our lips drew closer… I grasped her hair when our lips enveloped…passionately we kissed one another as our breathing climaxed… I unzipped the recently fastened sweater as I laid her on the bed. Suddenly…without notice…. the downstairs door opened… it was my roommate Winston coming home from working both jobs…. Oops!….. When we realized the downstairs door had opened we began the task of regaining our composure… I lifted Albina from the bed and re-zipped the sweater. The moment of passion had subsided…we made our way down the stairs like we started… we held each other in a frenzy of emotions as made our way back to Mission Point to end our evening. I walked Albina back to the path and we kissed again for the final time of the evening..

“Good Night,”

…. and we both said…. “I LOVE YOU”

Now we take a voyage around Mackinac Island….by sea.