“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 Romantic Walk to Anne’s Tablet….. Our First Date.

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When the 10th of August finally came, I woke up full of excitement…. in fact I arose several hours early in order to prepare myself for my First Date with Albina. I threw some clothes on and went to Metivier Inn and had a light breakfast with Ayrat and Ilgiz. Than I went back to Harts Inn to get dressed. For the occasion I selected a pair of khaki colored cargo shorts, a white and khaki matching shirt and my white sneakers. I pulled out my electric shaver and carefully cut my beard also lining up my goatee, than showered. When I was at last dressed I sprayed a touch of cologne, than  walked back down Market Street  back to Metivier,  sat on the porch  just as Ayrat was beginning his work day by vacuuming the front porch area after the breakfast crowd had left.

“What time do you work?” he asked turning the vacuum off.

“1:00pm,” I started “I’m going on a date with Albina, at 10”

“You are?!” he said in surprise. He began to smile “Good for you brother.”

When 9:45 approached I walked down Main Street, the familiar sounds  of Mackinac Island was in full swing even at this time of the morning, horse-drawn carriages pranced  their way to prospective the  hotels, children laughed and rang the bells on their bikes as they rode past pedestrians.  It was a warm out and a slight breeze sporadically lingered by enough to cool the air, and I was sure glad I dressed apparently and didn’t wear something that would make me hot. When I made it to Mission Point Resort I walked to the last place Albina and I stood, the bench, the one that led to the path to the Quorum. And as the time on my cell phone crept to 10:00… Albina lightly tip-toed down the path that two days ago I said “Good night” to her before she disappeared. As she emerged… adorned in dark gray colored pair of denim Capris that accentuated her small frame and a black V-necked short-sleeved shirt and black flat shoes to match, also laying over her shoulder….her camera and a hair tie around her wrist. One of those slight breezes caught a sliver of her hair and laid it perfectly across her face  as she ascended toward me.

“Hello,” Albina said… again the allure of her accent peered its way through.

“Hello…Hi,” I rebutted.

We squeezed each other in a gentle, warm embrace as if the two days that sluggishly passed by since the days we last saw one another was far too long…  as we hugged I caught a scent of Albina’s perfume… I breathed deeper  filling my lungs…so from this second forward, I will  always associate her fragrance with this moment.  When we released we grasped hands and began to  walk back  down  Market Street toward town. Instinctively I walked on the outside, closest the curb as I had always been instructed to do as a child “Where to go,” I thought to myself…hmmm …. ahhh I know.

“How did you sleep?” I  started trying to relax by making small talk.

“Have you eaten? Would you like to get something from Douds?” I continued.

“I slept fine, and nope not hungry I ate at the cafeteria,” she replied looking at me with  her disarming brown eyes.

We spoke more about our time on Mackinac, about the friends we made and the people we encountered while we were on the eight mile Island paradise.  At the corner of St. Anne’s church we made a right, walking up a little slope of a hill that also would have led to The Butterfly House had we made another right at the next corner. We proceeded up the hill sound of the horses trotting and chatter of all the people who engulfed Main Street slowly dissipated and atop the slope, was the foot of wooden staircase that climbed along side an elevated part of The Island. St. Anne’s Tablet was the destination I had in mind, I had found myself there one night after wondering the shores of the Lake Huron alone and walking up the trails to find a place to relax and clear my head. I barely saw anything from Anne’s Tablet that evening only what I could see as the moon peaked through the trees to illuminate the stone structure and gave me a shadowy glimpse of  what lie below. But this time I didn’t want to experience it alone. As we climbed several flights of stairs the sun began to shine, small four-legged animals scurried across the side of the hill. At the top of the staircase was a sign that showed the way…. going up the path I held Albina’s hand as she walked ahead of me and placed my other hand in the small of her back, just incase she lost footing and I could catch her, we continued the climb and…..we approached Anne’s Tablet… and I realized that evening that I was up there the moon had only enchanted me to return….its truly magnificent (the view) today was the day…. it was breath-taking. The rays of the sun danced across the blue waters of Lake Huron, shimmering like diamonds, the crisp white sails fluttered on boats and an array of vibrant colors decorated the yachts that were docked in the harbor.  Marquette Park was full of children running around, vacationers  lay on beach towels tanning in the suns rays, horses and horse-drawn taxi’s scampered about Main Street, and seasonal employees and local Islanders crowded around the foot of the statue of Jacques Marquette playing their instruments singing, laughing and drinking. I wrapped my arms around the gorgeous woman who accompanied me and we rested up against a wooded rail that overlooked at the view. Than a voice arose from behind us….

“Can I take your picture?” A woman whom neither Albina nor I knew, had asked noticing us cuddled together … and must have seen  Albina’s camera draped across her shoulder, which prompted her to ask. We looked at one another for a brief second…1 свидание

“Sure!!!” we said in unison.

Albina handed the woman the camera.. that ever distinctive click, and then another. We thanked the woman… and as suddenly as she appeared she disappeared down the path. We turned around to see where the woman must have come from and found just a few yards away was a stark white gazebo sitting all alone. We made our way toward the gazebo, for the strangest reason I was compelled to lay in the grass. I laid down on my back and Albina rested he head against my chest (in a L style formation) we tried  another casual conversation but it seems LOVE had another conversation in mind. The conversation wasn’t the usual getting to know each other, typical talk. It was more heart-felt… as if  we were able to share any and everything with each other. There was no pretend…no I’ll just let them know only what I want them to know…..no mask…no… air filling, time filling …everything was out of our hand and TRUE LOVE was in control. The conversation explored the depths of Love…. the conversation took us where casual conversation could never go unless there had been previous dates… everything inside us was released….Albina and I spoke about finances…everything about finances, how much money we had…debt, our living conditions outside of Mackinac Island, we spoke about our age and the differences, we spoke of her parents, my parents…… our religion and our religious differences…..children, what we actually wanted in a real loving relationship… and how and what we would do especially our part we played  to make sure that “Our”  and this relationship would last and LOVE would defeat the test of time, money, people, health, age. We spoke to each other as if the plan for our lives were conceived before any of us were born… we were destined to be on Mackinac Island at this time on this day… by the conclusion we both  understand what the meaning of the words “I LOVE YOU” actually meant, and we agreed that than and only than when those words were ever uttered from each others mouths that our fate with each other was sealed.

Next…”A Chilly Boardwalk ” and the amazing days that followed

as We Count Down to “Desolate”…..

……”The Sun Set Cruise”…. “A Stary Night awaited ….Forever”……” A Carriage Ride Stone Cliffe Inn”…. “Give Me Everything Tonight”…… “the True Meaning of I LOVE YOU! how to……….”