Archive for September, 2018

Love On 38th Floor

A meeting with the President/CEO of H & H Corporation, a company that owns and operates a chain of hotels and resorts in the US is what Craig is looking forward to. If negotiations would play to his advantage, this could be the biggest job contract for his architectural firm. Designing hotels, private villas, and landscaping is his company’s primary venture. Craig waits nervously and apprehensively for feedback, as Mr. Harris studied the spreadsheets and blueprint of his latest building design. After thoroughly examining the blueprint, he nods his head, and said: “I have to present and discuss this with Sam, my associate. We’ll get back to you in two days.”

The door of the conference room opened and a woman in a dark suit and skirt just above her knees, a perfectly fit beige stiletto pumps, and hair styled in updo, came in.         “Craig Benson, meet my associate, Samantha Holden, the VP and Chief of Operations. Sam Holden, this is Architect Craig Benson, the proprietor of CB & Associates.”                    Craig’s facial expression turned from excitement to shock and disbelief. He was floored. He could not believe that this is the same beautiful Samantha Foster who was the popular girl in high school, the girl who was his prom date, the girl who captured his young heart, the only woman who occupied his thoughts even after 18 years had passed. Samantha on the other hand was not surprised to see Craig. Prior to this meeting, she already checked his identity after Robert informed her about the new architectural firm bidding for their contract. She was prepared that she would be meeting in person the older version of Craig Benson who was her high school study buddy, her confidant, the person who understood and stood by her side through good times and bad, and made her feel loved. Meeting Craig again after 18 years ushered mixed emotions. It took her a lot of self-control and focus to maintain professional decorum throughout the meeting. She was totally a different person; reserved, guarded, and her facial expression and body language will take a psychologist to analyze. But most of all she sure knows how to run this company like the back of her hands. At the end of the meeting, Craig was given the good news that he landed the contract to design and build the company’s new state of the art chalet in Aspen, Colorado.

Craig is excited. This means that he will be spending more time working with Samantha for the duration of the project. He is determined to reconnect with her, know everything about her since they parted ways after graduation. One thing for sure though, she is married to a Holden, and wondering how her family life is. Suddenly, he felt a pang of pain in his heart; beset with regret that he did not have the courage to express his feelings towards her, before. He has had relationships in the past; even almost got married to his last girlfriend. But all failed relationships, made him to just pour all his time and effort to his business. Until a week ago, when he had a face to face encountered with Samantha Holden…

Since the construction started, Craig meets with Samantha every Saturday, to discuss and give updates of the progress. At first, the meetings were solely on a professional and business level. However, he aims to cross that dividing line and have a more personal level of communication. He now knows that Samantha’s husband of 5 years died 4 years ago in a car crash, and with him was a beautiful woman who also suffered the same fate. This could be the reason why Samantha is distant when personal emotion is concerned, felt betrayed, and afraid to trust her emotions especially opening her vulnerable heart to love again.

As the meetings continued, topics of their conversation became more personal, even reminiscing their high school years. Samantha’s spacious 38th floor office with a breathtaking 180 degrees view of San Francisco Bay became their weekend getaway. She started to open up, so as Craig. The what if’s and what should have’s became part of their intimate conversations. Needless to say, the wall that she subconsciously built around her  is slowly toppling down. There is no mistaking. The feelings she had for Craig when they were in high school has always been there, and this makes her scared. Although it was obvious that Craig cared for her a lot, he did not say anything, but his actions definitely spoke louder. There was no doubt, the feeling was mutual but neither of them had the courage to let it be known. But this time, Craig has a plan…

In 3 days, they will fly together to Aspen for the formal turn over and opening of the chalet. But tonight, Craig arranged for an intimate dinner in Samantha’s 38th floor office. She was still working when he arrived, but a dinner table for two was already set. When Samantha answered his knock, he came in holding with both hands, a miniature tabletop model of a modern two-story house, with a gorgeous garden. He carefully set it on Samantha’s office table.

“Wow! This is beautiful, Craig! I love it. Is this your new project?”                             Samantha exclaimed in awe when she saw the beautiful model. Craig smiled, knowing that she loved it.                                                                                                                               “It’s for you. Open the door.”                                                                                              Samantha opened the door, and a ring with a diamond solitaire tied with a gold string dropped. She took the ring and turned around to face him, heart beating loud and fast, surprise written all over her face. This time, Craig was already kneeling in one knee.       “I loved you then, and I have not stopped loving you. Marry me, Samantha Foster. And I promise to spend the rest of my life showing and letting you feel my love.”                          She loves this man so much, and she’s ready to take the leap. With a love-filled heart, she smiled and without saying a word, she handed the ring back to him, as she offered her left hand. He slipped the ring on her left finger and kissed it. Samantha let herself cocooned in his waiting arms, as they shared a lingering, passionate kiss. Looking out of the wide bay window on the 38th floor, Craig and Samantha look forward to a blissful future that they will spend together.





The Promise Ring

“Don’t push your luck, Romeo. “I look forward to see you around” is an overused and underrated exit line. I’m not surprised if your pick up line will be: “Hi! I think I’ve seen you before. Your face looks familiar” You need to be creative.” Flashing her most adorable smile a la Mona Lisa, Claire picked up her hand carried luggage and eased her way towards the New Era Airlines check in counter.

Andrew Taylor, a Lieutenant in the US Army was stationed in the Philippines. He met the charming and brilliant Claire Delgado in Manila, when she was on a working contract with a group of educators for an outreach program “Operation Literacy”. They readily developed a special bond spent most of their free time exploring the beautiful sites of the country, and even planned to return and revisit Boracay island in the future. It was in this island where they spent the happiest time of their life, and where Andrew gave her a ring, with a promise that wherever he is, he will come back and find her. When Andrew’s rotation ended, he went back to the US to fulfill another assignment overseas. His whereabouts was always classified, as he was a member of a special operations unit. Claire also went back to California, waiting for a teaching job as a kindergarten teacher in the suburban town in Texas.

Seven years have gone by. Claire has contentedly settled in a small community in El Paso, Texas, juggling between family, a mother, and being a teacher. This was the kind of life that she envisioned, and could not ask for more than what she had. Not a single day that passed that she haven’t thought of Andrew, and pray that wherever he is, he will be safe. Andrew, now a Lieutenant General continuous to go overseas, assigned in the Middle East and Germany. He always looks forward to be home and stay with his family after each rotation of duty, and could not wait for the time when he will be permanently stationed in the US Army post in Fort Bliss,  until he retires from the service, to enjoy being home and be with his family.

The morning sun permeates the horizon, with patches of while clouds drifting by under the cerulean blue sky; a promise of a beautiful day. Claire walks along the shore of the white sand beach of Boracay island, feeling the gentle touch of the summer breeze on her face. She smiled, her heart overflowing with love as she saw a gorgeous man and a handsome, sweet little three-year-old boy coming her way. Andrew…her Romeo, her knight in shining armor, her husband of five years, and the father of her son.

When the two loves of her life reached where she was standing, Andrew let go of little Zachary, who in turn raised his arms to Claire, wanting to be carried. She scooped the toddler and gave him a hug and showered him with kisses. Andrew gently pulled both of them in the circle of his arms, and lovingly said: “I guess those pick up and exit lines worked its magic, right? Happy Anniversary, sweetheart! As my promise stands when I gave you that ring seven years ago, I will never get tired of letting you feel my love, more today than yesterday.”

Claire looked at the promise ring that Andrew slipped in her finger when they first came to the island, and along with her wedding ring, it never leave her finger all these years.

Andrew and Claire revisited this special place close to their heart, and will continue to create memories to be added in the storybook of life that they will write. As they held the hand of their son, each on his side, the three of them strolled along the shore of the island, leaving three sets of footprints in the white sand.



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