The Project Redbox (Pt. 1)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of a week long first date

Submitted: April 23, 2017

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Submitted: April 23, 2017

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I met Her in a foreign country. I'd travelled a bit before and became quite prone to being struck by the travel cupid when away. But then there was this time. The meeting room where the tour group convened was small. I was late. I walked into that room and scanned the new faces. I caught Her gaze and smiled. She had kind eyes and motioned the word "hello"....awestruck.

Two months later and I am driving to Cape Town International to pick Her up from her flight from New York. SAA flight 204 via JNB on Friday September 30 at 15 after noon. I get there early, waiting for Her at the Arrivals terminal. I'm so nervous. I hadn't seen Her in 10 weeks. What if I didn't recognise Her, the mind has a silly way of changing memories with time.

I stand upfront by the arrivals walkway. Do I run up to Her when I see Her? Can I kiss Her here and now? I shift over to the side of the walkway, way less pressure here. I wait nervously, she texts me that Her bags are taking a while. I watch each person embracing a family member, friend or lover; nothing at moment mattered more to them. I looked left toward the terminal door. There she was, looking right at me. We walked down the walkway together, on opposite sides of the barrier. I put my arms around Her and and gave Her a casual hug. I made some lame joke to ease my confidence, grabbed Her bag and went on the look out for my car.

We check in at the One and Only at the V&A water front, it's crazy how comfortable I now feel with Her only half an hour later. We chatted about Her flight and my excitement of the week ahead. After 15 hours of flying, she's not even jet lagged! We get in the room and she goes to freshen up. She comes out wearing a beautiful blue and white stripe dress. Her blonde hair, shorter than I've seen it before, open. I choke down my urge to grab Her and, very unlike myself, grab the room keycard instead. As I opened the door, she asks for a kiss. I push the door closed and I lean in. She feels warm to the touch and I open my eyes and get lost in that world of blue.

About an hour later, we decide to finally leave. We find a chilled spot in town around Bree Street. I get a beer, she gets a Spier Rose. We talk like we've known each other for ages. We leave after a bit in search of a pizza, but opt for a few plates of tapas and canapés at the hotel.

We're in each others arms and talking about experiences and life and everything in between as if we'd known each other for years. After 2 bottles of red and a bottle of champagne (Her favourite) we decide to jump in the hotel pool. It was freezing out. She braved it and we got out. I made Her laugh about her teeth clattering from the cold (very animated!) while we tried to warm each other up.

I woke up earlier than Her the next morning. She's on the other side of the bed. I drew up close and put my arms around Her. My mind was calm. When she finally woke, I greeted Her to what would become a traditional "good morning" which was followed by a kiss. I think she liked that.

Lying in bed with Her was the best. In those moments we'd talk about anything. I remember finding Her smile very attractive to the eye. I loved hearing Her laugh. Then there was Her eyes; in between talking, I would go somewhere in there and not want to leave.

We got out of bed much later than we should've (another tradition to be), showered and then head out. The first stop was a quaint little market in Hout Bay. We walk in with my hand on Her lower back (I swear this made all the difference in Turkey). I shift that hand to close in with Hers. Very warm and fuzzy, not my typical move. She orders a coffee and we get a table outside. We talked. We left the market in search for.more sites to see... grudgingly though cause we realised that there's a live band on the way out. We jumped in the car and I take Her on a drive to Chapmans peak. Beautiful drive with gorgeous views.

We get back to the hotel and she gives me the first dare of the trip - let me back up. As a rule for the "first date" (as we so called our week together in cpt), we would dare each other to do something challenging every day. Today was to serenade Her with macklemore - thrift shop. But I blew that!! I did another song because I sucked so bad....Justin Bieber - Love yourself, damn! We head out to one of my favourite restaurants called Beluga. My daily dare for Her is to order her food at the restaurant in a French accent. After much of a fight, she plays along! She imitates a Parisian with poor English skills. Much to our suprise, the Waitress is Congolese! The Congolese waitress, trying to be friendly, chimes in with a Parle voux Francais and as quick as it came, she went right back to Her American accent! I go mad with laughter! We do a shot of jagger bomb and then leave to go clubbing at the Waiting Room. It's a roof top bar in long street, one of my favourite places in this country. All I see is her. That night I ended it with a dare to leave a very naughty voice note to her best friend who I also met in Turkey.

We get up relatively early the next day for wine tasting in Franshoek. Amazing location with amazing views. We get ourselves a private driver in his black Mercedes-Benz. We start at leopards leap and taste some really good wine (I bought a good case of caberenet sauvignon) aand then leave to Haute Cabrierre. We spend some time taking in the beautiful landscape of the winelands. She amazes me. As a jest, I chose to Google Her to see what pops up. I was absolutely dumbfounded. This woman, who I've spent the past few days with and spent the past few months learning about is extremely successful at Her job, a real winner. She's hanging out in CPT with me and hasn't mentioned this once, that's a incredibly impressive for me. She's got so much going on for her, being successful is just another thing right with her, it doesn't even need to be a selling point in a "date". We buy a bottle of champagne and get a late lunch at a Melissas in frans hoek. I get a slow braised lamb sandwich. I go silent and get lost in my mind for a bit. She notices that.

I'm up all night because I can't sleep. I'm just restless. The next morning, I was up already and leave to go to Belleville for a bit to see a friend. I kiss Her good bye and leave Her in bed. I feel terrible for going but it's something I had to do. I come back to find Her sitting by the pool with her earphones on. Absolutely beautiful. She gets startled when I approach from the side. I kiss Her and apologise for leaving. I have the whole afternoon romantically planned. My lack of explanation of the morning may have raised some questions in Her mind about the purpose of my visit. I clarify. I want Her to know I am here only for Her. We get lunch at tashas at the water front. Time for my second dare. I'm to tell someone at lunch that I am not wearing any underwear. I target the waitress. I tell Her that I want to go skinny dipping somewhere and so I don't have any under wear on. The waitress guides me to try skinny dipping somewhere upstairs inside the mall, out of utter confusion. She says I'm awesome. We arrange a picnic basket and we drive out to Signal hill for sundowners. It felt perfect sitting there with Her by my side, a bottle of Moet and Chandonn and the sun setting into the Atlantic ocean. We drive back. My heart is the happiest it's been in months. We go out to restaurant Baia at the water front. Amazingly good food.

The next day was a lazier day. We got in swimwear and headed out to camps bay beach. We got a margerita at col cachios and then took that pizza down to the beach. She has a quick work call she needs to make. Her smile drives me crazy. We leave camps bay and make our way back to the hotel to change for our date night that I arranged at Aubergine. She wears a beautiful white dress and stunning blue high heels. I feel inadequate walking next to Her even with my best suit on! We had an amazing dinner with amazing wine. I remember falling asleep not wanting the feeling to end.

It's Wednesday morning, it's her last full day with me, she leaves tomorrow! I'm starting to not like the idea of letting her go without learning more about this person. I lean over in bed and ask her to move her flight to a day later. She does it, with minimal thinking; maybe the connection is mutual.

We made our way downstairs for breakfast and thereafter took a walk down the pier for a boat cruise. We stopped by a little cafe to get some muscles and fries. I remember us bickering about the need for a hungry person on a date to only eat when the other eats too. She'd asked me about my father who died years before. Something I'm not comfortable talking to anyone about, but I'd opened up to her that afternoon. That night, we headed to Hudsens in kloof Street for true American style burgers. And evening just filled with laughter. I also do recall there being a map of Manhattan on the board withing the restaurant there and she described the whole layout of it to me.

We woke up relatively early on Thursday but spent the whole morning in bed just laughing about, it's crazy how much I like doing this with Her after only a few days! We go to this coffee shop in Buitenkant Street called Truth and we continue exploring each others personalities, one heck of a first date! After the coffee shop we head to the Lower End of Long street (where she gets a taste of how many people can fit in a minibus taxi) and she buys a scarf as a souvenir of her trip to Cape Town. We buy a bottle of champagne and head to Camps Bay beach. I'm barefoot, in jeans and we both climb up a few rocks to get to a front row seat for the sunset. Sitting there, just the crashing of the ocean waves, Her arms wrapped around me and a bottle of champagne in hand... It was my most magical sunset and nothing could not make that moment any better! We head to a sea food restaurant at the water front before heading to Asoka and Tjing Tjing rooftop bar back in Long Market Street. We had an amazing night. She told me that I'm perfect.

She is a 42 year old woman, a New Yorker managing Her own company. I am a 26 year old south African engineer. We could not be more different but I can't help but have this niggling feeling that something is not complete between us.

The day had come. She had to leave. I got up and played it cool, I was sad but had to keep my cool. We both packed up, checked out. We picked up my car and waved good bye to this beautiful piece of utopia we had for a week. At the airport, we're sitting at Mugg and Bean and get a coffee. It's time that she has to get on the plane...we take a step toward the security Isle and kiss... Another step, another kiss. There's the point where I can't go any further. Now I see Her in the line, but there's no more touch. Step by step, she walks further away. I blow Her a kiss, she waves good bye and then.... Shes gone.

I remember jumping in my car with a pit in my stomach. I got back to a place in central Cape Town. I left all my luggage in the car. I walked up to the bedroom and sat on the floor, staring at the wall infront of me. My arms were folded around my knees with my chin resting on my forearms; I was trying to just piece together what had just transpired. I'd been touched by this amazing person, who'd showed me a side of myself that I'd forgotten. In just one week I had realised a new form of happiness from someone who was just like me.... A soul wondering the world in search of something more to life... and now she was gone forever.

Project RedBox was a success. But I have to see Her again. I have to.


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