A New York State of Mind
by Mary Ruth MorrisIts a cold day in New York. Its mid-afternoon on a December Sunday and I'm in a crowded Starbucks on 5th Ave (whether there is one here or not I'm not sure). I'm looking out the window at the Xmas lights contrasted against the darkening sky. People are walking by with packages and looking exuberant. The Holidays and celebrations are to start in a week. I can feel the excitement and its warming to the soul. I sip my hot chocolate flouvoured with just a hint of almond (my fave) and flip absently through the Times. As someone walks in the coffee house, someone at the counter drops a mug and the crash it makes startles me. I look over and a cute blonde haired man smiles at me sheepishly. I smile back then turn back to the paper, though still mesmerized by the scenes on the sidewalks of New York. "Silver Bells" is being played over the soundsystem. I hear a deep cough trying to get my attention. I turn around and before me stands a tall dark haired stranger with glass-bottle green eyes smiling back at me. "Excuse me. Is this seat taken?" he asks. "No...please be my guest", I say out loud "in more ways than one" I think in my head. "Its a beautiful day", he says as he sips his coffee. "Very", I agree. "Is it always this beautiful in New York this time of year"? I ask. "Yeah. It is. Are you not from New York"? he asks with genuine interest. "No. I'm not. I'm only here for a few days. I live in Nova Scotia" "Really? I've heard great things about Nova Scotia". He points to his tie and says "is there a lot of tartan there. I love tartan". "Yes. Nova Scotia has its own tartan. But its blue and yellow and black and green. I doubt if you'd find any here." "I'm Mike Logan, by the way." he holds out his hand. I take it in mine. I can't help but notice how warm and comfortable it feels in my own. "Hi Mike. I'm Mary Ruth Morris". "Mary Ruth. Thats a really nice name." "Ha- its a curse!" (This is, in fact, my usual reaction when someone says they like my name!) We both laugh and chat about various things. I learn that he is a Homicide Detective at the 27th Precinct, AND SINGLE!! And he learns that I am an aspiring playwright, and also VERY SINGLE! We finish our coffee and hot chocolate and Mike offers to get me another. "Hot chocolate with almond right?" "How did you know?" I ask surprised. "I'm a detective. I'm trained to pay attention to detail," he says with a smile as he walks towards the front counter. I watch him. He has an excellent profile, and I don't even mind that huge nose. Its suits him very well. He comes back with our drinks. "So Mary Ruth from Nova Scotia, what have you seen so far of New York?" "Le Guardia, a couple of streets and this Starbucks. We got here late last night." "Who are you here with? Family?" "No, just a couple of friends. They want to shop til they drop. I want to see the city." "Well....would you like a guilded tour from a native New Yorker?" "I'd love one!" "Ok. Finish your hot chocolate and well head over to my precinct to pick up my car", he says as he gulps down his coffee. I begin to have second thoughts, "Uh well..." "Look, I have to to check in. I'll tell everyone at the precinct where we are going. I have to be at work tomorrow so don't worry". I'm still apprehensive and it shows all over my face. Mike understands. "Hey. Its ok. At least come to the precinct and meet my partner and some of the people I work with." I agree and we get up to leave. Mike takes my red jacket and holds it open for me. He then opens the door for me. When we step out of Starbucks we noticed it has begun to snow lightly. "This..."Mike says triumphantly "is Christmas in New York!" We walk a few blocks to the precinct. As we walk down the hall, a heavyset italian man in a Santa suit carrying his beard and a sack of presents comes towards us and bellows: "Hey Mike-y! Whats up man! I'm off to St. Mary's to deliever presnts to the pediatric wing." "Hey Profaci. This is Mary Ruth Morris from Nova Scotia. Shes visiting New York for a few days so I'm going to show her around. Mary Ruth, this is Tony Profaci. The 2-7's resident 'Jerry Lewis'". "Hi Mary Ruth. Nice to meet you." "Nice to meet you too!" I say with a smile. I just know that this man is "all heart". "Look I gotta go. I'll talk to you guys later", and with thatProfaci shuffles down the hall. Mike and I go into the main office. Sitting at a desk in the middle of everything is an atrractive middle aged man. Mike introduces him to me. "Lenny. This is Mary Ruth Morris from Nova Scotia. I'm going to show her around New York. Mary Ruth, this is my partner and best friend, Lennie Briscoe." "Hi Detective Briscoe. Nice to meet you." "Nice to meet you too. But please- only perps call me Det Brisco. Call me Lennie". "Hey- they call you worse things than Detective", a deep female voice responds. Its Anita VanBuren. "Anita. This is Mary Ruth Morris. She's from Nova Scotia." "Really. I went there with my family a few years ago. Beautiful place. How ong are you in New York for"? "Just until Tuesday." Anita and I chat while Mike makes some calls. When he's done he comes over. "You ready"? "Yeah. Lets go." "See you guys tomorrow", Mike calls over his shoulder. "Nice to meet you Anita, Lennie". "Nice to meet you too," they say in unison. Part 2We go to Mike's car. A beat up old Honda Civic. He unlocks the door, opens it and I get in. He closes it after me. Mike drives out of the precinct parking lot and down the street. "How does the Statue of Liberty sound to you"? "Great. You know- last year I went as the Statue of Liberty for Halloween". "Really?" "Yeah it was a great costume. I made it myself." (This in fact- is TRUE! It was an EXCELLENT costume!!) Mike and I chat about music and other various "non threatening topics" as I call them. We share a love of animals and children. We get to the Ferry to take us to the Statue and its gotten very cold. I hug myself- trying desparetely to keep the warmth in. Mike is behind me and notices and reaches over- hugging me to him. "Is that better"? he whispers in my ear. I can only nod. I know I'm safe in his arms. We spend the rest of the ride in silence. When the ferry stops Mike takes my hand and we walk to the Statue. We go inside and to the top of her crown and look out to the lights of New York. Its dark now and the lights are dazzling. Mike looks down at me and says "I'm hungry. How about you?" I realize that I'm starving. "God, I haven't eaten all day!" "Where would you like to go? How about Planet Hollywood?" "Sounds great." We leave the Statue of Liberty and go back on the ferry. Mike holds me close again. When we get back to Manhattan we drive to Planet Hollywood where we are seated in a relatively quiet area. We're perusing the menus when a few men wearing cowboy hats and heavy santa fae print coats are seated. They are loud but its welcoming at the same time. They are in high spirits. A few minutes later a late member of their party shows up- all apologies. "Geez Guys I'm sorry I'm late. I was on the phone with Sandy." I look up and when I realize who it is I catch my breathe. Mike notices. "Mare. Are you ok?" I lean over the table and say quietly "Mike- thats Garth Brooks sitting at the next table!" Mike sits up straighter. "Really?" He looks over. "So it is. Why don't you go say 'Hi' to him"? "What? No- I can't! He's having dinner.I don't want to disturb him." "I bet he'd love it", Mike stands up and before I can stop him he walks over to Garth Brooks' table and introduces himself. "Hi I'm Detective Mike Logan. My friend over there is a huge fan of yours. Would you mind just saying 'Hi' to her. It would mean A LOT." Garth, being the kind soul that he is, shakes Mike's hand, and says "Sure, I'd love too!" Garth stands up and walks to our table. I have my head in my hands, rocking back and forth whispering "Ohmigod" over and over. "Hi, I'm Garth Brooks. Mike wanted me to come over and say 'Hi'. Whats your name?" I look up. Garth's hand is reached out. I take it. "Hi. I'm Mary Ruth Morris. Its an honour to meet you. I saw you play in Nova Scotia". "Really? I just loved Nova Scotia! You people are just so inviting!" "Thank you. You played a great show." "Thank you." I chat a bit with Garth and he excuses himself when his waiter arrives. Mike just smiles at me across the table. "Thank you Mike. That was just the most unbelievable thing thats ever happened to me." "I knew you'd love it. Now- how does splitting a bruschetta sound?" We order our food- an order of brushetta between us, a pasta dish for me, and a burger for Mike. Everything is delicious. We decide to split a chocolate cheesecake. The last bite is the point of the cake. I tell him to have it and make a wish. "But my wish came true already," he reaches over and takes my hands in his. "Mike..." I start. "Mary Ruth, let me show you more of the city." "I really should be getting back to my hostel. Its late. My friends will be worried." "Ok...but tomorrow let me take you out sightseeing again." I look into his eyes and see nothing but sincerity. I nod my head. "Ok." "I'll pick you up at 3 o'clock." As we get up to leave, Garth Brooks hands me a napkin. It says "To my favorite Nova Scotianer: Merry Christmas. See you soon. Love Garth Brooks." "Have a safe trip back Darlin'?" he says with a wink. Mike and I leave Planet Hollywood hand in hand, smiles on both of our faces. Mike drops me off at the Hostel. Before I get out out of the car, he takes my left hand in both of his. "Tomorrow. 3 o'clock, right?" "Yes. I'll be waiting." I smile at him. We look at each other for a long time. I break the silence. "I better go in. I'll see you tomorrow Mike". I get out of the car. The next day, and day after that Mike and I spend every waking moment together. We hold hands, and snuggle , never once allowing ourselves to give in to what we really want. My last night in New York, Mike takes me to the Empire State Building. He's carrying a knapsack. "Whats in the kitbag?" I ask as we go up the elevator. "You'll see." Mike says with a wink and a smile. (yes- I know thats a song!) We arrive at the top. Surprisingly, theres no one there. Mike tells me to close my eyes. I look at him suspiciously, and he takes his hand and gently closes my eyes. He then leans to my ear and whispers "Trust me". I can smell his cologne. Its very musky and sexy. I hear him open the kitbag, and shuffle around me. He takes my hand and places a glass in it- telling me to keep my eyes closed. I hear a click and the song "She's Every Woman" by Garth Brooks begin. Mike tells me to open my eyes. I do and he pops open a bottle of champagne and pours some into my glass. He then pours himself a glass and puts the bottle down. He looks at me with a smile, and says "To the past few days", he raises his glass and we clink them. After the first sip, he takes my glass and his and puts them aside. He takes me in his arms and we begin to dance to the romantic lyrics: "She's so New York, and then L.A. And every town along the way She's every place I've ever been. She making love on rainy nights She's a stroll through Christmas lights And she's everything I want to do again." At the end of the song Mike leans down and kisses me very gently on the lips. I pull him closer and the kiss deepens. He pulls away, and looks down at me. "I don't know whats next." I say. "I do," he pulls me closer, "You get on the plane tomorrow." I just nod. "But thats tomorrow", I say, "This is tonight". Mike brushes a whisp of my hair out of my face. He leans down and kisses me again. Unbelievably, its better than the last. "I better take you back to the hostel." "I'd rather go to your place", I say as he pulls and looks away. He looks at me and shakes his head. "I can't Mare. I can't because you'll be gone tomorrow and I don't want to..." "You don't to make love to me", I finish for him. "No. I mean YES- I do," Mike takes me in his arms again, "I want to make love to you more than anything in the world, but after tomorrow I won't be able to and that will kill me. You're more to me than a one night stand Mare. I love you. But if we make love I know, and I know you know it too- that it will be hard to say good-bye tomorrow". I nod. I know he's right. "Its going to be hard anyway Mike." "Yeah, but if we do this, its going to be about a million times harder". He kisses my forehead. We hold one another for a while before we seaparate. "I better get you back," he says as he puts his things back in his bag. I notice that he's got tear stains on his face. I take him in my arms again and pull him towards me. I kiss him. He drops his bag and wraps his arms around me, kissing me back. He stops long enough look into my eyes and say "I love you Mary Ruth Morris from Nova Scotia." I smile through my own tears and manage to get out "And I love you Michael Logan from New York". The next day Mike drives me and my friends to the airport. They board first while I say good-bye. "I will never forget you Darling", Mike says as he kisses me. "You better not!" I laugh, although I am on the verge of crying again. Mike pulls me in for our final kiss. It is deep and wonderful and neither of us want it to end. "FINAL BOARDING CALL FOR FLIGHT #368 TO HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA. ALL REMAINING PASSENGERS SHOULD BOARD NOW." "Thats me," I say as I unwillingly pull myself away from Mike. He picks up my knapsack and hands it to me. We look at each other. Tears welling both of our eyes. "Remember when I said that meeting Garth Brooks was the most unbelieveable thing that ever happened to me". "Yes", Mike says as he rubs his hands up and down my arms. "Well. I was wrong. Meeting you is the most unbelievable thing that has ever happened to me." "I love you," he whispers. "I love you too," I whisper back. I turn and walk to the gate. I hand the woman my boarding pass and look back at Mike. He gives a little wave and blows me a kiss. I blow him one back, turn around and walk down to my plane. Part 3Its 7:30pm Nova Scotia time. I arrive back at my house tired and saddened. The flight was short but I am exhausted from the past 3 days in New York. The three most wonderful days of my entire life I think to myself, getting a picture of Mike smiling and waving goodbye to me in my head. I carry my luggage to my room. I check my answering machine. 2 messages. One from my Mother, one from one of my best friends- Trevor. He's back from Western University for the Holidays and wants me to call as soon as I get in. Though a big welcome-back hug from Trev sounds inviting, I know my Mom will have a bird if I don't call her back. After convincing my Mom that I am perfectly fine- just a little tired from the flight- I promise to come over the next day to help her get the house in order for my brother and his kids who are set to arrive in two days. I decide to give Trev a call and see if he can come over. I have the receiver in my hand when I hear a knock at my door. When I answer I am greeted with a surprise- Trevor! "Hey Bud! I saw the light on and I figured you were back!" Trevor came in and gave me a big bear hug. "Whats this about you jet-setting off to New York?" "Hey yourself! Where's that gorgeous girlfriend of yours?" "She's at her parents. She's coming down tomorrow though." "Great. C'mon in. I was just about to have a glass of anything alcoholic. Care to join me?" "But of course." "Its Xmas- eggnog and rum sound good to you?" "Great." I pour rum into two tumblers and add some eggnog. I hand a glass to Trev and we go sit in the living room. "So...how was New York? When Allison told me you were going I couldn't believe it!" "It was a spur of the moment decision. You know me." "Yes I do. So tell me- whats wrong? For a second when you opened the door you looked like you were expecting someone else. Are you? Because I'll leave..." "Don't you dare Trevor Lynch! No- I was just thinking of my trip." "And...what's his name?" "What makes you think..." "Mare- I *know* you!! C'mon. We haven't seen each other since August. When we don't see each other for 20 minutes you have a zillion things to catch me up on. When I came in you became so quiet. I knew that there was something wrong." "Not so much wrong as right but at the same time wrong". Trevor just got a look of confusion on his face. "His name's Mike. Mike Logan." "And...what? Did he hurt you?" Trevor got *that* tone in his voice he gets whenever one of his friends is in trouble. "No. God no. Mike wouldn't hurt me in a million years. Its just...Trevor, I fell in love again. I fell in love with someone over a period of three days. Isn't that crazy? After Kevin I thought I would NEVER feel that way again. I didn't even *want* to for the longest time. And then I remembered how good it felt and I wanted to fall again. But I couldn't find anyone. Now I have. In three days I met and fell in love with someone I *know* is perfect for me. And I'm perfect for him. We *mesh*, you know?" I didn't realize it but I had started to cry. It was the first time I let go since that morning when Mike and I had said good-bye. Trevor came to my side and hugged me until I got myself together. "So...what does this Mike guy do?" "He's a Homicide Detective for the 27th Precinct." "Homicide? Cooooool!"(This in fact would be Trev's reaction- who by the way is a HUGE Law & Order fan AND thinks the Mike Logan character is very cool!) I just laugh at him. The phone rings. I look at the clock. Its 8:30. "7:30 Mike time", I think. It rings again. I pick it up. "Hello?" "Hey Baby. Miss me yet?" a familar voice asks. "Mike! Is that you?" I grab Trevor's arm and grin from ear to ear. "Yeah. What are you up to? Get unpacked yet?" "No- I was in the apartment all of 10 minutes and my best friend Trevor showed up." "Hey- you moving on already?" Mike said with a laugh. "Well, you know me. I pick up men all the time", I say with a wicked laugh. "With a face like yours and your wonderful ways on top of it all I'm not surprised!" "You fool!" Trevor motions that he's going to the kitchen to get some more eggnog. He walks into the kitchen to give me some privacy. "Mare. I miss you so much. We have to work out a plan here." "Its going to be hard. Crime doesn't stop. You're always needed. And I just got promoted (Note: Olga- I don't know this yet! I'm just using it for creative reasons so keep those fingers crossed!) so I can't leave." I could almost hear Mikey thinking on the other end. "I'm going to talk to Anita about getting some time off. Its no guarantee but I may be able to manage to get away for a week." My heart soared at the thought of spending a week with Mike. "Don't tease me now. I'm getting excited at the thought of you being in Nova Scotia." "I'll let you know. I hate to cut this short Honey but I'm at work and Lennie is heading out the door to a crime scene. I have to catch up." "Ok. I miss you." "I miss you too. And Mare?" "Yes Mike?" "I love you sweetheart." "I love you too. Bye. Tell Lennie, Anita, and Profaci that I said 'Howdy'". "Will do. Bye Darling." and he hung up. Trevor walked in just as I hung up. "So how's Mike?" "He's coming to Nova Scotia." and at that moment I *knew* that I would be seeing Michael Logan within the next two weeks.
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