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Pen Your Pride

September 1991– Alex

I knocked on the apartment door excited for Christina to answer.  It seemed some things hadn’t changed even though we’d graduated; I was still the one knocking on her door.

The door opened and Christina smiled and pulled me out of the hallway before hugging me.

“You’re back! How was your trip? I want to hear everything!”

“The trip was good, but I missed you.  I wish you would have delayed starting work and come with me it would have been more fun.”

“Alex, please don’t make me feel bad.  You know I couldn’t join you, I already have a lot of student loans to pay back and there’s no way I was going to let you pay for the trip!”

“Sorry, I don’t want to start my first day in New York City fighting with you.  At least tell me you missed me.”

“Of course I missed you! Do I even have to say that? Isn’t that a given?”

“I like hearing you say it.”

“Okay, Alex Shergill I missed you.  I missed you so much that I’m taking you to dinner tonight.”

 “Let me guess we’re going out for Italian.” I teased her, I knew this and steaks were her favorite.

“Yes.  I found this wonderful cozy Italian restaurant just a few blocks from here.  This cute Italian couple run it and they have the best food and cheap wine!”

“Before we go I have all of these gifts for you.  This bag is from my travels, you can open it later.”

“And the second bag?” she asked impatiently as she grabbed it from me.

“Is from my parents, well actually my mom picked it all out.”

“Your parents got me something? Why?”

“They wanted to send you a little something; they felt bad you didn’t get a chance to take time off before starting your job at Morgan Stanley.”

“Oh.  That was nice of them, but completely unnecessary.”

“Gifts are never necessary; they’re a sign of love and affection.  Just take the package and stop asking so many questions.  Don’t worry if it was something I could use than I would have kept it for myself and never have given it to you.”

Peeking into the bag, “Very funny.  I’d love to see you in this scarf.” She teased back.

“Come on let’s go.  I’m starving!”

We started walking towards the restaurant.

“Can you believe school’s over and our real lives have begun.  Well your real life has already begun.  What do I have to look forward to when I start at Lehman Brothers next week? Is it what you imagined it would be?”

“It’s great.  Everyone so far at Morgan Stanley is nice.  It’s been a slow start since most of the recruits don’t start until next week, but it’s been nice getting started early.  But, I don’t want to talk about work.  Tell me about scuba diving in Belize and Mexico.  Did you take lots of pictures?”

We arrived at the restaurant and the owners Leo and Daniella greeted Chris.  “Buona sera, Christina.  This must be the lovely young man, Alexander who you’ve been waiting for all of these months.  I’m Leonardo and welcome to our Trattoria.”

“Hello, nice to meet you.” Leo walked us over to the most romantic table in the little restaurant.

Leo looked over at me and handed me a menu.  “I’ll let you look over the menu and decide what you want.  Christina is a regular so I already know what she wants,” he said as he winked at Chris and walked away.

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