Valentine's Day

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I once read somewhere that falling in love with the same person a second time is both confusing and exciting, because you realize you're smitten with a completely different person

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I once read somewhere that falling in love with the same person a second time is both confusing and exciting, because you realize you're smitten with a completely different person.

Every day is like this for me with Rafa, and I suspect it's similar for him, as well.

Our second-to-last weekend together falls on Valentine's Day, and I'm eager to soak in every moment. It's Friday, and he'd hurried me out of the office this afternoon, acting all mysterious and adorable.

"Rafa, tell me what we're doing and where we're going." I'm laughing so hard I'm almost peeing my pants, mostly because he's tickling my knee and talking in a funny, accented, growly voice, the one we used to call his Cuban bear  voice. It was always hilarious to us for some reason, probably because there are no bears in Cuba. Clearly, it makes sense only to us.

"Close your eyes, little red riding hood."

I giggle and do, and the Tesla glides along. "Where are we going?"

"Shhh. Put one hand over your eyes. Like that, yes. Don't peek." He squeezes my thigh possessively.

The Tesla rolls to a stop. I clap both hands over my eyes.

"Don't move," Rafa says. After a few moments, I hear the passenger door open and feel him reach for my hand and arm. I allow him to ease me out of the car.

"Get out...slow. Good. Now walk. I won't let you fall."

We gingerly take several steps, and Rafa squeezes my arm.

"Stop. Okay. You can look."

We're standing at the bottom of a staircase leading to a sleek, small jet.

"Rafecito? Where are we going?"

He kisses my temple and slings an arm around my shoulder. "That's the second part of the surprise. Let's go."

Grinning, I bound up the stairs. Once inside the jet's cabin, Rafa points to a camel-colored leather sofa along one wall of the plane.

We settle in, and I throw my arms around him.

"What...? Why?"

It's Valentine's Day. Did you forget?" Rafa asks.

"Silly. I know that." I ruffle his short hair. I'd bought him a book of Pablo Neruda poems and have it wrapped and tucked in my purse. I'm not sure what I expected from him for Valentine's Day—nothing, actually—but a trip away from St. Augustine in a private jet definitely hadn't crossed my mind.

Excited by the thought, I giggle as the plane takes off, and a cabin steward serves champagne and chocolate-covered cherries. Even though I grew up well off, it was nothing like the wealth that Rafa has at his disposal. I've come to the conclusion it's the kind of lifestyle that could corrupt a woman forever.

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