Paul’s second meeting with Sophie
A week passed following their first meeting, and the time had come for their second encounter. Paul was busy at his laptop doing after hours corporate work at home, as he often did. It was one of those early December evenings before Christmas that Greece was famous for: cool and crisp and in the low forties. The evening was magic because the atmosphere was razor-sharp clear. It seemed crafted for those people who marvel at a beautiful, distinct sunset. For those who treasure a crisp, bright starlit winter sky and for those who stand in awe marveling at a beautiful, shiny winter moon. Paul was touched as he admired the strikingly lit up Acropolis, only about a mile
away from him.The doorbell rang for Paul and Sophie’s second meeting. Paul stood up and went to the main entrance. When he opened the door, Paul was shocked by the difference in her looks. Was this the same Sophie? Gone were the awful green glasses. She had beautifully pulled up her hair, natural, authentic and sensuous. She had hair with an amour-propre. Gentle, but unmediated and determined to be free, long, warm brown hair was pulled up to a tight bun.Her face was stunning with its perfectly balanced characteristics, high cheek bones and her narrow distinct nose. She had perfect silk-fine nicely tanned skin, which seared warmth. Her deep blue eyes with their long eyelashes radiated kindness.
She was like a beautiful lotus flower blossoming in the autumn. Her typical casual business attire had a benefit because it would easily direct Paul to her gorgeous deep blue eyes, constantly. Her smile was stunning.The constant eye contact made him feel an interest in this woman. He was impressed by the combination of beauty, intelligence and the obvious interest in him she was projecting with those very eyes. An off-white blouse under a tailored blue jacket formed an area of vividness near her exquisite face. The contrasting crimson-red scarf sharpened this effect.Could this Goddess be the same Sophie? Was she Helen of Troy? Was she real?Paul, still in shock, instantly decided that he had to shake her hand this time and he now had a second powerful shock. Since he was tall and slim his palms were long and thin and when he shook hands, he had the habit to squeeze the other person’s hands to show his warmth. However, Sophie’s hands were so long, feminine and slim that he had trouble even holding them. A second shock overcame Paul, like a mighty wave sweeping the beach.
Her amazing, piercing blue eyes impressed him. She was stunningly attractive and good-looking! He had to take time to relax and absorb the shock.“Mr. Vassilatos, this view of the Acropolis is awe inspiring. I’m deeply touched; you’re a very lucky man to live here.” Sophie’s eyes were beaming. She was emotionally impressed.As they sat at the table and began their work, Paul’s glimpse at Sophie’s hands occasionally interrupted the very meaningful constant eye contact between their blue eyes. Her hands were slim, long and tanned; they could only belong to a pianist or even project the uniquely beautiful hands of the best ancient Greek statue. He was having difficulty in concentrating on their work due to the feelings stirring from the reoccurring eye contact and the elegance of her hands, touching him now and then. He had some of his orange juice. I’ll pretend that this glass is half filled with vodka. That will calm me down. But it didn’t, naturally.The long, professional applicationmeeting that followed only strengthened his impression that she was a very exceptional, extraordinary individual. She had it all. She was sharp and sensitive; a true leader and a professional manager, as well as a knock out. After she left, he wondered if she dolled up just for him.
“This is wishful thinking, Paul.”
At the Grande Bretagne Hotel
Paul later drove to Sophie’s place and rang her doorbell at her apartment building entrance. “Sorry, Paul, I’m running a little late, but I’ve left my apartment door open for you. Just fix yourself a drink and make yourself comfortable in the living room and I’ll show up.”
Paul relaxed at the living room couch, had a sip of his Diet Coke and thought, This is the first time we’ve been to a formal event, I’m so curious to see how she’ll look tonight all dressed-up.Sophie was busily preparing herself in her bedroom. Oh, I absolutely have to impress Paul tonight, make him forget that Wendy woman. Besides there will be so many beautiful women at the event and I don’t want my Paul looking around. I’m keeping things classic and solid as I’m wearing head-to-toe dark grey. Starting with my conservative dark grey dress and a cool-style jacket, I’ll let my accessories steal the spotlight. Slipping into my awe eliciting pair of grey satin SalvatoreFerragamos, I’ll steal the show with my matching leather handbag with gold details along with my much-loved very low key Rolex.
Half an hour had passed, but Paul was calm and relaxed dreaming about beaches and the summer. Suddenly, Sophie’s door opened as she gracefully entered the living room. Paul turned his head slowly looking at Sophie. The sound of shattered glass interrupted the peace as Paul’s drink slipped from his hand, dropping to the floor and disintegrating into a thousand pieces.“Are you all right, Paul, what’s the matter?”
“I’m stunned, Sophie. Your beauty. Venus de Milo, even prettier. You’re as elegant as the prettiest swan in all its glory.”
“You’re exaggerating, Paul, you make me feel like a princess,” Sophie said as she gently kissed him and warmly hugged him. Paul stood up and rushed to the kitchen to fix up the mess that he, or rather Sophie, had created.
They quickly reached the Grande Bretagne hotel and pretty soon Paul was helping Sophie with her chair at the dining room table. The panel discussion started, but for some reason the subject had been changed from “Romantic English poetry” to “Ancient Etruscan vases.” The event was getting rather boring and continuing for too long.
Paul whispered into her ear. “Are you enjoying Etruscan vases or would you prefer having dinner and talking just the two of us? This grand old hotel has a ballroom café with an excellent setting.”
Sophie stood up and now whispered into Paul’s ear, “How can you ask such a question? I always want to see you and talk to you alone, let’s split.”
They chose to skip the Harvard dinner and instead enjoy their dinner at the ballroom café. Paul held Sophie’s hand as they entered. He was awed by what he was seeing. As Sophie turned and looked into his eyes Paul knew that Sophie was awed even more. The ballroom café was so called because the larger central part of the rectangular room was five or six steps lower than the surrounding balcony and it was there where the old Athenians used to dance while the guests could watch, seated at the dinner tables that were placed all around at the balcony. The white marble floor was covered with exquisite Persian rugs and contrasted with the mahogany wood paneled walls and the beautiful Greek paintings of the eighteen hundreds. The unique tapestry of Alexander the Great, hanging from the wall and giving the ballroom its special warmth.Paul did not mind that the waitress took ages to take their order or bring them all their dishes on time.
All he wanted was to spend time close together looking into each other’s blue eyes and talking. And looking at the joy radiating from Sophie’s eyes he knew she didn’t mind, either.
“You know,” Paul said “I feel so passionately for you, Sophie. And it gets mightier every time we meet. It’s like fire burning inside me.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Sophie smiled. There was passion in her eyes. “I’m on fire, too.”
“I’m so passionate,” Paul remarked and held her hand tighter. The waitress served them bread. Paul watched as Sophie selected a slice of bread dotted with raisins and walnuts. He had the same.
When the waitress did finally serve their courses, Paul went on talking about their love and feelings for eons and he knew that they both did not care at all that their steaks had become ice cold. During the very long dinner, Paul was amazed how much Sophie knew and his admiration for her grew. She shocked him with the detail of her knowledge of the Airbus/Boeing story. Sophie knew the long ongoing dispute between the two companies over state subsidies. She surprised him further with the details of the latest World Trade Organization ruling and the intricate analysis of the substantiation behind it. What an amazing person Sophie is. Paul was so impressed that evening.