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Chapter 14 - We decided that we should meet up...

We started texting around 7am the morning after we met. It wasn’t until around 10am that we discussed going to lunch (not the restuarant...actual, lunch). We decided we should meet up for a quick bite and then he needed to hit the road for NYC to catch his flight home to Miami.

I got up, told the girls I was thinking of meeting him for lunch, giggled about it for a minute, and then started to get ready. Seeing that The Hamptons was completely packed that weekend and the traffic had been so bad, I thought I better check google maps prior to this meet-up to see what kind of traffic I was up against.

It’s a really good thing I did because OMG - it was well over an hour to get to a halfway point. I started doing the math in my head and realized if I go through with this, this guy’s going to miss his flight! Should I do it anyways?

The practical side of me came to the forefront and I realized that not only did he risk missing his flight, but that I was potentially going to be sitting in traffic all day during my first visit to The Hamptons and it would be taking up a lot of my precious quality time with my friends (I cherish friend-time). Of course I wanted to see him, but perhaps it would be better if I planned a Miami trip (wink, wink…I really wanted an excuse to go to Miami. And I really really wanted to get on his boat!).

I mentioned to him, that I thought the timing was cutting it close. He agreed and then also jokingly said he would be happy to miss his flight. I liked that comment.

After some back and forth, we agreed that we messed up the timing and should have met for breakfast instead of lunch. That was that. Was the end of my potentially fabulous love story?

We didn’t get to meet up prior to him leaving The Hamptons. But, what DID happen is that we stayed in touch... and we made a plan. Gosh, I love a plan.

We began to communicate all day long and we covered a myriad of subjects. As we texted, talked, and shared pictures I began to realize that I was in touch with one of the best communicators I’d ever met. The take aways I was getting from this non-stop communication was that not only was this man beautiful on the outside, but he was a hard working, ethical, kind, and generous man as well. He was a devoted son and uncle, brother and friend.

He began to share stories with me not only of his current life in Miami, but also of his first 22 years of life in Cuba. His journey was incredible and inspiring and I was downright smitten. I takes a lot for me to stop talking, but when he shared his childhood stories of growing up in communism, I couldn’t help but fall silent. His strength, character and spirit were tested daily, yet I was speaking with the happiest, most gentle, bursting with gratitude for his life in The United States, man.

As we talked, and he shared more of his life with me, I dreamt of the day when I could write about his journey to become a U.S. citizen. It was one of the wildest and most inspiring stories I’d ever heard and his determination to create a great life reminded me of the work ethic and discipline of my Father. As I listened, I kept thinking - THIS needs to be shared. THIS is drive, THIS is inspiration. THIS is a man who overcomes all odds and obstacles placed before him.

I remained in The Hamptons for two more days on my girl’s trip. Every move I made, I would send him a picture. If Courtney and I went running, I would show him. If we went to dinner, he would see what I ordered. Not because he needed to know, but because we genuinely wanted every excuse to be in touch with each other.

We made a plan…we were going to connect when I got back to Philadelphia and figure out the next steps. What was this connection? Was it real or was it vacation fantasy? We had to find out if this was in fact a love story or a lust story...

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