I have never been on a boat before. And now that I think about it, I feel there are many things I have never done because I was too busy loving my ex and trying to be a perfect piece of his world. Sitting here on Alex’s parent’s boat, with the wind blowing lightly against my skin, I feel at peace. Alex sits beside me with the same look of contentment on his face. Luckily for us, the boat’s captain, yes captain, happened to be scheduled tonight in case anyone decided to go for a post wedding sail. I know, I thought it was ridiculous too.
Alex turns to me, his face gently lit by the light of the moon. “So Sloane, tell me something about you. I have this feeling like I know you so well while not knowing anything at all about you at the same time.”
I think about that statement and realize that it is true. Besides my brief self-description on the plane, during our daily adventures, our conversations have revolved around whatever activity we are doing or place we are seeing, and what memories Alex has with this place. I realize that I feel like I know Alex without really ever having those beyond the surface types of conversations. I know that Alex has now opened himself up to me, but his heartbreak was last year, while mine was last week.
Alex must be reading into my silence because he adds, “You don’t have to tell me your deepest, darkest secrets Sloane, but just tell me something. How about your family, tell me about them.” He has a hopeful look on his face, and I feel a little more confident in Alex and him being deserving of my trust.
“Well my mom and dad have been married for 25 years. They actually found out that they were having me and my brother, and my mom was so terrified to tell her parents she was pregnant without being married that they eloped. Nobody really counted it out until after we were born, but at that point so much time had passed to care.”
Alex looks at me in surprise. “Wait, I’ve heard you talk a little bit about your brother, but you guys are twins?” I nod. “Wow, God, what was life like with a twin brother.”
I smile at the thought of Steven. “It’s was pretty sweet actually. It seems most boy-girl twins are complete opposites and live converging lives. We were always together, played the same sports, had the same group of friends. Him being a girl wouldn’t have made us any closer.”
Alex smiles at this, “That sounds so wonderful. I could only hope for a relationship like that with my sister.” Alex shakes his head and laughs. “With the five year age gap, there has never been anything in her life that I was even remotely interested in. I love her don’t get me wrong, but she is wild and carefree, where I am reserved and calm.”
I think of the evening with Alex’s family and I can agree with that description from what I saw of his sister tonight. Dancing on top of the bridal party table after one too many signature cocktails, I laugh at the thought. “I can see what you’re talking about after the night we’ve had.”
Alex laughs at this, as he seems to share the thought. “I do think that the only thing my sister and I have in common is our love of traveling. Never together, obviously, but we love to compete to see who can travel more in a year.”
“That sounds amazing. I could only wish that I had competition’s like that.” I look out at the view of this beautiful city lit up to perfection.
“Whats kinds of travels have you done so far?” He leans over to the mini bar, and pulls out a bottle of champagne refilling my glass and handing it back to me.
“I actually have never left America before. I’ve gone on a few family vacations to a few places in the U.S. but my dad usually worked so much, and my mom wouldn’t dare to go anywhere without him.” I think of myself of how I have done nothing but hope to travel for years. “To think it took heart break to bring me here.” God, that’s such a sad fucking thought, and of course I’ve thought it out loud. I slap my forehead to my hand at the realization. “See, didn’t take too long for me to sober the mood.” I take a long swig of champagne as I say this.
Alex smiles, seeming to be amused of my embarrassment. “What’s the one place you have always wanted to go too?” He asks picking up his own champagne glass and takes a slow drink.
I think about this, shifting through the long list of places I want to go and trying to narrow it down to my top place. “Hmm… I honestly think I have to say Rome. There is something that I find so majestic about the Trevi Fountain. I’ve always wanted to see it, maybe make a wish or two.”
He places his glass on the table and turns to me with a look on his face. “So, how about we take advantage of your adventure and go to Rome tomorrow. I can get a flight set up and we can be in Rome in the morning. I have a meeting that I have to be back for on Tuesday, but we can fly tomorrow and take the train back on Monday and then you can get to see the countryside. How does that sound?”
He looks so excited by this idea, and I can’t lie, the thought of it excites me too. Not only will I get to go to Rome, even if it is just for a day, but I will also get to experience this with Alex, who, if I’m being honest, has brought a lot of joy into my life in such a short period of time. “You know what, that actually sounds amazing, I would love that Alex.”
He smiles big, so big I find myself smiling hard too. And then he’s on the phone before I can say another word. “Jamie, yes, the wedding went well. I did, I did. Jamie look, I need for you to book me two tickets on the earliest flight to Rome for tomorrow morning. As well, book a noon train ride back in for Tuesday, one ticket for Ms. Sloane Hayward and one for myself. Wonderful, send me all the details.” He hangs up and looks at me with a content smile.
“You have a personal assistant? How rich are you really?” I give him that ‘come on just level with me’ look.
Alex just smiles. “Let’s get you back to your aunts to pack a bag and get some rest.” His phone pings and he looks down, “Looks like our flight leaves in five hours.”