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It was May 3, 1999. I remember the exact date. I was in Minneapolis on business. My employer at the time had been jerking me around on relocation, with my stint in South Dakota supposed to be temporary having stretched out to well past the six months as advertised. I was on the brink of a huge opportunity though. We were looking at buying a company that specialized in digital media distribution and rights management. The plan was I would relocate to Minneapolis and lead the transition after acquisition.

A team of us left Sioux City, Iowa to meet with the executives and key employees of the firm from the United States and Europe. That is where I met her. I can't remember her name, but I can remember the date. May 3, 1999. She was a ten, a perfect ten. She had blonde hair, blue eyes, an incredible body and oh sweet God in heaven, that British accent.

We all boarded a cabin cruiser on Lake Minnetonka and sailed across the lake to a wonderful restaurant. I ate walleye, a delightful Great Lakes region white fish for dinner and there she sat, two seats over to my right. Conversation was casual during dinner with all and drifted back and forth between business and social subjects.

By the time we wandered back to the boat it had become dark. The unusual warmth of the day had been replaced by a chill in the air and she was suddenly showing a lot of interest in me. We sat next to each other on the back of the boat in the dark as we cruised back to the dock. We talked about a wide range of topics and sat closer. I never considered myself socially aware but it was readily apparent to me that this was mine for the taking.

But there was a problem. Despite this being the near perfect setup. Her from London, me stuck in the Midwest, and even in a post-acquisition situation the odds being high I would never, ever see her again I was married. Albeit in a loveless abusive marriage with a very abusive spouse, but still in a marriage and the promises that I had made all those years ago did have meaning to me.

We sat closer and inside my mind the battle was raging. By the time we docked it was almost midnight and everyone was going their separate ways. She looked me in the eyes and I remember exactly what she said to me, “what would you like to do now.”

How did I answer? With this beautiful woman clearly wanting me to say that the next step would be to spend some more time with her away from the prying eyes of our co-workers what did I say?

“I think I'm going to go back to my hotel room, check e-mail and go to sleep.”

The look of disappointment was very clear on her face but I was doing the right thing. I went back to my hotel room, took a cold shower, kicked myself hard for a couple of hours, contemplated calling her hotel, and finally went to sleep.

I have lived in regret about May 3, 1999, despite the fact that I did the right thing. One doesn't know where the road will take you but when my spouse, abusive or not, cheated on me in 2002 and 2003 it cut like knife and the knowledge that I had an opportunity on a silver platter that I walked away from – well it cut too.

Fast forward to March 21, 2006. I was in Key West, Florida on business. Key West was alive with spring breakers from around the country. The night before after an ordeal of delays and missed airport connections followed by a 170 mile drive I wandered around Key West along Duval looking for a place to eat, and ended up at Crabby Bills enjoying a Cuban pulled pork sandwich and watching a big booty contest that resembled more of a girls gone wild video. I sat there watching all this unfold from the bar once again feeling regret because I never did the “spring break” thing when I was in college. But I made the best of it and bought some spring breakers drinks and cheered on the girls from Ohio State in the big booty contest.

On Tuesday business started in the evening and when you're at an IT conference the opportunity to meet attractive women who aren't completely out of water in a social setting is pretty slim. Yet many there were commenting about her, one woman that stood out among everyone there with striking features. She was tall and slender with the body of a 25 year-old. She had blonde hair and light green eyes and I noticed as others no wedding ring.

After a brief dinner reception we walked over to an outdoor restaurant and my company along with another paid for dinner. Once again two seats down from my right and little conversation over dinner until Kathleen left who was sitting between us. She was pregnant and not feeling well. This beautiful woman was getting the full court press from another man next to her and continues to jump between the conversations between our side of the table and hers. When she turns to talk to me she looks me in the eyes and she reaches out to touch me. She is so incredibly beautiful. She likes basketball. She likes Eminem. She is a mother of four. She is a professional. She is very interested in me.

Dinner is over and the group is shrinking. Six of us now stand at the lobby of the hotel and she says the words.

“What do you want to do now?”

Free of my marriage, what do I want do now? I'll follow you on a swim to Cuba tonight if that is what you want to do. However I play it well.

“I could be talked into a drink, but I need to get back because I have a presentation to do tomorrow.”

We wander over to a bar about a block away. We sit together, she sits close to me and she buys me a drink. I'm having too much fun and I don't want to leave, despite needing to practice my presentation for tomorrow. We run into a couple of people from our group. They are at the upstairs bar and she is not happy that we've been intercepted. We go upstairs to the outdoor bar. There is a young lady passed out at a table. There is a huge Samoan and he is frighteningly drunk. He is throwing chairs and yelling. There are two people playing and the singer is very powerful, but the small crowd is heckling them. One man from our group is annoying a couple of lesbians. Another is prodding the Samoan. I explain to him that my idea of having his back with this guy will go as far as me dialing 911. She wants an out and so do I. She wants to hear me sing and the shameless karaoke whore that I am I had found a great venue the day before. I go downstairs to the bathroom and have a conversation with myself. How far will I take this?

Our comrades are having too much fun with the lesbians, which makes no sense to me at all and we have our out, they don't want to go. On the way out one of the lesbians is heading down the stairs to go to the bathroom and looks at her and says, “You are one fine looking woman!”

We laugh on our way out and I tell her that at least she got complemented by a lesbian. We go to Sloppy Joe's along the way and dance to Green Day with the spring breakers. I snap her picture on my phone and we dance some more as the band plays Def Leppard. We then work out way over to Rick's for karaoke.

We find a table and she wipes it down, her background in the restaurant industry shows. She facing the stage and I'm facing the street. She asks me why I don't date. I tell her the truth. I'm too busy with work, too busy as a single father, and wrestling with the idea if I keep myself unavailable based on my prior history in relationships. She doesn't seem to understand and it seems sincere. It is my turn to sing and I do Eminem's My Name Is. The lyrics are the radio edit version and I'm not familiar with them so it knocks me off balance. I fall into a groove by the second verse and bring the house down. She is watching me intensely.

I leave the stage and give her a hug. As I move towards her and start to go left she goes to kiss me but ends up kissing my check. We sit down at the table and I decide I'm crazy not to do it. I lean across and we kiss. It is wonderful and she says, “wait a minute.”

She gets up and moves to my right and puts her arm around me and another through my hair and we kiss again. It leaves me weak. She wants to go and so we leave and head down the road. We stop at another bar and in an odd twist it is the same place I asked where I could find a good meal just the night before. The bouncer remembers me in a good way. We sit at an outdoor table and she wants a glass of white wine.

I walk to the bar at the other side and order a glass of white wine, two shots of tequila and a beer. I down one shot of tequila on the spot. I'm so nervous I will say or do the wrong thing and mess this up. I want to scream, “What the Hell are you doing with me!”

I finish my shot and drink part of my beer. She has taken a karaoke song book from the bar and she wants me to pick another song. We kiss some more. “You're shaking,” she tells me.

I deny it but she holds my hand out and I am. I now feel like I'm 22, not 38. We head back to Rick's with book in hand and I sing Pass the Point of Rescue by Hal Ketchum. I know an odd choice but I can sing it like nobody's business and I know it. I'm done and we kiss some more. I look at her and tell her we need to go. I've seen this look before, it is the look of someone who could rip my world apart if I let them.

She wants to make love and she wants to now. She doesn't want to go back to the hotel because being spotted wouldn't be a good idea for either of us. Sleeping with customers is not exactly a career enhancing move for me. I completely agree but we bicker a bit on the where. I explain to her that a public setting has too much risk for me. Any ticket let alone arrest for indecent exposure and/or lewd conduct would have a sobering impact on my status as a single father. She agrees. We debate using her rental car but then I get a flash of genius, I do know a place.

We walk down the street toward the water front. She stops at a bar to use a bathroom. I'm squirming inside but I'm resolved to following through with this. We walk to a small public beach I had found earlier in the day. It is lit up through and my first thought was this is a bad idea. She wanders out.

We start to kiss. It gets intense. It moves further and the next thing I know we're making love on the beach with our feet just touching the water. This isn't what I expected at all and I mean that it in a good way. She has wrapped herself around me and her skin is so soft and it is full of passion. We change positions and after a few minutes I could care less about the sand, the lights, or the water. Then some surf comes up and the water, despite being warm isn't the idea temperature for certain male parts of the anatomy. Further her purse and my wallet are almost sent out to sea. She wants to go to the hotel and I am relieved.

We go to my room, our clothes are soaked and I can't wait to get back inside of her. As soon as we enter the room it is a wild frenzy. Clothes are ripped off, my watch goes flying and sand is everywhere. It is even in our mouths from kissing. We go into the bathroom and start the shower. I can't believe her body – it is incredible. The only fat on her is in all the right places. I soap her down from head to toe and she does the same and we kiss some more. We start to make love in the shower but between the sand and soap, and a slight height differential it isn't working out well, we move to the bed.

Every time I move to arch upward she pulls me back and I feel her skin against mine. I soak every minute of this up and I struggle to memorize all of it. I want to remember her body, her skin, her touch, her smell, her taste. I can't believe how beautiful she is. It ends and it is incredible and we cuddle around each other. She tells me she likes me and I know there is more meaning to that then like, and despite this having all of the hallmarks of a one night stand, this does not feel like one. She asks to stay and I'm overjoyed. I go and turn off the shower that had been left running this whole time and the lights. The A/C I had turned off earlier I struggle with to turn back on. My room is a disaster from the entry to the bed with sand, clothes, and water strewn about.

I curl around her. She fits beside me perfectly. We lock hands together and she holds my hand like she will never let it go. I tell her I've set the alarm early so she can leave before anyone is up. I tell her I am going to lay here with her and beg for the sun to never rise again, it could all end right here. I can't sleep. I don't want to miss a moment of this and I move my hands along her soft skin from her ankles to her neck. I run my fingers through her soft hair and inhale her into my being. Suddenly I feel the need and we start again. Once again she pulls my body to her again and we make love. It has been a decade at least since I have ever gone for a two in a row session let alone within just a couple of hours period of time. I have to work for this one but there it is. It is past 4:30 AM. She really does need to go.

I watch her in the bathroom get ready. Her clothes are soaked from the beach so she borrows a pair of shorts and a t-shirt from me. She leaves her sandals behind. Freud would have a field day. I know that this will go no where but I don't care and I am delerious. I've had one night stands but this does not feel like one at all. There is the whole 2,200 miles apart issue. It doesn't matter to me though.

They say you can never go back. You can't relive your past or make up for past regrets. Maybe that is true, maybe it is not. But I know that I made up for May 3, 1999. I know I made up for missing my youth and my spring break days. For what ever reason this incredible, intelligent, professional, attractive woman picked me and that is how it goes. The woman in dating at the end of the day holds most of the control.

EPILOGUE:

We spent about 90 minutes the next evening talking in my room about business and life in general, and sharing some giggles about the night before. Both of us were exhausted. We kiss goodbye and suddenly it felt awkward. There is energy in the air and this could be more, but so much makes this a virtual impossibility. We exchange contact information beyond professional credentials. On Saturday we spent most of the day text paging back and forth. Still we are twenty-two-hundred-miles away and so much more between us but she is reaching out and I am reciprocating. I go to Chicago in May, and Ohio isn't that far away.
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