(This picture is of the Observation Bar it was extended to include parts of the Promenade Deck after 1967. When our subjects were aboard there would have been a deck outside the window wall and the tables. The room was glassed in and afforded the best view on the ship when it was in operation.)
Steve and Lisa decided to stick together for the rest of the day and the afternoon found them up in the Observation Bar having a drink.
“I wonder why it’s you more than me.” Lisa sipped her drink through a straw.
“I don’t want it to be either of us. Maybe he’s the stronger of the two I don’t know,” Steve took a drink from his glass.
“Mr. Roboski said she was a quiet pretty little thing, did you think so when you saw her?”
“Yeah, she’s pretty if you like that look. I like yours better.”
“They were a couple. I wonder if they met on board or were traveling together from England. It was right after the war, they could have been married.”
“I don’t think so. I don’t get the feeling he was her husband.”
“Maybe her boyfriend or a lover,” she raised her brow.
“I like that…lover,” he grinned.
“You don’t give up do you?” He’d been after her since that night on the dance floor.
“No, I have hope.” He sipped his drink and looked out of the window. They were playing recorded music in the bar and Steve was tapping his fingers on the table to a Bee Gees song. “Wish they’d play something besides Cole Porter and the Andrews Sisters in the club.”
“I kind of like it, different.” It was a bright sunny day but when she looked out of the window it was cloudy again, quickly she reached her hand across the table and touched his, “Steve…”
“This is new to me I’m not sure how I’m supposed to behave.”
“Just be yourself, be natural I don’t think there are any rules of behavior. Life began four days ago…when we met.”
“Has it only been four days…oh and I wasted two of them being sick.”
He turned her hand over in his and traced the lines in her palm with his finger, “I’m not a palm reader but if I was I’d say the next ten days will make up for the two we lost.” He closed her fingers raised her hand and kissed it.
“I wish I’d met you a long time ago.”
He held up a finger, “That’s past...remember?”
“Sorry,” she smiled, “but still…”
“Would you like another drink?”
“Yes, I would.”
He summoned the waiter and ordered for them. “What would you like to do with the rest of the afternoon?”
“I need to go shopping.”
He tilted his head, “Typical, we’ve decided to embark on an affair and the lady wants to go shopping,” he grinned.
She smiled back, “I need a pair of stockings.”
The moment had passed and Lisa still looked across the table at Steve who was watching her intently. “Did you go there?” she asked, “Were you Alex when I was Brenda?”
“No, what happened?”
“They’re falling in love…and I can see why, oh Steve I saw him…you face to face.”
Steve moistened his lips he’d seen the look in her eyes when she thought she was looking at Alex. This could get interesting.
“His eyes are the same color as yours but he’s different from you, he wears his hair combed back with a little wave in it he was dressed in the same suit I saw him in down in the dining room earlier today.” Her eyes rounded, “she wants to go to bed with him and I don’t blame her.”
“Oh, I guess he’s suave and sophisticated, world traveler probably rich…yeah no wonder.” He looked gloomily into his drink.
“You sound like you’re jealous,” she laughed a little.
“Of a ghost? I’m just jealous that SHE wants to go to bed with HIM.”
Lisa ignored that, “He’s going to take her shopping, let’s finish up our drinks and go down to the shopping area.” She began writing in her notebook everything she remembered about the brief encounter with Alex.
“Yeah, he’s rich. You want to go chasing over the ship after a ghost?”
“I’m not sure he is a ghost, he sure looked real enough to me.”
“Well he’s not real Lisa, he might have been at one time but it’s me sitting here not Alex Ross.”
“I know that,” she gave him a sideways look and sucked the last of her drink through the straw.
Steve brightened a little, “They’re going to have an affair?”
“I think so; I think it’s so romantic.”
“I wonder what he bought her.”
“He didn’t tell you, probably a bottle of expensive perfume.”
“I wish I could have got that…next time I’ll pay more attention.”
“There may not be a next time.” He followed her out of one shop into another. Ladies apparel, he wandered around while Lisa looked at a few things, neither of them had the money to shop. He found himself fingering a pair of stockings on display and he knew by the feel, Alex had felt stockings.
“Lisa,” he called and she walked over, “he bought her a pair of stockings.”
Lisa smiled a wide smile. “What did you see?”
“I didn’t see anything, I felt,” he ran his fingers over the stockings.
“You are really in tune with Alex don’t try to suppress it let it happen.”
“I’m not trying,” he followed her out of the shop, “I’m not trying to do anything, it just happens…or doesn’t. It would suit me if it didn’t”
“It’s probably that negative attitude of yours that’s stopping it.”
“I’m not negative…at least I don’t think so.” He walked along window shopping with her and stopped to look at an expensive leather jacket.
She grabbed his arm, “Come on.”
“Wait a minute,” he walked into a book store, and scanned over the titles and went to the clerk, “I’m looking for a book of poetry, a little book about so big.”
“Author?” the man raised his brows over his glasses.
“Oh, I don’t know it’s a blue book,” he offered with a crooked grin.
“What are you doing?” Lisa asked.
“He bought a book of poetry for her, it was about so big and it was blue…that’s all I know.”
They found the poetry section but there were no little blue books. “Oh I wish I knew what it was.” Lisa pulled out book after book. “There’s a library.”
“You’re right.” They left the bookstore and went in search of the library.
Lisa was glad to have him with her it was like a detective mystery with the two of them trying to find out facts. Much more fun than working it on her own. They found the librarian to be very helpful but alas no little blue book. She suggested it might be a book of sonnets by William Shakespeare as they were once published in slim volumes. Lisa checked out two books of his sonnets.
“You never know something might ring a bell,” she said as they left the library.
Later that evening after dinner Lisa wanted to go and type up her notes for the day and Steve was at loose ends.
“I’m not ready to go down to the bowels of the ship for the night,” he ran his hand through his hair.
“I want to get this stuff typed up before I lose the excitement um…you could come with me.”
“To your cabin?” He perked up.
“It’s probably going to be boring for you, I’m going to be working I just thought if you hadn’t anything else to do and nowhere to go on this huge floating city.”
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