I watched her retreat into the bedroom with a much restraint as I could muster. The curve of her ass hung out just below the shorts she was wearing and I could barely contain the painful strain of my jeans. She didn't even know the effect she had on simple men like myself. She was a gorgeous creature. She was a complicated creature. But then again what woman wasn't?
About half an hour later, Nerita walked out of our room wearing a jacket, a pair of fitted jeans, running sneakers and her long hair down.
"This is okay to wear?" Her English was improving, though it had been impressive when she first arrived.
"Yeah, you look great." I smiled at her standing. "C'mon. Let's take the train Downtown."
Her eyes lit up and she nearly bolted for the front door. I chuckled at her excitement. Soon she would learn that the trains were a pain in the ass. We walked down a few blocks before we reached the subway. I taught her how to purchase a metro card, how to scan it, and attempted to teach her the basic trains. She nodded at everything and stared at all the people as we hurriedly walked to the train. She was catching on that around here you needed to be quick and borderline rude to get from point A to point B.
Once on the train, it would take about 30 minutes to make it to 42nd. So we chatted for a while, but we got quiet as the car got full. She ended up leaning against me and my arms around her shoulders when the guy next to her stared a little too long for her comfort, and mine.
When we got onto 42nd street, she marveled at the ambiance of the city. Never a slow day on 42nd unless it was snowing, and even then you had people racing up and down the streets doing God knows what.
"Phoenix, this is marvelous. Look at all the people, and the stores, and the street vendors!" Nerita lit up with happiness seeing the street vendors. She quickly walked over to one of the jewelry tables, with me following close behind. The last thing I wanted was to lose her in Times Square.
I saw her smiling at all the pieces. Most of them obviously handmade by the vendor herself, and some were gemstones. By the looks of them raw stones such as quartz and maybe even jasper.
"Your pieces are very beautiful. Do you make them on yourself?" Nertia asked the vendor, her accent prominent.
The vendor nodded. She was about 30 and looked to be Spanish which was not uncommon around here. "Yeah, my dauw-ter and I make them. She luh-vs this kind of stuff. She even made that ring right they-ah." The woman's New York accent was strong. I couldn't place the exact borough, but my guess was the Bronx.
The ring she pointed to was a copper colored ring with a green stone. It was a pretty ring from what I could tell. Nerita seemed to know a lot more than I did, however.
"Oh how beautiful! She used wire for this, correct? It is just amazing! The swirls on each side of the stone-a dyed green quartz correct? - are so well done! You must inform her she has a really nice talent."
The vendor beamed, "Thank you miss. I tell huh that she should open her own little business. She could make good money fuh huhself. And I could see huh loving it."
Nerita smiled, "Well, please let her know that I would be her first customer if she were to open a little shop."
"I'll be sure to do that."
"Actually," Nerita said digging into her purse, "I would like to buy that ring, it is beautiful. How much would that cost?"
"Usually? $45. For ya kind words, its $20." The vendor smiled and wrote up a receipt for Nerita.
She immediately shook her head. "No, do me a kindness and charge me full price. I want her to know that she made a sale off her ring today, for full price. A work of art like this deserves recognition." Nerita gave the vendor a $50 and told her to keep the extra 5 as she slipped on the ring. She put the delicate piece of jewelry on her right ring finger. I had to admit, it looked great on her slender finger.
"Perfect fit." She smiled up at me. Then looked at the vendor. "Are you always here? I'd love to stop here again whenever we are here."
The vendor nodded, "If I'm not, my daw-ter is. Just as for Marisol. I'll let huh know your uh friend of mine."
"Thank you! I hope to see you again!" She waved as I took her hand and began walking the down the sidewalk again.
"That was nice of you," I commented as we walked passed a few stores and gift shops.
Nerita shrugged, "I genuinely liked the ring. It is beautiful and quite difficult to make. I have been making jewelry for years and making a piece like this does not come easy."
"You make jewelry?" I asked interested.
"I used to have a small online store in Greece. I brought in some extra money to help my parents."
"Did you guys struggle a lot?" I suddenly felt overprivileged and kind of like a jerk. We hadn't spent much time talking of her life - or mine for that matter since she arrived.
Nerita shrugged looking at the tall buildings as we spoke. "We paid our bills. There was never much left over for luxuries, but there was always food on the table and presents for birthdays. I never wanted much anyway. I have two older brothers, so they usually got the best presents, but I was okay with that, you know? We always knew that I would be sent here to be married, so I just kind of made my way doing my own activities, went to school and did what had to be done."
I looked at her as she took in the city. I could see how strong she was, but there were demons in her. I could tell by the way she spoke. She spoke to curt and closed off about doing what she "had to do". My mind drifted back to her screaming last night. It almost scared me as to what she might have had to do.
"Well, I'm sorry, you didn't have a better life," I felt the need to apologize for her upbringing. She deserved more. Her family deserved more.
"Nothing we can do now. Though I would like to send some money back home every month if that is okay with you," she looked up at me nervously.
"Of course, you can send money back home. You don't even have to ask. We can wire some, every month. How does $1,000 sound?"
Nertia stopped walking and stared at me like she was going to cry.
"I mean, we could send more if that's not enough. Nerita? Oh God please don't cry." I quickly tried to stop her from crying. I was never good with too much emotion.
She waved her hand dismissively at me, "That would mean so much to me, but that's an awful lot of money. I don't want to be a burden."
I grabbed her small hand delicately fingering her wedding ring, "Hey, remember we are married. What's mine is yours and that means your family is my family."
She smiled as me with misty eyes. She got on her tiptoes and softly placed a kiss on my cheek. "You are a wonderful man Phoenix. But let us go to the park that is central! I have heard wonderful stories about it!"