Every year for many years,
They held their secret rendezvous,
In the romantic city of Macau,
Just before the year was through.
A mysterious, foreign courier,
In a manner cavalier,
Presented tickets to her,
In a scented envelope each year.
Her departure quite unnoticed,
But her arrival, all first class,
Stretch limo at the airport,
Soft music, tinted glass.
She watched the streets unfold before her,
As she was driven through Macau,
Excitement swelling deep inside her,
She'd see him any minute now.
He did not meet her in the lobby,
Too public ... too mundane,
Instead he waited in their suite,
With roses and champagne.
Now, how eager for each other,
One full year ... so long ago,
Warm embraces, tears, and kisses,
They had missed each other so.
Their favorite restaurant then at Nine,
Glitter, noise, and laughter,
But in their private dining room,
The outside noises didn't matter.
Tiptoeing, discreet waiters,
Linen cloths and candlelight,
Soft strains of background music,
A year of dreams wrapped in this night.
Beautiful American lady,
Handsome Asian man,
Two cultures and two worlds,
Met for one brief span.
This weekend special from the rest,
It would be their very last,
A fact not known to either one,
As they smiled and raised their glass.
"A toast to you, my darling,"
His voice tremulous and low,
"And to you, my sweet," she sighed,
Her sparkling eyes with love aglow.
Nonstop pouring out of thoughts,
Small, private jokes between them,
Memories made with quiet talk.
Demitasses and liqueurs,
Slowly sipped, as candles died,
This evening never meant to end,
Yet, somehow time had flown by.
Hand-in-hand they left the restaurant,
And strolled back to their hotel,
A moonlit night, with stars so bright,
Such happiness unparalleled.
A weekend of contented bliss,
Over much too soon,
A farewell cocktail at the airport,
They boarded separate planes at noon.
One tearful, final glance,
A kiss delicately blown,
A thumbs-up sign, a smile,
As each left and headed home.
Both going back to where they came from,
To responsibilities untold,
To people, too, not named or mentioned,
To lives that had been put on hold.
The throbbing engines of the plane,
Lulled her to uneasy sleep,
As tiny tears of love and longing,
Crept down her comely cheek.
Suddenly, red lights were flashing!
FASTEN SEAT BELTS! ALERT! ALERT!
The plane pitched downward in an instant!
A silver streak raced towards the earth!
Terror gripped her heart and soul,
No time to think ... no time to cry;
"Be merciful, oh Lord, our God,
To those who are about to die."
Later when he learned the news,
His mind went back to their Macau,
To their weekend rendezvous,
Attended for the last time now.
Reports from governments confirmed,
No survivors ... all were dead;
He shut himself within his room,
And put a gun up to his head.