February 2021 Highlights
Valentines Day Short Story Workshop
Original Story Written By: Ena Denton, Yvonne Whitehurst, Elizabeth Hernandez, Carolina Vollo and Theresa Castellano
Edited By Intergenerational Students: Audrey Poon and Opshora Kabir.
Class Facilitator: Jose Gil, Program Associate
“So this is the place!” says Isabella as she walks in to inspect her fully furnished new dorm room. She walks over to the couch where she sets her things aside along with itinerary papers that read Paris, France. She heads to the bathroom and she fixes herself in the mirror after the long flight from New York. She brushes her curly brown hair which rests about shoulder level and readjusts her clothes on her slim 5”5 build.
“What to do next in this Paris” she mutters as she gazes at the mirror with her dark brown eyes. Her face lightens as she recalls a cafe that she passed along the way to the dorm. She grabs her stuff along with an english to french translation book. With a closed lipped smile, Isabella anxiously approaches the cafe door. She enters and shyly looks around until she finds an empty table. She looks at the menu and only recognizes the word “Cafe.” She notices a waiter approaching her and thinks “this is it, time to try out my French.” She attempts to put in her order as the waiter regards her with a confused look. “Pardon?” says the waiter. Isabella stumbles with her book and begins frantically flipping through pages nervously trying to figure out a way to communicate with the waiter. From the corner of her eye she notices a figure approaching and she looks over. She is stunned to see a tall and muscular man approaching. As he walks over, he regards her with his green eyes. He orders coffee for two and introduces himself. “Hello my name is Francois, I noticed you had a little bit of difficulty ordering there.” Isabella smiles shyly as he smiles back at her. He asks “so what brings you to Paris?”
“I’m here as an exchange student from Columbia University” replies Isabella quietly. He says “No way, so we might see each other around campus then!” With a half grin, Isabella picks up her cup of coffee and takes a sip. Francois' face brightens up “Hey maybe I can show you around the city tomorrow. Let’s say we meet at the library.”
“That sounds like a plan” says Isabella grinning.
Francois takes out his cellphone and Isabella enters her number. As she prepares to go back to her dorm she gives Francois a light smile. On her way back, Isabella’s cell rings and she sees a message with a smiley face saying“it’s Francois” on her display. That evening into the night, they spent texting each other. In one message Francois asks “do you enjoy going to cafes?” she excitedly replies “Yes!” He replies back with “Great, tomorrow should be a great day!” The next day comes along and Isabella approaches Francois who is elegantly standing with his 6’0'' frame. “Hey!” says Francois. “Lucky for us the sight seeing bus is just around the corner, let’s go.” They reach the stop just in time to catch a tour bus. For the next 2 hours they spend talking about the many different sightseeing stops along the way. They drive by museums and beautiful statues. They arrive at a stop and as they exited Isabella gazed upon a fancy cafe. “This is it” said Francois, “one of the best cafes in the city.” They sit down and enjoy some coffee and chocolate chip croissants. They laughed and shared stories for a while until the sun started to set. Isabella says “I better get going.” “Hey maybe we can catch up tomorrow, after classes I’m going to be at the soccer field.” replies Francois, eager to spend more time with Isabella. Isabella says “perhaps.”
Now in a tank top Francois is playing an intense game of soccer. After a timeout, he wipes the sweat off of his brow only to catch Isabella staring at him. “How long have you been standing there?” says Francois with a smile. Stumbling on her words she says “oh I just got here” with a shy smile. She regards his muscular arms and athletic build. He approaches her and says “How were your classes today?” She replies “it was a bit difficult. Say maybe you can help me study'.' “Of course, I’ll see you later then” says Francois. A little later in casual clothes Francois shows up to Isabella’s dorm. He walks in inspecting the dorm “this is a nice place, by the way I bought more chocolate chip croissants!” They spend time together studying and flirting with each other. After 3 hours Francois notices the time, “I have to get back home” he hesitantly looks at her and regards her warmly before leaving. She says bye to him at the door and as she turns around she notices a heart shaped note on the floor. “This must’ve fallen out of his pocket somehow” she thinks to herself. Bursting with curiosity she decides to open the note and read it. It says”
you are kind,
you're a blessing to me...
A blend of all things I love,
you're just my cup of tea!
Keep this charm as a reminder-
Forever in my heart you'll stay...
You will always mean the world to me,
Thank you for brightening my day.
Talk to you soon.
“Wow, I had no idea he felt this way about me” Isabella thought to herself. She looks at her phone and ponders whether she should call him. After a couple of minutes she takes a deep breath and calls Francois. “Hey Isabella'' answers Francois. “Hey are you missing something?” asks Isabella nervously. “What do you mean?” said Francois. After a brief pause and some background noise of what seemed to be a frantic search for something on the other line. Francois collects himself and simply asks her “Will you be mine?” Isabella says “what do you mean?” He says “will you be my valentine?” “Yes!” says Isabella excitedly. A sigh of relief could be heard on the other line. “I meant to tell you earlier but I didn’t know how” said Francois. “Will you join me and my friends then to Valentine's day dance this weekend?” Isabella replies “of course.” The weekend comes and it’s time for the Valentine’s day dance. Francois is elegantly dressed and he meets Isabella downstairs from her dorm. Isabella comes out wearing a beautiful red dress and Francois stares at her with admiration. They take a taxi and head to the venue. At the same time they both say “you look..” Francois answers first and says “You look beautiful.” Isabella blushes and says “I can say the same for you.” They arrive at the venue where Francois sees his friends and introduces Isabella. After the warm greetings they all enter the dance. They spend the night dancing to all types of music and having a great time. All of a sudden the Marc Anthony song “You sang to me” begins to play. They dance with each other as they both stare deeply into each other’s eyes. Isabella begins to ponder about her limited time in Paris and what would come of her developing relationship with Francois. Francois asks “what’s wrong?” noticing her changed expression. “Nothing” said Isabella and in this fleeting moment they kissed. “I promise we can make this work” says Francois, as Isabella rests her head on his shoulder.
A year later back in New York City, Isabella stands on a big stage ready to make her walk. It’s graduation day. At this point she had made plans to meet with Francois in New York but she didn’t know if he was able to make it. Her name is called and as she goes up to get her diploma she scans the room. She smiles and walks off the stage to sit back down. On her way back she notices someone familiar. Her eyes well up with tears and she runs to this person. It’s Francois with his arms open ready to give Isabella a warm embrace. “I’m sorry for the confusion today but I’m here now and with you as promised.”
After the graduation ceremony, Isabella and Francois head to a fancy restaurant to join Isabella's family. Francois first introduces himself to Carmen, Isabella's mother who says "I've heard so much about you.” With a modest smile, Francois replies "It's finally great to meet you." After exchanging pleasantries with the rest of the family he rejoins Isabella who is beaming with joy. With a very nervous look on his face, Francois grasps the small white box in his right hand preparing himself for the next step in their lives.
January 2021 Highlights
Senior Council Raised $565 for their Virtual Holiday Fundraiser!
1st Prize $100 Burlington Coat Factory Gift Card winner: Richard V.
2nd Prize: $75 Trader Joe's Gift Card winner: Gilda F.
3rd Prize: $50 Target Gift Card winner: Rosalie L.
Congratulations to all winners!
Drama Club Performance "The Family Tree"
Who needs Broadway when you have VISIONS Center on Aging's own drama club performing its original production of The Family Tree. On January 29, the drama club provided a virtual encore performance of The Family Tree to over 80 audience members. The play follows the story of Anthony Rogers, who struggles through his journey of blindness and finding hope along the way. The play is written and directed by our very own Yvonne Whitehurst and stars Larry Marche, Krystal Joseph, Yvonne Whitehurst, Marion Sheppard, Elizabeth Hernandez, Hashim Kirkland with musical performances by John Ferrard and Mary Conner. The play received raving reviews and was the talk of the virtual town. Individuals interested in joining the popular drama club can reach out to Diana Cruz at 646-486-4444, ext. 215.