I first met Patrick when I was 31—he was 55—and I had never dated what most would call an “older man.” I moved to Chicago a few years before meeting him and had fallen in love with a professional football player who was actually younger than I was. That romance burned to ashes as quickly as the flames leapt in the beginning. I did not cope well with him wanting to break up. I lost 40 pounds and struggled to concentrate on my career—I was working as an entry-level executive, but yielding over $100,000 a year. To deal with the stress, I took up running and would often hit the pavement late at night and in the early hours of the morning before walking two miles to the office. I rarely ate, and when I did, I gagged. I even had to see a psychiatrist because I needed something to help me sleep at night. Even then, my sleep wasn’t peaceful—I felt like I was too full of inconsolable grief.
That’s when the older man came into the picture. I met Patrick in the winter at a dinner party on the north side of town. After the breakup, I started hanging out with a high-roller crowd and during the summer, we sailed together on Lake Michigan. Patrick was invited to the dinner party because he owned a sailboat—although I would call it a yacht—but I had only ever sailed on my friends’ boats and our “currents” had never crossed.
Patrick was elegant, sophisticated, charming, and extremely wealthy. He was starstruck with me as soon as we met that night. I was wearing a red Sonia Rykiel outfit and with my willowy figure, long black hair, and blue eyes, I was probably at my peak in life in terms of sex appeal.
I decided to go out with Patrick a few times, mainly because, as I quickly found out, it felt so good to be with a man who treated me like a queen, couldn’t do enough for me, and wanted to spend every moment of every day with me. He owned a manufacturing company and ran it with his ex-wife and a couple of his children.
I wasn’t even all that surprised when Patrick announced that our first real date would be in Hawaii, where he owned beach property, including the surrounding beach. Owning beachfront land in Waikiki doesn’t come cheap, so I will admit that the money did get my attention. Being in Hawaii wasn’t the only reason this would become one of the most unforgettable vacations because, as I would soon find out, Patrick had a lot more in store for me…