It would be really cool if every love story started with a plane flight across the Atlantic; two strangers sitting side by side and falling in love over conversation. Or maybe she’s on the treadmill at two am working out because she can’t sleep and I’m right next to her when they’re a dozen other machines. And in that empty gym we realize we live in the same apartment complex or went to the same college.
Those sort of love stories make for great commercials and even better novels.
But most romances begin with less spectacular circumstances. A hello waiting on an elevator, a mutual friend telling me about her Facebook page. A smile that turns into eye contact that turns into a phone call. Love stories don’t have to be spectacular to work or make sense. They just have to be sincere.
If I’m anything in life, I’m a romantic. I believe in sappy FB pictures, in coordinating outfits when we go out. Not the same colors or matching shirts but the same theme. She can’t be punk rock and I’m preppy. Those sorts of things excite me. So today I’m not going to make the story exciting or dramatic.
I’m not going to write some crazy twist or make the characters bipolar. Tonight I want to write about a conversation, a conversation we’ve all had or hope to have. That moment that happens in-between meeting someone and marrying someone. Where the man sits the woman down and lets her know he wants her in his life on a permanent basis.
That moment where she has no doubt that he’s all in, where he has no doubt that he can show up unannounced. Today is just going to be a simple conversation that embodies that moment when two people know it’s real.
A Perfectly Simple Love Story…
We spent just about every night together, were on the phone every morning and most evenings when we got off. I was sure there were no other men in her life and I was down to the occasional text and FB message from the women that were before her. In my mind tonight was simply a formality.
Sitting at the table waiting on her it was weird, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t remember what my world was like before her. I could remember moments and dates, nights lying in bed feeling lonely or bored. But those were few and far between because her face would always pop up. Six months was too soon to ask her to marry me, my finances weren’t in order like that and I knew she still had goals she wanted to reach.
But six months was more than enough time for me to tell her that I was all in. I loved this time of year, the Christmas lights all over Uptown Park, the trees decorated, the crisp air and wind blowing. With December being three days away I didn’t want to go into the New Year with her not knowing.
I showed up an hour early to get a couple drinks and make sure we had a nice table even though the place was empty considering it was a Monday. Escalante’s had the best mojitos and she loved their salsa, not to mention this was the first place I saw her.
The liquor had me warm and my nerves had me warmer. I pulled at my collar and asked the waiter for some water. I reached in my coat pocket and pulled out the two gift boxes to get one last look at them before she showed up.
Box One- Sky Blue with white ribbon, a Tiffany’s key chain with the key to my apartment attached.
Box Two- The same size, the same color and inside was a credit card with my name on it. A credit card that she was no authorized to use.
It wasn’t that I was trying to buy her, I’d never met a woman that didn’t like gifts but she didn’t need my money. The credit card was to let her know that from this day forward what was mine, was now hers. I was I supposed to want her in my life when I wasn’t willing to take care of her? I knew her heart, she wouldn’t play me and go crazy. Maybe a Saturday here or there she would go HAM but she was cool and even if she did go crazy, Fuck it.
I sat the boxes in the booth next to me and when I looked up she was walking thru the doors. I stood up and smoothed out my sweater, licked my lips and waited on her.
Full lips, soft features, intense eyes.
She loved the winter because with no humidity she could curl her hair and they wouldn’t drop or she could flat iron it and it wouldn’t curl back up. Tonight it was curled at the ends and sitting over her left shoulder. There wasn’t a detail about her I hadn’t memorized, I knew everything from her walk to her mood when she looked at me.
Her scarf and trench coat told me it was winter but the length of the coat and the inches on the heel told me it was winter in Houston. I hugged her tight and kissed her on the neck, she hugged me even tighter and kissed me on the lips.
“I’m sorry I’m late; I felt like I should look my best tonight.” She smiled knowing I wouldn’t complain. I told her on our first date that I don’t mind waiting on a woman as long as she looks amazing when she’s ready.
“It’s not a problem at all.” When I saw her walking thru the door I motioned for the waiter to bring us another round of drinks, sitting at the table, holding her hand she couldn’t stop smiling. I suppose I wasn’t good at keeping secrets from her.
So why wait…
I sat the two boxes on the table, her hand went to her mouth. A thought ran thru my head! “Neither one of those is an engagement ring, not just yet.” She looked up at me and frowned playfully.
“Not just yet huh? It won’t be long author. Have I told you today that I’m so, I’m so, I’m so proud of you!!!” She wasn’t loud but I knew the people behind us could hear her, my baby was a lot of things but a songstress wasn’t one of them. I smiled none the less.
“You told me this morning but it never gets old and have I told you today how much I want tooooo….” She took off a shoe and ran her leg up my leg.
“How long has it been, three days? It’s throbbing baby, it’s ready! Can I open my gifts now?” I saw her foot on my lap under the table and started to rub it. As soon as I saw her in the trench coat and realized she wasn’t taking it off I made our order a to go order.
“Of course you can.”
She took her time opening the first box, it was the credit card. She held it up like it was a championship trophy. “You know it has to be good if you’re giving me this and you know I’m going to use it right?”
I moved my hands and sat them on the table, I let her foot do it’s thing in my lap. “I know you’re going to use it but there is a penalty if you go over.” She licked her lips and moved her foot faster. “I can handle the penalty.”
She put the card in her coat pocket and closed the box. She opened the other one next and when she realized what it was she took her foot out my lap and gave me a look I wasn’t expecting. It was serious. She just held it in her hand and dangled it like she was checking to see if it was real.
“Demez! You know I’m crazy right? Like I will cut you for cheating on me! Before I couldn’t question you or just pop up but this key is giving me permission to place a claim. Are you ready for that because I could love with us not working out before but now… Now I don’t know how easy it would be for me to walk away from this. Are you sure about this baby?”
I got out of my side and walked to hers. Wrapped my arms around her.
“It’s been a long time since either one of us did this and if I’m being honest this is my first time ever giving a key to someone. I love you, I can’t remember not wanting to talk to you, not wanting to hear from you. You can complain about your day or wine about your cramps and I’m just happy to listen. Yeah, we clash and have our moments but shit is real now and I’m not going anywhere! This key is me hoping your pretty ass isn’t going anywhere either!” She turned her body and faced me.
“I’ll cut a bitch over you and after her I’ll cut you. I’ve dealt with some bullshit ass men and I know you’re different, God knows I know you’re different so don’t break my heart. Because it’s been a long time since I’ve given it to someone with no chaser.”
This was a little more emotional than I thought it would be but I didn’t mind at all. I wiped a tear from her face. “There is no way in hell I would ever hurt you and if anyone tried I would die holding you down. So take this key and stop being a punk!” She laughed and hit me.
“Shut up! You know I’m such a girl!”
The waiter sat our food down, I paid the check and we walked out the restaurant hand in hand. Knowing this was only a step in the journey to her becoming my wife.
Share My Notes…
Order Walking Down the Aisle or tell your friends about it…
And just keep reading and supporting the writing, Thanks for reading!