I am by no means a relationship expert, and I have almost burned the bridges between me and him to a crisp with words carelessly tossed around in a moment of emotional turmoil. It is through this and many other moments like it that I carry my battle scars with humility and pride.
Let me explain something, I am not a romantic. I do not melt at the delivery of chocolates and flowers, and never have I expected the romance that rom-coms depict on the tarnished silver screen. I am a realist that tends to be optimistic, but not delusional. The day I met my husband, I did not expect to meet anyone. Have you ever been set up? Yes? Well, were you forewarned? Yes? Must be nice. I was not given that heads up. I’ll try to be circumspect, but I am warning you it is my one romantic story.
In high school I had been burned by one or two guys that had little to no guts when it came to facing the delicate wrath of little ol’ me. I was jaded, and I had three older sisters and a wealth of dating knowledge second-hand. In a moment of teenage angst I had sworn off being a one-man woman (aka 15 years old tackling on the world). My introverted nature didn’t allow me to dance on table tops, but I had flirtation down to an art in my daily sphere. I smiled, blushed, and yes I admit I giggled. For once my head was not buried in a book and I think my shy nature worked in my favor, so I milked it a bit. It was easy to make these budding egotists believe that I was demure and without agenda. They were wrong, I had a few (forgive me one and all) guys “on the line” for sheer ego and entertainment.
In the midst of my flirtation nation, I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. Boyfriends broke up with you, over the phone, in a conversation devoid of sincere emotion over their “work break”, but I digress. I was having fun and loving it, as cliche as it may be. It was in the middle of this that destiny/fate/karma/the heavens had another plan already in the works. See my niece (who’s more like my cousin since we are less than two years apart) had been dating this guy and his cousin was her prime target, she had a plan to deliver him to me. She set me up for the ever dreaded “blind date”, and I was blind since I didn’t even know about it.
High school football games were my life, and that weekend was no different. I spent the day at school conquering the world, the afternoon playing basketball with friends in the park, and then headed to the game in a rush to see if another beau had purchased my ticket (yeah one of my flirting finds). This unnamed beau met me at the gate, and well he bore me so I ditched him. By second quarter I was sitting with one of my sisters and cheering on my team. This is when my gravity shifted. I felt electric (I never stayed still of quiet at a football game, this was my outlet) and I turned to look at the gate entrance. He saw me. His eyes piercing, I turned twenty shades of pink then red. I couldn’t help it, I stared and stared.
Here with confident stride came him, who in the hell he was I didn’t know. I forgot about my student council shirt, faded jeans, new awkward haircut, glasses, and flushed face. I was more forward than I had ever been. Audacious even. I met his eyes and didn’t blink. Mind you, he was surrounded in a group of my family members: my other sis, her husband & two kids, my niece (the puppet master), her boyfriend, my other niece. All I saw was him.
He approached my bleacher section, then my row, I vaguely recall him being introduced, but I came to my senses and studied my shoes. He sat next to me and all my “shy, demure, coy” flirting game evaporated. He was more than those other guys ever were, and I had only uttered a mumbled hello.
He smelled divine. This, this and those emerald eyes, got me. I was hooked in less than ten syllables of human conversation. But how to move forward? It was the little things I noticed, the little things that made me aware of him near me. His cologne, his knee near mine not touching, his strong hands in my line of sight, his quiet presence that demanded my attention. I was overwhelmed.
(To be continued…this is Part One of “Emerald Eyes”)