The Story of Us: The first date according to me.

August 26, 2009

On that Saturday night, the twentieth of June in 2009, I left Chris with a "we'll see if you actually call" remark. I was used to not getting the follow-through call. I was used to meeting seemingly nice guys, giving them my number and then not hearing from them ever again. I was not about to get my hopes up this time.

Sunday was Father's Day and I did my usual Sunday routine of going to church with the girls followed by lunch and then had some down time with my cat, my couch, my television and my quiet condo. I continued the routine Sunday night by doing, well, a continuation of doing nothing.

Early Sunday evening I get a text. It was from him, Chris, and said something along the lines of how it was great meeting me and he wanted to know if I'd like to go out soon.

He had actually utilized my number.

I replied back and before long we had a dinner date set up for the following evening, Monday. Less than forty-eight hours after we had met, and less than seventy-two hours after the date I'd like to forget, I was going to try my luck at yet another date, and was keeping my hopes at bay.

Monday evening came soon enough and Chris called me just as I got home from work. We talked briefly about our days and he had a list of restaurants I could pick from for dinner. This was a plus right away because, as he now knows, I can't make a decision about where to eat to save my life. Luckily he had some options.

We ended up going to Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe. I had never been, but had heard good things. He picked me up around 6:30 in his 4Runner, which happened to be the car I have wanted since I was sixteen. When I get in the car, the first thing I notice is his tattoos peeking out from under his sleeve. I ask him about the visible one and find out he has six more. Each one had a spiritual meaning which again led to a conversation about our faith. I felt like Someone must have been in on this.

On the way to the restaurant, he called. I ignored it and responded back with a text that simply said, "I'm on a date. I'll call you later." Of course he called. Here I was branching out and moving on from him and he calls. What great timing he had. I put it in the far, far corners of my mind and did my best to focus on where I was in the moment.

When we got to the restaurant, we sat down and the conversation began. I am sure we ordered our food and ate at some point, but I mainly remember how we managed to cover everything from work to family to friends to life to pets to our futures to what we wanted and more. Next thing we know we had been sitting there for two and a half hours. Two and a half hours of seamless, uninhibited conversation.

I remember thinking about how different this date was than the one I had been on just a few nights earlier. The conversation was easy. The flow was easy. I felt at ease. It didn't take a lot of effort and did I mention it was easy?

The check came at about 9:30 and neither of us wanted the night, or conversation, to end. We didn't express it out loud, but it was obvious. He took the lead and asked if I would like to rent a movie and hang out longer. I was glad he had asked.

We headed over to Blockbuster and checked out the never ending row of new releases. None of them were catching my eye. I ask him if he liked scary movies because oddly enough, I'm a huge fan. He happened to be, too, and I asked if he liked the Saw movies. I had only seen I and II and they were up to Saw V. I had a lot of catching up to do, but even as a scary movie fan, I am not a fan of watching them alone. We left the store with Saw III in hand. (How romantic is that selection?)

We spent the next couple of hours on his leather couch watching a movie and just being comfortable in one another's presence. Our hands slipped into the other's under the blanket and nothing much else was said that wasn't said through the hand-holding.

The night ended when the movie did and he drove me home. Holding hands on the drive home, I felt a sense of relief about how the night had gone. This is what a good date was supposed to be like. This is what a mutual connection is supposed to be like.

I knew there was something different about Chris. Something different in the way he acted, what he talked about, what his priorities were, what he wanted for his future, the way he had treated me in those brief few hours and the way he made me feel. I knew that this wouldn't or shouldn't be the last time I heard from him. I knew that I should give this one a chance.

But I was still so hesitant about it all. I had just met him and we had gone on a date right away. This had all come out of left field, a place where I had not been looking. I knew it was a good thing, but it was not my timing and not my plan.

I had to figure out how to put my plan and timing aside and I would soon learn that it was harder than I expected.
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