We were downtown for something else on Monday evening. It was after 7pm, we were both hungry and I remembered the LivingSocial coupon we had purchased a while ago.
So, on a whim, we decided to have dinner at Bolero’s – the place we went on our first date. Ten months ago and 10,000 miles away. (I’m serious about the 10,000 miles. I think we’ve traveled about that many together, literally. If not, we’ll reach the mark this summer.)
While the hostess was leading us to a table, Matt asked if we could have the same one we had all those months ago. And – just like that – it was our first date. I could hear the light tinkling of music, almost see the fairy dust falling over us as we sat down – Matt where he sat on that first date, me where I sat.
10 months ago…
The evening was beautiful, the breeze softly circling in through the open patio door. The tinkling of glasses, laughter, people talking… The restaurant was packed, but we were in our own little world.
Even though we had been talking via email and phone for almost two months, we had met less than an hour before…for the first time, in the airport. I had been afraid I wouldn’t be able to recognize him, that I would miss him. Then there he was.
I saw him walking towards me and I knew it was him. My heart was pounding. And we hugged. And – even though I didn’t realize it then – in that moment my heart knew. This was him.
Fast forward to dinner at Bolero’s, going through the timid song and dance that is “the first date.” The only difference was we actually knew a lot about each other. We had written extensively on almost every topic. We had talked on the phone twice for a couple hours each time. Now it was just about figuring out whether or not what had been written and spoken was true. And I think, in a way, that made the nervousness worse.
That evening I’m sure we both had a myriad of thoughts whirling through our minds. For my part, this was unlike any other first date I’d been on. My heart had been broken before – it was still scarred, seasoned by pain, fractured dreams, faded innocence. This first date was different because I was different. I wasn’t as naive as I’d once been. And as much as I hoped that Matt was true, I was ready to stand up for myself and make the hard choice and do the incredibly awkward thing and…walk away. If he wasn’t. I’m sure he felt the same way about me.
We didn’t know it then – although we were beginning the discovery – that it was. True. All of it. Both of us.
We practically had the place to ourselves. We talked and held hands and smiled at each other. We ordered wine and delicious food and savored every bite. We sat until dusk came and they pulled the patio door closed because it was getting chilly. Until the last sip of wine was gone and we were left with happy, empty glasses. Until we were ready, content. Another step together on the journey of discovery complete.
And I thought about how much has happened in 10 months. How that guy that sat across from me last June, who I had just met, is now my husband and my very best friend.
I’m pretty sure “thank you” was the theme of my heart Monday evening. Still is. We are blessed. Then…on our first date. And now.