Our Story – Goodbyes
Doug and I recently celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary as well as our 10 years together anniversary- Today! (yes, we totally still celebrate boyfriend/girlfriend dates- because more anniversaries = more dessert!!)
So lucky we are and so many memories we’ve shared if feels like we’ve been in love and married for a lifetime, not just 8 years. Thinking back, it always amazes me how so many little things had to align in order for us to cross each other’s path at the perfect time. So I thought a great way to celebrate would be to relive our beginnings and tell you a little more on how we became “us”!
Everyone has a story. This is ours…
Missed the first part? Catch up here:
A: Did I want to go out to dinner with him, he asked. The past few weeks had been fun. A new job and getting to know Doug for the great guy he is in such a small amount of time was like a mini adventure! I really liked him and liked spending time with him so the clear answer was yes…but he was leaving.
What was the point of falling for someone who would be in another state in a few weeks?!…. Besides, I was going to conquer the world! Freshly out of a long term relationship I didn’t want any new ties- No sir! I was going to take all my savings and backpack through Europe alone!! …ok, maybe I would take my mom…but dating again so soon was definitely not in my type A, neatly made, future plans. Nope. Nope…..
But then again… I did have to eat.…and it’s not like he is asking you to marry him Ailyn! Get a hold of yourself! It’s just one date…and so what if he’s leaving…it’s basically just a meal in the evening with a new friend. A very handsome, smart and funny new friend…yea..that’s it. Oh brother.
We went to Downtown St. Petersburg and ate at this little Mexican restaurant…fitting since it was Cinco the Mayo (exactly 10 years ago today). The atmosphere was fun and laid back with a live band and lots of people out celebrating. I don’t think we actually ate anything because we talked and laughed for the entire time and I thought I might be in deep trouble here.
Afterwards we walked down the pier and somehow ended up finding one of those fun photo booths. They weren’t all over the place 10 years ago- like they are now- so I really wanted to take some pictures in it. We sat inside, put in our $5 and looked at the choices for backgrounds- there were three. One was skulls and bones, one said “Best friends forever” and the other was hearts with the words “I love you” on them… We looked at each other and laughed… feeling a little awkward but knowing that it was just as funny to the other.
As we started to walk back to my car and things quieted down, the vibe changed. It was late and the dim lights of Straub park made for a romantic setting…I’m sure I started talking 700miles per hour because that’s what I do when I’m nervous. Walking up to my car door, I fidgeted with my keys in my clammy hands and felt like my heart would beat out my chest as he slowly leaned in to say goodnight…
D: The whole evening had gone pretty great. Talking to her was easy and the conversation seemed to flow naturally. I remembered how excited she was when she found that photo booth. I don’t think I had ever taken pics on a first date but how could I resist. The booth gave you 4 shots, so I told her I would do it as long as she would give me a kiss for one of the pictures …she raised an eyebrow at me, gave me the “watch it!” look – but agreed. Three poses in, she gave me a kiss…on the cheek. Note to self: Be more specific next time. We waited for the strip to come out and laughed at our goofy faces. Since we only had one strip, we decided to break it in half so each of us could keep one piece.
I hadn’t had such a relaxing and fun time with anyone in a long time but it was getting late and it was time to walk her to her car. It was a Thursday but I knew I wouldn’t see her at work until the following Monday so I thought I would up the ante and see if I could land a real kiss. I moved in close, doing my part and waited patiently for her to reciprocate – however, she didn’t move, just smiled at me nervously…I knew if I didn’t do it now, I would miss this moment, so I slowly closed the distance…and kissed her.
In that moment I thought how I would have to say goodbye very soon…not just for the night, but forever. I had made my plans to move and start fresh somewhere new. I had quit my job, signed a lease on a place up north and started to gather boxes. I hadn’t expected on anything (or anyone) changing my mind. I had just decided to leave on a whim to search for the next chapter in my life… but what if my next chapter was already beginning here in Tampa?
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