I see him before he sees me. I can’t help but look at his beauty. It’s perfectly normal to use that phrase for a man now, I think so anyway, and I am held by his beauty immediately. He has this fall away hair look, thick brown hair just flopping around his head that brings my attention to his eyes; brown like chocolate and the type that I can lose myself in. Everything about his face is just perfect, trimmed sideburns on designer stubble that draws me to his lips. They are just divine. I slowly take steps towards him, and then he notices me.
The spark between us ignites immediately, and his smile reaches his ears as he looks at me. I can’t help but blush and hope that he doesn’t notice. I smile back, it’s the natural thing to do, and before I know it, we are on our first date and staring at each other across the small table we’ve found in a little pub. There are people all around us, and yet it feels like there is no-one but us there. We talk for hours and the conversation flows, no awkward silence, just our connection. Listening, talking, and laughing. That’s when he takes my hand in his. His hands are cold to touch, but it reminds me that there is a warm heart there, and as we intertwine our hands he pulls me closer for that first kiss. The first of many I hope, but it’s the first. His lips brush gently against mine, and I can smell him more intimately; the subtle aftershave mixed with the beer on his breath gives me butterflies in my stomach.
The kiss is over before I know it, but we both look at each other smiling and there is a sparkle in his eyes. We make plans for our next date before saying ‘see you later’ instead of goodbye, and continue to text, chat, date to find out more about each other in between dates, before he invites me to his house for dinner. We both know what it means, and we’ve waited for as long as we can to share what we have physically. With anticipation in the air over dinner, when he leads me to his bedroom, everything we’ve known before fades away. We kiss and rapidly undress each other, our hands exploring our bodies before we find our way to the bed and make love. It’s quick, and over before we know it, but we’ve been waiting so long that we both got excited too early. We lay there, caressing, cuddling, kissing, before we start again, and this time it’s together, getting exactly what we both need. That’s how it is over the next few weeks, we continue our dating, our connection, our love making and just enjoy being ourselves together.
Long conversations into the dark of the night bring out the serious questions, the ones that really matter when you’ve been dating for so long. We find out that we both want the same thing, and discuss our possible lives together. We laugh at how similar things are, marriage, kids, grandkids even and we notice that we are just fitting into each others lives, together, perfectly. Soon, we live together when I move into his place. Our friends think we’re mad, but they also know and can see that we have is love, even if we are both not ready to say the word just yet.
When we do though, it’s through an argument. Not a big argument, but an argument over a silly thing. I thought he was getting the electric, and he thought I was. As we sit with cold dinner over candlelight, I tell him. I tell him that he is all that I need and that I love him. He smiles and says ‘ditto’, the line from a movie, but my raised brows make him laugh and smile up to the ears, and he tells me he loves me. First in Spanish, his language, and then in English. Words in his own language have more meaning for him he tells me, but he reminds me of what it means in English too, just so that I know. We make love that night, and it feels like the first time all over again, giving each to the other, fully.
Our home becomes our haven, and friends come and go, each time we are reminded of how good our life and things are. One the anniversary of our first date, we plan a getaway. We both plan little things to do to show how much we care and love each other, but decide ultimately on a trip to Paris, the romantic city, and stay in a hotel near the Eifel Tower. As our taxi pulls in, we see the tower lit up, sparkling, and he grabs my hand in his and squeezes it. ‘Monsieurs, we ‘av your room ready’ the receptionist says, and we are taken to the room that overlooks Paris. After a day of sightseeing, he whisks me up to the top of the tower, well as far as I can go, and as I look out, he taps me on the shoulder. I turn around and he is down on one knee, and proposing, once in Spanish and then again in English. I feel my heart in my throat and tell him yes in English, Spanish and French, just so that he knows. He knows that I am his for the rest of our lives.
We don’t waste any time getting married, finding the right church to do so, one that can and is happy to marry us. Our families are there, and even though my nieces aren’t happy they can’t be bridesmaids, they settle for being flower girls. As long as they get to dress up. We plan another wedding in Spain for the family that can’t fly over. It’s going to be a huge affair I’m told, and I can’t wait.
It takes a couple of years before we are ready to start our own family, and as we do so, we find the right one, the right lady to help us become dads. It’s a long process, and one that tests our marriage, our love, our commitment to each other, but as we hear her first little cry, our daughters announcement that she has arrived in the world, we know we’ve done the right thing. He is a super dad. He likes to joke that he is the man, leaving me at home to raise her in those first few years, but we share it all, laughing and joking and playing more than ever as we watch our little girl grow. When her first words come out, it’s in English, which upsets him a little, but I remind him that he is ‘dada’ too, and get to work teaching her ‘papa’ as quickly as possible. She is a smart one, and when he comes home from work that day, she yells out ‘papa’ to him, and he picks her up and snuggles into her and grabs me too for the embrace. We can’t help but love her, and love each other more as life becomes even more perfect.
The years go by, and whilst we try for more, it doesn’t happen, but we celebrate what we have with our daughter. Our perfect family. Watching her grow, breathing through her tantrums, the crazy music, even the wild clothing, but it’s her first proper date that we both realise that she won’t need us for much longer. We hear the doorbell, and he answers. Being the joker, he tells the young, well-dressed man that she doesn’t live here and closes the door. I rush to open it, to save our little girl the embarrassment and welcome him into our home. The date shakes our hands, being very formal as he does so, before we begin to question him. Our little girl gives us this look, it’s a look we’ve come to know that means she is in charge now and takes her date out. We shout out the rules as she leaves, and whilst she pushes the boundaries, she always obeys. It gives her the freedom she needs to grow into the beautiful woman she becomes. Before we know it, she finds the right man. We’re grateful that he asked our permission before hand, and no sooner does she say yes, do we find ourselves walking her down the aisle. I don’t know how I hold it together through the ceremony, and neither does he, but we hold hands throughout, and as I look into those chocolate eyes, I remember how we first met.
“What can I get for you today?” he asks in a Spanish accent.
“Skinny vanilla latte to drink in, please.” I reply. I hand my money over, and with a brief touch, I feel those cold hands and the spark. I wonder, does he feel the same and know the story that has played out in my mind as I smile to him. He smiles back, the smile reaching his ears. Maybe he does.