In the summer of 2002, I was working full-time at a mall nearby in a cute clothing store. It was great, I got a pretty good employee discount and always had new clothes. Mall hours weren't always optimal, but it was really good money for right out of high school. I'd actually been working there for a few years and had a management position in the store. Yeah, over-achiever here. Lol.
We hired a new girl, my mom knew her mom. We quickly became good friends and hung out often. Her boyfriend had a motorcycle. That's really the key to this story..
One weekend, we stayed at her house. My parents weren't really concerned what we were going to do. I was a good kid. Wink ;) We got all dressed up, I even remember how I wore my hair. She had finally convinced me to go with her, ride with one of his friends on his friend's motorcycle. I was always afraid of getting caught and in trouble, so it took some convincing. "I swear, he's safe and a good driver. And he's really nice." We were going to meet them at a huge parking lot with grocery and department stores. Her car wouldn't be noticed there.
Oh yeah, one last thing she swore. "Your fiancé won't find out." Did I leave that part out? Oops.
She wanted to get some gum, we stopped at a close gas station. Her boyfriend saw her car and they pulled in. I heard the rumble and rolled down the window, my stomach in serious knots. Then, I saw his smile, his dark eyes, his hands. "Um, she went in for some gum. She'll be right out." Really, those were my first words? Moron! I shouted in my head. I went back to playing snake on the old Nokia cell phone trying to avoid looking stupid, but in reality probably only making it worse.
After what seemed like an eternity, she came back to the car. We drove out to the parking lot and I stepped out of the car. Cute boots, tight jeans, a v-neck shirt accenting the ladies... I won't deny I was working it a little walking over to him. I twisted my a little longer than shoulder length blonde hair in between my fingers.
Hi, I said. Hi, I'm fireman (ok, he wasn't back then, but I can't put his real name!) Are you really a safe driver? Swear. I'm probably way safer than anyone I know. Hop on. I climbed on and off we went. I'm sure there were more words, but that was 10 1/2 years ago!!
We went on a crazy long ride, half the time I had no idea of where we were. (I know. Super safe. I'm telling you, this is the one crazy thing I've done!) We stopped at one point and he rested his arm on my leg and I kinda leaned into him.
How are you doing over there, my friend asked smiling. Good! I said, beaming. (I'd only ever ridden Harley-type motorcycles. Never a sport-bike like these..) She's a trooper, squeeze. Omg, did he just squeeze my leg?
For another hour or more we rode and he would rest his arm on my leg, squeeze my hand, or say something back in my direction. I was actually sad when the ride was over and we ended up back at my friend's car.
We ended up riding one other time that summer, we went another direction this time and with more people. We climbed up some hill and looked out over from a huge rock. He was the only guy to hang back and make sure my friend and I made our way. I remember wondering where her boyfriend was and that it was so sweet that he did that for the two of us.
And then, I didn't see him for a few months....
I knew he worked at the mall too, but I never saw him. He was also a college student (science/pre-med), so I knew he was really busy. I would think he would be a customer in the store, but he never was.
I think it was late February, early March when he finally came in. I'll have to ask him. And I'd love for him to add his details to this story!
He laid his helmet down on the counter and I turned around. Hey! I said, with probably a little too much enthusiasm. We talked, exchanged some information, and ended up chatting online when I could. Then the phone. The one day, I went with him after work. He met me at the store, waited while I closed and we went to his friends' house.
My fireman was a gentlemen even back then. He never kissed me or even tried to. He knew I was engaged to someone else, but I still don't know what made him keep talking to me.
One day, I called him. I have good news, I said. I broke it off. I swear I heard him smile on the other end of the phone. We were "official" not too long after that. We had some bumps in the beginning, but who would've known we'd be married 3 years later, end up with 3 kids, and be in a domestic discipline relationship??
Our dating life was amazing. We just talked. And talked and talked and talked. We were so close, so soon. I love you's were exchanged early. We spent so much time together.
He's always been a magnet for me. He knows I don't function well when he's not here with me. I need him.
I might have to edit this and add his thoughts. Or ask him to post his recount separately.