Five years ago today, I was preparing to go to dinner in which I thought was just a casual meeting. A week before this day, I had agreed to go see a movie with a man out of indebtedness because he was kind (sweet, is the term my friends used) enough to bring me soup, orange juice, Claritin, Echinacea, and everything else a sick person needs to get better (more like persistent. He would not take no for an answer about coming over to bring me soup and etc.). He asked after seeing the movie if I’d like to check out a new restaurant in town later in the week. So I agreed. And I rarely ever turn down free food.
The following days leading up to today 5 years ago consisted of this man calling me every day, stopping by my work, stopping by my house and hanging out and somehow managed to make it all seemed unstalker-ish. I just thought to myself, “Oh, this guy’s pretty aggressive in pursuing me knowing I have plans in possibly relocating” (I have already bought a plane ticket to Miami in order to scoop it out). But I just shrugged it off. I just went with it because in the back of my mind I thought nothing will come of it.
So, I got out of bed 5 years ago today, perfectly content with my life. I went to work, got my hair did, came home to get ready for my free dinner. As I started to pick out my clothes, out of nowhere, the sudden feeling of butterflies in my stomach hit me. I became nervous, my heart started beating uncontrollably fast, and my face was flushed red. I remember telling my friends the feeling I was experiencing at the moment and they all told me what I was afraid to hear, “You like this guy!”
So on my way to meet him for dinner (as you can see, I was meeting him there, not having him pick me up!) I was shivering and shaking the whole time. I get to the restaurant, and there he was, waiting for me at the front door, as if he had been there all of his life, waiting for this moment to happen. And as I walked nervously towards him, I looked at him as if this was the first time I have laid eyes on him. And I saw the last few weeks flashed before me and wondered why have I not seen him in this way until now? He opened the door for me and led us to our table, in a secluded area, which led me to believe that he had reserved this table at an earlier time. He pulled out my chair for me, and to my right there was this long box sitting there addressed to me. I opened the card and in it said, “Cate, They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So BE! Beautiful (as you are) and I’ll HOLD you as long as you let me! Jerry. P.S. Will you be my Valentine?” Inside the box were the most beautiful long-stemmed roses I had ever seen (and trust me, I’ve received plenty). I looked at the roses, I reread the card, and looked at this man sitting in front of me and realized, right then and there, I was looking at the man I was going to spend the rest of my life loving.