[All photos from Unsplash]
This is a serial telling of my falling-in-love story. Read the story from the very beginning here.
After the church service, I ask my date, “Do you know any women I can be friends with?”
He laughs, and then tells me about this bible study he attends. “It’s next Wednesday,” he says. “I’ll call you then to give you all the details.”
“Thanks,” I say, breathless, already counting down the hours until the next time I am around people my own age.
Wednesday comes, and my date calls: “Yeah, I’m not going to make it tonight. But call Kristina — she can tell you where it is and all that good stuff.”
I call Kristina immediately. She doesn’t pick up, so I leave a message. Then I decide to take a shower, and while I’m indisposed, Kristina calls and leaves a message with directions. “There’s a red truck in the driveway,” Kristina says. “That’s how you know it’s the right house.”
I write out the directions on an orange post-it note, and on the way out the door, my aunt gives me a hug. “I’m proud of you, honey,” she says. Then I drive twenty minutes down unfamiliar streets to a stranger’s house to attend an event where I know no one. This is obviously everyone’s idea of a great time, but I have made myself a pact: try everything, without exception. (You know, within reason).
Which is why now, I am sitting in my parked car, underneath a blaring streetlight, reciting an ancient breath prayer in my mind, to try to ignore what could be the start of a panic attack. I breathe in (“Jesus Christ”); I breathe out (“Son of God”), I breathe in (“Have mercy on me”), I breathe out (“A sinner”). It calms me, and I say aloud, “Here I go”; then I open my car door, walk toward the house with the red truck in the driveway, and I knock on the door. The door opens and it’s you.
“Hi,” I say, startled.
“Hi,” you say.
“It’s Jeremy, right? We met the other night,” I say, smiling bigger than I mean to.
“Okay,” you say, blankly, nodding.
“At the church service,” I say.
“What’s your name again?” you say.
“Liz. Chad told me I could come tonight, and then he gave me the number of a girl named Kristina who left a message on my answering machine with directions to your house… Is it okay that I’m here? I know I’m a few minutes late,” I say. Actually, I’m early.
“Yeah, of course. I’m sorry, come on in,” you say and smile at me, backing up so I can step inside.
I smile back. You are wearing a wool sweater, gray with large red and blue patterns across the arms and chest that resemble snowflakes: it’s hideous. But I like you already.
This is part of my serial publications of scenes from my in-progress falling-in-love memoir, about the anguished, beautiful, and spiritual way that my husband and I met, fell in love, and married.
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