I hadn’t intended on anything to happen. To be honest I wasn’t looking for anything. I had just about given up on relationships; on this idealized version of what love was supposed to be. I had decided after my break-up in the summer that I was done with relationships. I did not like holding back a part of myself and feeling shy and embarrassed in social settings – love wasn’t supposed to feel like that. So I decided to ignore that idea, go on an exchange to Ireland, run away from the things I didn’t have the courage to say no to, and forget about the city I was living in for a little bit.
The night I met him I was celebrating a friend’s birthday – she decided to go to a club in the city and one of the men I was seeing offered to drive me home after the evening was done as he was out with some friends downtown too.
The evening progressed as club nights do – too much liquor and a copious amount of dancing. The fuzzy feeling in my head had gotten to the point where my body was politely asking me to slow down, so I did. One of my girlfriends and I went to the restroom to fix ourselves up and when we came back, our group had decided the night was coming to a close.
Almost as if we planned it, the two of us split off from everyone else as we were leaving and walked down the street a few paces before we looked up and realized we were approaching a burger joint. I don’t know about you but the best solution to too much alcohol is a good burger and fries. My friend and I ordered, took a seat and continued laughing at jokes that really weren’t that funny and patiently waited for our order. The hustle and bustle of all late-night dwellers and club-goers surrounded us as we sat awaiting our cure for intoxication. Our number was called and the security guard let us know, it’s not that we weren’t paying attention… but we weren’t paying attention. I had the best burger of my life partnered with the best poutine I have ever had. It’s sacrilegious to say as a Canadian but I usually don’t like poutine so this was new to me; the feeling of actually enjoying cheese & gravy covered French fries was a foreign feeling. What happened afterwards however, wasn’t all that new.
You should know that I don’t like being hit on after a night out. Anyway, I had looked towards the door as a group of young men walked in. My eyes drifted across the group and stopped at the sight of this handsome, young fella laughing with his friends. Dressed casually in a black button up, hair tousled, I kept glancing over. I couldn’t tell you now quite what it was that day, but I couldn’t stop myself from peaking over. Shortly after, ever so smoothly, he takes a seat across from me and his friend occupied the seat across my friend. I must say I wasn’t looking to get hit on this evening – I was tired, I had been grabbed multiple times at the club and listened to someone’s break-up drama for most of the night. All I really wanted to do was go home, but I entertained the conversation with this boy I had glanced over at many times.
He sat in front of me and said’ I think I know you from somewhere’. At this point, I was a bit sassy with him employing the retort, ‘I’m not from around here’, which was true. My home town was a small town about an hour away and I was going to school an hour in the opposite direction. To my surprise, he continued the conversation and said ‘me neither, where are you from”? I told him the name of my small home town and saw his eyes light up a bit. ‘No kidding – I play for the ‘small home town’ hockey team’. Now this is where my eyes lit up in surprise – the hockey team he mentioned was the local one my dad has been watching for the past 7 years. We continued to talk for another 10 or so minutes before we exchanged numbers. I left and got into the car with the man who was picking me up, phone in bag, message awaiting saying ‘Hey it’s ‘me’’. I didn’t know that day, the day the marked a month after I decided to give up on love and relationships, that I would meet the man I was to fall in love with only a few months later.
Part 2 Coming Soon