General Non-Fiction posted July 19, 2019 Chapters: -1- 2... 

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The day everything changed

A chapter in the book Miscellaneous stories

Beer garden beginnings

by CD Richards

Although it took place almost two decades ago, the memory of that day is still fresh in my mind.

We'd known each other for a few months, thanks to a shared enthusiasm for an online word game. After discovering that she worked only a few minutes from where I lived, it seemed a no-brainer that we should get together at a pub near her work for lunch one day.

When she arrived, she didn't find me waiting out the front as we'd agreed. Instead, I appeared a couple of minutes later. To this day, she still believes I was waiting inside to see what my as-yet-unseen friend looked like, ready to beat a hasty retreat if I didn't like what I saw. The truth is far less exciting. I had arrived early, then, when she was a couple of minutes late, I'd stepped inside to buy cigarettes.

I think her suspicions are a projection of her own craftiness. I learned later that prior to leaving the office, she'd asked a girlfriend to call her half an hour into her lunch time. The plan was, if our meeting wasn't going well, she would have an excuse to head back to work. Never underestimate the wiles of a woman, especially when operating with an accomplice!

As it turns out, lunch went swimmingly. Her hour break turned into two, then three. Luckily, her work arrangements were very flexible. I didn't want that lunch to end. She had turned her phone off fifteen minutes after we sat down.

For our second date, I made lunch at my place, and we played Crash Bandicoot on my Super Nintendo. You would think, after I supplied a most delicious meal, she'd have let me win. Not a chance.

On our third date, it was lunch again at my place. We didn't get around to Crash Bandicoot.

It was only a matter of weeks, a few months at the most, before she was spending so much time there, I felt she needed her own key. The rest, as they say, is history.

Our lives have changed a lot since then. We are no longer city dwellers, and the pace of our life has slowed somewhat. We have always been relaxed and comfortable together, so I can't say much has altered in that regard. I suppose there are times, as in any long-term relationship, where we take each other for granted. There are also times, not infrequent, when I look at her and feel the same excitement and elation as I did in that sun-drenched beer garden so many years ago. It's then I feel like I'm the luckiest man alive.

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Image by Mircea Iancu, sourced from Pixabay.

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