The Beginning of Everything

Carmen was playing on Boston Common.

Opera under the summer sky. I wanted to go. I invited him. We were new to each other. A few weeks of phone calls, emails, a first date that left me unsure. I liked him, but was that enough? I wasn’t prepared to release him back to the dating pool, but neither was I willing to dare myself to open up to the idea of him.

Looking back, I think my subconscious knew. Trust your gut. But at twenty-five you don’t always do that, especially where men are concerned.

I worked two blocks from the Common in those days, he lived a T stop away over the bridge. That much I knew, but we had only seen in each other in public space. Movie theatres, restaurants, bars.

He met me at work. He had a picnic and a blanket. I remained calm, but my insides swooned. Baguette, paté, cheese, but I was careful about what I ate. Later he would say that he wondered if I didn’t like the offerings. Au contraire.

We sat through the performance, we ate, we talked a little during the intermission. As we packed up to leave, I realized my cell phone was missing.

He crawled around in the grass looking for it, but it was gone. Not in my bag, not on the blanket, not in the grass. Gone.

In those days, losing my StarTac was like losing an iPhone.

I was a mess. I couldn’t afford a new one, and again, in those days, someone else having my phone meant extra minutes and charges and oh, god…

“Let me buy you a drink,” he offered. I was a mess.

We took the train back to his stop, me fretting the entire time about the damn phone. We got drinks at a bar neither of us liked because it was there.

“Let me drive you home,” he offered.

A quandary, because I wasn’t ready to say, invite him in. I didn’t want to make him go out of his way, to make him lose his parking spot–so coveted in his neighborhood of more care than parking spots. And did I mention I had friends sleeping on my air mattress in the living room?

I explained these things awkwardly.

“Let me drive you home,” he insisted.

He drove me home in his grubby pick-up truck. He stopped outside my apartment, idling in the narrow road, while I fidgeted and fussed with my bag.

I don’t even remember what I said just before he kissed me.

Which didn’t matter, since after he kissed me was the beginning of everything.

Mama's Losin' It4.) A memorable date.

17 Responses to The Beginning of Everything

  1. Taking a gamble on a man can be so hard but ao rewarding

  2. Taking a gamble on the Son of God’s ability to change a life is absolutely no gamble at all. What we lack in wisdom and ability He can supply, and MORE.

    By His Grace.

  3. find the phone?
    I love these stories.

  4. “which didn’t matter, since after he kissed me was the beginning of everything.”
    i read this and heard the opening strains of “all you need is love,” as sung by the gospel choir in “love actually.” terrific work, C.

  5. Oh happy sighs. I love first kiss stories. Mine, not so much but yours. SWOON!

  6. That sounds like such a lovely evening…I can’t think of much that tops a picnic and a blanket date. Love those.
    StarTac? Fancy shmancy. ;)

  7. Delightfully romantic! This buttered my bread!

  8. aw, special and yummy.

  9. What a wonderful story and a very memorable date.

  10. I love how he care for you and wanted to take care of you right from the start.

  11. What a sweet story – lovely how an evening full of anxiety could turn around like that!

  12. A picnic and blanket, stinky frommage? Aw, what a romantic. Who knew?! :)

  13. “Later he would say that he wondered if I didn’t like the offerings. Au contraire.”

    Hee hee! I love that so much.

  14. Ah, yes. The “unsure” state. Hang on a bit or toss him back into the pond?

    Sounds like you’re glad you hung on.

    This was lovely. The pacing, the word choice, all of it. Thanks for sharing!

  15. What a wonderful beginning. I love how you tell it!

  16. Awww, you wrote it so well! Early love, sigh.

  17. Angie aka The Little Mumma

    Well, I just fucking loved that.

    I mean, I really, really loved it.

    “Au contraire” – oh, but that made me laugh. What is it about women thinking they must eat like birds in front of the menfolk?

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