She was the one. I did not know it at the time, I cannot tell the future and she was my first so I had zero experience with dating, nothing to compare those funny feelings in my gut, my heart, my mind. I’d had girls talk to me, flirt with me, even kiss me. Socially awkward and extremely inexperienced I did not know what to do. I had no clue how to explore the possibility of a relationship, felt so shy I never plucked up the courage to ask a girl out.
But that all changed when she came along. A traveler that had seen the world and yet she continued to return home to the family dairy year after year. I saw her pull up in a little hatchback, a cloud of dust trailing after. Her younger sister introduced us with a gleam in her eye and again my shy nature took over. We chatted, briefly before parting. I was friendly, she seemed sweet. Later that night the two sisters caught up, the younger girl had her boyfriend in tow. I thought I had been invited along to make up numbers.
A few weeks later or perhaps a month she was gone again. I promised I would keep in touch. Initially I thought she would be another beautiful lady who would be a great friend. True to my word I sent my first email a week later and got back a “Who are you again?”
Over the oceans we chatted while she was away. Simple stuff to begin with but it became complex on that significant date, September eleventh. After that we became much more honest and that was when it dawned on me just how much I cared for this girl.
The next trip back to the family dairy I found myself becoming excited with what could possibly be. At the birthday party of her sister’s boyfriend we shared our first kiss as we starred up at the stars. More kisses followed and I discovered I was in a relationship.
An excited young man newly in love I was keen to make a good impression. I knew I had to take my girl on a date. I plucked up all the courage I could muster to ask, no beg my dad for the keys to the family car. After a brief but stern lecture I nabbed the keys and was soon pulling up at the family dairy with my own trail of dust following me down the driveway to the farm house. She was ready and looking gorgeous, a summer dress that complimented her dazzling green eyes. The Ford Falcon sped us to the closest Fasta Pasta. I was hoping for a simple meal, perfect for a first date. She was smart and ordered tortellini with a delicious Neapolitan sauce. I picked the fettuccini fantasia purely based on three years high school Italian and the fact I thought I could pull off a decent accent. Sadly I couldn’t then and I still can’t now, it does not stop me from trying though. My ordering our meals for the evening was full of stumbles and uncertainty. My awkwardness was obvious to everyone but me.
When our meals arrived my thick, long stands of perfectly cooked pasta managed to flick fantasia sauce all over my crisp green shirt. With plenty of slurps and sucks, great enjoyment and gusto I eagerly devoured my dinner. I dug deep to search for witty small talk, delivered between pasta sauce attacks on my shirt. In my mind the meal went well, my first date was going great. After pasta we moved on to dessert and then coffee. Feeling the buzz of what I thought was the perfect date we drove back to our hometown, not home though. As an end to our magical night I drove my poor girlfriend to the home of my grandma.
Grandma was a beautiful lady who I loved almost as much as my mum. She was my confidant who I visited regularly. She knew of this amazing girl who had captured my heart many weeks before my parents even knew that the girl existed. Over many a cup of coffee (for grandma) and a frosted glass of lemonade (for me) I poured out my heart excitedly. Grandma had planted a seed the last time I had visited her for one of our regular chats.
“I cannot wait to meet her,” Grandma had said. “Make sure that I approve.”
So naturally I needed these two wonderful women that were so special in my life to meet. Pulling up outside the old cream colored house I jumped out the car and opened the set of green gates. Somehow I missed the “where are we?” glances from the beauty in the passenger seat.
“Before I take you home I need you to meet someone,” I explained as I drove the short way up my grandma’s drive. I jumped out the car eager. My girlfriend was not so fast.
I knocked on the backdoor of my grandma’s and she opened the door in her dressing gown.
“Grandma please meet this wonderful girl I have told you so much about,” I beamed as I indicated the beauty stepping out of the Ford Falcon. The amazing lady my grandma was we were immediately invited in. More cake and more coffee was offered. By the time we left and let Grandma return back to bed I was satisfied both ladies loved and respected the other. I was thrilled.
The gentleman that I am I dropped her to her door before I floated home on cloud nine. A few days later I called her up and asked her out again. Somehow she said yes. Too soon she was gone again, returned to her overseas employer. When I spread my own wings and ventured beyond home shores she was there to meet me at the end of the first step. That night and day together in Singapore was a magical time that was so utterly opposite to that very first date. It was there we cemented our relationship, talking long into the night about our hopes and dreams.
Nineteen years later we are coming up to our seventeenth wedding anniversary, three kids and so many more wonderful memories.
She is my first, my last, my only.
Or that is how I remember it anyway.