It was raining. I was late. I was nervous. A text message beeped on my mobile. I wrestled with my umbrella and bag to read it.
I am at the bar. Glass of wine?
I smiled. He remembered. He remembered my favourite tipple is wine.
Yes please, be there in five.
I hurried along the rain drenched street. I was flustered. I was still nervous. But now I was a little excited too. I could feel the butterflies arriving in my stomach. Hello butterflies, how nice of you to accompany me on my first date.
We met two weeks earlier. He immediately caught my eye when I walked into the room. He had dark blue eyes and a friendly, attractive face. I could not stop myself from staring at him. We smiled at each other and he introduced himself, and he did not leave my side all night. At the end of the night he walked my friend and I to the train station and asked if he could see me again. We exchanged mobile numbers and the following days we texted each other regularly. We discussed our homes, and jobs, our lives. We arranged to meet again.
And two weeks later, I was drizzled with English rain and accompanied with dancing, curious, butterflies.
I opened the door to the bar. My memory had turned hazy. Would I recognise him? I searched the faces at the bar. He later confessed that he too was worried he would not instantly recall me. Two weeks can play devious tricks with one's recognition.
But then I saw him at the bar. He was looking straight at me, and we were both relieved that we remembered!
We greeted each other. He scooped up my wine glass and followed me to a table. Our conversation began. It was as if we’d never been apart. I was relaxed. I was charmed. I was grinning. After five minutes I knew I would not want the night to end.
Within ten minutes I suspected there was something very special about him.
The butterflies had banished. They had stopped dancing and flown away. They knew they didn't need to stick around any longer than necessary. They knew I was confident now. Bye, bye, pretty butterflies.
Next I heard an almighty crash. I realised immediately what it was. Barriers. The barriers I'd carefully built, to protect my battered heart and my frayed sanity, had fallen to the ground. Huge, significant barriers which I'd needed and carried around for so long. They had triumphantly left me too.
And maybe it was my over active imagination but, was that clapping and cheering I could hear, from above his grey flat cap and my carefully retouched blond roots? Was the almighty heaven above applauding us, relieved and satisfied that we had finally met? Two people who were meant to be together.
After fours hours our first date reluctantly ended.
Within ten months we moved into our first home together.
It’s our first year anniversary on Wednesday. We’re going to meet in the same bar we spent our first date in. This time I won’t be bringing any dancing butterflies or gigantic barriers. I will only bring myself, and lots of happy, positive thoughts.
It’s nearly one year on and I find it impossible to imagine a world without him. A time when I didn’t even know he existed.
But maybe I did. Maybe I always knew he existed.
I just had to walk into a room one night and find him.