It began the night I went to the County Fair, September 1. I didn't even want to go. Last year I felt very uncomfortable and out of place there (I had gone to M's county fair as a guest of M's mom last year. They have a fair parade and picnic at their house. It's a bit of a local event; tons of people there). And then I was practically deserted around the time to go to the fair. But this year K. (M's brother) needed me to bring over rings for the Lion's Club ring toss. I was pretty much obligated to go. I did take my volleyball clothes along so that I had the option of cutting out and coming back in case things began to look bad.
The dinner was good. I was already eating healthy foods then.
It began in small ways, but first let me describe our relationship up to this point...
I only ever saw M. at work. Mind you, I took great care to go when he was there. We talked about all sorts of things. Joked, sparred, one-upped. I really connected with his sense of humor and his mind. He never gave up anything personal. During the summer I did tell him one or two personal things, but not without great embarrassment and awkwardness. I wanted him to know about my divorce and why. I showed him the clips about Don's trouble. Not that I went to any great lengths to explain, I just showed him the clips. He never, ever gave any indication that he was interested in me. He went about his business as usual. Occasionally I would be given hope by one little scrap, but it probably wasn't intentional or even conscious on his part. OK, bearing all this in mind, we shall proceed...
At one point before dinner I was sitting on the couch talking to K., who was sitting in a chair. M. came in and sat on the couch about three feet from me, and I was thrilled! See what I mean about scraps? He had gotten my ticket for the fair ahead of time so I wouldn't have to stand in the long line. We all had dinner and watched the parade. He was nice enough to let Catherine and I sit on the back of his truck. After the parade everyone was splitting up to go to the fair. I started to get worried because it looked like I was going to be deserted again. I was standing in front of the house talking to Catherine's kids when M. came out of the house and sort of stood behind me. I continued talking and finally he said, "So, you ready to go to the World's Fair?" I was going with him!
He stuck with me the whole evening. We walked around the fairgrounds a few times, we tossed rings. After spending five dollars he won a one liter bottle of Sprite. We talked about all sorts of stuff. Long about 9:00 p.m. he asked me what time I had to be at work the next day. Able to take a hint I told him it was probably time I should leave. We ran into his dad on the way back to the house. I went inside to the bathroom and was rehearsing to myself how I would say goodnight. Something like "Thank you for hosting me this evening, it's been a pleasure."
I stood there talking to his relatives a few minutes. He sort of sat and waited for me. When we went outside he went toward his truck so I followed him to give him my rehearsed speech. When I started to say it he said that he'd walk me to my car. Wow. This was starting to take on a different tone. I had parked on the road instead of in the yard, which seemed to exasperate him a little. As we neared the car we were reduced to nervous chit-chat. I approached the door and turned around; he moved up. He sort of hugged me and when we separated he kept my hand. I don't even remember what was being said at this point, but then we kissed.
Can you imagine what I felt? My crush of over a year was kissing me. And it was totally unexpected, out-of-the-blue. I was reeling. To punctuate the moment, people leaving the fair in passing cars were hooting and hollering and whistling at us.