I was working at an office supply store full-time and going to college full-time. It was a very busy, but also very exciting time. I could definitely function on much less sleep back then.
One day while I was working, this guy walked in to apply for a job. I didn’t see him because I was taking out the trash at my register by the front door. How attractive, right? I found out much later, this was the first time he saw me. Apparently to him it was one of those slow motion, love at first sight moments like you see in a movie. He said my long hair was gently blowing and I had a soft glow around me. In reality, I was shaking open a new trash bag causing my hair to fly up and it was likely just a sweating glow. What can I say, the boy was in love and knew he had to land this job. I still had no clue he even existed.
He did get the job and a few weeks later started working. When they introduced him to the crew I thought he was cute, but I didn’t know much else about him. We worked together often, so I found out we could chat pretty well. I take that back, I could chat. I actually talked and talked and talked while he listened. He was pretty quiet, except the one time when he told me I talked too much, and then walked away. Can you feel the romance yet?
One day someone mentioned how his eyes seemed to change color depending on what he was wearing. I had to find out for myself, so I looked into his eyes to see it. Have you ever experienced someone unexpectedly putting a cold coke can on your bare skin?
Or maybe ice? You gasp from the shock. Well, I did that. I actually gasped. Really looking into his eyes for the first time caused feelings I was not expecting at all. Feelings I’d never had before. I had to excuse myself and try to figure out what happened. Of course, I couldn’t tell him about it. I already talked too much and all.
A few days later I found myself avoiding him, afraid of being electrocuted by his eyes again. We were closing up the store and I had mopping duty. That’s the worst. There was a sticky area I had to clean right in front of where he was working. I tried hard to go unnoticed, but with the water sloshing and ringing out the heavy mop it was hard to be invisible. The story just exudes a fairy tale at this point, don’t you think?
As I was cleaning, I realized we hadn’t talked all night. I got the floor sparkling and started to splash on down the aisle when I hear, “You missed a spot.” I whirl around fast, almost mad, water flying over both sides of the bucket. I’m ready to fully defend my amazing mop skills (after I walk back over to double check, of course) and then I see him smiling. When did he get so cute? I start to feel hot. Did someone turn on an oven? Keep it together lady. I casually inform him I had adequately done my job and he was, in fact, wrong. He shrugs, and with his laid-back confidence says, “Yeah, I know. I was just enjoying the view.” He then turns around and goes back to working like nothing had happened.
I’m sorry what was that? You what? My mind is flipping through stations like someone accidentally sat on the remote. Make it stop, land on something already! I stand there, mouth wide open to speak, yet nothing comes out. There’s nothing left to do but spin back around and attempt to gracefully exit with a giant, dingy yellow bucket on squeaky wheels in one hand and a mop handle 6 feet taller than me in the other. There it is, the graceful princess exit we all dream of.
I finally get out of sight. I feel giddy. Like the last day of school or Christmas morning giddy. Does this mean he likes me? What now? That moment changed everything. Was that his way of breaking the ice? Indeed it was. Turns out, he had experienced that same cold ice gasp when he saw me weeks before on trash duty. He just kept it to himself that whole time. I guess the aroma of murky mop water set just the right mood to reveal his feelings.
We started talking on the phone. This time it was him doing all the chatting. We talked for hours every day. One night, right before saying goodbye he said, “I love you.” It was so fast I hung up before it registered in my mind, so I called him right back. I assumed he was sleepy and didn’t mean to say it. If that was the case I didn’t want him to feel weird. He answered and laughed, he did mean to say it. The next time, I said it back and we’ve been together ever since.