Our Story: Date Two

I knew this would be the night. The night of the long-awaited first kiss. The week before he had kissed me on the cheek (which, in response, I awkwardly and embarrassingly said “thank you”!) so the next logical step was the real thing. It had been three years since I had kissed anyone. I was equally nervous and excited about the prospect of changing that, and hoping I still knew what I was doing. In preparation, I went shopping with a coworker who bought me a new pair of “hot pants” –pink and tan leopard print – hoping they would do the trick.

He planned out the whole night, and kept everything a surprise. The night entailed several phases, the first being dinner at his favorite pizza place in Columbus: Rubino’s. The old fashioned diner feel was a great atmosphere to start off the night. At this point in our relationship we had already had “the talk” about the future, and we were in agreement that we were dating with the intention of marriage. As we sat in the faded leather booth and ate our pepperoni pizza on a red-and-white checkered tablecloth, I saw my future before me. I saw numerous dates to favorite restaurants. I saw long talks centered around our likes and dislikes. I saw the never ending soda vs. pop debate. I saw laughter over silly expressions. I saw the joy of time spent together.

The next phase of our date included the universal love language: Ice cream. We went to a local favorite, Jeni’s. What makes this shop such a hit is the unique flavors. They source locally for their ingredients to make up flavors such as bourbon salted pecan, brown butter almond brittle, brambleberry crisp, milkiest chocolate, and sweet cream. We each got a trio of flavors, served up in a dish with a sliver of waffle cone. As if the milk-bottle chandeliers, chalkboard wall, and metal
counter-top stools weren’t enough to make the dessert memorable, we also saw famous wrestler Mark Henry, who was in town for the upcoming Arnold Classic.

The next two phases did not go quite as planned. We attempted the browse the shelves of the book loft, but arrived too close to closing time. Next we went to a bowling alley, where we were told the wait was at least an hour for a lane. Determined to turn the night around, Jesus invited me back to his house to watch a movie.

After awkward small talk with his roommates, we settled on the couch to watch one of our favorite comedies: Nacho Libre. As we laughed and quoted the most memorable lines, I was secretly wishing he would put his arm around me. When the movie ended, I feared I had missed my chance. Jesus turned on music by the artist Kalimba and we sat on the couch and talked. When the song Tu Cabeza en mi Hombro (Put your Head on my Shoulder) came on, Jesus shyly asked me if I wanted to dance.
He later confessed that when he’s around me he can’t think straight and his brain stops working, which was evident when he couldn’t remember which hand he was supposed to hold or which direction to move while dancing.

Sometimes, I can read Jesus’s thoughts like an open book. This was one of those times. I knew he was thinking about kissing me, but I also knew he wouldn’t do anything I didn’t want him to. So I came up with a plan to un-subtly hint that I wanted him to.

 “What are you thinking about?” I asked innocently.

“How wonderful you are – but you are probably tired of hearing me say that…what are you thinking about?”

“I’m thinking…that I wish you would kiss me.”

A smile of relief and excitement and nervousness flashed across his face. “I was thinking the same thing!”

He gently kissed me as Kalimba serenaded us in the background. All of my fears and anxiety and nerves dissolved instantly. Nothing had ever felt so right. To quote the great Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle, “it was like coming home.”  

Two and a half years later, we shared our first dance as a married couple to the same song. The first time we danced to that song, a new relationship was budding on our horizon. We were looking forward to seeing where the Lord would take us on our journey. Hearing Kalimba sing those words again brought back the same emotions, only now we were looking forward to our new marriage and to the many coming home moments we would share in the future. 


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