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Story Of The Week

A Night To Remember

by Jake Youngston

It was a Friday night, and for a change I didn’t have a need to be anywhere.  I was content to be sprawled across my bed in front of a television that I seldom got a chance to watch because of a very busy lifestyle.  I was engrossed in an action thriller, when the phone rang.  As I glanced at the Caller ID, I was glad to see it wasn’t Sandy. I had met her a few weeks before in the supermarket, and our one date turned out to be a disaster.

It was my brother Carl inviting me to another party where “the crowd was my kind of crowd and the women were all fine.”  I begged off and hung up.  It was the second call that night from a family member.  My sister had called earlier trying to set me up on a blind date.  This was all due to my recent broken engagement.   Everyone in my family, including my mother was concerned about what was going on in my head.  I had changed my mind about getting married two weeks before the wedding with no explanation.

After the movie ended, I decided to go down to what I knew would be a deserted laundry room in my building and wash.  However, when I arrived, there was a woman alone sorting clothes, whose beauty struck me so that I almost tripped over myself.  When she looked up and smiled, my breathing stopped.

 We struck up a conversation and I ended up doing something I’d never done.  I took a seat and waited for my clothes to wash, while we engaged in stimulating dialogue that had long eluded me with a woman.  It was 9:00 at night and I was enjoying the company of a beautiful stranger in a brightly lit room that had no atmosphere or alcohol.   I was content as if we were fine-dining over a candlelight dinner.  I learned she was single and lived with her nine year old son.  After the laundry was washed, dried and the folding completed, (before this night my clothes never experienced the luxury of being folded), awkward silence crept in and suddenly we both were fidgeting in our seats and floundering for words.

 I immediately understood why.  She wasn’t ready to leave me and I certainly wasn’t ready to leave her.  To me, she was like a breath of fresh air that had unexpectedly come into my closed up heart.  The tingles I felt had been erased from memory.  I spoke first, without looking her in the eye.  I was nervous and stammering like a school boy.  “Um…look, to be honest, I’m not ready to end the evening.  If you’re willing and not otherwise occupied, why don’t we do this; I want to ask you out on a date, and we’ll make tonight our first date or a prelude to going out, by meeting back here in fifteen minutes.  Since this place is public, neutral and deserted, why don’t we take advantage of it?”  I’ve got a bottle of wine upstairs?”

She smiled and looked up at me with eyes reflecting amused interest.  “Sure that sounds like a wonderful idea, I don’t have anything else to do,” she replied. 

“I’ll be back here in fifteen minutes and I’ll bring the wine glasses.”

It was after midnight when the evening ended, and I was grinning when I got off the elevator.  My head was swamped with excitement and I felt more exhilarated that I’d been in a long time.  Suddenly, I realized why I had decided not to get married.  I had not yet found my true soulmate and that night it felt like maybe…I had.  That was three months ago.  We are enjoying real dates, and I’m excited about the future as we get to know each other..

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