Chapter Two: The Meeting
It was a lovely spring day and I was glad to be out of and someplace where the world was starting to blossom. The weather was warm and pleasant and I needed this trip, combining pleasure with business. Flying to and the long drive from the airport gave me a chance to relax and unwind. I arrived in the afternoon and took care of the necessary business and found where I was seated for the banquet that evening.
There was a political dinner to attend, a high-dollar affair in support of a politician I have long since forgotten. I was sitting next to a retired yet still influential manufacturing exec, neatly arranged by one of my contacts, and looked forward to arranging some business. I noticed, seated to my right, tags for two of the girls from the office. An idle thought wandered into my head, wondering if that cute volunteer I noticed a few months before was one of them. As luck would have it, she was. After brief introductions and a flirtatious glance, I turned my head and my attention to business.
But the gods of fate had other plans. Jennifer walked up to give the invocation and I took the opportunity to watch her as she walked. Young, slightly nervous, yet a calm assurance took hold and hinted at someone with something special inside. I couldn’t help but admire her as she finished her benediction and walked bravely back to the table. With her long brown hair and quiet beauty, she was a sight to behold. I noticed others watching as well, and those who couldn’t watch as their wives were close at hand. She gave me a brief smile when she returned. I was strangely pleased when she noticed me—and surprised at the reaction in my chest.
We casually chatted and I noticed an intelligence that belied her years. I couldn’t help but be attracted. And yet, there was something more. Some irresistible force kept beckoning, calling to me, hinting at something I dared not consider. The ring on her finger kept reminding me she was engaged, and a voice in my head kept warning me to stay away. Yet as the night wore on I kept finding myself talking to her instead of talking about business. The voice inside kept warning me “Danger! She’s Engaged!” and I would break away. Then she would lean over and whisper some funny anecdote that would make me smile. And I would do the same. By the time the evening was over, I was more than smitten.
By the end of the evening I was filled with a feeling that was a stranger to me. I wasn’t sure what it was; I only knew I liked it. That night, sleep eluded me as I lay awake and imagined the possibilities. The next day, driving to , I kept thinking about Jennifer. All day long, while in the middle of meetings, in the middle of my presentation, while eating lunch, while simply waiting. What a woman!
It was as if some long-secret door to the hidden recesses of my heart had been opened. Descending into the dungeon of my soul, through dark corridors, opening the barred oak door to the most secret of places that we keep hidden from prying eyes, safe and secure, never to be betrayed or stolen. She entered like a shining light, illuminating all that was dark and hidden and making it glow brightly from the light of a thousand suns.
I was in love.