NEW CASTLE —
Many, many moons ago I was a single man.
I worked for a printer, putting in long hours and making a fair wage. I had come through several bad relationships, including a divorce and the death of a child. My desire to commit to a new relationship had soured and I was content to spend time with my friends and make new memories with them.
I dived into my musical projects and rented a secluded place on a hill to call home. I had all I needed and all I wanted, so I thought.
On a particularly ordinary day I was at work. I was off in the corner near the back, working on some menial task, but all my attention was immediately pulled to the front as a girl walked through the automatic glass doors. I saw her from the moment those doors parted.
The room seemed to brighten just a bit and the building even felt a little warmer as she entered. My gaze followed her as she approached the counter and began conversing to the girl, Tammy, who was working there with me.
I made my way over to the front counter as if drawn there by some great magnetic force or cosmic attraction. I had to know more.
As I got closer I could see that this was truly an angelic being. She had obviously been placed on this planet by the omnipotent and direct hand of God. She was as lovely as any flower and she shone with glee.
Much to my surprise and delight she was inquiring about transferring to our location, and she was friends with my co-worker Tammy. Could this be some kind of joke? I'm not that lucky to have this magnificent creature stumble into my world so easily. I must have been due some good karma from my past relationships.
She chatted with Tammy for a while and departed and I felt the building quickly grow dim once again, but I was left with a twinkle in my eye and a flame in my heart. Who was this girl? As quickly as I could manage, I asked Tammy who she was. Tammy told me her name was Denise and I asked if she had a boyfriend.
"Yes," she said.
Oh. The arrow straight through the heart. My hopes and dreams, smashed to the floor. Left lying there in a terrible heap. I let myself get wrapped up again only to be disappointed once again.
Oh well, I thought, recalling my feelings of contentment in my present sans-spouse life.
Several weeks passed. I'm was at work running a machine and Mark, the manager, came to me and said, "We have a new girl starting.”
"OK,” I replied, not really realizing what he had just said.
"Well, she's not new, she's transferring in and will start on Monday," Mark said.
What? My heart skipped a beat or possibly two. Could this be? I don't believe it! Was this amazing fate about to befall me? I maintained my composure on the outside. Meanwhile, my insides were doing somersaults and jumping for joy.
I ran to Tammy and asked if her friend was coming to work her.
She said, "Yep."
You can imagine my joy. I was going to be able to see this lovely girl every day. But, it was only Thursday. I had the whole weekend to wait and I was off on Monday and Tuesday. That was almost an entire week. I could hardly wait.
The weekend crept along much slower than usual. Matter of fact, it felt like a small eternity, but finally Wednesday arrived. As I entered work, there she was working alongside some of my friends.
That first day was uneventful as I went along with my daily tasks and only had the opportunity to say hello to the “new girl.” Over the course of the next couple of weeks we gradually engaged in shop talk and eventually moved on to talk about each other’s personal lives. She revealed to me that she was looking for an apartment because she and her boyfriend were breaking up. Could things be falling into place for this to actually happen?
Several friends had mentioned that she was asking all sorts of questions about me. Our account manager even pulled me aside and said, “You know she left her boyfriend to be with you? You better be ready for this.”
I was terrified! I was happy! I was overwhelmed with happiness at the possibility of starting a relationship with her, but I also was frightened that it would end much like everything else I had ever experienced.
Putting my fears aside, I helped her find an apartment. We quickly became like co-joined twins. If you saw one of us the other was sure to only be a few steps away. Over the course of the next several months we grew more and more connected to each other. We spent every waking hour together and worked side by side day in and day out. I even got to spend Christmas with her and her family near Philadelphia.
It has been over 10 years since that chance encounter forever altered my life. I am proud to say that Denise and I were married in 2004 and we are quickly approaching our eighth wedding anniversary and in spite of my initial fear I would do it all again, and again and again!
NEW CASTLE —
Many, many moons ago I was a single man.
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