Five years. Fifteen years.

Disclaimer: This is about as mushy as it will ever get on the blog :)

She was 21 years old, about to move across the UK for her first grown-up job since graduating with a degree in Pharmacology. She bought some business suits and all kind of shoes and finally took her driving test. Just a few months later she went on a training course and one of the marketing guys hit on her - a first date involving a private plane and some fancy dinner, a weekend in Prague, not really her kind of thing but she found herself swept along.

He was 25 years old and a junior accountant at the same company dating another accountant. They'd hang out and even sit at lunch together once in a while. Her boyfriend moved away promising the whole long distance thing would work out.  He split up with his girlfriend.

They starting spending more time together - he'd call her work extension wondering if she had any plans for the evening. He'd buy groceries and she'd go over and cook for him. Despite their new grown-up jobs they'd go out in the middle of week to random bars and clubs and dance together until the early hours of the morning.One time they drove through the night to watch the UK equivalent of the Kentucky Derby, it rained all day, he held her umbrella and although one side of his suit was soaking wet he sheltered her from the rain. They could talk about everything and anything.

He moved to the US for work and they kept in touch. Emails. Phone calls. Sometimes he'd call her to talk to him on his way home from work. She'd wake at 2am when the phone shrilled and assure him it was fine and that she was still awake. He'd come back to the UK to visit. Sometimes he'd bring a new girlfriend. She'd ask him if it was serious. He'd say he just didn't like flying alone.  Sometimes the girlfriends would suggest she come to visit next summer and she'd raise an eyebrow and look at him as if to say "But they won't be around next summer will they....?"

His parents would ask why he couldn't find a nice girlfriend like her? Her parents would talk about how much they liked him and how maybe he might be a nicer guy that the long-distance boyfriend. Her grandfather had served in the merchant navy and didn't sugar coat things. He hypothesized that if she was on a sinking ship and there was just one life jacket that he'd give it to her.

One summer they found themselves both single. No long distance boyfriends. No American girlfriends. He suggested she come visit him in the US. She figured "Why not?" and booked a flight to Boston. It was just like old times, hanging out, laughing, drinking in Irish bars. He told her to pack a small bag as they'd be going to New York for the weekend. She packed a carry-on just for her shoes. He called in some favors from a friend who happened to be an event planner. The NYC weekend involved dinners in cozy dark romantic restaurants and front row seats at Les Miserables plus the biggest suite ever overlooking Times Square. She was impressed her old friend was making such an effort to show her NYC.

One night as they walked home from dinner, he reached out to hold her hand. She was a little surprised but mostly at how natural it felt. A couple of days later he asked if he could kiss her. She said yes.

This story started in 1997. 15 years later they're celebrating their 5 year wedding anniversary:

She can't imagine life without him. He says she'd be a better wife if she could just work on matching up his socks when she does the laundry.

1 comment

  1. What a wonderful story, Leah! Happy anniversary to you and Mr. H!