Day 21 & 22 are literally and figuratively the climax of our story. I have really struggled today with continuing with what happened in the early days of our relationship. I kept wondering would more be superfluous. We could just leave our two heroines basking in the afterglow of their first night together. This image implies we lived happily ever after. However, as we found out in the decades to come falling in love is easy, staying in love is hard. Lots (as in thousands) of missteps were ahead of us.
We spent the day looking at each other with those goofy lovesick stares, but only occasionally squeezing each others hands in quick surreptitious movements. We had just done one of those illicit hand touches when in walks her grandparents. Like I said in the beginning, I had know Natalie's grandmother since grade school. She knew me, but was surprised to see me in the office with her granddaughter. She re-grouped quickly and invited me to dinner at her house after the office closed. Natalie chimed in that we were going to spend the night at their house too. This didn't seem to be a problem with them, but I felt awkward about it.
When we arrived for dinner I was disappointed to see Natalie's grandmother had made ham and beans with cornbread for dinner. Judge me if you will, but I hate ham and beans. I can only eat them with much ketchup. I put this under one of my first missteps. I ate the bowl put before me and didn't even ask for ketchup. I did force down the cornbread too, but it was slathered in butter. Natalie kept saying the meal was great and I would dutifully agree. After dinner I even washed the dishes while Natalie dried and put them away.
Years later I would have to convince Natalie I loathed ham and beans. She would say she had seen me eat a whole bowl of the stuff at her grandmother's. I told her, I was stupid in love and ate the bowl to be nice to her grandmother. Also, I would have starved that night if I hadn't eaten and I needed the food.
We shocked Natalie's grandparents by going to bed at nine. We were exhausted from the lack of sleep the night before. Yet we managed to rally enough energy to quietly express our new feelings, but I know we were asleep in each others arms by 10:30. New love is very exhausting.