The morning of our first date was a beautiful morning...
The first time I saw Ben, he was walking across the street toward me as I stood on my front porch. I saw him wearing shorts and a black button up shirt. He was wearing sunglasses and it was a perfect spring morning with the city park behind him. I breathed a sigh of relief and felt excitement well up inside me. It was wonderful to know that he didn't surprise me by having three legs or a tail or any other freakish physical malady that might have been hidden in photographs.
Upon greeting we hugged and even though I was immediately attracted to him, there was a strange awkwardness between us. Despite talking for endless hours on the phone and feeling that I knew him so well, this was still our first date. Our plan was to go to breakfast that morning. We decided to walk a few blocks to a cute, touristy place. I remember noticing the height difference as we walked and Ben must have noticed too, but reassuringly he told me "You really don't seem as short as I thought you would." Maybe it was because I was wearing 3 inch heels in an attempt to minimize the difference.
At breakfast Ben ordered French Toast, telling me that it sounded good to him even though he normally would never order French Toast. A funny irony since he would repeat the order the next several times that we went out to breakfast together. About 30 minutes into breakfast, my phone began ringing. I had arrangements with two of my friends to call me just in case I needed a mysterious emergency to escape this date. An escape was not necessary and I ignored the calls and later confessed to Ben what my plans had been.
By the end of breakfast any awkwardness between us seemed to have disappeared. We decided to go for a drive. I drove. We went up to Mt. Park, a nearby campground and took a short hike. I'm clumsy, and as we hiked I stumbled once and started to fall. Ben quickly reached out to steady me and I was a goner from that point on. I was shocked that he was so aware of my need for help and that he was so quick to support me. In my mind it was an indicator of how the future would be with this man. We sat down on a bench and talked and talked. Talking in person was just as easy as it had been on the phone.
Next, we decided to go to the Tehachapi Loop. As we drove, Ben took my hand. At that point I thought I would burst.
I wasn't about to let his hand go...
Continue to Part IV
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