Imet him on a random night at a street party. I was with a girlfriend. He complimented me as I walked past on one of the less crowded streets. I smiled and kept walking. I thought he looked fine, but I wasn’t out looking for anyone. However, he never took his eyes off me.
I was coming home from work when I saw him a second time. He was standing near the community mini-mart, phone in hand. If not for the groceries he was carrying, I would have thought he was stalking me. Not that I would have minded all that much; he looked just as good as he did on our first encounter at the street party. I almost turned around and walked in the other direction. It had been a long day, and my creased make-up and tired eyes weren’t doing much for me. The sun was relentless, causing me to squint at the precise moment he recognized me. Well, I thought he did.
I slowed down as I approached him. He smiled and said hello. I asked what he was doing in my neck of the wood. He said he lived just across the street and I wondered why I hadn’t noticed him before. His strong Barbadian accent suggested why: he had moved to Saint Lucia for work less than a year earlier. Just then he was on his way to get a haircut; he’d be leaving in a few days to visit family back home. We exchanged numbers, but I didn’t want to seem too interested. I ignored his messages.
He returned to Saint Lucia a few weeks later, and still I brushed off his invitations to meet up. I had just gotten out of a relationship and wasn’t interested in getting to know anyone just yet.
Then one Friday after work we met up for drinks. He turned out to be the most charming, engaging and attentive man I’d gone out with in a while. We met up several more times but always I reminded him the last thing I wanted was a relationship. Each time he’d smile and say he understood. But clearly we were growing closer. He left me in no doubt that he appreciated our times together, that he would wait until I was ready for something more serious, even if he waited in vain.
Needless to say, my resolve was short-lived. It’s incredible what gentle persistence and good manners can do. The greatest lesson that came out of our interactions was something I’ve always known, that the person you, me or anyone else is meant to be with will never leave room for uncertainty. They will let you know without a doubt that you’re the one, that you’re their first priority, that they are in it for the long haul. Whatever unsettling circumstance might arise, they won’t let you face it alone, and they will continuously remind you that the two of you are a team and always will be. I am venturing into this new experience with an open mind, with appreciation for the now, and with complete trust that things will unfold to our mutual satisfaction.