He invited me back to his place (the horror! and so forward!). I felt comfortable enough to know he wouldn't be untoward with me and I am really nosy about other people's living spaces so of course I wanted to see his condo. And to 23 year old me, a guy who owned his own condo in the city was a novelty. It was in that condo, at the base of the stairs, that he kissed me. My knees may have buckled. My head surely swam. And then I told him I had to go.
He drove me home, and even at that point I wasn't sure if he would call again. Remember, I was still feeling pretty bad about myself after the recent break-up and didn't think I would meet someone who actually liked me. But he did call. Yes, it took him three days, but he would later admit that he didn't want to seem too eager. We went out later that following week, and then again, and again, and again. I found myself driving by his condo on random days, just to see if the lights were on. Definitely stalker-ish, but somehow reassuring to me. Maybe he was thinking of me while he worked from his couch. I was thinking about him every moment of the day.
I quickly made myself at home in his condo...we spent the majority of our time hanging out there. It was on that rooftop, six weeks after we met, that he told me he loved me. It was a warm June evening, and we had been looking at the view of the Sears tower, a few miles in the distance. So many stars were out and the moment was perfect. From single to in love in six weeks...our relationship started off on the fast track from the moment we met. Some of you may be asking, hey! what about the ex that you had plans with? Yes, I did meet up with him, even though Tim and I were seeing each other, because we hadn't yet discussed exclusivity and I needed to make sure. I knew after meeting up with the ex that I didn't want to be with anyone besides Tim. It was just that easy.
That summer passed by quickly, and by August Tim had asked me to move in with him when the lease on my apartment ended that October. I knew I wanted to, but I didn't think my parents would approve. I was turning 24, still very young, and I had a feeling my parents wouldn't feel nearly as comfortable with the idea of their first born moving in with a divorced man ten years her senior after only six months of dating. I broached the idea with my mother first since she seems to like me a lot, and she could butter up my father for me. I like to delegate my dirty work. I didn't necessarily need their approval, but I did need and want their support. Lucky for me, I am very convincing and they agreed to support me in whatever I chose.
The plans were made, and on October 15th, I moved in to Tim's condo...with the verbal understanding that our relationship was headed toward marriage. I would never have guessed that I would have moved in with a boyfriend with no ring on my finger, no major commitment to the future. But never, at any point, did I feel that we weren't headed in that direction. I knew Tim was completely committed to me, to us, to our future together. We talked about marriage all the time, so much so that he asked my father for my hand in marriage over Thanksgiving that year. And my father announced it to the entire table at dinner that evening. When I was in the room...we'll blame excitement on him letting the cat out of the bag. Ring Watch 2005 started at that very moment and every day after was riddled with WHEN, DAMNIT? Patience is not one of my virtues.
...To be continued