When I was 18 years old I started working at my local video store. It was a fun job and I actually enjoyed working. I got promoted quickly and spent a lot of my time at the store. I always made fun of other employees that hooked up with customers and vowed that I would never put myself in that type of situation. I made many friends during my time there and as my luck would have it, that’s where I met my husband Erik.
Erik was a regular customer. He was a manager for a cell phone store in the area and came into my store on most evenings, after he finished work, looking for the newest movies or games. I always tried to be nice to the regulars because they were the ones that spent the most money. I ended up giving Erik more free movies than anyone else. He was just a nice guy. I liked when he came in to the store, because we had a lot in common. We liked the same movies and played the same games. Before I knew it I had developed a little crush. How could I not? He was a few years older than me. He was very handsome, kind, and always wore a nice dress shirt and tie (I am a sucker for the suave type.)
It was around August when I got the guts to make a move. He came into the store, looking dapper as ever, when I “had to put away some games.” Of course I had a million other things to do, but that’s where he was, so that’s where I wanted to be. I casually said, “Hey, how are you today?” while pretending to be distracted with the games. He replied, “Doing good. And you?” I smiled and thought, better now that you’re here, but didn’t have the guts to say it. “Could be better,” was what I came up with. He showed me his new phone as I was still putting some games away in their places. When I was done I asked to see his phone. I played around with it and after a few minutes said, “I see you don’t have my number in here yet,” and typed in my number. I handed it back to him and said, “Make sure you save it and call me sometime.” He smiled.
I walked to the front and tried my hardest NOT to look back. I didn’t want to look desperate, but I wanted to see his reaction. When I got to the front to help customers, he was almost ready to go, with a few games in hand. When he got to the counter, I asked him if he had any coupons. He replied, “No, but now I have your number.” I smiled.
“Sorry, that’s not good enough,” I replied. I checked out his items and when he left he said, “I’ll call you later.” I must have been red. I didn’t want any of my co-workers to know. They had known that I had a crush, but that was about it. When he left, I was jeered at. I knew it was coming. It was ok because I knew he would call me. He was mine!
He called the next day and we spent hours on the phone. We talked about random things and got to know each other. I was falling in love!
It was awkward when he came into the store after that. I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt so giddy around him. I wanted to grab him and kiss him. It was so hard for me not to lose my cool, but I stayed composed. After weeks of talking on the phone after work, he offered to pick me up. I’m still not sure if it was considered a date, but whatever it was, it made me fall in love even more. I trusted him and we went driving for hours. Even though I got home at 1:00, or sometimes 2:00 in the morning, I wasn’t tired, and would frequently talk to him on the phone afterwards.
I realized that he was the one I wanted to be with when he came into the store one day when it was really busy. He brought his brother with him. I wished I could talk to him, but my job came first. After the rush of customers left, I saw him looking for movies. I resisted the urge to talk to him and waited for him to come to me. He eventually did and said, “Can you suggest anything for my brother and me?” I showed them some movies and checked them out. He offered to buy me lunch since it was so busy. He even offered to pay. I accepted, and tried to give him some money.
He dropped his brother home and he came back to have lunch with me. Oh, how I wished I had more than an hour to spare! I could have stayed with him all evening if I could. It was such a small gesture, to buy my food, but I knew that we had to make it official. There was just something about him that was mesmerizing. I knew from our conversations that he felt the same way about me. I decided to talk to him about it.
The first “I love you”
On the phone that night I told him how I felt. I told him I wanted to take our relationship to the next level. I told him I didn’t just want to be friends. He agreed. That day was when we were officially an item. I did feel in love, but didn’t want to be the first one to say it.
We spent a lot of time together. We were madly in love and we both knew it. It was a late night conversation when I first heard it.
“Are you tired?” I asked.
“Ya, are you?” he replied. I didn’t want to hang up, but I knew I had to. We both had things to do in the morning; he had work and I had school.
“Yes, I am tired,” I said, “I’m going to bed,”
“OK baby, I love you,” he said. I froze.
“Erik, are you awake or are you sleeping?” I asked.
“A bit of both,” he responded. I was wide awake and smiling my face off!