Danny R. Cole. Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved
By this time, we have had a few more interactions. I've been able to steal 15 to 20 minutes of conversation once or twice a week, which would lead to our final encounter before we started "dating." One day I went by her desk and asked: "would you like to have lunch with me"?. I knew a lovely spot that happened to be located right outside her work cubicle, in the garden area, of the service center. I always had planned to take her there because I thought it was a nice place to sit and talk, so when she said yes, it surprised me. But by this time, I was ready. I had gotten to know her a little bit better. I've learned a little more about her dreams, her family, and her goals. At this time, she was attending the University of Memphis, so I knew of her academic achievements; she is still achieving higher academic goals today. We finally got a chance to sit and talk; the conversation was beautiful. I don't remember what was said, however; we discussed her name as Amelia being ironic because it happened to be the same as my mother's, which sparked an even more interesting conversation. Side note: I was so caught up during one of our previous conversations that I actually forgot her name. I know, sad!
During this conversation, we talked and talked and talked. Not realizing we had been there so long, we both had overextended our lunch break. We chose to end by exchanging phone numbers. The conversation had us lost in each other's presence. Just looking into her beautiful eyes, checking out those pretty lips, focusing on what she was saying, paying attention to every word coming out of her mouth. Oh! Oh! My goodness, oh my goodness! What's wrong? Man, I'm late. I'm late! My break has been over! We better get moving. We have got to get back to work! We both blushed and smiled, loving every minute of this time. Realizing that we had enjoyed each other's company so much that time no longer mattered. As we headed back to her cubicle, we walked slowly, deliberately taking our time, enjoying the moment as we entered the building from the outside garden. I say my goodbyes, touch her hand, and say, "I'll see you later."
It wasn't until later in the relationship that she would tell me what happened when she returned to her desk. Her coworkers, who had been lobbying earlier on my behalf, begged her to give me a chance. "At least go to lunch with the brother"! "He comes by every day"! "We're tired of him"! Finally! Their strategy worked! It paid off. And they had a few things to say about it. I was told: when she got back to her desk, the conversation went something like this: "MANE"! You finally decided to give the brother a chance". Thank you! We're so glad you did! Then they collectively decided, as a group, to give her a standing ovation….
By now, we've had several phone conversations, for days at a time, which lasted deep into the night. But we have yet to go on an official date outside of work. I learned through our many late-night phone calls that she was reluctant to get into another relationship. Her high school sweetheart had broken her heart. They had planned to marry, and for some reason or another, those plans didn't materialize. Therefore, she didn't have time or space for another relationship. She was going to dedicate her life to God, her family, and her church. She was such an independent woman. She had her place, her car, and her job. At this point, she didn't need a man. These were my thoughts, not hers.
As our courtship got more intense, we eventually made time to have our first date outside work. It was a lunch date. Lunch breaks at work seem to have been working quite well so far. So for this date, we left work and headed to Southland Mall. We parked on the side where the Goldsmith's department store is located. We walked through the store, with me looking at her while she looked at everything in the store. Well, it seemed that way. Once again, we lost track of time. We were having such great conversations, taking in all Southland had to offer at that time and enjoying the window shopping. Honestly, we disregarded time altogether. As we came to the end of our lunch date, we proceeded to walk out the door. A mannequin was in the window, dressed in this lovely green blouse and a long multicolored skirt. As we passed it, she looked and said, "I like that skirt; that's cute." I said: "it sure is" we continued toward the car to head back to work.
The next day I went back to Goldsmith's. I had them take that outfit off of that mannequin and wrap it in a nice pretty box. As I entered the service center, the gift in hand, I ensured she was nowhere to be seen. I went over to her desk and placed the gift in the center of her computer, making sure that it would be the first thing she saw when she returned to her desk from lunch. Unbeknownst to me, her coworkers had other plans. I worked a later shift. So, when I came in to work, she was at lunch. I met her in the cafeteria and hinted that I had a gift for her at her desk during our conversation. My wife said to herself, "I sure hope this dude ain't bought me no wedding ring. We just met!" (Someone was pretty confident in who she was, huh?) I found out later from her that her coworkers had taken the gift and hidden it, so she wouldn't see it when she got back from lunch. Once she arrived at her cubicle, she searched for the gift but could not locate it. Her coworkers told her: "you know that guy you've been talking to? He brought you a gift".! When she saw the box and the size of it, she realized it was not a wedding ring, but she had no idea what it was, and neither did her coworkers. While they stood watching, she carefully removed the wrapping paper, opened the box, and to her surprise, it was that skirt…
*Please note: Love doesn't abuse. APMM does not condone any form of abuse (physically or emotionally). Please do not distort any of our teachings to justify abuse. If you are in an abusive situation, get out immediately and contact the authorities.