It was a warm August evening in the Midlands when I decided, after a long and stressful day, to go for a drink after work. Walking into the bar I was disappointed to see the place packed to the drawstrings with men and women in power suits either celebrating or commiserating a days work. I knew none of them and didn’t want to. I just wanted to drink and and forget. The wrong attitude but I didn’t do it often.
I ordered a pint and looked around for the chance of a seat at an empty table where I could gather my thoughts, relax and look forward to tomorrow being a new day with fresh adventures and the possibility of some excitement.
The only free seat in the entire venue was at a table where a young and handsome man sat. One of the few people in the place not in a suit but instead in jeans and blue and yellow short sleeve shirt.
“Is this seat taken?” I asked. He shook his head and with his foot pushed the seat out inviting me to sit.
We sat in silence for a short while, both of us secretly eyeing the other one up while supping from our pints.
Before long we struck up a conversation. His boat had docked that morning and now he had a few days leave so had decided to explore his surroundings. After hours of walking the city he’d found this bar, empty when he arrived, and took himself a drink and time to relax and to think about his day. His thoughts took him to his future and now, a few months shy of a birthday, he wondered if he wanted to remain in the navy at all. He told me of his turmoil, how he’d always wanted to serve his country and had done so with pride but now it was time for something new.
I jokingly suggested that as he was on shore leave and I was lonely that we leave, elope, disappear and carve out a new life for us both.
He smiled, finished his pint and took my hand. “Come on then!” he said.
“What, now? Really?!”
“Sure,” he replied, “lets do it!”
That was August 21st 2002 and now, as we begin our eighteenth year together, we’re still exploring our world and each other and loving every moment of it.
Oh and by the way not all of that story is true but I’ll leave it up to you to work out what’s what.