Fast forward to a similar evening in late June, I was returning from a game of racquetball with my roommate when I passed a young woman with a beautiful head of brown hair standing with her back to me in the doorway of a fellow Marine’s room. Being the complete goof that I am, I blurted out, “There’s someone I don’t know, HIGH FIVE!”. The woman turned around and gave me the high five, and I saw that she was as beautiful from the front as she was the back. She smiled at me and then, out of the blue, she mentioned that she and her friends were going to the enlisted club and maybe it would be cool if I came along, saying “the more, the merrier!” I went back to my room after mumbling that maybe I would be there later, trying to play it cool, but not really believing that this attractive woman actually wanted me there. I mean, seriously I thought she was making the offer just to be nice. Once in the room, my roommate looked at me and was amazed that I didn’t see the opportunity before me. He nearly threw me into the shower and told me to get my butt out to that E-club and see where things would lead. So I went, now beginning to feel as though maybe some mysterious force was guiding me to the club.
I really had no clue what I was doing, but I went anyway. I hadn’t yet recognized her as Mark’s ex-girlfriend Christi. The whole scene happened so fast, my brain hadn’t caught up. Once I was at the club, I tried to get close to her, but the guy she was “supposed to be with” had her pretty well corralled and was trying to get her to dance. As I have since learned, this is no easy task. I danced with her friend Dana once or twice (under duress, because I don’t really dance either) and then thankfully a group of us tired of the dance club atmosphere and decided to move the party elsewhere. Somehow we all wound up at a small bar in downtown Oceanside, CA which was called the Sandbar (I think). Things there were much quieter as it was smaller pub type place that was luckily, not very busy at that particular time. It was here in this slower atmosphere that I had time to think about it and realized just who she was. I didn’t wish to be embarrassed, so I never mentioned that I hadn’t immediately recognized her. I didn’t know that she still didn’t recognize me.
We all had a few beers and then some of the guys and I began singing these rather bawdy rugby songs that we all knew. Christi had begun to warm up to me by that point and I was able to make her laugh a little bit. Her laugh was warm and just a bit throaty and when she found something extra funny, it would end with just a tiny snort, for which she would immediately apologize (she had no need, everyone thought it was cute and I still find it adorable). She was refreshingly unaware of how cute she was in her black and white polka dot pants as she bustled around talking to people in our group. She had finally gotten more comfortable and watching her move around spreading her infectiously fun personality, I was completely smitten. Luckily for me, her date had begun to give up as she had stayed pretty cool with him. He was just not her type.
I was really hoping to find out that I was “her type”.
By the end of the night, when I walked her to Dana’s car, I was feeling brave enough to try for her number (and I’ve never been brave in that way) which she gave me on the promise that I not call until Sunday so that her dad wouldn’t know where she’d been on Friday.
I still have the card that she gave me with her number on it.
To be continued