Does it matter if the hours happen over a period of time or do they have to line up consecutively to count? Because, I am telling you right now, I am going by that first assumption.
To say “I love you” on our second date sounds pretty wild and careless, but if you knew me, you would understand. If you saw how much time we spent talking to one another on the phone between that first date and the second date, you would also get it. The way I figure it, the hours we racked up between those two Sundays was more than enough to establish how we felt about each other.
Our first date lasted well into the wee hours of the morning, as we drifted from Movie Theater to restaurant, to a forsaken park where we gazed out at a moonlit lake and talked about anything and everything. Okay, there was some kissing there at the end, but truly, we did talk most of the night!
The next day he sent me flowers and so of course I called to thank him. And we talked for over an hour.
The next night he had a meeting but on Wednesday night he called and we talked until midnight. We shared childhood memories and answered questions about pets and grandparents and family vacations.
The next night we got brave and shared our coming to Faith testimonies, our longings and our fears.
Friday night I called him and we ended up watching a movie together. I know, I know, that sounds just really dumb because he was watching it at his house and I at mine and I can’t remember now why we couldn’t get together but it was crazy and funny and we laughed and whispered the lines we had memorized from having seen this movie before. Those hours count though right?
Saturday was busy for both of us but just before I fell asleep, the phone rang and my heart pounded in my chest even as I snatched the receiver up and gave a breathy hello. I drifted off to sleep as he told me about his day, his soothing baritone reverberating against my ear.
And then it was Sunday and we were together again. We had a picnic lunch and flew kites and watched a sailboat on the horizon and dreamed together about trips we might take.
We drove to a café for coffee and a song came on the radio that we instantly knew was going to be ‘our song’ and he pulled over on the side of the road to kiss me. My heart was soaring and I knew it was too soon but the words just tumbled out. “I love you” I said and then my heart froze in my chest. But, despite the stunned look on his face and the moment of excruciating silence, he gulped and said “I love you too.” And then my heart was singing again.
I know it seemed fast but when I started adding up all the time we spent sharing our hearts it seemed like a lot. If we had spent only one day together, one 24 hour uninterrupted period, I think I would have been shocked to find us saying those sacred words but spread out over a week, it really truly felt right and real to find ourselves feeling this way.
And 24 years later, it still is.
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