How I met Sam - Our first 'dates' 2

I wasn't going to be so rude as to say no I won't, but I did have an internal battle going on.

I had told myself I would not date - that I was determined to not let myself fall down the slippery slope of emotional entanglements. This sounds quite silly and reveals something about me which I'm not too shy to share publicly! That at the core I was scared of being hurt - of loving without being loved in return. I recognized the weakness of my own heart and sought to protect myself by remaining aloof from male companionship. However, against my better judgement, I often failed. I couldn't help but to be openly curious. (Curiosity and I have a love/hate relationship!) But it was troubling nonetheless to break one of my personal rules about going on dates. I told myself this was merely being a good hostess and that was the extent of it.

Anyway, we got to the mall, and we began to walk around. Contrary to what my Mom had said, I didn't know of a lot of places to go, and was not that familiar with eating establishments. We wandered a bit and finally found this Korean BBQ place, which happened to be extremely crowded at the time. That was fine with me - I didn't want any kind of 'intimate' setting. Let it be crowded, if only for my own comfort - I thought to myself.

It was so crowded that there were no tables vacant. But no problem - just cram onto a table that's already occupied - that's the way they do it there! So, we find two open seats and plop down and order the food. Then there's an awkward moment when Sam and I look across the table at each other - with noise, hustle and bustle and chaos in the background - and realize that we are really in each other's company ALONE. (Later he told me he suddenly felt quite awkward too). But we made the best of it, chatting about nothing of consequence.

After supper we walked to the bus stop and after waiting 5 minutes realized it might be a lot longer since buses don't run so frequently in the evenings. I offered that we could walk home - it was a little more than a mile away (I'm estimating). He said that would be fine.

And the setting was beautiful - fall Hong Kong weather - not too cool or too warm - a glistening river to one side that we walked along, then over a bridge, then through some high-rise neighborhoods and along a pathway until we reached home.

We often joke now (since I am known to talk too much) that this is the one time in our whole history that I allowed Sam to talk. In fact, he did talk. He told me basically the story of his life - sort of the highlights - and I didn't interrupt and just listened. I should probably try it again sometime. (Listening, that is).

For one who didn't plan to date, things were getting interesting! Click here for next installment...


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