He arrived, and asked if he could spend some time with my parents - ALONE.
Now, let me tell you what my plan all along had been regarding finding a life mate.
I did not have the best relationship with my parents. I don't need to go into it all here (out of honour to them and to me!) But suffice it to say, I wanted to keep my personal life entirely private from them. (I know this hurt their feelings, but that's just the way it was). My plan had been to be single forever. But IF Mr. Right were to come along, I had it all worked out. I would develop this friendship entirely apart from their input. I would secretly become engaged and then 'go in the back door' so to speak and get their approval after it was all said and done. Nice, tidy, no involvement on their part and entirely in MY control. Well, as you can see, none of this story was in my control - a lesson I guess we all need to learn at some point or another. I certainly had NEVER entertained the idea of 'courting' under our own roof, with my parents looking on as chaperones and advisers.
One evening I did have a conversation with my Mom and she said, 'Do you think he likes you? More than a friend?' 'No, of course not Mom. He's pretty much said so in not so many words.' 'Because if he does, I hope you don't lead him on. I would hate to see him get hurt - he's a really nice guy.' I assured her there would be nothing of the sort. I wasn't very fond of admitting my personal, private longing for Sam already. I tried to keep mum to her about it. But I think she knew all along.
Well, that evening, Sam sat down with my parents. Unbeknownst to them, I sat the entire 2 hours listening as best I could at the door. I couldn't make out everything that was said - basically Sam was asking what their feelings were about pursuing a deeper friendship with me. They gave the okay (I know they were thinking, 'good luck buddy.'). My heart was racing the whole time. After this LONG conversation, and my sweaty palms, knees tucked under my chin, sitting on the cold floor as quiet as a mouse, I heard the conclusion and raced upstairs to pretend I was doing something of consequence.
Sam called me downstairs - my parents acted busy with something else. We went in the kitchen and he gave me a bear hug.