“We’re getting married!”
I hugged ‘N’ hard and we did a little dance around the backroom. It had been obvious from the start that ‘N’ was looking for a husband and her cowboy not only fit all her requirements, but had fallen for her hard.
“Will you be my Maid of Honor?” she asked with tears in her eyes.
I was flattered and we celebrated long and hard during Ladies Night at the bar. ‘N’ flashed her ring at whoever wanted to look and they clung to each other on the dance floor during every song.
“At least the sign that said ‘I’m looking for a husband’ has gone from over her head,” the wannabe said as he twirled me around the floor.
“You saw that when you first met her?” I asked incredulously.
“Every male in the room did,” he laughed.
“Do I have a sign over my head?” I asked intrigued.
“No. There’s no sign, but I don’t think anyone can figure you out.”
The upcoming wedding put romance in the air and I saw more and more of the wannabe. He’d call me at work just to say hello, or be waiting for me after work. Flowers were delivered for no reason at all or I was asked out for supper. On Thursday mornings I began to pack a bag with my dance clothes and a change for the next day. I justified this to myself as a place to stay when I shouldn’t be driving home after a night out dancing. On the day I was invited to meet his daughter and youngest son, I started to get nervous.
I was still emailing Dragosani every day and often stayed after work to chat with him. I didn’t want to give up what we had, but he was so far away. One night, I stayed and chatted with him until 10pm before calling it a night and heading home. As I left the side door of the mall, a figure stepped away from the building and followed me. I let out a gasp just before I recognized John’s (the wannabe) face in the streetlight.
“What are you doing here?” I asked him.
“The question is – what are you doing here at this hour of the night?”
Images of Dragosani flashed through my brain and I felt incredibly guilty. I passed it off as ‘work’ but I knew he didn’t believe me. I had mentioned to John that I had friends online and that I chatted with them on the store computer. He didn’t say anything more, but I could see he was thinking about it.
The weekend of the wedding was full of romance and love. As the vows were exchanged, I glanced up from my place beside the bride and caught John staring at me with a look I hadn’t seen before. After that weekend, he let it be known that we were dating and that he was ‘hands-off’ to the rest of the girls at the bar.
We still went dancing every Thursday night, even though ‘N’ and her husband were busy with their own life. John’s three children were still evaluating me and I often spent time with him at his house while his children were present. I always felt awkward about this, but I knew he came with luggage and I tried hard to be accepted. His ex-wife was another problem. She was often at the bar and would ask him to dance or stand caressing his face and kissing him. Even though they had been divorced for 3 years, he was total mush around her. I always knew when she was on the phone as he would turn his body away to speak with her, or suddenly have to be someplace. I couldn’t understand why they had divorced when they carried on like that all the time, but I tried to ignore it and her.
One day John took me for a stroll through the mall and dragged me into every jeweler. He started out telling me he was looking for a chain for himself, but his obvious interest in what I liked in rings told me something was up. I told him I didn’t like diamonds as a rule until we came across one that was so uniquely set that I gasped. When he asked me to marry him a few days later – I gasped again.