18 Years Ago Today

He saw me first, only I didn’t know it. He was on a date. I was dancing with my best friend from the Seychelles. Mostly foreigners hung out at this club. I was dancing my face off when I felt someone touch my butt. I turned around and slapped the drunk Greek guy standing behind me. That’s when I noticed him. He was tall and dark and handsome, wearing a leather jacket and his hair was pulled back in the “cool guy” ponytail that was the rage at the time. He smiled at me. The date gave me the hairy eyeball. I turned my back and returned to my dancing.

A few months later we were introduced by a mutual friend at a sandwich shop in Athens. We talked for a few minutes. He asked me for my number. I asked him why he wanted it. He said maybe we could meet for coffee sometime. I had a rule then to never date guys who were prettier than I am. I’d have to fight him for the mirror. So I said no.

Over the next year, I continued to run into him at various places around the city. And he always asked me out and I always refused. Then one night at a reggae club in Omonia, I showed up and he was already there with other friends. He kept waving me over so that he could tell me something. And he never said anything except a phone number; over and over and over every few minutes over the course of the next 3 or 4 hours. When I finally left that night, I’d memorized it.

Three weeks later, I talked to my friend, Vivi about it. And she asked me the number and then dialed it. I talked to him and I agreed to meet him at a garden cafeteria next door to my office. That coffee turned into souvlaki sandwiches on the beach in Glyfada and then the rest of our lives. We’ve been together ever since.

We were married not long after that. He turned me into a baby factory. After the birth of our 5th child we were reminiscing about how we met so long ago and he said, “You really didn’t know?”

Apparently not.

“It was me that pushed you in the behind with my foot that first night.”

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