Note: This is part four of my little love story. If you have not been following along you can catch up here with parts one, two and three.
Before I begin my tale of love though, a little musical interlude for you. I couldn't resist since it is Friday and this is a post about love! Enjoy!
So, at this point in the story Antoine and I had just had our first date. It went well, despite a nervous Antoine and a sleepy Jessica. But as far as first dates go, it was pretty okay...I mean, where can you go wrong with fondue, right!? So, naturally planning for the second date began shortly thereafter. Antoine already had something in mind...baseball. In our email conversations the month before I mentioned that I grew up going to Indians games with my dad, but I'd never been to a Reds game. And early on Antoine had asked if there was I reason behind why I hadn't been to a game yet. I said no, I just had never had a real opportunity to go (i.e. no one had ever said "hey, let's go to a Red's game)...until our second date that is! Antoine took it upon himself to get us tickets, and pretty good ones too (not nose bleed seats).
One late May evening he picked me up at my apartment (late, but nowhere near 40 minutes late like the previous date) dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and a pair of Adidas a la Run DMC (it's a very typical look for him and a look I like very much). [Sidenote: Antoine's somewhat known for wearing cute/quirky t-shirts...we're both big Threadless fans! One of my friends has even coined the phrase, "that's definitely an Antoine shirt"!] Somehow this didn't seem like the same guy I had encountered on the first date, he was much more confident and much less nervous...plus this more casual attire suited him and my personal style much better! Again, he opened my passenger door, my heart fluttering, and we made our way downtown. It was a nice evening, not too hot, not too cold. I was excited, not about the game because even though I grew up watching the Indians I've never been what you could call "a sports fan". In fact, I generally wrinkle my nose to most sports. Watching them on the tv seems like the most ridiculous thing to me, however I've been known to go to a baseball game or Xavier basketball game and actually enjoy myself. So, it's fair to assume that the butterflies in my stomach had nothing to do with fly balls or outfielders (see, I told you I wasn't a sports fan).
The night was pretty relaxed. I can't remember who the Reds played that night, if they won/lost, or anything about the game...because really, we weren't paying too much attention to the game. We sat next to one another chatting and flirting...it was magical. Half way through the game Antoine left to go to the restroom and when he returned he had a Reds foam finger in tow. My heart leaped. I probably had the stupidest grin on my face at that moment when he presented it to me. You see, in all those Indians games I went to with my dad I was always mystified by that illusive foam finger. The concept of a foam finger makes no sense, really...but still, I've always wanted one. And Antoine knew this through all our email discussions. So, being the sweetheart that he is, he got me a foam finger! It is, to this day, displayed in our dining room on our bookcase and every time I see it I think fondly of that date.
The other thing about that night that sticks out in my mind were the fireworks (and I'm not just talking about the fireworks between Antoine and I, zing!). I can't remember why there was a special fireworks show at the game that night, but it was fantastic. Unfortunately, I was, yet again, starting to fall asleep during the end of the game. But as soon as the fireworks started I was giddy. There's something magical about fireworks...it's that element of being in awe...the colors, the sparkle, the designs. It was the perfect end to an amazing evening!
Now, there was nothing earth shattering about that second date. It was relaxed and perfect in its simplicity. All the nervousness was gone from the first date and we just clicked...and both of us could feel it! There wasn't a moment in our conversation that night that wasn't natural or giddy. I can't explain it...it just felt right. Looking back, Antoine and I will still note that as our favorite of all our first dates. He remembers little things like the Chucks I was wearing and my smile and I remember that foam finger and the way his down-to-earth and slightly silly nature just won me over. And that was that. From that date on, I was hooked! Dates to follow included movies at my place, home cooked meals, and a surprise Modest Mouse concert. In fact, there were a myriad of surprises (Antoine loves surprises)...flowers on my doorstep, special dinners, etc. I think I really lucked out...he was and is the greatest man I have ever known...caring, loving, affectionate, strong, committed, protective, intelligent and funny (and perpetually late for everything)! And I'm just crazy about him.