Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cafe Americano--and Falling in Love

I sat in my car, checking my lipgloss and the clock. It was a Thursday evening and I was about five minutes early. I refused to get out of my SUV. There was NO way I was going to be the first one to go into Starbucks and wait for a table. I was going to wait until he got there. If I even could recognize him from the Facebook pictures.

It was my first date with Kyle Bartlett and I had never met him in person. We had made eye contact across a Sunday school classroom and conversed over Facebook messages—but never personally visited. Why Facebook? Well, we became friends without even meeting—but he added me through a mutual friend and I thought he was handsome. Ok, I was taken with his good looks from the first time I laid eyes on him in church. That’s a LONG story, and I won’t go into that right now.

I rechecked my clock….7:00 pm…he should be getting here any minute.

I don’t know how many times I checked my lipgloss or the cars that entered the parking lot. I had no idea what Kyle drove, but I was watching for any car that might be his. So far, there was no Mr. Bartlett.

When I saw the blue Mazda pull in with a dark headed guy behind the wheel, I was paying attention. Was it him?? When I saw the Air Force sticker on the back windshield and the USAF license plates, I KNEW it was his car.

He got out of his car after a few minutes, locked the doors, and walked toward the Starbucks. He was wearing jeans and a blue and orange Ralph Lauren polo. He looked……awesome.

I suddenly got nervous. My hands started shaking. He was so HANDSOME and I hadn’t even met him yet! Gah.

I waited until he got inside, gave him about 3 minutes, took a deep breath, and prayed, “Lord, even if this date will lead no where, please let it go well. Let there be no awkward silences, and may we have a great conversation.”

There was no going back.

I walked in the swinging door and took in the smell of coffee. Normally it was such an enticing scent, but this time my brain was preoccupied. Should I look surprised to see him? Should I notice him and then look around? I knew I was awkward in these situations…..

He didn’t give me a chance. He met me inside the door with a side-hug. “Hi, Sarah. I’m Kyle! So nice to finally meet you.”

He bought our coffees while I’m pretty sure we chit-chatted about “how was your day?” 

He ordered the Venti Java Chip Frappuccino, his favorite drink even to this day. I ordered the Café Americano.

Yes, that is espresso.

No, I did not know that.

I had made up my mind to order that drink based on the recommendation of a friend and the fact it had so few calories. I was a recovering obsessive compulsive calorie counter……what can I say?

That was the STOUTEST coffee I have ever had in my I didn’t put sugar in it…or cream. That added calories. I remember that first sip.

I thought I was going to gag. But he paid for that coffee and by golly I was going to drink it.

That night was magical. I don’t know if it was the caffeine that took over my entire blood stream or the fact that he was so captivating, but our conversation went on and on.

Kyle remembers me gripping my paper cup between my hands like it was my only survival.

We talked about our families, our church, classes we both had taken in religion, our faith, our goals, our backgrounds, and our dreams. I think I even asked his favorite color in an awkward silence.

I did.


But it filled the void!

Three hours of visiting and each of us having only one bathroom break later……my father was trying to call my cell because he was worried. I hadn’t called to update him on the status of my date, and a father over an hour away was trying to keep his daughter safe.

I didn’t answer, and I hit “ignore.”

Yes, I did.

My poor dad.

It was only a few moments later when Kyle said he was going to have to leave because he had early work in the morning.

So did I.

I had to be at the gym for a workout at 5:30 AM.

I think my hands were still shaking.

Stupid espresso.

We walked outside together and he asked me for my phone number. See, I had not given it to him over the internet because—well, I wanted him to be man enough to ask for it in person.

I’m a tough first date.

But I had learned from past experiences that if forced, a guy will man up and pursue a girl if he likes her enough. I wasn’t going to make it easy on him.

I GLADLY gave him my phone number, and we hugged goodbye. Kyle likes to remember that I touched his stomach with my spare hand as we side-hugged. I think I still blush to remember that.

I blame the espresso.

Two years ago I drove back to my dorm with shaking hands and asked my parents on the phone if it was possible to be in love after one date. I also asked the Lord that if there was nothing to happen with Kyle Bartlett, that I not even get a second date. I remember praying. “Lord, I’m gonna fall fast. Please don’t let that happen if it is not your will.”

Before I had even gotten into bed that night he had texted me to assure me he had a fantastic evening.

My hands were still shaking, but this time I think it was the realization I was falling in love.

Two years ago today my husband and I shared our first date. We never would have guessed that two short years later we would be  nearly a year married and enduring contractions while praying for our little boy to arrive—even tonight.

My God can do anything in His timetable. He knew that while were sipping caffeinated drinks in a coffee shop He was really preparing us for a lifetime of loving each other. Isn’t He good? It’s the two-year anniversary of our first date, and we pray on this special day we start labor. Whouda thunk it??
I’ve never drunk Café Americano again.

But I cherish the memory of the first night I did. 


Becky Dietz said...

Cute, Sarah!! Praying in agreement....

Jessica Shae said...

aw, Love this so much! :) Praying your little cutie comes soon!!! :)

A Wife and her Carpenter said...

Very cool story...God is amazing isn't he?

Natural-Nesters said...

very fun to read! Thanks for sharing your story! Excited for yall and your soon to be new family member!