A couple of months into living in Amsterdam, I was unemployed, bored and poor. Like all bums with nothing better to do, I decided to go to the park with my BFF to drink cheap wine and enjoy a rare sighting of the sun. It was that day in Vondelpark that I met T.
He first approached me to ask to borrow my lighter. After some chit chat, he and his friend invited us out. Although I wasn't initially attracted to T. ( he was shorter than me, and I’m pretty pint sized), he was showing some interest. So, I observed him quietly throughout the night. He was outgoing, spontaneous and seemed to be pretty genuine.
The next morning I woke up to a text message - T. had found my wallet on the pavement. Just as we had parted ways that night, I had dropped my handbag outside the bar. He wanted to meet so he could return it.
I met T. that evening at his house and the whole time we were talking on his doorstep, I wasn’t really sure if I felt anything about him. But he was clearly not feeling the same way. I decided to give it some more time as I was feeling at ease with him. I found out that he had lived around the world and spoke four different languages fluently. Intriguing, I thought.
We went for a walk and found ourselves at a small and simple restaurant near his house. He turned to me and said, “I have a great idea. It’s a nice night and since summer is almost over, I thought we could get dinner and go to this great spot I know. Up for it?”
Keeping in mind I had just met this guy yesterday, I wasn’t sure what I was going to be in for. But going off of my intuition, I trusted T. and he was proving to be good-natured and sweet.
“We’re going to have to bring a few things from my house though.”
When we went back to his house with the food in takeaway containers, I thought we would be picking up some paper plates. What we ended up doing is balancing his dining table, two wooden chairs and a backpack containing two wine glasses, plates, knives and forks on the back of his bike.
The whole time I was walking alongside this boy and his bicycle piled with furniture I was half amused and half confused. I had no idea where I was being led, but the element of surprise was kind of endearing and romantic. At the same time, I was slightly embarrassed as curious eyes followed us.
After ten minutes of walking, T. grinned widely as he stopped me to reveal where we were we were going to be eating dinner that night. I looked around in disbelief. Surely he was kidding?
We were standing on a large bridge that was also a major arterial road, where two tram lines crossed over at ten minute intervals. Commuters were making their way home from work in peak rush hour car and bike traffic.
I gulped. I mean, a little romance was nice, but we had just met twenty four hours ago. I was completely overwhelmed. Was he planning on asking me to marry him?!?
As we ate dinner, I noticed the look in his eyes turn from one of friendliness to adoration as the sun set behind me. All the while I felt uncomfortable and exposed. Joggers literally slowed to a standstill as they approached us and faces pressed themselves against tram windows as people awoke from their post work stupor at the sight of us. A passing tourist used us as subjects for a half an hour photo shoot.
It was all a bit too much for me. Still reeling from the whole experience on the walk back to his house, we parted ways awkwardly exactly where the date had started - on his doorstep.
After that night I kept a friendly but safe distance from T., but he eventually moved away overseas a few month later for work.
I found out recently that T. got married not long after he moved. I wonder if he proposed to her on a bridge.