Friday, October 17, 2008

Opening The Vault: Part Eleven

When you’re in the throes of new romance, simple moments tend to take on a larger-than-life quality. California native Mark (a.k.a Sparky) and I enjoyed many storybook-worthy moments during our time together in England’s capital.

As our week in London drew to a close, things between us intensified and I began to wonder if Sparky just might be my Mr. Right. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the spring of 1994.…

London, England
Commonwealth Hall

May 2nd, 1994

Dear Diary,

Sparky and I made our way to Paddington Station, the departing point for trains to Oxford. Oxford was lovely -- quaint, charming and, on this particular day, bustling with university students taking part in a parade.

Sunny Day in Oxford: Sparky bought me this hat just before taking this picture

Classical Charm: Oxford's majestic architecture, visible at every turn

At one point, as Sparky and I strolled hand in hand, we walked past a bridal boutique and mused aloud about the possibility of getting married. That conversational thread was picked up again when we stopped for ice cream in a cobblestone square. It felt like fate was smiling down on the possibility of Sparky and I ending up together for good someday….

* * *
The next morning, after a chaste night of cuddling and conversation, I woke up feeling a contentment I never had before. With his arms around me, he murmured--

“I love you.”

I knew I was falling for Sparky but I remained silent. It was too easy to say it because of his proximity. I needed to be sure.

* * *
Today, after strolling past Trafalgar Square toward the Houses of Parliament, we paused on a stoop to look at some pictures we developed at a one-hour place. I lingered for a long moment on one of the pix. There was a smile on my face I’d never seen before. I knew Sparky was the reason for that and I felt a surge of feeling toward him. The words came tumbling out.

“I love you,” I said. “I really love you.”

“I love you too,” Sparky said, and we kissed.

* * *

My final day in London with Sparky brought with it the promise of another encounter in England’s capital. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of frequent flying for both of us.

Months later, as a senior at Mount Holyoke College, I would be recognized for my romance-related travel with a dorm award -- Most Likely To Fly To California On A Whim.

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