Orion and I met in January of 2005, and we'd slowly been becoming friends. There was a period of about a month before we went on our "first official" date where Orion seemed to be everywhere I was. I went from not ever seeing him at school, to seeing him everywhere I went.
There were days when he'd just happen to be walking outside my apartment and we'd sit and chat for a while before I headed inside. He would show up on my route to my classes and walk with me and we'd talk. Then there were all the Wednesday nights after church service that a big group of us would go out to eat. He'd always end up sitting near me or next to me.
Our friends were also good at pushing this along. They would invite Orion to do things with us, and suddenly there would be 3 other couples and Orion and myself. Below is a picture of such an event, a Twins game that Orion showed up to and I "just happened" to be there too.
Looking back now, I am so thankful for all those events that enabled Orion and I to get to know each other. It made our first date less awkward and fun. By the time Orion asked me out on a date, I was comfortable with him and he was already my friend.
Orion asked me to go out on a date the Saturday of a friend's wedding. I'd been planning on attending this wedding for months, and I knew that I didn't want to miss it. I was going to go with my best friend Sara and her Husband. I'd thought about asking Orion to be my plus one to the wedding since I didn't already have a date, but I thought that would be an awkward first date at a wedding.
So instead I asked Orion if we could go out the Friday before the wedding as our first date, and then asked him if he would attend the wedding with me the next evening. Luckily he agreed. Our first date, 5/12/05. Just thinking about that day, brings me back. I remember spending part of the morning with my friend Sara at her apartment, talking about what I was going to wear and where we were going. Truthfully, I was emotional that day before heading into our date that night.
I'd known Orion was a great guy, that I liked him. And I hoped it would go well, I couldn't help thinking that this was going to be my last first date ever. I never was the type of girl who wanted to date a lot of guys. The truth was, that a lot of my guy friendships and relationships never got past friends because I knew there wasn't a future there, and I didn't want to waste my time, or loose a friendship with someone I knew I couldn't see myself with.
But, Orion he was different. I knew I could see a future with him. And, that scared me a little bit, but it also made me very excited.
I could tell you every little detail leading up to that night when he knocked on my door. I can tell you exactly what I wore that evening right down to the shoes. What Orion wore, and I can also tell you how for the longest time I didn't want to part with that outfit because it was what I wore the day I went on a date with the guy I would eventually marry someday.
That evening Orion took me to dinner downtown Minneapolis at a restaurant called McCormick & Schmicks. I can remember exactly what booth we sat in and what we ordered. I remember the chit chat and small talk we made about classes and school, our families. You know all that typical stuff you talk about on a first date.
At one point in the evening Orion got up to use the restroom, and while he was gone I remember sitting there thinking how much fun I was having, how great of a guy he is, and how I didn't want the evening to end. When dinner was over and Orion paid for the check we headed outside, it was raining that night in Minneapolis. His car was in the parking garage across the street, we decided to make a mad dash across the street in the rain.
Without hesitation he grabbed my hand and we ran across the street to the parking garage. Seamlessly and effortlessly, we were comfortable with each other. We drove around the city for a few minutes admiring downtown, and truthfully I think he was stalling because I knew he didn't want the night to end yet either.
I did something then, I'm sure no one ever does on a first date with someone. I suggested we go over to my friend Sara's house and hang out with her and her husband. Orion was up for it. So I called my friend Sara, who I'm sure was like why are you calling me on your date. But anyway, she invited us over to hang out. So off we went to Loring Park to see friends and spend the rest of our evening with them. We pulled up to their building which happened to be a beautiful high rise apartment, they lived on the 12th floor.
They greeted us at the door, Sara and I spent a good amount of time giggling and talking date night details in her kitchen before heading to the living room to settle in to watch a movie. Movie of choice that night was Ladder 49, I remember cuddling and holding hands with Orion underneath the blankets while watching the movie.
About half way through the movie, their fire alarm went off in their building. How appropriate is what I was thinking. We made our way down 12 flights of stairs before sitting outside with the rest of the building residents, waiting for fire trucks and fireman to make their way. Turns out it was a false alarm, and everything was ok. Orion and I decided to head back to my apartment and say good-bye to our friends.
Orion drove me back to my apartment. We sat inside and talked for a little while longer, making plans for the next evening when we'd attend a friends' wedding together. Before he left, we had a conversation where Orion told me that he'd really like to start dating me, he told me how great a time he'd had that night. I agreed, I wanted to start dating him to. It was official, from that evening on we were together. A couple. The next night we attended a friend's wedding together, and took this which would be our very first picture together:
After seven years together he still makes me laugh. He's still the one I want to be with, the one I love. Falling in love with Orion was one of the best experiences of my life I can't wait to share it with you.