It was a sunny November day. I was on active duty in the Navy, but I had managed to get stationed near my hometown so I spent most of my free time in my old neighborhood. On this day, I was showing one of my Navy mates from New Orleans around. We were riding in his car heading to my grandmother’s house. As we approached a red light, I looked over at the car pulling up beside us, and I saw her. She was stunning. She had on a hat with a big flower in the front like Blossom used to wear. I stared at her and I smiled. She looked over and made the fatal mistake of smiling back.
Now I am an impulsive sort, so I rolled down my window and shouted “Hey! Heeeeey!” She was understandably a bit startled. “I like your hat!” I yelled, motioning around my head in circles like a mad man. Realizing that she probably should not have acknowledged me, she turned back and sat in her car looking straight forward. Even with her window up, I knew she could hear me, so I kept vying for her attention. “Hey! Heeeeey!” And that’s when she made her second mistake. She glanced over again and she started laughing.
The light turned green, and she made a quick right turn. By this time I was hanging out of the window trying to keep an eye on her while shouting to my friend, “turn the car around, bro! Follow her. Follow her!” My mate obliged in dramatic fashion, spinning the car around in the middle of the street. We sped back and turned down the street she was on. By the time we started to approach, she had parked her car and was ushering her little nieces whom she was babysitting into the house. I was still hanging out of the car, shouting as we sped towards her. “Hey! Heeeeey!” I will never forget the look on her face. I don’t think I have seen that mix of fascination and terror in a human before or since that day. She tried to hurry and get everyone into the house, but it was too late. I had spotted her.
We pulled up, I got out of the car, and I introduced myself in my best I am not creepy and I am not stalking you voice. Somewhere along our chat, I asked her for her phone number. We chatted for a while longer and I asked for her phone number again. This time she gave in. When she handed me her number, I told her that if she had given me the wrong number I was coming back to this house to get the right one. I had passed creepy a long time ago. What possible difference could it make now?
We met in November. We were married in six months later in May. In 2013, we renewed our vows after being married for 20 years with two of our grown-up kids as witnesses. In 2014, our first grandchild was born. She is more beautiful now than the day she wore that hat and if I could turn back time, I would stalk her all over again.