our love story/ part 3

Our love story is a keeper. It begins before we met and I pray it'll continue for all of time. 
Someday, I want to be able to look back at the details that have been overlooked when life happens. Because this...is real.

You can read part 1 here and part 2 here


I moved back home and left my PR degree hanging in the shadows as I jumped feet first into the world of elementary education. 
I was taking a one year, intense program to receive my teaching credentials. 
The program stated we could not have a job during the year. 
It wouldn’t be possible with the time constraints, high demands and schedule.

So, no job, back in my childhood bedroom I began licking my wounds.

Fast forward 11 months, still in the education program, still no job, time spent with my nose in a book or classroom, and holding onto one crush that was leading me nowhere.

Every day my crush would pass me in the hall and say 
“Hey how’s it going?” 
and I would say
Then I’d kick myself for the rest of the day thinking about how I’d stretch out my response in passing. How would I look casual but cool?

Months into this agonizing routine, we were in a meeting together and 
he said, 
“Sure, Ashley can tell you more about it later.” 
I remember thinking: Who is this Ashley girl? 
And then it hit me. 
Ashley was me. 
I’d spent way too much time wishing and hoping about this guy, and he didn’t even know my first name.

That was the beginning of the end. 
The moment when time stood still and my dreams came true. 
I just didn’t know it yet. 
I had no idea my great love was about to sweep me off my feet.


It was Saint Patrick’s Day in Louisville. 
A city with a strong Irish heritage and lots of folks jumping on the Irish heritage bandwagon for a weekend of fun, the parade the pubs and restaurants are filled to the brim with the joviality.

I, however, was in no mood for joviality. 
Instead, I headed over to a friend’s house to help her fill out her wedding invitations. I
 was secretly feeling sorry for myself and happy for her at the same time. I was a mess of emotions. When the bride to be and her family announced their dinner plans, they didn’t include me or another good friend, A. 
So, we headed out to dinner on our own.
We went to a restaurant that was quirky with a happy mixture of odd d├ęcor and yummy comfort food. 
Just what the doctor ordered for this down in the dumps twenty something.  
We found a booth that looked out into the parking lot and chatted about life. Somewhere along the meal A. began asking me why I didn’t go out anymore.

I’m 25, with no job, living at home with mom and dad, and broke I thought.

“Umm. I don’t know.” I said.

“Let’s go out tonight,” she began. 
We looked back out the window to see a group of beautiful people dressed in head to toe green heading to the bars.

 In all fairness they did look like they were having fun.

“I don’t know, A., I’m not exactly dressed for going out,” I said gesturing to my flowy navy baby doll top, light blue cardigan, jeans and a “Sarah” necklace. These were not exactly going out clothes, and going out in clothes that don’t make you “feel” super cute can turn you into a Debbie downer. 

A. continued to press me on it, and I surprised myself when I caved.
“Fine, it’s Saturday night, let’s go over to Bardstown Road and get a drink.” I said.
I think she was as surprised that I’d agreed as I was. We paid our bills and headed towards the bar scene before I could change my mind. She chose Flannigan’s, an Irish bar in a busy bar district.

I showed my id and headed straight towards the bar.
“Let’s get in quick, have a drink, and then head home," I said.
The second I crossed the threshold I realized this was going to be no easy task.

It was packed in there.

Shoulder to shoulder we slowly shoved our way through the crowd.
The smell of too much cologne, stale beer and the loud sounds of music and talking were all around us. 
It was sensory overload.
I walked up to the bar and saw a guy with a jaunty cap on his head, broad shoulders in an Irish pub shirt, and jeans. 

He appeared to be nursing a beer and he appeared to be in his own world.
He was impervious to the hookups going on all around him, the glaring lights and the noise.

 He stood out in the mess of it all.
Who does that?

 I stood next to him trying my best to not look as foolish as I felt.

Oh my gosh, Sarah, get a grip.

Just because you’ve only been on one failed date this year doesn’t mean you are a pariah. Besides, we’re just going to grab a drink or two and then I’ll head home.

He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. 
I looked over and smiled with a slight head nod and the best sparkly eyes I could muster.

When he saw me, he turned his face fully towards me and I caught a glimpse of his dimple, his hazel eyes and a smirk on his face.


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