Because someday you might ask how your father and I fell in love - Part II

Where our lives next picked up was a place of indecision and hope for me. I had been given an ultimatum by your father and I understood that this was a chance I either had to take or, allow to pass me by.

Milena, I won't ask this for a third time.
Will you take a chance on me, on us? Will you come?

That evening I sat on my bed with the phone cradled to my ear contemplating everything that stood between me and the possible consequences attached to his quietly worded question.

11 months had passed since we had first gone out to dinner and discovered that we got along famously. 8 months since my mother had clapped eyes on M, and sat me down that very same night she ever met him to say something fateful, and which I scoffed at even as it scared me to death:

Milena, you might not see it right now but that man, he is the one for you.

I wonder how sometimes life stares us in the face, places all the chips in order, opens all the doors one ever hopes to be able to walk through and when all those motions are oiled and running smoothly, what do we do? Do we play them? Do we walk through them? Do we follow the neatly laid out road? No. We doubt, we halt and we retreat. Why is that? Fate had handed me the one card I almost returned.

You have to understand that I'm not a gambler by nature and even so, for me, EVERYTHING is about the instinct - which in a way is a form of gambling isn't it? By the fourth month of knowing your father, I knew these things: He was solid, dependable, true, capable of loving me and I, capable of loving him back. The part where I got stuck really was the distance issue. He lived in Baku and I in DC. In those four months, he had traveled out three times to Washington for business and to see me. They were sweet but short those windows of getting to know each other. They were enough for me to glean what I have stated before. What they were not enough for, was to satisfy my craving for a sense of permanence; a sensation of being in the same place at the same time together with someone. I mean, look at it...

You see what I mean?

I couldn't call and say let's go out for breakfast tomorrow for example or, how about a movie tonight? If something had to be discussed that was serious or important we had to schedule phone time because my day was his night and my night was his day. My frustration with the distance grew exponentially to how much I was liking M. And so I made a decision. I let your father go. It was a perfect moment for that. Nothing had happened that could not be reversed. Our affections were at a point where one could say that they were engaged but not to a degree that would tear either one of us if we said goodbye to each other and that, is why I chose that particular moment to break it off.

I did it well. I hurt no feelings and I was upfront about my reasons. In everything I strive for honesty and this was one time when I excelled at it. What did your father say? He seemed disappointed. Upon hearing me tell him that we should stop, he looked like he wanted to tell me that we should have given it more time, but in the end, he gave in gracefully to my wishes. One final thing he did say to me that I remember almost word for word:

Should you ever find yourself in a position where you wish to try again, would you let me know?

Sure sure, I replied but I really held no hope that this would ever come to pass because M was a catch and surely he would move on quicker than I ever would. Or so I thought and for that moment in time, this chapter of our relationship felt like it had folded in on itself.

But it really hadn't. For the next half of the year we both dated other people. I knew this from information your disappointed mamani (M's mother) shared with me. And also because your father began to call me once again. Once or twice a month or so on average. What we accomplished through those conversations was keep ourselves in each other's lives. Except for that first awkward call, there was never anything difficult about our sharing information. That part flowed as smoothly as before. And because I no longer had any expectations but that of friendship between us, my frustration with the distance completely disappeared.

In retrospect, we took up again from where I had cut things off. I didn't realize then that this time, I was letting time, take its time.

Almost a year later from when we had originally met, you have me once again on the phone with your father, listening to him tell me in that way of his that there would be no other chance, no more phone calls if I said no to his invitation to fly somewhere to see him. The implications were clear that he wanted us to get together to see if there could be an us. I told him I'd give him an answer the next day, that I had to think some things through. We hung up.

The first person I spoke to after that was my mother because in truth my decision was made and I only needed that final push.

Mami, M has invited me to Venice. He wants us to meet there away from Baku and DC. Just the two of us to see if...


And there it was. The final push. To Venice I went.

I remember that right before I left my friend Jimmy, who'd once been married to a Venetian girl and lived in that city with her for a number of years, that he said to me: "Ay Milena! You'll come back in love. Venice is magical and you'll see what I mean once you get there."

He was right. Look. We took cheesy photos of ourselves the day after we arrived. That is quiet happiness you see on our faces. I can feel the hopefulness across the span of time that radiates from these yellowed photos.

And that hopefulness only grew during the next 8 days we spent together...


How we married is coming up next. I shall time it to coincide with Friday provided Hurricaine Ike doesn't blow us away because Friday, is our fifth wedding anniversary and, I think it only fitting that the end of this story should mark that day. Until then, be well all of you and thank you for all the kind words you always give me.



  1. Your child is so lucky to have this beautiful story.

  2. SO much better than a "we met, fell in love immediately and never spent a day apart since" kind of story! Oh, the suspense you create!

  3. What a romantic story! You two make a perfectly lovely couple :) I can't wait to read the next chapter...

  4. Excellent story, well written, with patience and feeling. Thanks for your sharing of it! You could write a novel.

  5. Milena, I love, love, LOVE this story! It gives me chills- THANK YOU so much for sharing it!


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