Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage ~ Lao Tzu
I recently started asking people about their most awesome love moments, memories and stories. I’m always amazed at the honest and candid responses people give, often with a whimsical smile and a faraway look in their eyes. This is another one if those stories. A story of a grade school crush realized decades later.
We were sitting at a table, drinking delicious, cold, thick smoothies, chocked full of health and goodness, while watching the couple behind the counter move symbiotically, as they nimbly attended to the hungry crowd. The restaurant was one of a kind in that part of the country. Healthy, organic, farm to table ingredients. Not necessarily our usual scene, but a welcome change from the heaviness of tortillas, cheese and meat. We marveled at the long line-up, generally a sign of a great place, and also at how the couple moved in concert with each other, as though they had been doing that dance for their entire lives.
Another patron, one sat next to us, commented on our fixated gaze while we sipped our smoothies, grateful for some air conditioning and an escape from the midday heat. He said, “I’ve known these two for a number of years now, it is quite the love story this one.” Clearly, excited to talk to a new, and captive, audience, he launched into the story of his friends and how they came to be there, running their own restaurant down South.
He told us they knew each other as kids, going to the same elementary school, and playing together as they grew up. He told us, that when he first met them and asked for their story, the Husband told him that he always knew he was going to marry the Wife. Ever since the second grade. They lost touch over the years and the Wife was matched with an older, successful businessman (aka wealthy AF) and married off in an arranged marriage. She was miserable. She was not in love. This was not the life she wanted. But her family was happy, her brothers had jobs in the company and her parents were taken care of. Eventually, overwhelmed with despair, but determined, she ran away. She ran from her family, him and his money, the entire life she was arranged to live.
A few years later, the Husband found her. She had cut off all contact from her previous life for fear of being found. But he found her. He knew he was going to marry her since the second grade. They fell in love. They moved. They opened their restaurant. A love of cooking, of good, quality, healthy food, of dogs and the beach, they started a new life together. Their own family, made up of each other and their four-legged kids. A perfect arrangement.