Our First Date
I remember it like it was yesterday... April 17th, 2013. It was a Wednesday.
"Hey," the girl on the other end of the phone said to me. "I heard the weather might be bad tonight. If you want to reschedule, that's cool."
I was leaning against my desk, surveying the floor-to-ceiling windows that lined the walls of the office. The rain was coming down in sheets.
"Yeah, I heard that too." I said. "Actually it looks okay here. A light drizzle but nothing crazy. I'm still up for it as long as you are."
"Are you sure?" she asked. As if on cue, a flash of lighting streaked across the sky. For a brief instant, the ceiling girders became a forest of metal and shadow.
"No worries, I'm just a few miles outside of the city."
"Sounds good, 7:30 at Molly's Cupcakes, right?" she asked.
"Yep, that's it." I replied. "OK, Rachel, I'll see you in about an hour."
I hung up and made my way out to the car. The weather was awful, but I really wanted to meet this Rachel girl in person. We had talked on the phone for the first time about a week ago, and I couldn't get over how interesting and refreshing she sounded. She had a witty and insightful sense of humor that really got me hooked. I could hear the smile in her voice whenever she spoke.
Molly's Cupcakes was located on Clark Street, nestled amidst a variety of restaurants and mom-and-pop shops. The inside of the store resembled an eclectic coffee shop, decorated with a mix of pastel accent colors and stained hardwood. Along the far wall was a small bar counter. But rather than providing bar stools for seating, the owners had instead mounted swings that hung from the ceiling. Those seats were occupied, so I took a seat at the bench on the opposite wall.
A few minutes later, the door opened, and I turned my head to see Rachel standing at the entrance. She was so beautiful. By the time I stood to greet her, I could already feel my heart pounding in my chest.
As soon as we started talking, my anxiety melted away. We talked for almost 20 minutes when we realized we still hadn't ordered anything. We eventually made our way to the counter. Rachel had a Carrot Cake cupcake. I ordered the Ron Bennington, a chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter filling.
An hour later, we made our way to Duke's, a small bar a few doors down from Molly's. Since it was a Wednesday, it was pretty sleepy and quiet. As we sat at Duke's, I was amazed at how easy our conversation flowed. There was never an awkward silence. We were having a great time when our waiter stopped by our table...
"Just a heads-up guys, it's 1:45 AM and we close in 15 minutes."
Rachel and I looked at each other. We had been talking for nearly 6 hours.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The weather made history, too--the rainfall on April 17th was so severe that Chicago's Deep Tunnel flood control system was filled to capacity with 2.3 billion gallons of water!