Paul and I met on Facebook in October 2008. We knew immediately there was something between us. Chatting via email and instant messaging in the beginning... then late December there was a small misunderstanding and misinterpretation that nearly ended it all... but for some reason, I could not let him go. Something kept me coming back to him. And so, on his birthday, I sent him an email with the subject line, "Happy Birthday, Snot" I intended for it to get his attention and also to be taken a little lightheartedly. It worked and we began chatting electronically. I contacted my mobile phone carrier and got international calling set up and IMd him and asked if we could speak on the phone. He agreed and gave me his number. Just before New Years and every day since, we have been speaking to each other on the phone (with the exceptions of the times we were actually together). A couple of weeks in to the phone calls and me in the middle of a move to a new apartment, Paul decided that he had to meet me. So, he booked a flight and hotel here for week throwing caution to the wind. When next we spoke on the phone, he told me he was arriving in a week and that he had booked a flight the night before to meet me. And then, as our relationship has been from day one, he began to tell me how excited and nervous he was about the entire situation, more excited, but still nervous. He told me then that when he met me that he was going to give me a proper kiss... how sweet my baby is... so, at the end of January 2009, he arrived... he took the shuttle bus to his hotel and he called me when I got in from work. We had discussed earlier that he would probably be shattered from the flight over and that the first night he would rest. That did not happen. He and I both felt he could not be this close and we not see each other. So, I mapped the location of his hotel and drove down to him. I met him in the lobby... I saw him bounce around the corner through the windows in the lobby and my heart soared... I began to panic a little and thought what if he doesn't like me... too little time to think such things, as he gave me a tight squeeze and kissed me. I am so happy he was holding me tightly, as I nearly fainted! My knees went weak and I knew with that kiss everything I wanted to know. So, off to my car, hand in hand like it was so comfortable, so natural. Not to bore you with any further details about this meeting, I will leave you with this... his one week stay extended to two weeks and he checked out of the hotel after only been here a few days... he did not actually stay there. My friends all loved him, which, I knew they would! I took him to the airport at the end of those two short weeks and I balled my eyes and heart out. I thought I might never see him again... my heart was aching for him. He wiped my tears and told me he would be back. He left me his Scotland football top and said he already had a return flight booked to come see me and that it was a surprise... he leaked it out that it would be sometime in April to the waiter that had become our friend at the restaurant we frequented.
He surprised me at my work by sending me flowers on Valentines Day... the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen. No one in all my life had ever sent me flowers before. The card attached read, "Happy Valentine's Day... Missing you loads, Love Paul xx" That card sits on my laptop and is there as we speak now. <3
Paul came back, as he said he would, but he came back in March. He came early because he missed me and because he knew I needed him emotionally and psychologically. I had just been laid off from a job that I had been at for four years. No warning, no notice, just worked an entire day and then was pulled in to a conference room to be told that due to budget cuts I had to be let go. I was given two weeks of severance pay and I was terrified at what was going to happen. I just moved in to my new apartment in January. I had never been unemployed before, no job prospects! I have no family here in Florida... what was I going to do? I immediately began pounding the pavement, sent resume after resume out, and nothing... no word back. I was laid off on 4 March 2009 and my Paul showed up on my doorstep on 17 March 2009. After the shock of coming home to find him sitting on my doorstep, he held me and told me everything was going to be ok, that we were a team and we would get through this together. "You and me against the world, baby" he always says. He remained positive, my cheerleader, and helped me stay grounded and focused. I was unemployed for two whole months. And that hurt. But, just before he went home on 2 May, 2009... news hit, I had a job and was to start 5 May 2009. But, even better news was I knew I could not live without this man and that I was prepared to propose to him but was uncertain how he would feel. I did not want to frighten him away. I spoke about it with my friend and she thought it was a great idea. But before I could say anything else, she asked to speak with him. He went out on my porch and was on the phone with her for a long while. When he got off the phone with her, he came back in to me, and we were just lying there, holding each other, as it was his last night here with me. He leaned in to kiss me and said, "Malena Renee Shafford, will you be my wife?" and I initially thought I was in big trouble, as no one uses all three names unless you are in hot water! LOL I, of course, replied "YES." It was bittersweet... I was losing my baby to return to his home, but I had a job. It isn't the best job, but it is better than no job. I have been trying to get caught up from the two months with nothing and am just now making some major headway!
We set our wedding date a few weeks after he went home during one of our weekend phone marathons that sometimes can go for 15 hours at a time... one session, not a collective amount, mind you! Our friends are always asking us, what they hell do you talk about for 15 hours to someone! LOL... with us, conversation has never been forced and goes off into weird tangents at times as well and no subject is off limits. There are no secrets between us, just things that have not been brought up yet! Our wedding date is a very special day for both of us... it was his late mother's birthday and it is my father's birthday. We set the date for 2010 and immediately began researching the process of where we go and what we do next. My father is ill and is 8 years status post diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease. I am not certain how much longer he will be around... and here we are now, banging our heads against the wall, riding this emotional roller coaster, no one can tell you anything, give a straight answer, or any sense of hope or tell me whether or not come 28 January, 2010, my fiance, the love of my life, will be standing at my side for our wedding! This process sucks! It is frustrating and it makes you crazy at times. I honestly got to the point of saying, let's just runaway somewhere, anywhere, as long as we can be together. I miss him terribly and he misses me too! And miss cooking his breakfast for him in the morning! In fact, and this is the clincher, I am a vegetarian and have been since I was twelve... two things in this world make me ill, physically ill, and those are the smell of bacon cooking and the smell of ground beef (mince) browning in the pan... I have never cooked bacon for anyone, not even my father or my brother, with whom I am very close. I cooked bacon for Paul, and even though he insisted he cook his own breakfast, which I would not let him do, it did not bother me.