I'm headed to my family's vacation home in Seaside, Oregon. I love my family, I love Seaside, I just don't love being with all of my family in Seaside. It's the summer for the family reunion which means every member of the family is descending on Seaside at the same moment. Just thinking about all 20 of us trying to stay in the beach house all together makes me nauseous not to mention claustrophobic. It's not a small home, it has 5 bedrooms and a bonus room. You would think it had ample room and it does when there are only some of us there but there's never enough room when we are all there. My parents get their bedroom, which only makes sense since they pay the mortgage. My grandparents from both sides come and they each get a bedroom which makes sense since they are to be revered and all that. My older brother, John, and older sister, June each get a bedroom which makes sense since they are both married. That used to leave me and my younger sister, Julie, in the bonus room but she just got married which means, she'll get the bonus room and I'll get the living room couch. Just thinking about it makes me want to turn my car around and head back to Seattle and if the sun wasn't shining right now, I just might. I do love the sun and being from Seattle, I don't get to see it that much. I'll just have to persevere through family lore, birthing stories, diaper stories, cute baby stories and all those other stories that come from new parents and old ones too. Why do I have to be the only single one left in the family? At least my sister doesn't have any babies yet!
I pulled into the only spot left. Yes! I beat my older sister June to the beach house which meant I wouldn't have to try and find a parking spot on the street somewhere. That was always a pain! I pulled out my bag and headed into the chaos. I knew what I was getting myself into -- lots of sticky, little fingers, plenty of smelly diapers, sand in everything I owned and absolutely no privacy -- and I could do this!
I opened the door and walked in and was instantly assaulted by lots of little arms trying to hug me. Someone yelled, "Group hug!" and those little arms were followed by their parents bigger arms and then old people arms. It was one great big family hug. I stood there held up by the force of arms and enjoyed the hug. I do love my family! As everyone started moving away, I looked down to see my 5 year old niece Amy with her arms still tight around me and her open-faced peanut butter and jelly sandwich stuck to my side. I took a deep breath, hugged Amy real tight and then headed to the bathroom. Clothes change number 1 underway.
After I changed my pants, we all ate lunch together and then June came.
"Can someone move their car so we can unload all our stuff and the kids?" asked June.
Everyone looked at me. Nooooooo! I thought but I picked up my keys, smiled and moved my car.
"Thanks, Jessie," said my Mom. "It will make everything so much easier for June."
Twenty minutes later I returned from parking my car in Timbuktu and finished my lunch. Everyone else was done and on the porch so I joined them there.
"We were just talking about you Jessie," said my brother John. "I invited a guy from work to come to dinner tomorrow night. We were talking at work about where we were going on vacation and it turned out he was vacationing here the same week as me. We wanted to get together while we were here so I asked him for dinner. He's very nice and I'm told he's attractive and he's single. Maybe sparks will fly."
"John, he lives in Portland. If the sparks fly tomorrow they'll just fizzle between the distance," I replied. There was no point trying to tell them I was fine being single. They were all paired up which meant I needed to be too and I wouldn't mind it but the guy should live in the same state as me.
"Well, not to worry if that guy doesn't work out, I met a really nice man at the deli store and I told him all about my daughter and he said he'd love to meet you," said my Mom.
"Really, you're pawning me off on the deli guy at the corner grocery store?" I asked.
"No, he was just buying pastrami there. He is staying in the house just a couple of doors down from us with some buddies of his. They are here running some kind of race or something. They are all coming for lunch tomorrow. They're bringing pastrami," replied my Mom. "And they're all from the Seattle area. I asked."
I took a deep breath. "Any other dates set up for me I should know about?"
"Not yet sis, but I'll work on it," said Julie. "I didn't realize we were all supposed to come up with a date for you!"
She was totally laughing at me!
The boys from Seattle descended on us for lunch the next day. And I say boys because that was what they were. Overgrown for sure, but boys. Is my mom really that desperate for me to get married? There names were Len and Kevin and Mike. They all showed up wearing tank tops (which showcased their heavily tattooed arms) and shorts and with backward turned baseball caps. They may or may not have showered. Len and Kevin wore disgusting flip flops but Mike was barefoot. They had pastrami and also beer. They were each holding one open can and dangling the remainders of six packs from their fingers. Len belched loudly when he sat down to lunch.
Kevin guffawed and Mike cuffed Len on the back of the head which led to Len giving him an enthusiastic punch back. Mike reeled back, knocking over Kevin’s beer. Kevin jumped up, swearing and Mike and Len roared with laughter.
I looked up and saw a row of small nieces and nephews, eyes wide, staring.
I stared in turn at my mother. What had she been thinking?
Ever the good hostess, my mother sprang into action, mopping up the mess. June and John’s wife Lisa decided they’d take all the kids down to the beach. “What about lunch?” Amy wailed.
“We’ll have a picnic!” Lisa said enthusiastically. I heard them in the kitchen, throwing food into a bag. They couldn’t get away fast enough.
Slightly subdued by the spilled beer and the disapproving looks from Grandma Thomas, our guests were quiet while the food was served. They each downed a few more beers then thought to offer them around the table. Everyone declined. John, the oldest and most susceptible to looks of desperation from our mother, tried to engage them in conversation. We learned they had all three gone to high school together. Len said he was on disability from a back injury. Mike smirked when he said that and said, “Yeah, it’s really debilitating.”
“Shut up,” Len said, reaching over to smack Mike. My mother and both grandmothers instinctively grabbed glasses on the table to keep them from being knocked over. “At least I didn’t just get out of jail!”
“Just a DUI charge,” Mike said in what was perhaps meant to be a reassuring way.
Grandma Jones looked like her eyebrows were going to shoot clear off her head they were raised so high.
“So how about you, Kevin,” my dad asked, “What do you do?”
“I’m a cable guy,” he said. “So if you need me to hook you up I can. You don’t want to actually pay for cable. It’s robbery. I can hook you up.”
“That does sound like robbery,” I said dryly. John ducked his head to hide his grin.
“So do one of you own the house down the street?” my dad asked. “Or did someone just hook you up?”
My mom shot my dad a warning glance. John still had his head down.
Our guests were oblivious to any mischievous intent though. “It’s my parents’ house,” Mike explained.
“Ah,” Dad said.
Finally lunch ended. “We appreciate you coming,” Mom said, leading the way to the door. Len, having had the most beer staggered a little and bumped into the wall. He sent a picture on the wall swaying.
“You’ll have to come see us sometime,” Mike said. “Maybe we’ll have a party this weekend.”
“We need girls to come,” Len said, looking at me.
I just smiled. Or I tried to.
My mom avoided eye contact after the three stooges left. I cornered her in the hallway and joked “When do you want to go shopping for the wedding dress mom?” She wasn’t amused.
“At least now we know to avoid the deli when shopping for a husband,” my dad teased. My mom gave him the “look of doom” and we knew it was time to drop it. She was ready to blow. And that’s when John walked in.
“Hey Ma! You really know how to pick ‘em!” He laughed at his own joke, not picking up on the mood or noticing the wide eyed warning glares we were shooting him. Sure enough, Mom lost it, and John just stood there, open mouthed, wondering what the heck had just happened.
I thought she was going to yell or at least find something to scrub angrily while “torturing” us with the silent treatment, but she just buried her face in her hands and started to cry. It was her go-to guilt technique (or more aptly described-- her “divert the attention on what she just did” technique.) Classic mom move. I just rolled my eyes and laughed while John and Dad consoled her.
“I just want her to find happiness. Even Julie got married before her. Julie! I just want her to settle down and start a family before I’m gone.” She sobbed.
I really shouldn’t have, but I clapped at her performance and laughed. “Worthy of an Oscar mom! Well done! You’re not going anywhere and there’s no rush. I’m only 27. I’m perfectly happy on my own. I don’t need a husband to ‘complete me’. When Mr. Right walks into my life I’ll welcome him with open arms, but you can’t force people to fall in love. It just happens.”
“Oh my heavens! Are you gay?” Mom asked…seriously.
“Ya…Ya, Mom…I’m gay.” I quipped, shaking my head in bewilderment.
“What’s ‘gay’ auntie Jess?” I spun around and found a throng of family that had come to investigate the weeping and wailing….including one of my sister’s ankle biters. All eyes were on me.
Great…how am I going to get out of this conversation, I thought.
“Are you going to die alone?” she added innocently.
“I sure hope not, baby girl. Don’t you worry; Grandma’s putting ads in every paper and looking in every deli. A husband’s bound to turn up.” The room roared with laughter and the tension burst like an over filled balloon. Even mom cracked a smile.
“Well, Jessie. Mr. Right may not be walking through the door tonight, but Mr. Ritters is…is that close enough?”
“What are you talking about, John?”
“My friend, from work. Ryan Ritters. I invited him over for dinner tonight. Remember?”
“Uhhh! Tonight?! Did you not see what just happened here? Cancel. Please.” I begged.
“I invited him over for dinner, Jessie, not a make out session. I asked him as a friend, not a date for you. I mentioned you would be here, along with everyone else, but it will just be casual. No pressure.”
“Sure. No pressure. Do you have a picture of this guy?” I asked.
“No, I don’t have a picture of him! Was I supposed to ask him to pose for me? Guys don’t just snap pics of other dudes, Jessie.”
“Just asking. Sheesh. What time will he be here? I’ve got to plan my escape route.”
“6:30…and be nice!”
The crowd dispersed and I snuck into the only private place in the whole house…the bathroom. I pulled out my phone and searched Facebook for Ryan Ritters. When a match popped up from Portland, and was friends with John I knew I’d found my guy.
I zoomed in on his profile picture. I think I actually drooled a bit. I might have even stopped breathing...just for a moment. He was intimidatingly handsome, and I found myself wondering why a guy this hot was still single.
I was very aware that judging Ryan Ritters on his facebook pics alone was shallow, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to make a good impression. Seeing as how I had no bedroom, I commandeered the upstairs bathroom. Twenty minutes before he was due to arrive, I swept downstairs in the one summer dress I had thought to pack and some sexy strappy sandals. I had carefully done my hair so that it looked effortless and, according to the fashion magazines, beachy. I descended into chaos.
Most everyone had just gotten back from the beach and looked it. The moms were trying to corral the kids and get them changed out of sandy swimsuits and bathed. Lisa came chasing after Skyler, her naked two year old escape artist. I ran interference and grabbed him before he ran out the front door and flashed the neighbors. As I held him close he reached up and grabbed my hair. “Pretty,” he said as he grabbed hold of a lock and pulled. So much for my artfully messy bun. It was just plain messy now. I returned Skyler to his grateful handler. I blindly tried to restore my hair as I entered the kitchen to see if I could help with dinner.
John was pulling marinated steaks and hamburger patties out of the fridge. His sunburn was already apparent on his bare shoulders. It looked like my mom was trying to pull a green salad together while my dad was loading the table with a variety of deli salads and an assortment of paper plates and plastic cutlery.
“Can I help?”
My mom looked up from where she was spinning the lettuce. She had on the same muumuu that had been her beach uniform since we were kids. “Don’t you look nice, Jessie!”
John peeked in the patio door from where he was now manning the grill and checked out my outfit. A white silhouette from where his sunglasses had been highlighted his red face. He smirked. “I guess you decided not to run away from dinner then?”
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression, do you my dear?” my mother answered for me. “Here, come finish the salad for me. There’s some tomatoes and other veggies in the fridge. And find the croutons and salad dressing for me. I think they got put away in one of the cupboards when we unpacked.” She grabbed my dad and swept by me on her way to help with the grandkids.
I took up my post while trying to ignore John. He came in to chat while I sliced up the tomatoes.
“So why the change of heart, Sis? I do have to give you props for cleaning up well.”
“I’m just trying to, you know, do credit to the family. Represent well.”
John cocked an eyebrow at me. “You do remember this is not necessarily a date for you, right? He’s coming as my friend.”
Our family didn’t usually tiptoe around things. I decided I might as well come clean. “Actually I did sneak a peek at his facebook profile and he is certifiably hot. I’m not going to put up a fight if you decide to set us up.”
“You’re stalking now? Good grief, Jessie. The man is more than eye candy. Are you going to embarrass me tonight?”
“How is looking out for my future embarrassing?” I said heatedly, my voice rising. “Can you blame me after our visit from the three stooges for lunch and Mom’s meltdown?” I was unconsciously motioning with my knife for emphasis. “Ryan Ritter may be the best looking specimen of a man I get to feast my eyes on in the near future and I’m not going to pass up an opportunity to strut my stuff.”
John’s eye caught something over my shoulder.
I turned around to see Ryan Ritter in the flesh filling up the patio door. He was easily 6 foot 4 and was sporting khakis, a polo shirt and dark tousled hair. A wide, sheepish grin spread across his face. It was obvious that he had overheard our conversation. “Knock, knock,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “I tried the front door, but I don’t think anyone could hear me so I thought I’d wander around back.”
John motioned for him to come in and shook his hand, offering him a kitchen stool. “This is my little sister, Jessie. Jessie, this is Ryan Ritter, my work colleague.” I reached out my hand to shake his, hoping my blush wasn’t as red as the tomatoes I was chopping. Ryan looked at my proffered hand with a strange expression on his face. I looked down to see I was still holding the knife, now pointed rather threateningly at Ryan’s groin. I dropped the knife with a clatter on the cutting board. How is it even humanly possible to forget you’re holding a knife? I gave what I hoped was a friendly wave instead.
“Jessie, I trust you can entertain our guest while I round up the rest of my family. Ryan, if you could keep an eye on the grill for the next few minutes, I’d appreciate it,” John called as he headed into the living room.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, indeed.
Should I acknowledge what Ryan had just heard or should I play it cool and pretend I was not completely mortified?
It was Ryan who broke the awkward silence. “Actually,” he started, clearing his throat, “John’s been talking you up since we started working together about a year ago. I have to admit to the tiniest bit of cyber spying myself.” He was blushing. I was starting to think Ryan might be a little shy. I had to say it added to the allure.
“I hope you didn’t uncover anything too scary,” I replied, feeling much more relaxed.
“Well, I’m here aren’t I?” Ryan said, looking me straight in the eye with a half grin. Then again, maybe not too shy.
Dinner was looking to be decidedly more delicious than lunch had been.
Mayhem quickly ensued as twenty hungry folk crowded around the dining room table, which was set up banquet style to best accommodate our numbers. I handed Ryan a plate to start serving himself, but we were overrun by pushy little bodies squirming past us to load their plates with potato chips, black olives, and brownies. Finally, after sufficiently loading our own plates with salads and seared meat, we made our way out to the patio, joining John and his family.
“How are you liking your vacation?” Lisa asked Ryan, as she cut Skyler’s hot dog into tiny wedges.
“I can’t complain. The weather has been perfect, and I like the condo that I am staying in,” he replied. “My room looks out over the beach, which is awesome.”
I thought of a quiet, solitary room, looking out at the ocean waves and the sand that seemed to stretch for miles. No nosey siblings or sticky fingers, and definitely no matchmaking mothers to spoil the scene. It sounded like paradise.
I was about to say so when Ryan added, “It’s quiet, though.”
“You say that as though it is a bad thing!” I laughed, as John’s oldest child Riley ran up to his parents, crying loudly about how “Amy had taken the last Oreo cookie, and she had a whole stack of them, and it wasn’t fair, she needed to share!”
Lisa sighed heavily and left to put out the fire of sibling rivalry.
Ryan laughed too, “Well, sometimes a little noise can be a good thing,” he said, and I liked him all the more for it.
Thirty minutes later, Lisa, Julie and I were helping Mom put away the salads, while John and Ryan were out talking shop and other manly things on the patio.
Lisa gave me a little sideways nudge. “Ryan is pretty cute, don’t you think?”
“Cute? He’s totally hot!” chimed in Julie. I rolled my eyes.
“I think he likes you, Jess,” Lisa continued. “Did you notice how he kept looking at you when we were out on the patio?”
How could I have not noticed? He kept glancing my way while I was eating, making me self-conscious about the loaded baked potato salad I was stuffing into my mouth. I only hoped that I didn’t have a chunk of chive hanging out in my front teeth.
“Of course he likes my sweet girl,” Mom cooed, looking at me in the sappy way that I outwardly loathed as a teenager, but secretly revelled in. “He has good taste, doesn’t he? Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he has a cute tush. I wouldn’t mind having a bit of that action myself….”
“Ma!” I cried, anxiously checking toward the door in case the cute tush surprised us again by coming in at an awkward moment.
Julie and Lisa burst out laughing, which prompted the guys to make their way back into the kitchen.
“What did we miss?” John asked, looking toward his wife.
I jumped in before Lisa could answer. “Nothing!” I looked daggers at my mother, then took Ryan by the arm, steering him back toward the door. “Hey Ryan, want to go for a walk?”
To my eternal relief, he readily agreed.
We walked down to the beach and I slipped my sandals off, letting them dangle from my fingers. Ryan took his shoes off as well and rolled his khakis up a few times. The sand was warm and soft, and I loved how it felt as it squished between my toes.
We had only just made it down to the water when I heard someone yelling from further up the beach.
“Jessie!” I squinted in the direction of the sound and saw a man in low riding shorts and no shirt waving toward me. He started to run up toward us and I finally recognized the tattoos and facial hair. It was Mike, from the deli. Oh no.
“Hey Jessie!” he said, as he jogged up toward us.
“Hey, Mike,” I said awkwardly. Why did he have to recognize me from way up the beach, when I was walking with Mr. Hottie of all people?
“We were just hanging out and saw you walking out here. You should come over. We’ve got plenty of beer left. We stopped and got a keg after eating lunch with you.”
“Umm,” I said, looking at Ryan with an apologetic shrug. “I’m sorry, Mike, but Ryan and I were going for a walk…”
“Oh, sorry dude! I didn’t mean to cut into your time!” Mike said, slapping Ryan on the back in what was evidently meant to be a playful manner.
“No problem…dude,” Ryan said, stuffing his hands into his pockets, looking at me with a questioning look in his eyes.
What did he think? If my brother had been talking me up the last twelve months or so, how could he even think I’d hang around a kid like that? Besides, what did Mike mean by “cutting into Ryan’s time?”
Crazy thoughts like these rushed through my mind as I sought to get rid of the awkward vibes that were bouncing around us almost as loudly as the surf. My cheeks flamed, my eyes looked everywhere but at Ryan, then it happened. The wind from the surf came up behind me and all of a sudden, “Whoosh!” Up went my skirt.
The sand was suddenly very comfortable as I plopped down as quickly as I could, wondering if Ryan had noticed or not. As I looked up to see if he wanted to join me for a little break on the warm sand, where my skirt could do no more flying, I noticed the look in his eyes had changed. No longer did he appear to question my taste in “friends,” but rather seemed to like what happened when the wind took advantage of fluke air currents.
Then we were both laughing. It was the strangest feeling, suddenly feeling like I had known Ryan forever. We laughed about the ink on Mike’s biceps, triceps, hams and gastrocs and even wondered briefly if he had any on his glutes but quickly lost interest in that thought… eww!
We talked until the sun went down and the stars came out. I must digress briefly, because here is another reason I love Seaside. The sunsets are glorious but the sky continues to get even more amazing after the sun has disappeared. The galaxy fairly glows above the dark ocean waters here. My thoughts loved to wander as I searched and found and sailed and flew through the heavens, wondering what was up there.
The wind began to blow more softly, the surf turned more gentle and the rolling of the waves soon was a very romantic background. Phosphorescent algae and plankton danced and played along the waves with each crest and swell of the water. With so many things twinkling and glowing, it was no wonder that soon, Ryan’s eyes were also glowing with a certain intensity.
We had gone through all the “where did you go to school?” and “do you know so-and-so,” as well as some of our most embarrassing moments and some of our most cherished memories. The lulls in our conversation were natural, not at all uncomfortable. I felt like we were content to sit there with one another and talk as well as listen to each other but also enjoy the sounds of the natural beauty that surrounded us.
Reaching out to hold his hand surprised me more than it did him. Not usually forward with men, it was more of a natural instinct than something I had been plotting to do or wishing fervently that he would do on his own. So when my hand slid into his and he gently squeezed it to let me know it was all good, my heart began to slam around in my chest. The charge of electricity between our two hands was unmistakable. I wished my arm was touching his arm, my ankle his ankle. And more than anything, that my mouth was being crushed and charged by his beautiful lips.
Wow, my mom would be so proud of these thoughts forming in my mind. That almost made me want to stop them just to spite her. But then my galloping heart got the best of me. What had I said earlier about being fine with being single? With not needing a man to complete me? Because all of a sudden that was just a bunch of bunk. I couldn’t imagine how I had survived this long in life without him? Breathing seemed to become difficult, I was sure he could hear my heart banging around, and maybe my eyes held a certain luminosity in the starlight too, because all of a sudden we were leaning in toward each other for a sweet, chaste kiss.
Then we leaned in for a little more than a sweet, chaste kiss. Wow! Did Ryan know how to work his lips. They were teasing then searching, plump and firm while soft and warm. His breath tasted slightly of spearmint and chocolate brownie. Suddenly, the kiss deepened and I felt myself falling madly out of control of my feelings. How could I be doing this with someone I just met hours ago? Then again, was it just hours when it really seemed like forever? I decided we could go on kissing on that still sun-warmed sand, next to the waves gently rolling in, under that neverending canopy of stars for a very, very long time and it still wouldn’t be long enough to...
“Aunt Jessie! Are you giving Ryan mouth to mouth?”
“Did something happen to him?”
“Was he drowning?”
“How come he isn’t wet?”
“Why are you looking at us with that funny face?”
Abruptly all those warm, good feelings evaporated.
I turned and looked into the faces of my nieces and nephews who were peering at me and Ryan. It’s their saving grace that they are soooo cute. A little further back were their parents, who were smirking at us. They were not so cute and totally responsible for this little episode.
“Come on Aunt Jessie, I’ll help you off the ground. We’re going for a family walk. It’s a good thing we found you,” said my niece Amy as she extended her arm to me. I got up off the sand, not so grateful that they had found us.
My two year old nephew pointed at Ryan and said, “He help himself up,” and took my other hand.
I turned my head to watch Ryan scramble up off the sand all by himself. I shrugged my shoulders at him and gave him my “I’m sorry” face and let my nieces and nephews drag me down the beach. This is what Seaside is about, family time. After a few minutes, Ryan managed to snuggle in as close as Amy’s other hand.
“Sorry about this and that back there,” I said.
“No need to be sorry. This is fun too, not the same kind of fun, but fun just the same,” said Ryan.
And that is pretty much how the week went. Ryan came over every day and spent time with me and my family. We went to the Aquarium and fed the seals, walked the Prom, rode the bumper cars, ate at Pig ‘n Pancake, rode the carousel, flew kites, went shopping, built sandcastles and had an all around terrific time with the family and even managed a few minutes alone. He passed all the family tests and was given an all around thumbs up from everyone.
Our last night in Seaside, Ryan took me to Maggie’s on the Prom. It is one of the nicest restaurants in town and has such a beautiful view looking out over the beach and ocean. We ate seafood, chatted and enjoyed each others company, uninterrupted by nieces, nephews and other well meaning family members. It was heaven. This was the best vacation romance I’d ever had, even though it was the only one I’d ever had. I didn’t want it to end.
Ryan took my hand and guided me out of the restaurant and out onto the sand. We walked a ways in silence, the only sounds the lapping of the waves and the distant calls of dogs further down the beach. I wondered if his thoughts were going in the same direction as mine. Where were we going with this romance? It had been a fabulous week but we lived in two different cities with a three hour commute between us. We both had fabulous careers we loved and were not about to leave after a week of fun and romance, even if my family did live close to him. Could we make the long distance thing work? I didn't know but I didn’t want this to end either. I hoped he felt the same. We hadn't really discussed it at all. We were kind of living for the moment.
Ryan cleared his throat and shook me out of my thoughts, “Jessie?”
I stopped walking and turned to look at him. He looked concerned and I began to get really worried. This might be where my lovely summer romance ended. Butterflies swirled in my stomach. Ryan grabbed my other hand and said, ”I like you a lot. This has been one of the greatest vacations ever. I’ve loved getting to know you and your family.”
Is this a break up speech? I hope not but keep it breezy just in case. “Well, they all love you. We’ve all had such a great time getting to know you. It’s been fun to have someone to do things with.”
Ryan gave me a puzzled look, “I hope it was more than you just wanting someone to do something with. It meant more than that to me.”
“No, no, no! I loved our time together. Don’t get the wrong idea,” I said. Don’t mess this up! “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you better and I really like you too. This week has been wonderful and I think I’m just worried about where it’s going to go from here? How can we keep this going with you in Portland and me in Seattle?”
“Well, that’s a relief,” said Ryan. “For a moment there, I thought you were blowing me off.”
“I thought you were doing that to me,” I said.
“No way, I’d like to see if we can make this romance thing work long distance. What do you think?”
“I think it might be really hard to do but I’d really like to give it a try. I could come to my brother’s house and visit every other weekend. We could keep things going inbetween seeing each other by emailing, texting, phone calls and using skype.”
“And I could come and visit you on the opposite weekends and stay with my old college roommate. He lives in Bellevue, which is pretty close,” said Ryan.
“I think that would be wonderful! There are so many things I’d love to show you in Seattle. Maybe I’ll convince you to get a new job there!”
“Or maybe, I’ll just have to show you all the wonderful things in Portland, besides your family, and with all that in mind, not to mention yours truly, you’ll decide to find a fabulous new job in Portland.”
“Who knows what the future will bring but I hope you’re in it,” I said.
“Me too!” said Ryan as he enveloped me in a big hug, followed by a nice, long kiss.
And with the possibility of a future together decided, we walked hand in hand down the beach headed back to the beach house and the craziness of my family where it had all started.