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Chapter 2: Michael’s version

“I’ve been replaying our story…

You were already seated when I arrived at the chapel.  Chris and I had gone to the dining hall before the service to get our fresh coffee with creamer; it was our normal routine before you had arrived [at camp].

We walked into the chapel and we met a few firefighters we had connected with over the previous day or so.

As we climbed the stairs to ‘our seats’ at the very back, I remember sitting down and looking to my left.

There you were, with Katie!  You were sitting furthest away beside the railing, Katie sheltering you a little.

That was me locked on!  I couldn’t help but look at you.  You had a hat on, I remember your boots and what I remember as jeans and a hoodie!  I see your face so clear!  Oh my goodness, I was so awe struck!  At that stage I wanted to know…

I wanted to know who you were?  Were you a firefighter?

I remember looking again and again, convincing myself you weren’t with a firefighter.

I remember thinking how much I fancied you; you had my heart from the very first sight.

Someone spoke at the front, but I was so distracted.

I couldn’t keep my eyes off you, having a sneaky peek every few seconds; questioning, wondering, trying to wrestle with my heart.

We stood and sang a couple of songs, I stared at you for most of them.  You didn’t know I was looking.  I was so intrigued!  Who is this girl?

As we sat down I had an idea…’she is sitting close to the railings, so if I walk to the restroom I will get a good look at her.’  The chairman started with announcements, this was my opportunity!  I stood up and made my way down the stairs…

You were on my left.  I glanced at you several times as I descended the stairs.  I could see your beautiful face, shadowed by the peak of your cap.  My heart was on fire!  I wanted to know you.

As discretely as a 6’3″ man can be in a red coat, I took two almost immediate 90 degree turns, which put me in line with the exit.

I looked up as I was parallel with the tall, ascending railings.  I got a good look at you as I passed and my heart was filled!

On my reentry, the chairman was still speaking.  I needed to see you again.  It was more difficult this time as you were to my immediate right, at a height, and I didn’t want to be too obvious.

At the top of the stairs I greeted Chris and sat in my seat.  The service started, Phil from Northern Ireland spoke and I was distracted.

When the service ended, we left before you.  I was still in wonder!  I chatted to Chris as we walked back to our room.  I was all chat about you!

We went to the room, then to the book shop (which was closed), then to the bridge near the welcome office, where we took some photos, bought our WiFi, and made our way to the wall just outside the dining hall.

As we approached the wall area, we met with you and Katie…you were walking down the road.

I remember seeing you and immediately striking up a conversation with Katie – how could I not?  I’m a chatty person at the best of times, but the girl I’ve been in wonder about for the past hour was right in front of me!  I had to make conversation.

Katie was very chatty, you joined in a little.  I remember you were giddy.  I remember your smile, you were beaming!  It actually made me smile so much.

I remember you with your phone in your little hand, you couldn’t stay still!  You laughed and your whole body moved.

Katie was as hilarious as ever.  She made it very clear her husband was at home!  As for you, I couldn’t work it out.

All I could see was the peak of your cap and your beautiful smile as the cap covered your nose from my height.  You seemed lovely.

You said you were clueless when it came to technology, we joked about that.  You needed to connect to the WiFi to chat with your kids.  A boy and a girl.  I remember thinking, ‘I’ve no hope…she must be taken, she has kids.’

You seemed anxious to get in touch with them.  I remember you holding your phone in the air searching for WiFi.  We joked a little as I did the same.  Then I had a thought…I had already purchased the WiFi, how about I help you out?!  That would be a great way to connect with you!

I fancied you SO MUCH.

I finally got my WiFi connected!  I enabled my hotspot, let you connect to my user name, and read my password.  We joked that my password was so original.

To my disappointment, it didn’t work.  I now know when you enable a hotspot it disables the WiFi signal on the phone (*free tip).

I remember you tried it again and got it!  You were so pleased you would be able to talk to the kids.  You disappeared down to the grass area to speak with them.

I was happy we talked but disheartened you may not be available.

Little did I know I was speaking to my future.”

-MB

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