It was our fourth date I think. A long time ago. Not the 4th time I saw him.
We'd been seeing each other as friends for about 3 months. Once or twice a week. As friends because that's what I said I wanted. He'd made it clear from day one that he was hitting on me and would continue to do so.
Then 3 months later I gave in and had to admit that the relationship simply wasn't shaping up to be 'just friends'. And yes that we were falling in love. After that, we started to see each other everyday.
And so this was our 4th official date as an official couple.
I was hanging around the clinic waiting for him to finish work. He was really busy that day and didn't get off on time. Which was unusual for him. He's like clockwork. Doesn't tolerate people being late for appointments, shows up for work on time and leaves on time.
Very unlike me too. I am always late for work. And when I get into something I can't drop it and leave it just because it's the end of working hours. I work holidays too if I feel like it, which is sacrilege to him. I take on projects because I like them, not because they fit into my schedule and so my schedule, if you can call it that, is usually pretty haphazarded.
But that day he'd been delayed at the hospital in surgery. And because he'd kept some of his appointments waiting, he told them that if they were willing to wait he'd see everyone. And quite a few them agreed to wait.
I sat in the waiting room and listened to his patients talking about him and smiling because there was a lot of good stuff. I felt so proud, like it was me who was getting the good reviews. Only the 4th date and I was already feeling this weird sense of affinity.
But as the hours dragged on, I started to get restless and stressed that it might get so late the date would never actually happen. It had to be the quickest addiction in history. If after seeing him for 3 days in a row, I could get so upset at the idea of not seeing him on the 4th.
I told myself to calm down, that he'd obviously had a gruelling day at work and would probably be too tired to go out, that I should get up and leave so he wouldn't feel compelled to take me out etc.....
And I did. I sent him a text message to the effect that am going home and would see him tomorrow. I guess he didn't see it right away because I was already in the car park infront of my house when he called me.
Him: Inti filbait? (Are you home?)
Me : Just arrived. In the carpark.
Him : Law tili3ti mish hayinfa3 tinzili tani sa7?(If you go upstairs you won't be able to come out again right?)
I looked at my watch. It was a little before midnight. He was right. My family was strange like that. The house rule was that I could stay out as late as I wanted provided I leave home at a 'decent' time which they defined around 9:00pm. It was weird. If I go out at 8:00pm and come back at 2 in the morning, that was fine. But 10:00pm to 11:00pm was to them a sure-fire indication that I was running wild, too Westernized and a threat to the family honor and social prestige etc.....Suffice it to say, if I were to step in through the door at midnight then that was it for the night.
Me: No I can't.
Him: And what would you like to do?
Me: What would you like me to do?
Him: I asked you first.
Me: I don't know.
Him: Tayeb why don't you come pick me up and we'll figure it out together?
Me: Are you still at work?
Me: Not too tired?
Him: Just hungry.
So I passed by one of his favorite restaurants to get some take-out. For him, I ordered his favorite sandwich. I thought we could eat in the car and then drive around a bit and go home. We were both too tired to do much that night.
But then I noticed he wasn't eating his sandwich. Just picking at the fries and side stuff. Totally unlike him not to eat, especially when he'd said he was hungry. I knew by then that his appetite is the one thing you can always count on.
I asked him. And he said well, you ordered this with cheese, I don't eat cheese.
Cheese is practically the only foodstuff my husband simply will not touch. I think pizza is the only exception to that. I mean, he won't even touch a salad if you've sprinkled parmesan on it which I will never understand.
And I love cheese. All kinds. Cheesecake is like my favorite desert. And you should see the look on his face when I am eating it infront of him.
We ended up going back to the restaurant and eating there. And the take-out was thrown away.
After that, I became meticulous about keeping cheese out of his food whenever I ordered or cooked for us even as I made sure everything I ate had cheese in it.
It was the first time we reccognized and acknowledged the fact that our relationship was definitely an 'opposites attract' kind of situation. Cheese was our first hint.
So why is this on my mind today? I had a few friends over tonight and we ordered take-out. Without thinking as I gave my friend the order, I said 'a club sandwich no cheese'. And she gave me this 'You?No cheese?' look.
It's not that I forgot and thought he was there and was ordering for him. No. When I saw the look on her face I suddenly realized that ever since he left I've been eating everything without cheese. My favorite food in the world and I haven't had any in almost 10 months. Not only that, I haven't even missed it.
I don't like cheese anymore. What do you know? We finally have something in common!
When I told him, he said something to the effect that he hoped that wasn't my way of springing a 6-month pregnancy on him. I think for a minute in there, he was really worried he might have gotten me pregnant last time we were together and I decided to keep it from him! Couldn't resist torturing him a little with that but eventually took pity on him.
Really strange though. I read somewhere about how married people grow to be like each other, that in some cases they even grow to look like each other in their old age. But I thought that comes from living in proximity and not living long distance.