When I left school, I went to work in the family business. My parents owned restaurants. I had worked in them since I was 15.
In mid 1998, they opened their 2nd restaurant. I worked mainly nights, which I loved. Just before the restaurant opened, Brett moved into a house with a couple of mates only a street away. They would come down for coffee, and sometimes dinner on a regular basis. During the next few months we got to know each other and we found we had a lot in common. Brett tried a number of times to "woo" me, to which I was a little stand off-ish. I had a boyfriend, and Brett was also a customer.
A few months later, I broke up with my boyfriend. Brett knew this. I started finding things on my car window when I would finish a late shift. I would find chocolates, flowers and little notes on my windscreen as I came out to my car at 1am. Brett tells me now, that he remembers saying to his mate, the very first night we spoke, that "I am going to marry her one day!"
In May 1999, I was driving to my little granny flat after finishing another late shift. I had to drive past Brett's house to get home. No really, I did! This particular night, he was out the front of his house, saying goodbye to some mates. His cat ran out in front of my car and I stopped.
We talked for over an hour.
In the middle of the street.
With my car still running, door wide open.
I invited him over for dinner and a movie the following weekend. It was something I did with my friends all the time. We would have dinner and crash in my lounge room.
This particular night was "The Goonies".
I remember thinking that it just felt right. We just clicked. I was 18. Brett was 25.
But I was still in denial. We were just friends. I wasn't over my boyfriend.
In June, both of our leases were up. Brett wanted to move out of his mates house, and I was after something bigger - my place was a shoebox.
I am not sure who suggested it, but we found a cute little house a couple of streets away. It was only $10 more on rent each than what we were paying, but was 3x as big.
We moved in as "flat mates". We had separate rooms, came and went as we were single. But, really, it was more than that. He continued to "woo" me. We had dinner together on the nights we both weren't working. He would cook me breakfast. He would bring me home flowers.
I remember thinking about why I thought it wasn't real. It couldn't be real. He was perfect in every way. Then why was I in denial?
We had a conversation together one night, and I kept saying that I wasn't sure whether to listen to my heart or my head. In my heart, I had already fallen in love, but in my head, I was scared that it couldn't be this easy. My head was telling me to be careful not to get hurt.
I remember the exact moment it hit me. I worked a morning shift and he was working the night shift at his work. I came home that afternoon to find Brett had programmed the CD player to play Roxette's "Listen to your Heart" on repeat. It hit me like a tonne of bricks. He is my soul mate. He is my world. I wanted to be with him forever.
Brett came home from work that night, to find that I had moved all his clothes from his room into the walk-in-wardrobe in the main room. I had made it official. We had "moved in" together.
|How young and dorky are we!?|
I was 19, Brett was almost 26 here.
In October 1999, he proposed. It wasn't a romantic, sweep you off your feet kind of a thing. It was us. It was comfortable. And I already knew it was coming. I accidentally found the ring a few weeks before. Apparently he was trying to find some over-the-top, epic movie, jaw dropping way to propose. But in the end, he just knew that it didn't matter, and one quiet Sunday morning, after making me breakfast in bed, he knelt on the side of the bed and ask me to marry him.
11 months later, we married and bought a house. Our life had begun.....