December 10, 2016 — As soon as I cross the airport security, Mario scoops me up into his arms. We start kissing right there and I wonder how we’ll make it back to his place. It’s the middle of the day and he asks if we should stop for lunch. “No,” I say, “I only want one thing — you.”
We make it inside before tearing each other’s clothes off. The pace is frenetic; we are so thirsty for each other. He carries me to the bed. His hands are all over my body. He makes me orgasm with his mouth before he slides inside me. It feels like coming home. We spend hours in bed. Afterwards, I enjoy watching him walk around naked — something he says he’s rarely ever done.
We force ourselves to get out of bed and get dressed. Why is #adulting so hard? We check in with his kids and then get some food at a Vietnamese restaurant. He has five kids — but two are young adults — the result of getting married at age 19. He worked multiple jobs and went to school to support his little family, while I was dicking around in college with barely any real life responsibly. From there he built a number of businesses, even though he went through a dark period as his marriage fell apart. I’m so impressed by him.
He likes his Pho spicy. I like watching him eat in person (we’ve eaten more than a few meals over FaceTime — when I’m here, I don’t even want to look at my phone). Later, we walk through an art gallery that he’s helped get off the ground. They want him to join their board of directors, but he’s not sure he wants to commit the time. The place is unique — local artists adorn the walls and there’s a music venue.
The next morning, we hit a local diner and walk around downtown. Then we head to his church. We’ve talked extensively about our different beliefs. He is fairly devout, having achieved his college and masters degrees at a seminary college. I’m an atheist.
Our differences are approached with respect. I would never want him to change — the fabric of his core is such a beautiful tapestry, and this is only one thread. He is flexible and creative in his thinking. He accepts who I am too. We share many of the same fundamental conclusions — we just take different paths to get there and we aren’t critical of the other’s navigation.
His church is different from any I’ve ever attended. It’s filled with soulful music from a live band. At some point I run into his ex-wife outside the bathrooms. We exchange some light conversation and she heads off looking for their youngest two kids who may be in the bathroom. The church has a sizable library collection and I look through some of it before heading back inside to sit down.
After service, we race across town to meet my parents for lunch. My aunt and cousin are in town and they join us. At some point, I leave Mario alone with my dad, and head to the ladies room with my mom. When we walk back to join them, my dad gives me a goofy, sentimental smile. “What did you guys talk about,” I ask Mario later. “I told your dad that I’m planning on taking care of you for the rest of my life,” he responds. “I just wanted him to know, so there’s no confusion about my intentions.” My heart races — this beautiful, honest man just said that to my dad. I want to melt.
Next, we race to the other side of town to meet his parents at their house. His parents are lovely and try to make me feel comfortable. They have a beautiful faux painted accent wall and many adorable family pictures that catch my eye. His oldest son stops by and starts making dinner — all his kids are ridiculously good looking.
Afterwards, we drive home exhausted. I can’t bear to go out so we take home food and watch the movie Love Actually. He’s never seen it before. We fall asleep on the sofa. My flight is at 6 am the next morning. Brutal. I don’t want to leave.
He sends me the following pic to keep my chin up: