My introduction to the world of relationships began when I was sixteen years old, dating a man fourteen years my senior, a cheater and a playboy. A naïve virgin believing the silver tongue of a worldly man that knew what he wanted. For a time, he wanted me. That romance ended suddenly two years later when I found out his even younger mistress was pregnant. I spiraled out of control, partying, not caring about myself or others.
My twentieth birthday, memorable yet uneventful, another party, too much alcohol. A twenty year old, impulsive, college graduate looking for something, anything to keep me entertained. Enter Stephan Graf, a man twenty years my senior, married but separated by a continent from his wife and teenage daughter, a heartache looking for a place to happen. Would I ever learn? I was attracted to the bad boys but this one almost took my life. Two years of lies, deception and cheating. The final straw, my boyfriend in bed with my friend Lynn. My thoughts turned dark, anger took over. I was determined to end it all. Thankfully God decided it was not my time.
A Chevy Blazer turned into the laneway and I stood watching. I was spending another day on my best friend Sandy’s dairy farm. The only place I seemed to find any solace. I tilted my head and watched as the blazer made its way towards me. My body tensed as it appeared that it might not stop in time. The driver slammed on the brakes and it skidded to a stop inches away from me. I frowned and watched as a guy I had never seen before stepped out, a wide grin on his face. “Hello,” he greeted in his thick accent.
“Hello, is that it? You could have killed me you ding bat!”
He grinned and stuck out his hand. “Albert.”
I looked down at his hand in disdain expecting him to pull it away. After several seconds I frowned and grudgingly offered mine. His thumb massaged my hand and I pulled away, embarrassed by the rush of excitement that the action triggered. He glanced at me and smiled as I openly studied him. He was kind of cute or could be if he cut his hair and got rid of the fur on his face. I hated beards. He stood about six feet tall, had dark brown eyes, hair to his shoulders with ringlets swirling at the ends. A woman would kill to have hair like his.
I was startled out of my perusal by the sound of his voice. “You like?”
I frowned. “Like what?”
He shrugged, “What you are seeing here.”
“Mph,” I snorted and turned to walk away.
“You see my broder Hans here?”
I turned briefly to look at him. Oh that is who you are, a Dittenberger. I see the resemblance. “Yeah he is in the barn.”
I turned and made my way into the house smiling to myself. He certainly wasn’t shy and I had to admit, I found his broken English and deep voice kind of sexy. According to Sandy he had only been in Canada for a year and a half. He had moved here from Austria with his family and his English definitely needed some work.
Two days later I ran into the wild driving foreigner once again. Sandy and I went to visit another farmer, Gilbert Stenson, and his wife Josephine. We were standing outside when I notice the familiar blazer speeding up the drive. This time I knew enough to stand to the side, a gesture that didn’t go unnoticed. Albert got out of the blazer, walked over and stood in front of me, a grin on his face. “You scared?
Gilbert laughed, “You torturing our Canadian girls?”
I felt the heat creep up my neck and the butterflies in my stomach and I dared to glance over at my friend. She winked at me and I shot her a dirty look.
Albert grinned. “Gilbert, I nicer than that.”
I looked back at him, and crossed my arms over my chest in a gesture of defiance. “I’m not scared of anything.”
Josephine laughed, “I think you’re taking on the wrong girl Albert.”
Albert paused a moment, studying me. I began to squirm and he smiled knowingly. “Maybe.”
Josephine smiled and shook her head. “You Europeans.”
“What’s wrong with us?” Her husband asked, putting his arm around her shoulders, squeezing gently.
Josephine playfully slapped his arm. “Everything, now let’s all go inside.”
Albert followed them into the house and Sandy grabbed my arm holding me back. “I think he likes you.” She whispered excitedly.
I shrugged, not ready to admit that I was attracted to him. “Really?”
“Can’t you tell?”
“Oh my God! You must be blind.” She huffed. “Let’s go inside.”
We made our way into the house and Sandy quickly sat down on the far side of the table leaving the vacant chair beside Albert for me. Embarrassed, I sat down. Albert had his arm resting on the back of the chair but I leaned forward to avoid contact. As the evening wore on and the wine flowed freely, the topic turned to fishing. Fishing had always been one of my passions. My father used to take me when I was a young girl. Albert’s arm dropped onto my shoulder and I had consumed several glasses of wine so I didn’t care.. “Would you like fishing with me?” He asked. His eyes full of sincerity.
“I would love to go fishing.”
“Okay we go now fishing.”
“Now,” I asked perplexed. It was totally dark outside.
“Yes,” he said.
“Where are we going to go fishing now?”
He grinned. “We fish at my house in my water bed.”
Everyone laughed and I felt the heat entering my cheeks. I was not amused. “Not!”
“Too bad, we have fun there.”
Two hours later I was home, alone in my bed, unable to think about anything but him. He certainly has nerve. I thought to myself, grinning into the darkness.