I joke about my husband quite a bit. I call him Handy Manny but his name is Edward . I like to tell people that he doesn’t speak English and since I don’t speak Spanish, it’s a match made in heaven. The truth is he speaks English (a bit). However, when I met him he really didn’t.
I went to a restaurant with some teacher friends and he was out waiter. I noticed how sweet he was and how he never stopped smiling. My friends say he never took his eyes off of me and that they weren’t sure if he even knew they were there. He brought our food and drinks then brought some drinks and a dessert that we didn’t even ask for. At one point the Mariachi band was harassing us as he was walking by and our eyes locked. I’ll never forget feeling it gave me. I asked him about the ring he was wearing on his left hand and he kept mentioning church. I’m thinking “yeah you get married in a church, dummy” but he was insistent that he was not married and it was for the church (whaa?). My friend decided to leave my phone number on our bill for him. I was just buying a house, had a daughter to raise and had no time for a relationship especially with a waiter who didn’t speak English (I know big ego, right). The calls started immediately, “Heeelow, A-meeee, Dis iz EDwaaad, I calling u”. I never answered his calls and eventually he got the message.
A year later one of the friends that was with me that night and I were hungry and we decided to go back to the same restaurant. I was reluctant and she told me to get over myself “he’s not gonna remember you”. As soon as we walked in he was sitting a table, stood up and called out “Hi, Amy”. I was startled and nervously answered “hello” with little eye contact. My friend and I laughed and asked our waiter if that guy’s name was Edward to which the waiter answered “Yes, and you gave him your phone number and then never answered his phone call”. We laughed, finished our meal, said goodbye and went on our way.
A few weeks later we went back and since he was cleaning his section nearby we started a conversation with him. He told us where he was from (Peru), where he lived (close by) and about his family (they were close to his heart especially his mother who has recently passed). I again noticed his constant smile and sweet nature. I also noticed the ring (it turned out to be a rosary ring) was gone. As we were leaving that night he said ” I won’t sleep tonight”. Did he just way he won’t sleep tonight because of me?? I slept fine but that comment triggered something in me.
A week later a hurricane hit our town much harder than it was expected to. During the hurricane, I was alone (well I did have my dog but as soon as it was over he ran away and never returned), scared and had decided that I was tired of being alone. The next week almost all of the restaurants in the area were closed due to power failure except for the one he worked at. Again, we went back to eat (this friend and I ate out much too often) and this time I gave him my phone number . He later told me that before he called, he got out his English textbook and searched for “how to ask someone to dinner”. So when he called this time, I answered and he read his script. “Heee low, A-Meee, Dis is Edward, de restaurant. I wand do dake do deeennur”. It was the best date ever!