On one of my visits, Jenny, his younger sister, was visiting with me on their front room sofa and pulled out the family photo albums. We giggled over the silly pictures of "plumber guy" when he was kid and the nifty 70's and early 80's fashions. Then she showed me some of his high school pictures and pictures from when he competed in body building. Oh my heavens! There was a couple of pictures that absolutely left me breathless. I had yet to see "plumber guy" shirtless, let alone, in a swimming suit. I knew under his tight, crisp, tee shirts, and jeans that fit, oh so nice, there was a body to die for! And I was right.
There he was. In the picture, his body was slightly tan, and he was wearing bright green florescent swim trunks and he was posing. He was flexing his large biceps and his washboard stomach glistened in the sun light. His pecks were bulging and he had a goofy smile on his face. I thought to myself, "I will do my wash on that stomach any day of the week!" I couldn't believe that this fine specimen, that I had fallen in love with, existed under his clean cut exterior.
Then his sister showed me a picture from one of his body building competitions. This picture was just as wonderful as the other one, but this one.... this one he was wearing a speedo. He was standing along side of his competitors, receiving his trophy. His wide shoulders and narrow waist, made a perfect triangle. I felt myself begin to blush.
"Oh my word!" I yelped with excitement. "I had no idea that you are that big!"
"Yeah," he said as his face began to turn red.
I loved how he was so humble and that he became embarrassed over the pictures. I loved everything about him.
July passed and everyone assumed that we were going to eventually get married. I hoped they were right. Whenever someone would ask us if we were getting married, we would just turn red and giggle. He still hadn't talked about marriage with me and besides, the words "I love you" had not entered into any of our conversations. There was so many times that I wanted to whisper those words to him, but I feared a negative reaction. Maybe he didn't love me, maybe he was unsure of his feelings about me.
The first week of August "plumber guy" had a big trip planned to go to Lake Powell. He was going to go with some neighbors and friends and he was going to be gone almost a week. It was hard to imagine my days with out seeing him on a daily basis and my heart started to ache at the thought of not seeing him for an entire week. I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible before he left for his trip. I even ran errands with him. On one such errand, we picked up a funny character, that was also going on the trip, to buy some necessary food items. This funny character was named Ken. Ken had a large belly and his jeans always seemed to be hanging low with his crack exposed. Not a pretty sight, but a funny guy. While we were driving to our shopping destination Ken asked Steve, "So Steve when are you two going to get married?"
"Plumber guy" looked at me and said, "So when are we going to get married?"
I was shocked. It was the first time he even acknowledged the possibility of marriage with me. I became flustered and replied, "I don't know!" This wasn't how I imagined the conversation would be when "plumber guy" and I had finally talked about becoming eternal companions. I was embarrassed and decided to just not bring the subject up again. I wanted the man of my dreams to take the initiative.
We arrived at the store and Ken and I had stayed behind. There was no need for all of us to go in for 1 item. Ken asked me, "If Steve asked you to marry him now, would you?"
"Yeah, I would."
"How about if you were to get married in a month?"
"Yeah, as long as my parents could pay for everything," I replied.
"Plumber guy" got back in to the driver seat and we were off to the next store.
"Hey Steve!" Ken bellowed. "Jennifer said she would marry you in a month, if you would ask her!"
"What! What was he doing!?!?!?!" I thought to myself. I didn't know what to expect from "plumber guy". I secretly hoped that he would turn to me and say, "Okay, let's go for it!"
He didn't. He just smiled and said, "she did, did she."
We had finished "plumber guy's" errands and I helped him pack.
It was late and he drove me to my apartment. It was getting harder and harder to part ways with him. Our kisses were becoming longer and more passionate. I longed for the day that we wouldn't have to say our good bye's at our door ways every night.
"Plumber guy" and I stood at my doorway, holding each other. We told each other that we were going to miss each other, desperately, and I had a request for him. Once in a while, "plumber guy" would let his beard grow a little. He never let it get passed the five o'clock shadow stage, and there were hints of red in it. There was something about seeing the man that I loved, looking rugged and virile (in the manly, masculine strong way). So I requested that he not shave until I had a chance to see him with a beard. He just smiled and complied.