This is Jason's Part 2 of our story. I have to admit, this really touched my heart. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.
The idea for me was to write the first one and then write enough to let Cassie put one entry a week on her blog, but she had a different idea, like a typical editor she wanted more and sooner….. I won!! So here’s part 2 of my side probably with more editorial comments, enjoy…
So here we are in the airport and she has FINALLY showed up and taken my opportunity to have a week in Orlando away, so we make our way to the car and the first thing I notice about America is just how warm it is in December, now let’s be fair I have never stepped foot in the country so didn’t know what to expect but to me this was warm. On the way to the car my phone decides to pick-up a signal and just as we get to the car I get a message telling me that Cassie is running late and she’s really sorry, it’s from her but thanks to modern technology it arrives after she does she may as well have sent a postcard. So we get to the car and start to make out way out of the airport and I decide I will call Chris my mate back home. As we drive out of the parking garage onto the mean streets I look over to Cassie and just keep looking, I know she says I don’t take a good photo but she does and she looks just as good sitting next to me so most of the journey back to Jacksonville is spent just looking at her. To let you know how much attention I wasn’t paying to the road Cassie was on the phone to her friend Wendy when we drove onto a bridge, and this wasn’t just a small bridge, this thing was long and had no warning of coming up so I look round to see we’re just getting onto this bridge and say something in the form of an exclamation which makes her laugh, she tells Wendy and she laughs. The next part that Cassie decides to tell everyone about me is when we have to stop for gas along I95, she asks if I’m hungry and I could go for a bite to eat so she pulls off the highway and asks if I like Taco Bell, I have no idea as we don’t have Taco Bell in England but Taco’s are Mexican and I like Mexican food so she drives through Taco Bell to get us some Taco’s which makes me exclaim “a drive through Mexican, BRILLIANT” she finds that funny enough to tell people to this day. Then she pulls into the gas station next door and tells me to go ahead and start eating. After filling up and getting back in the car to find me with taco over my face exclaiming “ these things are Brilliant” which makes her laugh again as how can someone get so excited over Taco Bell, all I remember thinking was “I’m going to like this place”.
The rest of the drive home was pretty uneventful, not that I would know otherwise as I spent it looking at her the whole time. ( I know pass the bucket, but we had got to know each other very well having never even kissed until earlier that day and that is an awesome thing to build a relationship on).
So we get back to her place and I am so tired I just have to sleep but I have this present for her that the guy at Orlando Airport let me keep, and keep wrapped, so I have to unpack first in order to get it out of my suitcase. We stay up for a while and it’s only when I start to fall asleep that we call it day. The next day Cassie takes me to her office to meet her family and get through the Spanish Inquisition, not really true because as everyone knows – “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, their greatest element is Surprise…….”. Thankfully she rescues me and takes me to a bar-b-que place for dinner (I’m still English and it’s still Breakfast, Dinner and Tea), Cassie has already gone through the rigmarole that ensued in Bono’s and to be honest I very nearly turned into the English tourist who shouts very slowly at the locals in the knowledge that this will make them understand what you are talking about. It’s funny how everyone apparently spoke the same language but the waitress and me needed Cassie as a translator, I’ll put that down to being in the South as this still happens to this day. The funny part is I have had to slow my speech down and really take care of my pronunciation to the degree my friends back in England now think I’m a hick! And there are still people I meet or talk to every day who can’t understand me, Drive throughs are fun, and Dollywood can be hilarious! But anyway I managed to get what I wanted without acting it out because really how do you act out toilet activities to get your question across?
Lunch was unbelievable and the rest of my time over here was spent mostly being shown off to her family and eating everything possible, a bit like a travelling Zoo animal really with a lot more translation. We did go and pick Christian up from his dad’s one day and go to the Alligator place in St. Augustine for the day, I remember Cassie driving to a Krispy crème and getting a box of 12 doughnuts which Christian did a bloody good job of devouring when he got in the car, all I remember thinking is she tells me this kid has ADHD and she’s giving him sugar covered doughnuts this could get interesting.
Now I had a short haircut when we met and Cassie had a military ID card so she was paying and trying to get us the military discount when I open my mouth and ask if we can go into the gift shop to look around while she pays, there went the military discount. My mouth gets me into trouble on a regular basis and Cassie has found this out to her detriment on many occasions. Anyway we get in and have a very good day and Christian and me get along very well which could be the only time we did as very shortly afterward I married his mum.
On the day of my flight back to England we knew the day would end with us apart and neither of us really wanted it to come but we both had lives to get back to so it was inevitable. We stopped by her office to say bye to everyone and for Cassie to check on a couple of things before leaving, I took this time to ask her dad for his permission to get engaged in February when Cassie came over and he looked like he was going to cry, I’m sure there are still times when my marrying his daughter makes him cry for entirely different reasons, he called Cassies mum Faye over and told her what I had just asked and she hugged me hard and did cry just a little. They asked if I was moving her to England or if I would be moving here, I explained we hadn’t got that far but we would sort that out when the time was right.
We took our time getting down to Orlando and spent as much time as possible just being together before I had to go through passport control and back to the gate. At the gate I felt I just had to call her so I found a quiet corner, not easy at an airport gate in Orlando with a flight full of Kids and parents running round, but I called her and fantastically got her voicemail so I left a message telling her how much I had fallen in love with her and how I couldn’t wait for her to come over to England in February only 5 weeks away, I mean really, how sad had I become! I got on the plane not having heard from Cassie and knowing it would be at least a day before I could talk to her again.
The flight back was cruel, I got sick and spent the first part of the flight throwing up, my seat was next to an exit door but it was the door that has the slide packed in it so I had about 6” of legroom, major uncomfortable and can’t eat, not the best way to spend 8 hours of your life I can assure you butI got home and thankfully my dad was there to pick me up as it’s not the best idea to land at 6am and have to drive 3 hours home.
Then it was back to reality and life as I had left it, I had a meeting the day after landing that meant me getting up at 5am to drive “down South” for the day to start the year off with motivational stuff for the agents, 2005 was going to be a very good year for me. The next day after the weekly meeting for my team I get a call from my boss who tells me to meet him the next day, this does not sound good so on the way home I call Cassie and tell her what is going on and promise to keep her informed.
The meeting with my boss is not a good one, the company has gone bankrupt for a ridiculous reason and such a small sum of money I could have written a cheque for it myself, but after meeting my boss, Jeff, I call Cassie – here I am just having lost my job and I’m making transatlantic phone calls. I tell her it’s not good news but ask her if she could put up with me for two weeks, the funny thing is when I was leaving Florida my Brother-in-law Mark told me if I really liked this girl I would be back sooner than I thought, I did think he was nuts at the time because it takes a day just to get here so it’s not like I could fly over for the week-end or something, but here I was less than one week after leaving making plans to fly back.
I booked the flight back when I got home and prepared to spend another 2 weeks with this girl who had completely knocked me for six when I met her for the first time less than two weeks earlier. Jeff had arranged for the top people under his management to join another company and before flying out we all met with one of the directors of this new company who gave us a very promising introduction to them, we all left feeling very good about it but the training was going to take place whilst I was away so we made arrangements to get me trained upon my return.
The next day I was on my way back to the airport for my return to Florida and this girl who made me cry when we parted company last time….