I remember asking him when we were going to eat at the Queen’s Staircase. (He had no idea then how serious I was about my food) He told us it was ok to eat the hot dogs from a street vendor which made me soooooo sick. He talked to me again when I was feeding and playing with a stray dog, known in The Bahamas as a “potcake” and he warned me not to pet him. I didn’t want to listen to Raoul, but I listened when my mother told me I couldn’t go back in the country if I touched him.
As the tour ended, Raoul promised my mom to take her to get a Guinness beer (which isn’t the same as what we have in the states.)A few friends jumped in Raoul’s van and off we went to go get something to eat and go to the beach. Raoul said he would take us to his cousin’s restaurant at the Fish Fry. While walking there I complained he said “it’s right here” and it was actually a long way to walk. I was starving!
It’s didn’t take long for us to feel at home there. We tried local food (like cracked conch and fried snapper) and drinks (like Sky Juice, Kalik and Guinness.) That day I fell in love with their amazing food. We also had dancing lessons from the waitress. I got a strange feeling like Raoul was watching me trying to learn to dance but I didn’t pay it any mind. I was calling Raoul my step dad all afternoon because of the whole “How Stella got her Groove back” thing. We had a great time at that place!
When we were heading to the car to go to the beach, I realized they threw about my Kalik beer bottle (which I wanted to save for sand). Raoul offered to get me another and walked me to another restaurant on the strip. We argued because he wanted to buy it and of course I wasn’t having it. I remember he made a comment about my eyes and I gave in. I waited outside talking to his buddy Rasta who was making conch salad for two ladies. I noticed the ladies were going crazy over this “pistol” and Rasta gave it to them and they swallowed it right up. Rasta offered me one but I declined. (I’m not in the habit of putting just anything in my mouth) Raoul came out from buying the beer and let Rasta drink it so I could have the bottle. While they were swallowing up “pistols” I asked Raoul what it was, he told me to try one, I hesitated but he told me not to worry it was safe. I figured “When in Rome” and sucked it down for the full Bahamas experience. It was salty and almost slimy. We headed back to everyone waiting at the car and I asked “Raoul, what was that I just put in my mouth?” He replied “A reproductive organ.” You can imagine the look on my face! I was UP-SET! I told him I thought I could trust him and I couldn’t believe he let me put that in my mouth!
I told everyone what had just happened as soon as we reached the car and they all wanted to go investigate. So back we went so a few of them could see what I was talking about and try one. I told Raoul I would always remember him for that experience. (I attribute Rasta, Conch salad and Kalik beer to how Raoul and I got together)
He dropped us off at the beach and we all gave him our emails and I thought I’d never see or hear from him again. A few weeks later my mom called excited that Raoul had emailed her. I asked her to forward it to me and I noticed he sent it to everyone. I checked my junk folder and there my copy was. There was also another email. He sent me an email asking if I was married because of my hyphenated last name. He explained there had been times he let opportunities go by because he didn’t speak up and he regretted that. He asked if he could email and I said it would be ok.
After a few nice emails he asked if he could call me. I had no idea how hard he worked and how much money he spent to get me on the phone for short conversations. Once he was able to get a magic jack, and call unlimited I was hearing that enticing accent more often than I ever expected. Raoul says it was the fact he was from the Bahamas and I think it was his voice and his intelligence but he won me over and soon my mother was telling everyone I stole her man. I couldn’t tell you when we officially started dating but I could tell you when through texts and emails we said sweet things to one another.
By the end of December I had pretty much figured out that I would fall in love with and marry this man. And the journey began.
Did you know you were going to marry your SO before you started officially started dating? Do you believe in love at first sight?