The movie-like romance of my life part 2

OK we’re back, I hope you are looking forward to part 2! To add context to the story, I was only going to be in Porto for 3 days and 2 nights, leaving at like 11 am on my third day.

To be honest, after our night out I wasn’t thinking about the date too much. I even told the guys back home that if it fell through I wouldn’t be too upset because I was looking forward to learning about the city as it was my only full day in Porto. And I definitely took advantage of that full day by eating the local food, seeing the sights, and hanging out with some of the guys in my hostel, including Lucas – another friend from the Netherlands. Lucas mentions to me on the date that I should bring a bottle of Port wine and that was a great idea. The plan was for Jen and I to see a sunset, then get dinner from a restaurant that was recommended to me by the staff at the hostel.

Jen and I met at the lobby of the hostel at around 5 or 6 and walked to the sunset viewpoint. It overlooked the river, bridge, and skyline of the city – truly one of the greatest views I’ve seen of a skyline. When we settled at our spot I realized 2 things. 1. I did not bring a wine bottle opener because I’m a frat boy who only drinks alcohol out of screw offs or pull tabs and 2. I did not bring any cups/glasses. So Jen and I start walking around looking for someone on the hill to lend us their bottle opener. When I did find a bottle opener from some others, I didn’t know how to use it – again because I’m a frat boy. It wasn’t until we fiddled with it for a while when a local pulled it out of my hand and opened the wine for us, as he aggressively shoved the cork and bottle back onto me.

We watched the sunset while taking swigs out the bottle. For those not in the know, Port wine is a dessert wine and it’s really sweet, I believe that it’s also boozier than normal wine, so I was kind of feeling myself. We talked about a lot of things on that hill, I don’t think that there was any silence really. To be honest, I couldn’t even tell you too much about the sunset or what was happening around us. I was pretty focused on her the entire time, it was hard not to be. We talked about our favourite shows and at certain points it felt like she was reading my mind by telling me that she loved New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Drive to Survive, and even Ted Lasso. I probably got a little too personal and told her too much about my life, even some of the sad bits but I felt really comfortable and she kept asking me questions, so it was a really introspective conversation. Maybe it was the alcohol but I started talking about my family, my friends back home – the most important things in my life. I started tearing up a bit too, I’m a bitch I know but you all know I’m quite emotional. Also the Port wine was doing it’s thing.

We had several similarities in terms of our friend groups, our stances on family, our stances on career. It was just very easy conversation, the back and forth was a lot of fun and I even told her things that really only she knows (if she remembers them, probably not). When the sun set and it got dark, we start walking towards the restaurant. We even saw some stray cats which she was a big fan of. Eventually we get to the restaurant and it was closed. LOL. I made a remark about how I was trying to impress her but she told me that she was really enjoying herself, which was reassuring to me.

We did a lot of walking until we found a place to get dinner but boy did we find a spot. It was an Italian restaurant, we were seated right by the river, live music playing by us, underneath the bridge that we saw at the viewpoint. Real movie shit. We ordered a few things, to be honest I don’t remember everything we ordered but we ordered something with olives. I hate olives, she loves them – that’s a How I Met Your Mother reference. We talked about our role models, of course I mentioned Ted Lasso, who she said that I reminded her of. Not necessarily for the good things but because as she said I was a tortured soul. This girl read me like a book. Dinner was lovely, I paid (of course), and we went off – not before fireworks went off at the distance. I’m not making a joke, actual fireworks went off over the river. I made the joke that I planned that, but realistically I was just kind of lucky. On our walk home we went to an old McDonalds that used to be a church with stained glass, and then we arrived at our hostel to end the night.

We were both leaving in the morning, me back to Lisbon, her to Lagos. I was honest with her. I told her that if we were in the same city, without a doubt in my mind, I would pursue this. She agreed. At that point in my life and still to this day, I have never met someone before who was on the same page as me, like she was. Has anyone ever left you speechless by just listening? We decided to get breakfast in the morning before we went to the bus station. Again, I kissed her good night and she went off to bed. I stayed up till like 1 am talking to my buddy Callum on the phone about how the night went. I realized how special she was and how amazing that interaction was, it left me with a feeling that I had never felt in my life.

I think that feeling was me for the first time in a long time feeling like I didn’t have to prove myself to anybody. I’ve written before how I have a hard time living in the moment and that I’m often observing what’s around me or planning ahead to prevent reaction, promoting proactivity. She was a very empathetic person with high emotional intelligence. I didn’t feel like I had to keep my guard up or that I had to watch myself around her. I just submitted to the moment. This is something that I even struggle with my closest friends. Not because my friends are bad people but because I’m a bit neurotic and even though I can be comfortable around most people and vice versa – that level of comfort that I project is really just me staying calm and processing information as it comes to me. I’m sure that a lot of this had to do with my need to be a people pleaser as well, which oddly enough was something that she also brought up on our date.

And with that, we will conclude part 2 of this vacay romance.

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