I was never really the type to make big commitments, I mean I used to tell everyone I was going to die young, probably sky-diving or something.  I was always going to grab life by the balls and make it my bitch.  Fun until the end, do the things I want and have one hell of ride.  I wasn’t the kind of guy to get into commitments.  When people thought of me, I wanted them to think  “Brett Haroldson lives life-like he is finishing a bucket list”.   I thought about that guy today as I looked at the number on my phone, I knew who it was and knew it would be the end of those carefree days.  I would have to tone it down a bit, a new type of fun.  But let me tell you how I got into the situation, where I was staring at my phone fearfully excited about the future.

I had an awesome schedule for my life.  I got up at 5AM every morning, loved the mornings because it set the tone for the day.  Straight out to the local gym for a good workout to begin the day.  If you are going to live life like everyday is your last you have to be in condition to take a bit of a pounding and lets face it, one-night stands aren’t the domain of the heavy-set dudes.  Not that I have a problem with a heavier guy, hell I envied the idea of a few more high calorie meals in my day, but my lifestyle requested a certain type of body.  I also like what I saw in the morning and it gave me confidence.  I was a six-foot tall guy with brown hair, blue eyes and always a nice length of stable.  Just long enough to be rough and sexy but never unruly and never too smooth.  This took some work.  I liked that my muscles were well-defined.  Was a happy 12 percent body-fat and loved that you could use me to teach a muscular anatomy class.  Ladies across the bar loved it to.

I left the gym, showered up and clean, and headed straight to my day job.  The job was the flaw in my lady-killer plan, I was just a simple accountant, well a damn fine one.  Numbers had always been a strength for me and I was making good money at a young age.  I worked my ass off, all day and every day.  I didn’t spend time online or checking my Facebook, I wanted to be the best and probably was well on my way.  I knew that the better I did at work the better I could support my lifestyle.  Money is underrated by most people, they forget it is a great motivator and reminder of how good we are at what we do.  That is why the ugly guy in the Bentley still takes home a super-model, she knows he kicks ass during the day and can supply what she wants.  That isn’t something to be reviled, like it is, but something we should aspire too.  Everything I did in life was like work, I walked faster, cooked faster, cleaned faster and did everything faster than those around me.  I kept a good high-energy pace.  It was invigorating.

When I left the office, things changed a little.  Some nights I went home and cooked a nice meal, every man who wants to attract good-looking women should be a master of his kitchen.  But for six or so months of the winter, I went to a local arena and coached a high-level hockey team.  I liked the intensity of competition and while I wasn’t much of a player, teaching the players who were was a ton of fun.  The coaching gigs had led to a lot of fun and opportunities.

After the rink or dinner, I always had plans.  Some nights it was a quiet thing on my own.  Maybe I would head to the gun-range, to the movie theatre or to the archery range.  In the summer I liked the batting cages.  Maybe I would take in a hockey or a baseball game, depending on season.  Other nights were for fun, out to the club or a bar.  Spend some time meeting new people and hanging out with some old friends.  Usually chasing the prettiest girl in the bar, and even getting her number once in a while.  Most of my relationships lasted only a handful of dates, the odd one maybe six months.  I wasn’t looking for a woman to spend the rest of my life with, in fact as a general rule, when women got serious I ended it immediately.  Even with the good ones, I just didn’t want to be tied down.

Hockey was starting to change all that though, and totally by accident.  I know how cliché it is when the coach is hitting on the trainer, but hey what can I say this one was hot.  I couldn’t try that stuff at the rink, professionalism and all, so I would have to find a way to become friends and get her to meet me away from the rink.  Beers with the other coaches wasn’t an issue so why not include the trainer.  I started talking to her more and started to listen to her more.

She was different then a lot of the other girls in my life.  I always got this weird feeling when I saw her, when I got to the rink I found myself searching her out just to chat.  I even found myself taking notes of things she said, so I might be able to use them later to show her I cared.  I generally wouldn’t do that, I mean if you don’t want to keep a lady around, you don’t tend to build a mental database.

I took stock of all those things and realized the totally unpredictable was happening, I was falling for a girl I wasn’t even dating.  It was all the little things that she did that built up to this feeling I had.  Early in the season I bought a new suit, I got it home on a game-day and hastily put it on for the evenings game.  I raced over to the rink.  When I got there she sat on a table in the concession area.  Her curly dark hair hanging down to her shoulders, so beautiful.  Her piercing blue eyes set against the darkness of her hair always drawing my eyes to them.  Smiling and waving as she sat there in her track jacket and black, with a stripe of blue at that top, yoga pants.  She held a starbucks coffee in her hand, no doubt brought to her by one of the hockey parents who were busy kissing the staffs’ ass.  I waved and smiled back and then she told me to turn around as I approached.   In that caring way she did everything she removed the scissors from her trainers bag and cut the thread out of the tail in my jacket that I had forgotten to remove.  I smiled and thanked her and had to leave because I could feel the excitement making my heart race.  It was shortly after this night we started hanging out once in a while.

We agreed to a movie one night after an exhausting week at the rink, lots of hockey politics.  So we swung by her office on our way to the most recent action flick, her pick.  She said it would only take a minute but it took a lot longer.  I sat at her desk with nothing to do for a couple of hours.  She apologizing the whole time.  This was not the standard fast paced alway in motion, kind of life I was used to and it should have annoyed me.  But I sat there, happily watching her work, starting to wonder what was wrong with me.  Mentally cataloguing everything she said.

I decided to tell her how I felt, I mean this was insane, she was cutting into my partying lifestyle and people were starting to notice it.  I was avoiding women at the bar and generally spending more nights on the solo things I enjoyed.  Jesus I was even listening to love ballads in my car, I was sick obviously.  So when she invited me over to watch a romantic-comedy I read it as my chance to make my move.  I had a plan in my head, I had played through what I would say over and over in my head.  I had considered all the objections and potential responses.  I knew I had to sell myself.  I was going to do it during the movie because she would be feeling romantic.  Then the movie started and she sat at one end of the couch with her arms folded and her body position closed to me, so I assumed I had misread.  I drove home angry at myself for not talking to her and by the time I got home talked myself into texting my feelings over.  As it would turn out she was into seeing me after all.

Now here I sat a mere eight weeks later with my phone ringing, realizing no one would have ever seen this coming, with most people, but definitely not me.  The guy who wouldn’t settle down for dinner, let alone a woman, was going to be doing a full 180 degree turn.  I looked at the phone and recalled all my crazy times and exploits, all of my plans for future risky endeavours and single guy things too.  I looked at that number and considered, if I didn’t answer I could go back to the life I knew, and I didn’t mind that it was a lot of fun and really was safe because it was familiar.  Or I answered it and took a turn into the unknown.  I weighed them quickly and then slid my finger over the phone to answer:


“Mr. Haroldson, the engagement ring you ordered is in, are you still interested in getting this one?”

“On my way!”