The gal upstairs wins the lottery.

This is kinda like one of those stories you hear about someone who bought a lottery ticket and then misplaced it. And then months later, they found the ticket under a pile of clutter and slowly realized the winning numbers were just out of reach all along. Kinda like that.

The Gal Upstairs is what my fiancé called me during the first few months of our courtship in late 2012. “Gal” is one of his adorable East Texas nouns. There are many.

He texted me one September morning while I was at work: “Will you be my gal for the weekend?” I laughed aloud in my cubicle.  It was a Wednesday and he was already thinking about the weekend. I smiled, knowing that was his country way of letting me know he wanted to spend more time together.

My future husband lived just two floors below my apartment for an entire 14 months before I ever laid eyes on him. Our assigned parking spots were marked right next to one another, yet more than a year had passed before so much as a “good morning” was exchanged.  The easy explanation is that he works nights. My schedule is opposite his. Naturally, we missed one another coming and going. But I decided later that Timing was just taking a very long nap – for my own good really.

The truth is that God wasn’t done schooling me. There was something very special about 2012. That January, I set very aggressive goals financially, spiritually and relationally. By June, Progress had shown up in curious form. I’d finally managed to close a couple of very heavy doors and take notice of an open window. (This is the part where I say the window had been open the whole time. Of course.)

So when I finally did meet Mr. Wonderful on that sweet summer day at my apartment swimming pool, I asked if he lived nearby. That’s when he pointed directly behind us – to my building.

“Been here ’bout a year.”

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