How do you describe the most perfect week of your life? Sometimes there are just no words to explain how perfect a moment with someone can be. It would take a far better poet or writer than Paqui to say how it felt like to be with Don. It was just… Wow… I really cannot say how it felt.
Paqui’s old English teacher had always told her that she wrote in too much detail, that she was too wordy, too repetitive. And suddenly Paqui had no words. No words to talk about how it felt like to be with Don. Living with him for a week in their hotel room. Waking up and falling asleep together every day. Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together: and oh my goodness, such amazing food. Filling up their days with visiting his wonderful family and sightseeing Holland. They spent every moment together. Paqui didn’t even want to go shopping without him. So he went with her and his niece Desiree to get a new European wardrobe for Paqui. He helped pick out outfits, and he had unerring taste for what would look good on his Paqui.
It was a week of turning Paqui into what she used to be: a cute, fun, confident, fashionable, European woman. It was quite the transformation, and once back at work, everyone said that she looked like a new woman. And everyone loved the new Paqui, most of all Paqui herself. Don said she would look good no matter what she wore. And her favorite student Karl said that she would look beautiful with a grocery bag on her head. But Paqui finally felt right about how she looked.
As for the transformation? First she bought new clothes. Then she dyed her hair back to its original black. She got acrylic nails put on (thank you Dayna, her new nail stylist) and had them painted fire engine red. And yes, Don went with her for that too…inseparable indeed. She even had a new bucket list experience, such as getting her first tattoo. Actually they got matching tattoos together. It was his idea that they should each get half a heart and to put their names on each other’s arms. They researched on the internet first and designed the tattoo together (thank you Monika, her new tattoo artist), Paqui had always wanted a tattoo, and Don gave her the courage to finally get one. And it didn’t even hurt!! Before the first one was done, she was already planning her second one!!
There was not one awkward or boring moment that entire week. It felt so right to be with him. Not even meeting his family was awkward. Paqui felt as though they were her family too. She loved his sister immediately. And as for his father… Paqui had lost her father almost 24 years ago, and the minute she saw his dad, she felt as though she finally had a father again. Within days, he was calling her his daughter in law and bringing tears of joy to Paqui’s eyes.
And to all those non-believers out there… There is such a thing as love at first sight, as well as just knowing that this is the person with whom you are supposed to be for the rest of your life. Only those who have experienced this can fully understand and accept.
I think that everyone that Don and Paqui told their story to, both family and friends, had that first reaction of “How can they be sure this is it? They have both been wrong before.” Yet everyone who saw them together, both in person and just skyping to each other, had to admit that they just glowed with happiness. That they looked right together. And more importantly that they made each other so happy, happier than anyone had ever seen them be before.
At first Don’s family had been worried that he was going too fast. He had been hurt before and had married someone too quickly, someone that he was now in the process of getting divorced from, even as he declared his love for Paqui. Yet I think (hope, feel, believe) that every single member of his family, from his dad and mom, to his sister, brother in law and niece, quickly came to accept, not just his love for Paqui, but also her love for him. They realized over that week what Don and Paqui had accepted within hours: that they were meant to be together.
And for all the curious out there…without giving too much detail or TMI, the physical side of their love was as fulfilling as the emotional side. Although all they had ever done in 1982 was kiss, lovemaking came as natural to them as kissing. Don gave her everything and anything that she had ever wanted. He made her feel like the most desirable and most loved woman in the world. And Paqui made him feel like a whole new man. It was just simply perfect. In every way. Romantic. Fun. Passionate. And yes, even naughty. Perfect. And with lots of practice (and I mean LOTS), it just got better and better every day.
The best moments? The pillow talks each night before they fell asleep. Sometimes they just talked about their love for each other. Sometimes they shared sad stories of the past, and held each other tenderly as the pain just melted away. They shared sad moments, shameful secrets, bared their very souls to each other, and they accepted these truths, and fell even deeper in love. They told each other things that they had never told anyone before. Things that will remain a secret to anyone else. Yet from this moment on, they had no more secrets from each other.
Paqui loved these moments. They would fall asleep listening to the almost 200 songs that they had sent to each other. They talked until one of them would fall asleep. Don caressed her arm continuously, as she lay in his arms. And he would even continue to caress her as he slept. Paqui felt safe and sound in his arms. She had not slept well the weeks after he found her, and she would sleep even worse when she returned to Michigan. But that week, in his arms, she slept like a baby, and after years of suffering from insomnia, she finally found peace. In Don’s arms.