I was a freshman in college, alone on a campus of 22,000 students at the University of South Florida. I didn’t know anyone. I had just turned eighteen when our dorm floor—all freshman girls—was invited to a party at an all-boys dorm floor. Only a handful of us went, to a handful of boys in one of their dorm rooms. The frozen daiquiri was the drink of the year, and our host had a blender full of lime slush.
We all sat on the floor and talked while Led Zeppelin played in the background. Abe sat opposite me and focused on me pretty early on. What struck me then was that he listened more than he talked. He looked at me when I spoke. This was not what I was used to seeing. No bluster, no false bravado, no aggression, just questions and interested responses. And such kindness in those beautiful brown eyes. I wanted to know this boy.
I learned more about that night many years later. When I stood to leave, Abe offered to walk me back across the quad. Apparently our host started to rise to join us, but behind my back Abe waved him off. He sat back down, the entire exchange unbeknownst to me. Abe and I headed back to my dorm, where we agreed to another date. The rest is history.
It’s a long history: 38 years together, 31 of them married. Lots of ups and downs, and a few years back we reached a new high in our relationship that has held. Abe is a man of integrity, faith, hard work and a very dry sense of humor. It’s so dry that it took me years to know when he was kidding. But he does love to make me laugh. And he still makes me melt with those eyes.
It started with Jazz and went on to Jeaux, where I caught it.