I stood at the door of the house in Galway where I was staying, fumbling desperately with the lock I just couldn’t get to open.
“It’s an Irish lock,” Abbey explained on the phone, “You just have to mess with it.”
And mess with it I did.
Only, nothing worked.
I put the key in, pulled it out a little, lifted the handle, and tried it again. And again.
It was late and I was tired — we had been drinking since dinner, which was just after sunset — and all I wanted to was crawl into a bed and go to sleep.
But, that wasn’t going to happen.
“You having troubles?” A man’s voice called from the street above the walkway.
I turned and looked into the dark and a silhouette standing before me … weighing the situation in my mind.
Do I talk to him? Do I ignore him? He seemed pretty good-looking from a distance … maybe he was nice, too.
“I can’t get the lock open,” I began. “It’s an Irish lock … it’s not working.”
“You need help?”
“Yes, please,” I answered, hopeful he could open the door.
He grabbed the key from me and worked it into the lock with no success.
“Sorry,” he said, turning to me. “I can’t get it open.”
I looked at my watch … it was early and because it was St. Paddy’s Eve the bars were open late. I could only imagine how late everyone would be to arrive home.
“Well … thank you for trying,” I said, surrendering to my reality. “I guess I will go and get a drink back in town. Do you want to come?”
“I just got let out of the police station for having had too many drinks earlier today,” he said, light eyes catching mine and smiling. “But, sure.”
So, together we walked down into Salthill to grab a drink and kill time.
Jonathan, it turns out, had spent his day celebrating the upcoming holiday and was being a little too loud outside. The Garda let him out early because they thought all of the bars were closed and he would go home.
And then he met me, and I spoiled the plans of a quiet night sobering up.
Instead, we found ourselves in a cab together, riding to a Galway bar to have cocktails since the bars in Salthill were closed.
My new friend ended up taking me out the entire remainder of the evening, paying for my cab, buying me beer and Jameson with Coke, holding my hand and guiding me through the crowds to go outside and talk.
After a few drinks, Jonathan leaned in and kissed me.
I melted. But not really because of who he was or that I liked him (I can’t say our conversation was anything amazing … and he had just gotten let out of the police station for being too drunk) but I LOVED the fact that our paths had crossed accidentally.
I was trying to go home and go to bed and there he was, and then there we were … and the absolute unexpectedness of the moment just took me over and I loved it.
He asked me to go home with him.
I pondered it for a moment, then declined.
The evening had turned into something so random, but it didn’t need to go any further.
When one of Abbey’s housemates walked by us outside, I quickly took stride with him, bidding my farewell to Jonathan with kisses (on the cheek this time), and walked with him back to the house.
This time, his key worked. Perfectly.