Looking back at the early days of their friendship…
During 1995-96, Nick lived and worked New York. Ann had moved to California during January 1996 right after her marriage with Rob. On her first day in town, Rob had dropped her off at Sam’s place, so she would not be alone at home while he was at work. Nick remembers having experienced an unexplained feeling, even before he had met her in person! His heart had gone out to her, as he knew Sam’s home was always in a shambles, and that Ann would surely have been happier staying alone at home. Although he could not for the life of him understand why he had felt so much for her when he had not even met her, Nick knew at the time that she would eventually have a significant influence on his thoughts and feelings.
Nick met Ann for the first time during the spring of 1996 when he was in California on vacation. Having already harbored strange feelings for her, Nick always remembered the first words Ann had said to him, “I have heard so much about you, Nick”. Later that year, in summer, when Nick was in California again on a house-hunting trip, as he had landed a job there, he remembers having had a fabulous time at her place. He could sens a great friendship in the making, and looked forward to that. Although they were practically strangers at the time, Nick felt she had already started to hold a special place in his heart. But were there other feelings – feelings that Nick never imagined having – that were making their presence felt?
From 1996 until mid 2000, there was little communication between Nick and Ann, although they kept in touch via phone calls and occasional visits. On one such visit, Nick remembers when Rob’s sister commented negatively on his stubble, Ann was quick to point out that his stubble suited him and that he looked very nice. Nick did not know how to thank her for her compliment so he just shook her hand in appreciation, noticing a flood of emotions, but speaking not a word. That was the first time he had ever shaken her hand and that gesture became a tradition that continued over the years of their friendship.
…to be continued.