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The Surprise Airport Pick-up
We were both pretty nervous about seeing each other again. She e-mailed me several times from Turkey. We hadn't set a specific date about when we would see each other, but definitely before Valentine's Day.
I had learned that Melissa, a co-worker at the Marriott, was scheduled to pick her up from the airport on February 10th. I had a little surprise up my sleeve.
I took the initiative to contact Melissa, suggesting that I would pick her up instead, but not to let Amy know about the ole switcheroo. So when Amy landed in Houston before her final connecting flight to San Antonio, she dutifully called Melissa by cell phone to check in. Melissa assured her that she would be on time and to meet her outside baggage claim.
Meanwhile, I had convinced a mutual friend of Amy's and mine, who knew Amy from church, and who was the apartment manager, to let me set up 6 dozen roses, Valentine's Day banners, white teddy bears and chocolate hearts throughout her apartment.
As I drove closer to the airport, my heart pounded with anticipation. It had been eight months since my eyes had beheld her beauty. I was equipped with a borrowed video camera.
I convinced some 6'5" tall, white-haired stranger by the Cinnabon Bakery to videotape our meeting, since I wanted to save it for posterity.
My eyes kept scanning each new batch of travelers as they walked through the airport, looking for the woman who had captured my heart. Then, the five-foot-four-and-a-half inch slender woman blew by in a blur.
Her curly brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail, she was wearing an all-white outfit and she didn't have on a drop of makeup, not even lip gloss. It appeared as though she was competing in one of those speed walking competitions. If she had picked up the pace just half a beat, she would have been jogging.
She told me later that she was nervous that I might pull a "McManus stunt" and show up at the airport for dramatic purposes. So she was making an unapologetic beeline for baggage claim.
I was practically running behind her, as the man chased me with the camera, complete with a blinding white light. She was unaware of my presence until I positioned myself directly behind her and said in my most resonant radio voice, "Welcome to San Antonio Amy Holzer!"
As she whirled around, I could see a huge grin on her face the size of Dallas.
Turning to the video guy, I motioned with my index finger to zoom in, "I want you to get a close up shot of this." I reached out my right hand, sliding it gently underneath her chin, pulled her lips to mine as I wrapped my left arm around her waist.
That's right. Adam McManus unashamedly planted one on, right then and there in the midst of Terminal 2's baggage claim as San Antonions and tourists alike looked on with their own grins.
Neither one of us could contain our smiles. No longer were we emotional amputees, incomplete without the other.
When we returned to my car in the short-term lot, I put her luggage in the back seat, opened her door and motioned to the single rose which lay across her seat.
"I resisted the urge to go crazy," I said as I gave her another kiss. "I felt that this time, less was more."
"I can't believe it McManus. This isn't like you."
"I know. I didn't want to scare you. Apparently, I overwhelmed you the last time we went down this road."
"That's an understatement," Amy said wryly.
After she had shared some of her more memorable stories of eating Turkish cuisine and adjusting to strange Turkish customs during her visit with her former roommate, we pulled up to her apartment complex. As the complex gate pulled back, I was savoring every moment, knowing the big surprises that lay ahead.
When she walked to her front door, she encountered surprise number one: a handwritten card taped to the brass knocker on her door. I was already filming every moment.
She drank in every word, pausing occasionally, asking me to interpret my chicken scratch. She finally looked up. "I love my card. Nice touch," she commented as she flashed her pearly whites.
Needless to say, when she walked in and saw one dozen red roses after another amidst the Valentine's decorations that I had set up throughout the apartment just hours before, she was truly surprised.
But this time she wasn't scared out of her wits. She knew that I wasn't saying that I was ready to propose marriage, but that I was excited about finally exploring a dating relationship with her, nearly a year and six months after we had first met on that Community Bible Church singles retreat at T Bar M Camps.
Valentine's Day 2003
It said, "Adam and Amy. The night the sparks began to fly. Valentine's Day, February 14, 2002."
In her Valentine's Day card to me, she wrote, "Dear Adam, Our second Valentine's Day date; this time however, I'm crazy about your heart. This time last year I was frantically searching for shirt/top to wear. I was so nervous. A year later -- here we are. I look forward to tonight. Love, Amy."
From the moment she returned from her trip to Turkey on February 10th, Amy and I were inseparable.
While we enjoyed trying new restaurants, attending musicals at the Majestic, or enjoying the productions at The Steven Stoli Playhouse, we were the kind of couple who didn't really need the added excitement of a particular event to have fun. We simply enjoyed each other's company endlessly. Whether we were driving back from a Sunday church service, grocery shopping on a weekday night or window shopping at The Quarry, we were two peas in a pod.
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