Shannon here: Speculative Fiction authors, Adam & Andrea Graham share how they met. Every time you comment, your name goes in the drawing for a four in one romantic mystery collection, Cherry Blossom Capers. Deadline: Jan 14, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Adam:
The following is Adam Graham’s account of his first meeting in person with Andrea Graham, after falling in love via several months of email and telephone contact.
On the flight, I was nervous about meeting Andrea. I prayed for peace and God granted it to me. When I landed in Columbus, it wasn’t Andrea who caught my attention, but her mother. Andrea was so panic-stricken, instead of a passionate kiss, she ended up shaking my hand. She wouldn’t even directly look at me. I, however, couldn’t take my eyes off her. She was a beautiful woman with a wonderful mind and soul. My heart was beating excitedly as I saw her for the first time.
While we waited for our ride, I asked Andrea to hold my hand. It was scarily unreal for her. Having me right next to her as opposed to 2000 miles away was a sudden and overwhelming change for her. I said that I wanted to be able to tell her, “I love you” without her fainting and she said weakly, “Maybe next Tuesday.” I was crushed.
When our ride arrived, Andrea and her mother sat in the back seat of the car while I sat up front. The idea of sitting next to her and trying to look into those beautiful hazel eyes, only for her to turn away was too much for me to bear. I cried a few silent tears on the way to the motel, as I was scared and confused. Had I come all this way to have my heart broken? Would I spend my week in Columbus alone in a roach motel?
They dropped me off at the Casa Villa. I asked them to drive home so I could spend some time in prayer, feigning fatigue. Andrea helped me carry my bags into my room. I expressed to her why I needed to pray and what was bothering me. “I just wanted to hug you,” I said, sadly.
She hugged me, saying, “Like this?”
Within ten minutes after they left, I had begun the six-block walk to Andrea’s house, bearing on my back a duffle bag full of presents, including one that I’d bought for each of her parents and a present from my mom for Andrea and a book from my pastor’s wife.
Andrea was overwhelmed by all the presents and her family was really impressed. We spent the evening watching videos we’d made for each other and sent back and forth. We sat on the couch next to each other with a good foot of space between us. Over the course of about an hour or two, Andrea inched closer until she ended up with her head on my chest. I looked down at her and said those words I had longed to say for so many months, “I love you.” To my joy, she told me that she loved me too.
My happiness and nervousness both increased as Andrea somehow ended up reclining on me perpendicularly. The next morning, I kept my dufflebag on the couch between us, much to Andrea’s vexation and confused hurt.
After a noon prayer service, and praying for the hundredth time to make sure it was okay, I asked Andrea if I could court her. She said yes and we sat down to work out all the legalities of our pre-engagement relationship from where Andrea could rest her head to where kisses were allowed (not on the lips or below the chin).
On Thursday we planned a simple trip to the zoo and we took a bus to the State Capitol to wait for the zoo bus. I asked Andrea to take a picture of me standing next to President McKinley as I made bunny-ears behind the 25th president’s back, causing us to miss the bus. We decided to view it as an opportunity to tour the State Capitol while the legislature was out of session.
On the House floor, I did my most tourist-like act, walked across a barrier, stood at the Speaker’s desk, and had Andrea take a picture of me. After my attempt, Andrea was even bolder, sitting in the Speaker’s chair.
We got back on the COTA bus and headed for the zoo. I loved my time riding on the bus most of all. I could hold Andrea close to me with the excuse that we didn’t have a seatbelt and there was no way to have breathing room between us.
In the zoo, we spent two hours walking through the mammoth complex. While Andrea lived in Columbus and hadn’t seen the State Capitol, I had lived more than a decade in Montana and hadn’t seen a Grizzly Bear until visiting the Columbus Zoo. Andrea and I ordered popcorn chicken and French fries, rode the carousel together, and on our way out shared an Ice Cream cone.
We had to go shopping afterward since I had changed rooms and in the process of moving, part of my wardrobe was stolen. Back at the Capitol again, Andrea remembered there was a giant mall nearby and took me there. We’d grown closer during the day and my heart was more towards her than before. I found myself looking at an engagement ring, but I remembered my dad’s orders not to buy an engagement ring with the emergency funds he gave me and continued shopping.
After getting what I needed and buying her a skirt at Lane Bryant, it was about dinnertime. We ended up at a place called Spinnikers. I ordered Chicken Fried Steak right away, however Andrea hesitated and ended up in tears because she was afraid, if she ordered an expensive meal, she’d be seen as a gold digger. I came over to her side of the booth, held her, and assured her everything was okay. She calmed down and ordered what she wanted. After dinner, we shared a malt shake at a 50s placed called Johnny Rockets.
I told Andrea, “Lets go ahead and catch the bus back to your house.” She said she didn’t want to the day to end. Of course, it had to.
About Adam & Andrea: Adam Graham’s science fiction stories appear Residential Aliens, Light at the Edge of Darkness, and in the Laser & Sword e-zine. His political column appears on Pajamasmedia.com and Renew America. He hosts the Truth and Hope Report podcast, the Old Time Dragnet Radio Show, the Great Detectives of Old Time Radio, and the Old Time Superman Radio Show. Mr. Graham holds an associates degree from Flathead Valley Community College, where he studied Journalism.
Andrea Graham studied creative writing and religion at Ashland University, has been envisioning fantastic worlds since at least six, and has been writing science fiction novels since she was fourteen. She edited Adam Graham’s first novel, Tales of the Dim Knight, as well as his short story “Chosen of God,” which was featured in Light at the Edge of Darkness along side her own “Frozen Generation.” She writes a regular devotion on her blog, http://christsglory.com, and writing advice and book reviews at povbootcamp.com. Andrea and Adam live with their cat, Joybell, in Boise, Idaho.
About the book: Cherry Blossom Capers (features Cara Putman – my guest on Jan. 6th)
The lives of four neighbors are irrevocably changed amid mystery and romance. Assistant chef Tara Whitley is seeking a state dinner saboteur. Attorney Ciara Turner is tracking down a murderer. Budding archeologist Samantha Steele encounters a forger. Shop owner Susan Holland is someone’s target. Will God protect them in life and love?
Come back Jan 4th for the rest of Adam and Andrea’s story.