Actually they weren't even love.
Well really... it was civil, and that's what counts! I suppose..
Owen says the first time we met was on my first day at The Museum. He must have made quite the impression, because I don't really remember (am I a terrible person or what?). I do vaguely remember the assistant education manager Deez saying "And this is one of our Mushroom Factory workers, Owen, he's the know all." And that's about it. Continue with my day, running around, trying to learn everything military and Owen the Collections guy was totally forgotten about.
Well except the fact that he was cute.
But other than that, nope, forgotten.
Not really romantic, huh?
Well that's what he says is the first time we met, and I know I ran into him more. Such as in the lunch room, or downstairs when getting something. Honestly, we didn't talk much for the first few weeks I was there. At this point in time I was going home every weekend and being homesick the rest of the time, as well as being a bit more than overwhelmed at work. See, I had no idea about the military really when I started working there, I was at square one. Or as the PPCLI called me, "civilian square one". It's true, and as much as I tried quickly to learn; I wasn't as fluently knowledgeable. Now all these circumstances (as well as my frazzled nerves) kind of led to my presumptions on Owen. Heh. See, during those first few weeks when my boss Lorna would send me to go get something from the lackeys downstairs and I happened to have to talk to Owen I would either get a raised eyebrow and condescending look, or complete disinterest. At least, that's what it came off as.
Now, this isn't to say he wouldn't help. As a matter of fact he usually did help, he was nice but he seemed stand off-ish. Like I was either wasting his time or he was irritated that I didn't know a whole lot. Mix that with how much he talked to Wally about drinking and clubbing and women, and I had myself a judgement. As far as I was concerned he was a drinking, womanizing, rude, arrogant guy and I wanted nothing more than to walk in the other direction and not deal with him.
Getting less romantic, huh?
Problem with trying to avoid someone you think is a douche bag in a museum is that, well, it's small. You can't really avoid them. And one day I found myself tasked with a project to make...a mailbox.
I may or may not dub this mailbox as the thing that brought us together, because really, it just may be.
I was wandering downstairs because that's where I was told the shop was. Well I went to the wood shop and thought that cutting foam-core with a band saw was a bad idea and I knew that The Museum had a giant cutty thingy for it... somewhere. Within the deep abyss of the basement. No really, that place is a maze when you're new. So there I am, standing at the cross section of the loading bay, quarantine room and the hallway to the artefact cages. I am acutely aware that I have no keys and don't know where to go, or even what to do. I'm feeling more and more like an idiot, I haven't seen my family in a couple of weeks, I'm rather lonely, lost and have no friends in this huge city, I feel out of place and like an idiot because I don't know anything about this place.
All because of you, you nasty mailbox I started feeling like having a meltdown.
Lo, and Behold I'm standing there hugging my stash of foam-core when I hear someone behind me ask
"Do you need some help?"
I must have looked teary eyed, or overwhelmed, or like a lost puppy, or something because Owen's face went from his usual nonchalant "I don't give a damn look" to actual concern.
"I'm making a mailbox" I managed to mumble, feeling more an idiot, "but I don't know where they cutting thingy is."
I remember he looked like he was trying to hold composure and I couldn't help but scowl, which made him loose composure. And laugh at me.
"If you're going to laugh at me.."
"No, sorry, I've never heard someone call it the cutty thingy before. Very.. creative?"
The next thing I knew Owen was opening the prep room (Oooohhh, this is where I go), pulling the foam core from me, pulling out a measuring kit, glue gun and everything else I needed.
Okay, I thought to myself, maybe he isn't too much of a jerk.
As Helena would later put it "He's a jerk, but a nice jerk."
And so for the next two days I found myself downstairs trying to piece together this monstrosity. Every time Owen passed by the prep room he would poke his head in to see if I needed help. Usually he found himself holding pieces of foam-core together while I went at it with the glue gun. And so an unfounded judgement turned into a mutual acquaintanceship.
Getting a little better? A tad? Well, okay.
After that, whenever I needed something, or had a question, or was bored I would either end up downstairs in the Cages or chasing after the collections crew for help. Owen, after that, was a little more friendly to help. He had always been willing, just now friendly.
Walter had already shown me some of the stuff downstairs, but one day Owen grabbed the keys and just started showing me everything he could think of. That's when he found out how much of a geek I was when I started getting all *squee* excited, and I even played video games *gasp*. The look of shock on his face still makes me giggle.
Throughout all of this, any person could notice that I thought the guy was cute and a little nicer than I thought. But after having had a terrible break up and bit of a hurtful relationship the year prior, I was more than reluctant to open up to a new guy. So I promised myself I would treat him like a friend and only like him as a friend.
We can all see how that turned out.
One day, after I was done work upstairs I went downstairs to write up some data entry for the collections crew. Helena left early with a meow and skip, and I found myself downstairs with just Owen. The lights downstairs flicked, and with the concrete flooring and the metal cabinets making a maze it's a little scary. So Owen moved close to the front to talk to me. And thus we began talking about, basically, anything. I soon found out, Oh he doesn't really drink, he doesn't even like to drink. Oh, he believes in courting woman. Oh, he hates bars and clubs. Oh, he goes to school and works. Oh, he helps take care of his mom. Oh, he has a sense of humor. Oh, he thinks religion is a good thing. Oh... He's a total freaking gentleman.
I'm an idiot.
And then he walked me home.
And kept walking me home.
I know some people can say that their relationship has a defining moment when they knew they were in love. With Owen and I though it just seemed to grow a little more over time. Amidst the dusty artefact's, the frantic running around, the precarious air conditioners, the rice pudding stand, the running kids around, the geese, the meese, the putting green, the medals, the Lee-Enfields, the leaning on the commissionaire's desk, the mailbox, the quarantining, and the geekery. I found this tall, dark and handsome guy with wire framed glasses and a crooked smile who had a quick wit and a sharp tongue, but most importantly, a kind heart. Which I couldn't help but open mine to.
Just don't touch the artefact's, he gets all uppity :)
|Courteous of my glorious cousin :)|
"Mwahaha! My plan worked!" - Deez