How I knew he was special
When I recall how my relationship with C. started, I can point out the exact moment when I realized he was special and I shouldn’t let him go. Yes, I didn’t know it from the beginning. When you start a relationship with someone you just practically met you can’t be really sure if it is going to work out or if that person is truly “the one”. Well, maybe when you are young you quickly assume things after a couple of dates, but age, experience and broken hearts force you to be more careful when making conclusions.
So how did I realize it? It wasn’t something he said, or something he did. At least not something that he did for me (well, not directly). It was the way he treated a friend who came to Suzhou to visit me.
I had been in Suzhou for around 4 months, and one month dating C., when my friend Maria came from Shanghai to spend the weekend with me. It was the first time C. was going to meet one of my friends and I was a little worried we would be speaking too much Spanish and he would feel left out. But he turned out to be the perfect host and treated my friend as if he needed to impress her! And I mean impress in a good and natural way, not trying to show off. He planned all the visits and drove us to all the places.
Maria came by train so of course the first task was to pick her from the station, from where C. drove us directly to the restaurant he had booked for dinner. It was a fancy place with private rooms which, apart from the dining table, had a sofa and big screen tv! C. knew my friend preferred Western food so he chose this place. The food was very good. Later he took us to a karaoke and called some of his friends to join the party. Even though she had already been in China for several years, Maria had never been to a karaoke before and she had a blast!
The next day C. took us to visit Tiger Hill, a major tourist attraction in Suzhou, and when it started raining he drove us to a coffee shop and treated us to coffee and cake. At night he took us to a punk concert in an underground venue which couldn’t fit more than 30 persons; my friend was delighted. On Sunday C. acted as our driver and guide once again and took us to Pingjiang Rd, an old street in the city center, where we wandered around, took pictures (C. was also our photographer) and ended up playing Jenga in a cozy little restaurant inside an old house.
So what was it exactly? I can’t say. It was the overall effort of arranging the perfect plan for my friend and taking care of what she wanted. And this wasn’t the only time he’s done it, I’ve had more visitors and he has always been like this. Seeing how he cared about my friends made me realize that he was serious about our relationship.