It began, as most romantic comedies do not, with the World Cup. I was about to turn 21 years old and I was studying abroad in Dublin. He was a floundering college student taking some time off to work and find himself, as so many young Europeans do. He was so endearing and I liked him immediately. "Do you want to meet me at the bar?" I asked. "Yeah," he answered, "Be there in two shakes of a lamb's tail." Oscar. My European love affair.
I don't know if most people can pinpoint their best kiss. Mine happened in the most mundane of settings, in the most common situation. We had been watching a World Cup football match at a favorite bar of ours. He was wearing a white polo shirt and he bought me a pint. We stood close at the bar and smiled a lot and fidgeted and touched each other lightly and should have been social with other people but we weren't. I was so incredibly comfortable with him and told my ridiculous jokes and said stupid things and all he did was laugh along and act as a catalyst for my personality. I adored him.
The match ended and I had planned to go out with the girls later. We left the bar together and I was in such a happy haze that I forgot to pay my bar tab. The sun was beaming down onto Dame Lane in an unseasonably warm early July day in Dublin, and the sunshine and the warm air and the pint made me feel floaty and dreamy and drunk.
"So, I'll text you later," he said. He smiled. He reached out and grabbed my hand and pulled me toward him, and then he kissed me. It was nice. It was gentle but given with purpose. And when I opened my eyes, I saw that his were still closed. His eyelids lifted slowly, and he grinned.
And it was perfect.