It was cold outside. Nadia shivered under the blanked draped over her shoulders. We spoke for several minutes and I prepared to leave. As I mentioned before, Nadia and I were both happy with our second date. I had arrived just in time for lunch, so Nadia’s mother treated me to her golubci (cabbage rolls – a Slavic dish). After lunch and tea, our work began.
Our second date was, dare I say, quite original. During our first date, something that had come up was a memory from my childhood – helping my grandmother make pelmeni, my favorite dish. The day after that, when we were discussing what to do for our second date, the idea popped into my head – “We’ll make pelmeni!” Nadia loved the idea, and so I found myself at their home once again, this time rolling dough and making balls out of ground meat (part of the process).
We spent several hours making pelmeni and, when they were ready, we ate. During this time we exchanged stories and shared laughs. Nadia’s mother and siblings joined in, and we had a whole cooking party. It was fun, and I got to see Nadia in a less formal setting. After we ate pelmeni and drank tea, Nadia’s mother went to visit her father at work and bring him pelmeni for lunch. In the meantime, Nadia, her sisters, and I went for a walk.
They took me on a trail through the woods near their house. The air was crisp and cool. It smelled of pine and earth. The trail was slightly muddy in places, but was mostly gravel. We strolled through a corridor of trees and shrubbery.
As we walked, Nadia and I continued our conversation while her sisters went a little ways ahead. As Nadia shared more about herself and her life, I marveled at the kind of woman she was. When I asked her about her dreams for the future, she shared that her greatest desire was to be a wife and mother. It is so rare in today’s world that these roles are recognized and seen for what they are – among the highest callings a woman can have (just as being a husband and father are among the highest callings a man can have). Seeing that Nadia has such values and devotion warmed my heart and my affection for her grew even more. I saw that she would be willing to follow her man anywhere and through anything. I saw that I had found my treasure, and at that moment I knew that she would be my wife.
Dusk was setting, so we decided to take a short-cut off of the path and head back towards the house. The rest of the day was spent, for the most part, in their house. We ate pelmeni, drank tea, and talked. Later in the evening Nadia and I went for another walk. This time we went alone and she shared with me about the topic I mentioned in Part 4 of this story. I saw how sincere and open she was, and how courageous and wise. What is important to understand for the sake of the story is this: Nadia and I both acted with courage and compassion, and both came to value each other even more. We went back inside and, not long after that, it was time for me to go home. As for what happened next, you’ve read it before. If you haven’t, go check out the earlier parts of this series! Let me know what you think in the comments, and subscribe to see part 6. Thank you!