Inspired by Joansy...

The paladin - knight of Honour, Goodness and Purity - stalked through the forest with his fellow warrior, tracking the undead. With a rattle, the undergrowth parted, and the living dead shambled onto the path, corpses reduced to skeletons. Armed with swords and shields, the intention of the undead was clear, and the Paladin did not hesitate. Such creatures deserved eternal rest, despite the necromancer calling the dead to aid him corrupt the wood.

With a shouted battle cry, the paladin and warrior rushed the abominations, armour clanking, two-handed sword held high, the humans joined the fray against the undead. Heavy, powerful blows landed upon the walking dead, the sound of their bones crunching beneath the blows loud in the paladins ears, the peace and tranquility of the forest shattered.

His companion was hard pressed, and the paladin turned his attention to aiding him, and with a mighty blow, struck one of the creatures across the head. The blow was mighty, the crushing sound of bone loud. With a stagger, the creature fell backwards onto the ground. The warrior looked at me agape, the skeletons turned to face the new threat. One of the creatures opened its maw, and tried to speak....

"Time out, Jesus Christ Dan, time out!" yelled Grant. I blinked. My rather large sword had score a hefty hit, right across the face of one of the monster team. I wasn't a paladin, I was Dan. My companion wasn't a warrior, but Jay, and most importantly, the girl on the floor with the bloody nose was not the undead, but Jo.

And I had just splattered her nose.

Head shots in Live Role Playing (LRP) are nasty. While the swords are padded karrimat foam, they are padded around carbon fibre rods, and no matter how good you are, a face shot is a big LRP no-no.

Jo was down, and the rest of the monster team were helping her up. The red strip from under her left eye spread across her face, over her nose, and down the right side of her face. The blood from her nose didn't help either. The wonky-look-nose was also working against me.

"Ohmygod Ohmygod Ohmygod" was pretty much all I could say. Me and my friend Jay had not long been with this group, and to take out someone in such a fashion... Didn't bode well.

"You're a prat, for Christs sake, watch what you're doing with that bloody sword!" Ben shouted at me from across the path. Jo was flanked by her brothers Greg and Grant, Ben was behind her glaring murder at me, and Lee was looking at her face. "I think he broke it..." Lee said, looking from Jo to me. "Smooth, Dan" said Jay, clonking me in the back of the head with the very-hard hilt of his sword. The other players just looked at me, and the monsters set further down the path came up to us with "What happened?" looks on their face.

I was very proud of my sword. It cost me a fortune, was very pretty, but compared to other swords out there, it was not the softest thing to grace this earth. I felt like crap - I'd been LRPing for years and never taken out anyone, and here I was looking on at the girl I had a thing for, with a crooked, bloody nose and knew it was me. I did that.

"Jo, I am so so sorry, my god I am sorry! I never meant to hit you in the face, I don't hit in the head ever!" I spewed words trying to apologise, with Jay adding his comments from behind me. "It's fine, don't worry" was all Jo said to me, still with the dazed look on her face. She'd be having a crappy week - final exams, boyfriend admitting he was seeing other people behind her back, parents trying to drag her on a holiday she didn't want to go on.

And now a smashed face.

"Tell you what, come back to mine, I'll do you dinner, I'll cook you something nice, my god I am so sorry!" was my cunning plan. Good one eh? Offer the bleeding girl dinner.

With a shout and a lot of cursing from Jo, Grant put her nose back into place while I was glared at from all sides. I break her nose, and offer her dinner. Yeah, Hell here I come. "I never meant..." I tried to say, but Jo cut me off. "You'd better be a good cook."

I blinked. She wiped the blood from her face. Everyone else looked at her. Looked at me. Looked at her. Blinked.

"That's a yes?" I asked, and she nodded. You know that look a deer gets when its caught in the headlights? Surprised-But-Knows-What-Is-Coming. That was me. My previous girlfriend was slightly, er, nuts. My parents were possessed by Demons and I should leave them. Ooookay.

But anyway. I made the girl with puffy eyes and a swollen nose spaghetti bolognese later that night. In my mums kitchen.

Many weeks later, despite every ones best efforts, I still hadn't asked her out in any fashion - not on a date, not for a meal, nothing. I saw her three or four times a week, but then, I saw everyone three or four times a week - gaming clubs, LRP (which I somehow didn't get banned from), the games shop. Everyone knew I liked her. Including Jo, I later learned. But I knew my friend Jay also liked her, so I did nothing.

Plus, I'm a big girl when it comes to things like asking someone out. I didn't have the nerve nor the guts, and after "Your parents are demons" girl, I was being ultra-wary. People would laugh about me not asking her, people would drop oh-so-subtle hints around her that I like her, and people would outright tell her "Someone in this room fancies you" at which point I'd find an excuse to be elsewhere.

It took the cunning planning of most of our friends to arrange a "game night at Grants". Back then, he lived with his then-wife Sarah. They invited - or, should I say, "invited" - everyone over. Jay, Cassie, Lee, Dean, Greg, Ben, Richard, Amber, Steve, Ian, me, Jo - everyone was going to be there, it'd be a blast - all staying over, gaming all night, lots of laughs... Me and Jay - living a squillion miles from everyone - had Jo's mum collect us. Or, we should have.

"I can't make it tonight-" Jay said on the phone "-I've got a load of college coursework due tomorrow." I was suspicious, as I was in the same classes and I had none. However, I thought he was just pissy that he knew I liked Jo, and was making an excuse not to go. Grant then told me in the car that "A few have had to cancel as they're busy tonight or tomorrow but we'll still have lots of gaming." Fair enough...

So I sat in the front room with Grant and Sarah, listening to the phone ring every five minutes. "That was Ben, he can't make it tonight..." followed by "Amber is going to Steve's..." then "Lee and Dean are going out..." Remember that Deer-Trapped-In-Headlights look. That was me again. And then the phone rang again.

"That was Jo - she's in from work, getting changed, and will be over. Soon."

Shit shit shit. Grant and Sarah would be in their room, and the space in the front room for "everyone" was space for me and Jo. Shit shit shit.

Jo arrived, dressed up in what can only be described as underwear, we said our hellos, and sat down to our all-night-gaming session. Sort of. We gamed, we played, the clock struck 11.45pm, Sarah dramatically yawned, said "we're tired", and her and Grant were gone, just like that. So we lay out our sleeping bags and laid there talking. All. Night. Long. We were friends, we had known each other at this point for about six months, and I'd broken her nose. Cool.

And we talked and talked about everything. We knew we'd be set up, that it was a big fat conspiracy to get us alone, and it worked. At around 6am I asked what she was doing that night...

And that was eleven years ago this month.

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Joansyhad posted a "How we got together" on her blog about her and her hubby, and while I was clearing up, I figured it'd be amusing to post the above.

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5 Responses to “Inspired by Joansy...”

debbie said...

AWWWWW Dan I never knew you were such a Romantic, Got 3/4s of the way down before I realised it was real..

you should start writing books

Minge said...

WTF!?

You should write a novel.

Mark said...

Sounds like a classic 80's film. One day I may do mine but not half as exciting as drawing blood! I bet you were reinacting rambo. (didn't do spell checker sorry)

joansy said...

Great story! I'm glad we both survived our respective nights. It's always and adventure . . .

Jo said...

Wearing underwear? How dare you! That was a perfectly normal dress (ok, so it was a crochet, see through dress) with a perfectly normal pair of shorts underneath (Leather hot pants are normal, right?).

But, I was wearing thick black tights and a long sleeved top underneath all this, so I wasn't really showing any skin...