Spending time with Sachi outside of work helped me see a more authentic side of her and one that I enjoyed. We didn’t just kill time, we had fun together.
That night, the company had an event that led to a group of conference-goers, Sachi and I included, heading out for a classic night of Vegas over-indulgence. And we did indulge, thanks to a salesman who, in a move that was later deemed controversial, bought drinks all night on a company card. We danced, we drank, we laughed. I remember wanting to dance with Sachi more than anyone else.
Sometime in the wee hours, we grew tired, and Sachi and I broke off from the group for the night. On the way out of the bar, we bid goodnight to our dear friend Sandra, who today claims she could see, at that moment, sparks starting to fly.
Fortuitously, a single elevator serviced both floors where we shared rooms with colleagues. And it was on that short elevator ride that we had our first kiss. Sandra was right. I could barely sleep.
The next day, I flew back to Seattle and met my parents at the airport. I was scheduled for shoulder surgery in two days and they arrived to help me through the process. As we settled into my small apartment, I asked about going out to dinner and an idea occurred to me that, looking back, may have been a bit hasty. I could invite Sachi!
That night, Sachi and I had our first date… with my parents. As we dined on upscale Chinese food at Wild Ginger, I got to know Sachi right along with my parents. My Mom was relieved to hear Sachi likes dogs. I learned Sachi studied microbiology at the University of Washington and liked football. We were off to a good start.
Looking back, those few days in the spring of 2000 were among the most exciting of my life. I was coming off of a difficult start in Seattle and finally feeling at home. My roots in the city were starting to grow and in Sachi, I had rays of sunlight and sparks. Lots and lots of sparks.