Love always starts with a meeting. Through a common friend. A blind date. At work, or in school. But how do you know that it is coming?

Is it when your eyes first meet? Or when you hear each other’s voice? At what point do you feel that rush in your chest?

Maybe it is when a bottle of fountain pen ink is falling towards a person you just met. And it is your fault. At a cafe you’ve never been to. In a pen meet at a city you rarely visited.

“I was waving my arms around I think,” recalled L, a 47-year old calligrapher. Doctor R, who sat across her, was a year older. But she started with the hobby a year earlier at a Mall of Asia event, introducing nib folks to the universal line of beauty.

It was a rainy weekend in July. L was all about the Desiderata pen and its flex nib. R fancied TWSBI Vac 700. People talk pens and inks, like how most meets go. And right between them, a bottle of Robert Oster Blue Denim stood uncapped.

Then she hit it.

“I was mortified, honestly. I clearly remember expecting him to react negatively, even a little bit, but he was incredibly gracious and kind,” said L. R’s hands were drenched in Blue Denim, with blue spatter on his grey, black, and white Nikes.

But for R, he said that he was all about how expensive the ink was. Also, “ahh, it’ll come off!”

Then they eventually hit it off.

After a series of pen meets, R attended L’s penmanship workshops. Then they hung out, went to movies. “He claims I fixed his grip, ” said L.

“When I realized I might flunk the workshop, I decided to go after the teacher,” R added.

L was widowed after an 11-year marriage. But R was such a good friend that it was “natural” for them to end up together.

She was, as R claims, his first love. “Four decades of hesitating is quite enough, thank you.”

Five years since the pen meet, they’re now getting married. R slipped the ring on her Montblanc Agatha Christie. Then pretended to borrow it to make her notice.

The Robert Oster Blue Denim is not exactly waterproof. Mountain of Ink’s test, as R guessed, showed that it wash away.

But back at that cafe, where they first met, the ink wrote a long-lasting story, one they’d sign with a permanent tint when they face the altar.

“As our friendship developed, the spilled ink became a running joke between us- I even gave him a fresh bottle one Christmas,” said L. “We do still have the original bottle, a most prized possession.”

Photos courtesy of L and R. Full names redacted as requested by the couple.