I watched as Dad settled in to his favourite armchair and reached for his newspaper.
"Have I told you about my favourite paperboy, love?" he asked me.
"Yes, Dad," I smiled, rolling my eyes.
At 16, I couldn't remember an evening when Dad hadn't read the news.
It was his favourite pastime.
One of his fondest memories was of a boy that used to sell papers on the main road in Brisbane about 12 years earlier.
As soon as the boy spotted Dad's car, he'd dart across the intersection to make sure he delivered it before the lights changed.
"He was the best paperboy in town," Dad said. "I always gave him a tip."
He'd told me the story dozens of times.
Two years later, I moved in to a share house in Stafford, Queensland.
My mate Steve lived around the corner so I'd often pop over on weekends to hang out.
I was walking up the stairs to his house one day when I locked eyes with a good-looking bloke.
I felt giddy when Steve told me the guy, Paul, was his new flatmate.
"He's just split up with his girlfriend so he needs somewhere to live," he said.
Butterflies swirled in my stomach when Steve introduced us properly a week later.
Not only was Paul, 24, ridiculously handsome with his curly dark hair and olive skin, but he was down-to-earth and had a great sense of humour.
Given he'd just come out of a long-term relationship, I figured the last thing he wanted was a girlfriend!
One night, I was feeling brave after a few drinks when Steve offered to walk me home.
"I'd rather he did," I blurted out, nodding at Paul.
Thankfully, he agreed and we chatted and laughed all the way.
He looked shocked when we stopped outside my house.
"You won't believe this but I used to live here," he chuckled.
Turned out he'd rented my place the year before I moved in.
"What a coincidence," I laughed.
After that, the two of us became an item and moved in together the following year.
One day my uncles Andrew and Gareth popped round to visit.
They looked stunned when they laid eyes on Paul and he was just as shocked.
"It's you two!" he cried excitedly, shaking their hand. "I can't believe it."
Once they calmed down, they told me how they used to ride motorbikes and horses together in their teens.
Paul and I were thrilled when we welcomed our son, Corey, in to the world.
We went on to get married and had a daughter, Sophia.
We'd been together for 21 years, when one day we went to visit Dad and found him reading the paper in his chair.
"Have I ever told you about my favourite newspaper boy?" Dad asked us.
Not again, I thought.
I was about to stop him when Paul spoke up.
"I used to be a paperboy when I was 12," he said.
Watching them lock eyes, it was like they'd seen each other for the first time.
"It's you!" Dad cried, throwing an arm around Paul. "You were the best paperboy!"
I couldn't believe it.
My father had given my husband the tick of approval years before I'd even met him!
In fact, most of my family had.
Two years on, we still laugh about Paul being Dad's favourite.
We've had more coincidences in our 23-year relationship than most couples, but we think it's just a sign that we were meant to be.
Dad reckons so, too.
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