Yesterday Sadie and I ran into HEB before we set out for our afternoon swimming and visiting with friends at their house. We were running a few minutes late already so by the time we got back to the car – we really needed to get going.
We loaded our things in the backseat and I jumped in to start the car & AC…it was blazing hot. Thats when I saw “him”. Or at least I am pretty sure it was him.
Who is “him” you ask? Those who know me are saying RIGHT NOW…. “Wait – what…?? There was a “him?”
Yes, there was a “him.”
“He” was brief, but in a few short weeks – he gave me back literally years of my life. Years that had been stripped away after neglect, mistreatment and infidelity. Years that had caused me to forget what it felt like to be looked at with want & touched with love & care. Years that had been lost to a toxic cycle of ups and downs…”he” helped me get off the crazy merry-go-round and open my eyes to the kind of treatment, happiness and bliss that I had forgotten I deserved. He reminded me what I was supposed to feel like when that “spark” is real.
Just about a year ago I reluctantly went on a date, one that I almost canceled because I just wasn’t in the mood to sit with another person and blah blah about how many kids we had and what we did for work. I was over the superficial small talk and awkward gazes across the table that typically come with a first encounter.
I was on the phone with a friend all the way on my drive to our agreed destination, she was pep-talking me to be positive and just enjoy myself. “Yeah, yeah….I know – I will I promise.” I told her as I rolled my eyes – knowing that she couldn’t see me doing it. I circled the block twice, then finally pulled into a parking space in front of the restaurant and just sat there staring at the 3 concrete stairs and 7 steps it would take to arrive at the door. The only thing that stopped me from backing out and leaving – was knowing how guilty I would feel if I canceled while he was already sitting at a table waiting for me. So, I shut the car off – checked my face – took a deep breath and did what I do best… power through as if nothing in the world was wrong.
I sort of knew what he looked like, from the 1 photo he had posted on his dating site profile. Oddly though, I had never heard his voice which is something I usually require before meeting someone. Too many times I have sat across the table from a man who could have been a voice-over for Micky Mouse and I have to say, thats a total dealbreaker for me. This time however, we had scheduled to meet quickly after our online encounter and I never took the time for a phone call. All these unknowns were making me antsy and I just kept telling myself – “It’s just dinner – an hour – 2 tops, you can do this.”
I pulled open the door to the bar area of the restaurant and quickly glanced down the row of bar-top tables… and there “he” was… already looking at me and smiling. I literally felt all my stress and nervousness vanish and before I knew it – a smile broke across my face that I couldn’t have hidden if I tried. I reached the table in a few more steps and took my seat after a sweet hug from “him.”
I wish I could tell you what we talked about… but I have no idea. I do know that we sat and talked for hours, ordered food and drinks and just enjoyed each other. There was no awkwardness or weird conversation pauses. We shared our love for various types of art and creativity and somewhere in there I realized that even though instant connections are rare – they are still possible because I was living it in that moment.
We left the restaurant as they were closing for the night and walked around the block to a pub where a live band was playing. And somewhere in there he said “I am going to kiss you now….” and he took my face in his hands and kissed me… he kissed me like a man should kiss a woman. I can’t remember before that evening – ever feeling able to release the “front” I keep up – you know….the one that says “I’m tough – you’re not going to get over on me – I don’t need anyone.” – yeah that one. But that night and for the next several weeks – it was no where to be seen.
For reasons that aren’t relevant to this story, our time together ended after a couple of months. I quite literally thanked God for bringing this man into my life & felt zero regret about meeting him. I knew that it wasn’t meant to last forever – God brought him to me temporarily to remind me of what it is supposed to feel like when someone comes along that is good, caring, filled with integrity and mostly to assure me that real connection is not a myth – it does and will happen when it’s supposed to. The parting hurt but not in the same way as when my marriage ended after years of toxic behavior.
I remember thinking “Ooohhh….THIS is what it’s supposed to feel like when you break up.” It’s a loss – yes…but its not supposed to feel like withdrawal from a horrible drug. And it didn’t. I was clear headed – and wished him nothing but happiness and peace in his life.
I have never seen him again…
As I backed out of my parking space – I saw him walking in the isle in front of me. I knew it was him in an instant. His cool hair, his broad shoulders and the way he walked. I wanted to jump out of my car and run to him just to say hello – but I didn’t. I watched him walk towards the store and tried to decide if I should turn my car away from him or towards him just to get one last look. I drove away and let the memories of our time together flood back through my mind. I know God arranged that “almost” chance encounter for a reason – not sure what that is yet but I am looking forward to finding out. Possibly to bring those lessons I learned back to the forefront of my mind so they will be fresh for the next person He brings my way…
~Miss Perfect Mess
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