January 31st

Six days after our first email correspondence we had arranged to meet for the first time at a bookstore near Sir’s home. I was coming from an appointment, it was after 7pm and dark, I sat in the parking lot for a moment so many things went through my head – “what am I doing?” “what if he’s crazy?” “what if someone I know sees me, how will I explain this?”… It was a short moment but millions of thoughts flew by.

I opened the door, texting to see where he was, and he called as I was about to walk in. He had just parked. I didn’t want to awkwardly meet inside, I didn’t want people to notice anything out of the norm especially if I saw someone I knew. I walked back towards the parking lot to meet him, my heart was racing as he approached and I kept thinking “what if he’s not the person in those photos”, thankfully he was, even better than the photos actually. We said “hello” and walked in together.

Sir was tall, not that it’s a hard thing to achieve when you’re only 5’ 1”, definitely handsome, and great teeth to match a great smile. He had this Mickey Mouse sweatshirt on that I won’t ever forget. Yes, sounds a little kiddish, but I won’t forget it. We had no what we were doing there, walked around the store aimlessly, talked about nothing of importance, but the conversation seemed to flow pretty easily. Don’t misunderstand, I was still nervous the whole time, but it felt good to talk with someone who I felt this comfort with.

We found ourselves in the Maps section of the store, we sat down. I sat on one side of the aisle with my back against the bookshelf, he against the opposite bookshelf. We were side by side, our legs out long, facing one another. I am sure my face showed my nervousness and struggle to make eye contact but he seemed so calm.

Time flew by, I hadn’t realized it had been a couple hours, it felt like we just got there when he had looked at his watch and realized he needed to get going. Throughout the previous six days he alluded to not having a lot of time on his own. Everything he did was with his wife and family. I, of course, wondered what he had told them to get out of the house at such a late hour on a school night. He was suppose to be at the movies watching the new Wolverine, or so they had thought. The movie had to end at some point, which meant our time together had to end as well.

We made our way back into the parking lot, we thanked one another for the evening. We began to say our “goodbyes” and both leaned in for a hug, but it wasn’t one of those “Hug, goodbye, walkaway” it became a long embrace. The embrace felt as though that’s where I belonged. As I mentioned, he was tall, bigger than I, not in an overweight kind of big but a protecting kind of big. I just fell into his arms, and he had this calming scent, I didn’t want to part ways, but it was inevitable.

I drove home that evening feeling invigorated, alive, excited. I was so full of energy, and couldn’t stop thinking when the next time I could spend time with this man would be. Did he feel the same? Of course, that feeling quickly faded. I came home to a man who was a three, maybe four drinks into his evening on a typical Tuesday night. No, not your typical Tuesday you say? Well, it had become a pattern in my household.

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