The Plane Ticket
If you are just tuning in, you’re going to want to go back and catch up, or you really won’t be able to follow some of this.
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t looked for Q many times over the years up until this day, never once finding a trace. And then it happened. Here I was on the cusp of divorce, and my first love- that never really got finished- pops back up when I wasn’t looking. After the past 6 years wanting answers to questions I thought I’d never get, (like what did he say walking out of the hospital room? Why did he walk away?) waiting for him to answer that friend request seemed like the longest stretch. Really, it only took about a week or two.
Once he accepted, it wasn’t long before we started talking. The conversation was casual for a long while. We did get into why we were both going through divorces. But neither one of us addressed the elephant in the room right away. We spent time getting to know who each other had grown to be, and just casually chatting. But once we started, we never really stopped.
When word got out that I was soon to be single, there was no shortage of men trying to get their shot. That was a first for me- I had always been ignored in high school, and didn’t really have anyone beating down my door thereafter. After having a husband who wanted us to have our time apart all the time, I enjoyed having people who wanted my attention and wanted to talk to me. For a while, I ate it up. I didn’t date, or spend time with any of them. But I talked to many for a while. Even still, Q was still the first and last of the day, every day. We eventually had the talk of why he walked away. It turned out, his dad had told him that if my parents didn’t support it, it would never work and he had to respect it. Out of respect for both my parents and his, he walked away, and tore both of our hearts apart. He had gone off the deep end when we split, and didn’t even date again for several years.
He Put a Smile on My Face
My first clue that Q might eventually be in the picture as more than a friend again was one day in December. I was having a terrible day, although exactly why I don’t remember. I first messaged one of the guys I had been talking to that day and said, “I’m having a rough day, cheer me up.” His response was, “I’m going to try to sleep with you when I come down next month.” Disgusted, I blocked him, and instead messaged Q with the same request- to cheer me up. His exact words didn’t stick with me, but what I do remember is that it was sincere, sweet, and heartfelt. It successfully put a smile on my face, which wasn’t typical at that point in my life. We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting, and starting to flirt some.
That same month, I finally got a job selling vacations at a little booth inside our local Bass Pro. The income was a relief, and I began to plan to move out and get my own place. It was Christmas Day 2009 when that plan changed. I had spent Christmas Eve at my parents since my family celebrates then. Anthony had worked that night, and would be coming home during the wee hours of the morning. The plan was for me to come home mid morning, to give him a chance to sleep before spending time with Kane for Christmas. When I arrived home around 10am, he was just going to bed. He had stayed up playing computer games instead of sleeping. He slept all day and awakened after Kane went to bed that night, only to leave to go clubbing with friends. I packed up and left the next day, deciding that being at my parents was better than that.
I suggested he come visit.
Through my job, I met the next blip on my dating radar. James was a single dad of two, and seemed to be the ultimate sweetheart. It didn’t take long to realize that everything he said was a lie, and we didn’t date very long. We broke up some time around the end of May that year, and once again the guys came knocking.
By this point, Q and I had been talking for 6 months as friends, and occasionally flirting. One night while we were chatting, I made an off-the-cuff comment that he should come visit me. He traveled a lot on the weekends, and was looking for his next place to visit. My expectations were low, and I totally expected him to blow it off.
The next thing I knew, he sent me a picture of a receipt for a plane ticket dated for the next month.