After my epiphany, I knew that it was time for Big Daddy and I to meet.
I was cagey at first. I swung wildly between wanting to see Big Daddy RIGHT now and wanting to go back into hiding over fear of a possible rejection. Let’s meet now, let’s not. He’ll love me, he’ll hate me. I’m sure I drove people crazy, but I couldn’t help it. I’ve always been anxious and it seemed like everything was hinging on this meeting. My whole future. Everything.
We decided on a Saturday in October. Frankly, I have no idea why we picked it. I had to work a split shift that day and only had a few hours to give to Big Daddy that day. Of course, looking back it was safe. Super smart. We couldn’t meet much earlier than noon, because I was working. We couldn’t stay together after 3:30 or so because I had to be back to work. If it was an unmitigated disaster, it would be brief. If it wasn’t….
…Well, I wasn’t expecting much success. Really.
Big Daddy flew in that Saturday morning and a mutual chat room friend (with whom we’ve lost touch, but I wish we hadn’t) picked Big Daddy up from the airport and drove him the near hour from the south side of Detroit to where I lived. A little town tucked into a small lake between two of the great ones. Of course, I had to have a posse. No one trusted me with two guys from a chat room.
So, me and four of my closest friends showed up at a local restaurant in the early afternoon. We were there early. We were seated.
I didn’t have a cell phone. It was back in the day when they were bricks and expensive and I was a college student and college students are famously broke. We waited at the restaurant. I watched the parking lot. I had no idea when Big Daddy would arrive or if he would. If his feet would get cold. If he would change his mind. I sat and I waited.
I hadn’t seen much of Big Daddy. Just a few pictures. A vague idea. His height. The color of his hair and eyes. What he would look like was only a guess, but somehow I knew what he would feel like. Or what I hoped he would feel like.
After what felt like a million years, but was really only minutes, I saw him. Or who I assumed to be him. Tall. Dark hair. Black leather jacket. Accompanied by another man who looked like I assumed our mutual friend to look.
I felt, for a minute, like Melanie Wilkes in the Gone with the Wind. When Ashley comes home from war? She’s on the porch at Tara and she sees another soldier coming up the road to Tara. She sees him and turns to tell Mammy they’re going to need more food. She turns back again, and there’s suddenly something about this soldier. The way he walks or the exact color of her hair. Her hand flies up to her throat for a second, and her face splits into a smile and she and Ashely flies into each others arms.
(Is this the time to say I never liked Melanie? I’m team Scarlet. Except for when it comes to Ashley. I’m also Team Rhett).
Something about the way he walked. Something about him. It was him. I knew with certainty. I got up out of myself. I pondered running. I really did. Like a movie. I argued with myself as I walked through the restaurant and out the door if it would be lame to run? Needy? Weird?
I didn’t run. I regret that.
But I hurried. And he hurried. And then I was in his arms. I kissed him twice on the cheek and he kissed me once on the lips.
And I don’t want to sound sappy, but I was home.