Big Daddy and I sat next to each other at lunch. My hand inside his big, warm one. He smelled wonderful. Like leather and my favorite cologne and something else that is just how Big Daddy smells (does that sound werid? I think Big Daddy and the kids all have a unique smell. It’s not body odor or anything.) We conversed with our friends. We smiled a lot. I tried to eat.
My heart felt like it was trying to escape my chest. Every time Big Daddy squeezed my hand under the table, I felt my insecurities flitting farther and farther away. All of the millions of tiny concerns that had plagued me for so long and that had kept Big Daddy and me apart flew away like fluff off a dandelion. All of them just ceased to exist.
After lunch, we decided to drive about a half an hour up the river. It was a beautiful fall day and there’s a lovely boardwalk. Big Daddy and I walked off from our friends where we were…uh…inseparable. ;) (Which basically means we made out until the last possible minute when we had to jump into the cars and drop me off at work.). Big Daddy and I didn’t talk a lot. We had done the talking. We’d talked for hours and hours for days and weeks and months. We didn’t need to talk.
We still don’t. The best thing about Big Daddy is that I can be silent with him. That we can sit for hours and never have to say a thing. That’s the idea that launched this series. The day Big Daddy and I were laying on the couch together, in complete and yet companionable silence and how I think our entire story brings us to this place. How we can talk about everything and nothing with the exact same success.
After Big Daddy dropped me off at work, we had a plan made. The next weekend I was getting into a car and I was driving half way to Big Daddy. We were meeting in the college town where one of my best friends was going to University. We were spending the weekend together.
I couldn’t wait!
I expect my Mom wanted to vomit.
But I was 22 and what could anyone do? And honestly, had they pushed me or tried to prevent me (I was still living at home. They were paying for school), I was prepared to do something rash, which is really out of character. And so, on the Thursday afternoon before Sweetest Day in 1998 I got into my car and drove the 3ish hours to Kalamazoo. That night I got dolled up. I went out to the bar. I danced. I drank. I refused slow dances.
Big Daddy was coming. After work on Friday and I wanted no complication. I was loyal. I was head over heels in love.