I was anxious waiting for Big Daddy. I was ready to give my heart over. To take the risk, but it’s hard to be vulnerable. It’s hard to know that you’re giving someone the opportunity to devastate you if they wanted to. Loving someone means you’re taking a the risk of having your heart broken. I trusted Big Daddy, but there were so many ifs. It all felt so fragile still. I was afraid to believe that it was real.
My friend and I stayed busy on Friday. We went out for lunch. We talked. We ran errands. She showed me around campus. My heart beat a million miles an hour all day. I knew when Big Daddy got off of work and how long it would take him to get where he was going.
Of course, I didn’t factor in Chicago traffic and I didn’t have a cell phone, so Big Daddy and I weren’t in touch during his drive. I looked as cute as possible. I tried to be patient. I tried not to jump out my own asshole (isn’t that an endearing phrase? It’s in rotation in my family and trust me when I say that it fits that situation).
And then the call. He’d arrived. He was here. I raced down the stairs of my friend’s dorm to let him in. He’d gotten a speeding ticket on the way. This was not an unusual practice for Big Daddy. But he was here.
The few days we’d spent apart had felt like forever. We visited with my friend for a bit, but we wanted to be alone. I climbed into Big Daddy’s car. Big Daddy grabbed a hold of my hand.
And we were alone. Together. For the first time ever. No one to watch us. No one to make sure he wasn’t going to chop me up into a million pieces and hide me all over the greater Kalamazoo area. No one to interrupt us or to consider. We checked into a hotel near the interstate, just a few miles away from my friend.
We stayed up all night.
Not doing THAT. Honestly. That sounds really virtuous. I was NOT virtuous. Big Daddy was. The story is funny, but I think my Dad reads this and maybe my siblings and I know my Aunt does and they don’t want to know this story. (Dear Dad, I’m a tramp. Love, your daughter.) What I will say is that Big Daddy made me feel beautiful in a way no one had every made me feel before or since. He still does. When I’m with Big Daddy, my lumps or bumps or imperfections just don’t matter. He just loves me. He loves me like that now and he loved me like that then.
The next morning, we hadn’t slept at all and I had agreed to do a charity walk with my friend. Big Daddy and I had breakfast together (I was cold and he gave me his coat) and I departed with my friend. Big Daddy napped while I was at the walk and even though I was exhausted, I didn’t want to sleep. I wanted to crunch in every spare second I could with Big Daddy.
We had the best weekend. We talked. We cuddled. We went out for dinner. We did things I won’t tell my Dad about (Hi Dad!).
When Big Daddy and I had to say goodbye at the end of the weekend, I cried. I think he might have too, a little bit. When we parted ways, I remembered looking up and seeing him in my review. He looked every bit as sad as I felt. We lived six hours apart and we both wanted desperately for us to work.
Providence is kind, isn’t it?
You see, in April of 1998, Big Daddy lived in Phoenix. He had moved out for the second time to escape cold weather and to live in the desert that he loved so much. Upon arrival, he got a call about a job in Chicagoland. You see, Big Daddy has this lifetime list of corporations/industries he wants to work for (well, he did. Hopefully he threw that out the window when his telecommuting gig went through, but I’m betting he didn’t). He got a call from one of the corporations/industires on his list. They wanted an interview. They flew him back to Chicago. They gave him a job.
And so, in May of 1998, Big Daddy started working for United Airlines. And I logged into the hockey chat room. And Big Daddy had unlimited, cheap flight benefits. And it’s only 45 minutes in the air from Chicago to Detroit.