Filling in the Blanks: A Love Story

I rarely talk about my relationships in real time.  I try to make a point to either reflect on past lessons or declare future expectations. However, I will make an exception today.

I often find myself defending the progress of my relationship- sometimes to newer friends and sometimes to strangers.  The seemingly instant gravity of what most consider a “new” relationship could startle those that have met me post-college.  The reality is the man I love I have known since I was twelve; we grew up on the same street.  Although we went to the same elementary school together, I didn’t know him then because he was two grades ahead of me, and you know back then, that is a big difference.  I met him soon after I entered junior high where I was bussed to and from our elementary school.  I had just gotten off the [short] bus at our elementary school in our neighborhood and he was outside with a mutual friend.  I had seen him around before but never knew his name.  So after a formal introduction, I honestly didn’t pay him any mind but I thought he was hilarious.  I guess it was a few weeks, when he was still there every day when I got off the bus to walk me home that I began to take him seriously…well as serious as you can take someone at the age of twelve.
Even then, there was something different about him.  He was consistent and dependable something most men my age now still haven’t mastered.  He also wasn’t focused on sex or over my house when my parents weren’t home like the rest of our neighborhood.  He was missing out though because we had fun!  I got in trouble, but it was worth it, every single time.  I’ve digressed.
As most teenage love affairs, ours was an on and off thing for years.  It was not that anything bad happened between us, but I just like to think that I was trying to maximize my dating potential.  So when it was time for me to leave to go to college, his conversations about becoming serious were ignored.  They were ignored again a few years later, when I was home on a break.  Looking back, I wonder how much heartache and grief I would have saved myself had I listened then.  But then again, I wouldn’t be who I am now, nor he be the man he is.  There were a few conversations later about a new woman in his life that he was getting serious with and then we lost touch.
When I moved back to Dallas in 2008, I tried to find him everywhere.  I asked people from our old neighborhood if they knew where he was and no one knew.  I tried to reach out to him once more before I left Dallas earlier this year and moved back to D.C., and again could not find him.  I have no idea why I was looking for him… no clue; I just know he never left my spirit.  So this summer, again, I am internet stalking for this man with no luck.  I asked a few more friends that might have his number and no one did.  And then I saw a friend suggestion (good ol’ facebook) for our mutual friend, the man that formally introduced way back when we were kids.  Finally, I knew I was close. And lo and behold, the man I had been searching for was on his friend’s list.  I know, stalkerish.  But little did I know, he had been talking about me all the time too as our friend explained that he brought me up in every conversation like he had just talked to me recently.   So after, the man I had been searching for years finally accepted my friend request a week later, I sent him a two worded message: “Call me”  along with my number.  There were no hellos, how have you beens, or the usual pleasantries because 1) I was driving from a wedding in New Jersey and stuck in traffic at a toll so I had to  facebook quickly and 2) because it wasn’t necessary.  My phone rung literally 20 seconds later and we exchanged hellos with sighs of relief, but it began to storm so I needed to get off the phone.  I explained to him that I would call him as soon as I made it back safely to D.C.  He understood and said “before I let you go I need you to know I am in still in love with you.”  I hung up the phone and screamed…of joy, of course.  I called him once I made it back to safely and almost immediately realized that he still the man I once loved, except better.  We already knew the essence of each other, time hadn’t changed that thankfully.  All we had to do now was simply fill in the blanks between then and now.

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