The date and time was Thursday, April 13th 6:30pm, two days before the 60 day mark we have set for ourselves to determine whether we are worth each other’s time, Mr. Kidney and I had a date. We were at this tapas place in Woburn called Pinxto Pincho Tapas Bar, the place I told him about on our first date, a date that wasn’t going to be. (You see, I was going to cancel our first date because I was done going on first dates with random men. Mind you, I’ve only started dating in November. I was giving up on dating since people have forgotten how to treat each other on dates. Gone were the good conversations, the honesty, the sincerity, the connection and every part of getting to know each other. Apparently, “pound town” is a thing. Get the fuck outta here! *said with my best Bostonian accent*)
In my mind I couldn’t believe he remembered I wanted to go to this tapas place. He made reservations for 6:30pm. We saw each other walking up to the restaurant. I swear, it felt like months have passed since I last saw him. I gave him a hug and kiss. That kiss conveyed how much we have missed each other without words. As we pulled apart, the looks on our faces said everything we wanted to know and feel. In this moment, I feel safe and secure.
We walked hand-in-hand into the restaurant and was greeted by the owner. The owner, Marco, recognized me from the last time I was there but couldn’t get seated due to lack of planning with my friend’s partner. Marco felt so bad, we got special treatments all night. Mr. Kidney had no idea what’s going on; he thought I was someone important. No, I was nobody important…as I secretly hoped I was important to him.
As we dined, there was music playing in the background. We talked about all the things that we both have missed in the span of time we haven’t seen each other — all while holding hands on top of the table. He overheard the conversations around us and I gave him a look that said it’s ok to be distracted since we both love people watching. I spent years training myself to not listen to people or pay attention to them since half the time they are saying the most ridiculous things. Often times, I wonder if they really hear half the things that comes out of their mouths. Unfortunately, I was able to see their lips, so I now know what they were saying. I told him what was being said. He was impressed and we both laughed at our nosiness.
I asked him about his life now. What would he do now with his free time? He answered with, “Spend it with you.”
I told him, “I think you say stuff like that to everyone.” He squeezed my hand a little tighter and said, “Not everyone. Half the time I can’t stand everyone. Just you.”
Then being my normal stupid self, I said, “What are you saying? We’re just dating, our 60 days aren’t up yet.”
To which, he replied, “If you want to wait a day or two before we tell each other what we want, then I can wait.”
I said, “I’m not sure if our decisions will be the same.”
He responded, “Someone will be hurt if they aren’t.”
Why must I be this way?! I replied with, “It’s ok, we can always be friends.” As soon as he heard me say that, I saw him physically pull away…Finally, common sense and courage came to me. I told him there’s something I want to say to him and I’m not sure how he’ll take it.
He said, “Go on, say what you want me to know.”
So I started to tell him, “I never in my life thought I ever believed in true love and/or a committed relationship. After my divorce, I didn’t want to live with anyone ever again. My last relationship, helped and guided me to become who I’ve always wanted to be. I’m happy with the way I am and who I am. I love my life and the people in it. I had everything I’ve ever wanted, or so I thought…until our first date. Then I further questioned it during our second date. With every moment I spent with you and the more I have gotten to know you, the more I realized how much better this life could be. I have never fantasized about being with Mr. Perfect. I know people aren’t perfect. I have such high standards to keep people from obtaining it. However, I’ve gotten to know you and your imperfections. Let me just say, I accept them and you as you are. I know I’m not perfect. I’ve also told you I neither want to date a thousand people nor spend a thousand years with someone who makes me feel like an option. I’m more sure now, as well as I was sure on our second date that the person I’m sitting in front of right now is the same person. He hasn’t changed nor do I want him to. I like this man and I know I’m happy with him when I’m with him.” As I say this, he sees the sincerity, honesty, calmness and kindness in my voice and body language.
That’s when he interrupted me to tell me this, “I knew from the first date, it was you I’ve been looking for. I want us to see where we go from here. Sometimes I find myself talking to my mom as if she’s still right here. After our first date, I told her about you and our date. Later that night, I had a dream about her. I introduced you to her and she approved. She told me…”
‘Sweetie, this is the woman you’ve been looking for. I know you thought you found the one who’s meant for you, but they were all just people molding you and guiding you to this woman. She has a strong and warm heart. She’ll love you more than anyone has and will love you true. She’ll make your home happy. She’ll be good and kind to you and people you care about. She was made for you. I know she’s suffered a lot for her to be able to love as strongly as she does. She will protect your heart and cradle it with love because I know your heart has also been damaged. It’s time to trust your heart and let it love again. You two have been through enough in this life that another moment without each other is sheer stupidity. It makes you your own demons and refuse your own happiness. You spent your whole life searching for something you didn’t know we needed, but knew you wanted. You both searched and accepted people who claims they loved you, only to hurt you and shatter your faith in finding true love. Now that you have found someone that mirrors your values and wants; someone you can learn from and teach; someone you can come home to and know they aren’t going to go anywhere; someone who you can call your own and never have to worry whether or not they are enough…Only to find, you weren’t enough before because you needed to become enough for each other now. To support each other, to hold each other, to take care of each other and make each other feel wanted and valued and to know while you both are not perfect, the two of you together makes you completely perfect for each other. Don’t let her get away.’
He told me the dream scared him. He never thought he would ever find someone to be with that could love him and accept him like the marriage his parents had…until his mother told him about me. He was ready to settle with someone, just to not be alone in life. We came to each other at the point in our lives where were ready to give up on love and met each other. We both leaned into each other at the tapas table, kissed very publicly and he said “You’re who I’ve been looking for.”
I relied with, “Thank you for finding me. I wished for the last year or so that love would find me. I didn’t know I was lost this whole time until you found me.”
Have you ever tried role playing? I don’t mean in the sexual sense, I mean in the situational sense. Putting yourself in a situation and mentally envisioning the outcome? No matter how I have envisioned anything, it hardly ever goes exactly as it happens in my head. I have been dating this one person for several weeks now and there was this moment of unexplained silence. Which got me thinking and spiraling out of control (when I say “out of control”, I don’t mean I’m going crazy with stalker tendencies). I think I had resigned to letting it go because I’m not used to have my brain preoccupied like it was the during this silence. So here’s what happened.
It had been 4 days since I heard from him. We generally don’t talk/text daily, so span of time without communication is normal. However, this was different. He said he would text the next day, that didn’t happen. I called the following day, no answer. Still no acknowledgement of the phone call and/or voicemail I had left (which is a rarity since I dislike my voice recorded.) All I could think about was the deafening silence and increasing distance between us. I’m left to wonder if it’s me or his growing feelings and attachment to me. Men, if you have ever wondered how to make a confident, strong, independent woman insecure…this is how you do it. Go days without a word and be unresponsive. The phrase “dead to me” comes to mind for some reason. As I sat in bed wondering if he and I could truly be, after having decided he could be my end all be all…ready to commit to this person I have come to know. I was finally ready.
He called me tonight to tell me he wanted to talk to me about something. He asked me if this was a good time. Of course, after the deafening silence for four days, I told him it was. This is a great conversational starter, by the way. Everything in my body told me he’s going to break up with me. Isn’t this how they all start? With someone saying, “Can we talk?” Then next thing you know, you are gripping your chest to make sure your heart doesn’t ripped out with every word that comes out of his mouth. I could hear the hesitation in his voice and all I could do to stop myself from crying was to grip the phone so tight to never drop it or to miss a single word.
I asked him, “Is everything ok? I wasn’t sure if I should have reached out again.”
He told me, “I’m fine. I just needed space to figure things out. Given my work, my father being in town, and social obligations, I guess I was busier than I thought.”
As I heard his words, there was something different about his voice. There was a touch of sadness that I haven’t heard since the day he told me about his mother’s passing and his divorce.
He said, “I also did a lot of thinking. I know we haven’t had much time to see each other and I don’t want you to think I was leading you on.”
“What I’m saying is…I don’t know why you’d want to be with someone like me? I find myself wanting to spend every waking day with you and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’ve haven’t felt this way about someone and it hasn’t been this strong. So I don’t know what to do, how to think and how to feel. I’ve spoken to everyone I could about you and they all said the same thing…why would she want to be with someone 18 years older than her?”
Tears streamed down my face as I listened to him question my feelings for him. I started to think maybe it’s my fault for not being as direct as I could have been. I mean, how much more direct does one have to be when telling the man she wants to be with that she wants to be with him and that she likes him for who he is. Who knows? While I was disappointed and sad with his doubts in my feelings, it made me realize we both were suffering from the same illness…the illness of over analyzing and other thinking…
So I started to say to him, “I can understand why my motives would be in question. I can understand you wanting space and time from me. I can’t begin to understand why you would question why anyone would want to be with you. You are everything I wanted in a man. Why wouldn’t I want to be with you? If I were to be completely honest, I wouldn’t want to just be with you. I would want to spend my days making you happy. I would want you to want the same things. Is it so bad we both finally get what we want and need? Here’s the thing, I have chosen to be with you and I have decided to fall in love with you. You are everything I want, need and deserve in my life. On a list of pros and cons, the cons really comes from wondering whether you would be happy with someone who wants to be by your side as an equal. You told me yourself you have a wonderful personality, and I agreed. I enjoyed our conversations when we have them.” Here is where I started to cry because I know what is about to happen next…
“In the last 4 days, I’ve begun to question why YOU would want to be with me. Was the last few months a game for you to play and to have my heart broken was your end game? I started to resurrect the walls and shields I had in place before you came into my life just so I am protected. Now those walls are up again…because my heart was breaking. I wondered if you really meant what you said. I wondered if you even know how much I cared about you. I wondered if I was someone you wanted to be with. I wondered if you were hurting as I was hurting. I wondered how someone can be at this age and stage in life and still play with a woman’s heart. Of course you wouldn’t think I could feel this strongly about you. But let me tell you something, when I accept someone into my life, I FULLY accept them and care for them to my heart’s capacity. If you ever question my true feelings, just take a look at the people I keep close. I would take a bullet for anyone of them. My loyalty, my honor, my trust, my love, my acceptance are all I have and all I want returned in this life…SO YES, I love, accept, care, trust and honor you. Doubt it all you want, this is me and this is who I am. Take me or leave me. Just let me know so I can carry on.” I said all this while tears fall from a place I haven’t felt in years. The tears came from pain of longing and belonging — oh my goodness, it was hope. I was hoping this man could understand the strong feelings I had for him. Was it enough?
I took a risk. I took a HUGE risk. I just told a man how I felt about him without caring for the consequences. In my head, this could have gone one of many ways. I half expected him to hang up the phone. That would have been my sign to move on…it was over.
I didn’t hear a click or a dial tone. All I heard was his breathing and then a swallow. I think he was preparing to speak. Then I heard it, the very words that I never expected to hear from any man… “You make me happy. I love you. You’re the woman I’ve always thought I’d be with, but it took this long to find you. I’m sorry for having doubts, making you wonder all these awful things, forcing you to put up your walls that you’ve let down for me, making you cry. All things I never want to see you do again. I want us to commit to making more time together.”
All words a woman would give anything to hear the man she’s been waiting for, say….
It’s Friday night and I hadn’t heard from Mr. Kidney all week. While my mind wandered to what he may be doing, I was living my life as if he never existed. In my mind, he was the one and a piece of him will always be with me. As I was driving home to pick up my daughter and friend (we’ll call her Cali) for dinner at hot pot, I get a phone call in the car. It’s him…Mr. Kidney.
My best friend, Charlie, Cali and Allie (my daughter) were in the car listening to the conversation. I answered it with, “Hello, this is Lilee”, like I always do since that’s what I do.
He said, “Hi, it’s me. How are you? I haven’t talked to you in a little bit. The week has been crazy with my dad here and trying to make time between moving, working and my dad has been chaotic.”
I said, “Hey there! I’m sorry to hear. I’m sure it’s tough balancing all that in a week. How are you otherwise? How’s work today? Are you on the way back home?”
He replied with, “Yes, but I wanted to give you a call since I haven’t your voice in a while. How was your week?”
I relayed my week in summations like I always do, since I didn’t think anything I do was that important. I would rather hear about his day, since I really enjoyed hearing his voice and his Midwestern accent. There’s something about him that makes it that much sexier…could it be I’m wearing rose colored glasses? Or Am I really attracted to this man and a country accent makes me hot for him? Who the fuck knows?
As we spoke, my friends and daughter looked at me and they see it…my facial expressions and I’m sure they could hear it in his voice too…We had fallen for each other even with the distance and through the silence.
He asked me when I was free, I told him it depends. (Here’s me trying to be flirty, which isn’t a natural thing. Unless I’m talking to a guy like he’s a friend, THEN he’ll think I’m flirting. I don’t get it…but I hope it came across to Mr. Kidney I AM PURPOSELY flirting with him.)
“I’m not free next week, but am free the following week.” I said.
His reply was everything a girl could want. (See? There is it again. The rose colored glasses or this guy can seriously read my mind.) How about we plan on a weekend date this time? This way, we’ll have more time to catch up since it’s been almost a month since I’ve seen you?”
He remembered! Do you have any idea how important it was that he remembered how long it’s been? No? Me either. But in that moment, it touched my heart he knew how long for some reason. I guess it’s because we, women, have always wondered how in tune to our mentality and emotions our men are…Here’s proof.
So I took the opportunity to make him blush, “So…you’re aware we haven’t seen each other in a while, huh? How did that make you feel? Distance making your heart grow distant?” Yes, ladies and gents, that’s me flirting…I don’t know how to explain what happened, but dear god for the love of Jesus, I HOPE HE GETS IT!
So we planned a weekend together WITH MY FRIENDS in the car…that’s new and embarrassing, to say the least. All of them knew I’m busy as heck in May and all weekends were booked solid, but I did it…I changed my plans and made time for him. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? You make time for those important. I knew he was going to be someone important to me, so I started practicing now.
After we firmed up our plans and confirmed dates and times (because I’m a planner like that and I dislike uncertainties — says the finance person), I told him I’m on my way to dinner and will talk to him later. Then the most unexpected thing happened…he goes, “Alright, young lady ( a term of endearment he calls me, which I’m starting to get used to). I’ll talk to you some time later. I miss you.”
HE told me he missed me…unprompted, unsolicited, unexpected like most of everything about him. Am I dreaming? Or is this really happening? Had my friends not been the car, I could have sworn it’s all in my head. They giggled and looked so happy for me. Mind you, the whole time I did all this thinking and smiling…I didn’t respond to him! I just hung up the phone!
My friends snapped me back to reality and said, “Bitch! You didn’t reply to him! You hung up on him after he told you he missed you! Call him back! Call him back!!!”
I shook myself out of the daze, called him back and luckily he picked up. I stuttered through the next few words since my emotions were everywhere…Side note: I have always had a stutter and a lisp most of my life. Through speech therapy, I learned to control it by controlling my emotions every time I speak.
This was what came out of my mouth, “h-h-hey, s-s-sor-r-ry I hung up on y-y-oou. I was caught o-f-f-f guard. I’m glad to hear you missed me (now that I’ve gotten my bearings — but a little too late because he knew of my condition). I just wanted to say I missed you too.”