The First – один

A glass of wine convinced me to find the loves of my past, which is something I’ve never done. Without much thought, I held my breath and plunged my head beneath the watery surface of the past.


I went to social media. He had a professionally leaning page without any pictures of him or anything personal. Typical of him, really. My genealogical sleuthing prepped me for this. I scanned another timeline. He was still a staunch Republican, as he had touted Republican talking points since I met him. Interactions were minimal, as most of his posts concerned his current field and a few about the randomness of life and depression, which I knew he suffered from. Based on some observances, I believe he was being treated for it pharmaceutically – and also possibly suffered from Crohn’s Disease – but in those days I didn’t have the balls to inquire.

His current girlfriend looks like a model and not a day over twenty-five, but I didn’t look beyond that. I was already down the rabbit hole, I was not about to get myself caught up in a mole tunnel as well.

I really wanted to find a current picture of him. I hadn’t seen him since his twenties and he was a forty-something now. My searches came up empty. I wondered if he was still at the same company. I would know, I helped him prepare for the interview. I’m the reason he dressed sharp and walked in calm, cool, and collected. They hired him on the spot. He was made for this sort of gig. And after watching him search fruitlessly for so long, I knew this line of work would be salve to his soul.

I found the company had a social media account and started scrolling. I found a picture where his name appeared. Bingo, he was still there. I kept scrolling until I hit pay dirt. A full body picture of him standing at an event came into view.

I paused.

In my mind, he was still twenty, but in this picture, he was clearly not. It was him, alright, no questioning that. The big smile, the bright eyes, and the jawline hadn’t changed. His face, neck, and chest all expanded, as it tends to do to men in their forties. I expected him to be more muscular, but he wasn’t. He was in good shape, with a tight chest, but time had taken away the sleek sinewy body he used to press against mine. He hadn’t grayed yet and his hairline hadn’t moved. It was him, just slightly older.

He was still gorgeous.

I looked to see when the picture was taken. I checked my calendar – and sure enough – I was in the same city the same day that picture was taken. How strange. Perhaps we passed each other and never knew.

The picture couldn’t tell me anything about his personality or how he acts now. His cultural exceptionalism bled into his personal views back in the day, and I wondered if he had become tempered with age or grew into a giant asshole. It could have gone either way. I wonder if he has children.

I’d love to meet him over a beer sometime to catch up and get to know him as he is now, but without divine intervention, it is a pipe dream. I’m not even sure he would remember me or could recall me without rolling his eyes.

But man, I’d love to know what he is like now.

Four Nine

The date echoed in my head. 9 April. It was like recalling a dream from months ago: I knew it had significance, but I did not know why.

And then I remembered. It was his birthday.

He was my first real boyfriend, my college sweetheart. We dated for a solid year and half before things began to warp like an old record. We started out starry-eyed and in love; he was the ying to my yang as we shared so many adventures together. After that first beautiful year and a half, we had several intermissions and reboots of our relationship, all of them foiled – mostly because there was always another girl or he was too selfish to care. The emotional abuse he inflected on me should not have been tolerated. We were not compatible, no matter how much my heart told me we were.

It’s been over a decade since we ended it all. A year after our last attempt at being a couple, we met in a dusty midwestern bar at my request – the kind only washed up locals go to – and aired all our grievances, caught up on each other’s lives, and reminisced about those good old days. Not only was it cathartic, but I also got to spend a few hours with the same guy I had fallen head over heels for so many years ago. I knew that persona was temporary, however. We ended on a good note as we hugged in the parking lot long after last call was announced. While it felt good in the moment and as now looking back, the days and weeks that followed that meeting left my scarred heart bleeding and infected. The ebb and flow of time have softened that scar. I told him never to contact me again before we parted. Here I am, nearly 15 years later and he still has kept that promise and I am grateful for that.

I found myself thinking about him randomly, on his 34th birthday. I know so little about his life now, but I choose to keep it that way. It meant taking people off of my social media feeds that were still strongly connected to him, despite the fact he lives over 1,000 miles away. This cold hearted sniveling super rat (as Holly Golightly would say) is a husband and father now. His wife is a nurse, blonde, and has one of those smiles that lights up a room. I don’t know what he does for work, but I’m going to assume it is in the same vein of his college major. Despite the healing and the time that has passed, I have no desire to reconnect with him or view his online profiles or to know details about his life.

With all these thoughts swirling in my head, I found myself praying for him. Last I knew, he was not a Christian. His priority had always been himself. Maybe it’s different now with a family; maybe it’s not. I lifted him up in prayer in honor of his birthday, that the Light of Christ may shine into his life. That he may turn to God in those moments of both triumph and disaster and for a truly spiritual Christian to reflect the love of the Father to him and his family.

Perhaps we’ll meet again in Heaven, both of us washed clean in robes of white. That would phenomenal .

So here’s to him on his birthday: may this 34th trip around the sun be beautiful and covered in the glory of the Lord.

Writing Challenge Day 11: Your Current Relationship

10 years ago this month I met a man momentarily during a job interview tour. I remembered him because he was hot and had beautiful blue eyes. Nearly 2 years after that fateful encounter, we were married.

Despite the fact that I suck at long term relationships and the age gap, marriage has been very good to us. There have been a few bumps in the road, and some major potholes that keep turning up, but I’m chalking that up to life isn’t fair and we’re both deeply flawed people.

It’s to the point now where I feel bad when I’m off adventuring and he is not there by my side. I want to share all my adventures with him.

The ebb and flow of our relationship continues – 2015 has been particularly challenging for us – the treacherous waters were difficult to navigate. I’m looking forward to the new year of gently rolling waves and a more fruitfulness.