It wasn’t a sentimental beginning. He called because he’d been separated for quite some time, in the middle of a divorce. He knew I was widowed. I didn’t know about him. He told me. Asked me to a baseball game. Was bored with his brother as a main squeeze.
I knew him from my old life. And knew his wife even longer. Are you sure it’s not a date? Can’t date someone’s ex. Wouldn’t be right. Assurances given. It was important. I didn’t date anyway. Widows have a lot to do.
Scalped tickets. Really good ones. Sitting with the player families. Pretty fun. But mostly we talked. Didn’t watch the game. No. Mostly he talked, about what went wrong. I think he was thinking aloud. Sifting through debris. How it went sideways. Boy I was glad it wasn't a date. I would have been disappointed. But it was good to see him. He had more depth than I remembered. A good friend he would become.
Talking and writing. Keeping tabs on our progress. “Have you kissed anyone yet?” “I haven’t taken my clothes off in front of someone new for 20 years.” We had to laugh at each other; we made such good confidants. We walked hand in hand out of delight. So good to have a buddy. We told our secrets.
We dabbled in the world of men and women. We had a better time together, clothes on, then with others – clothes off. Would our friendship survive if we changed its terms? We’d been friends for a long while and it worked so well. No sense fixin’ what ain’t broke.
One dragged the other (not saying who) for a test. C’mon. Hanging and dating are nearly the same. Some lipstick and pantyhose involved. Other than that, it’s mostly all the same. Except when we say, “I love you”, it will mean something different. Will there be kissing involved?
For some time we had it framed in our minds. We were a Plan B couple. Plan A meant my child’s father was alive, and his family remained loving and intact. That was the futile future. We felt lucky to have each other. Lucky to have a successful Plan B. Proud. Adaptable. Happy. Satisfied.
One day it changed. There was no Plan B. Only more Plan A. Winding, unfolding, revealing, revealed. We were together for the joy it brought. We were not consolation prizes. Purely Gold Medal.
Plan A the whole time. And we became just that much happier when we understood. It wasn’t random. Not one bit.
Happy Valentines Day, my love.