Exactly one year ago, I was wrapping up an e.l.f. Makeup At Home party that Audrey and I hosted at our parents’ house.
I had spent the previous week in NYC, going on job interviews as I prepared to move there.
A few weeks prior, I had met a guy named Brian at a runners’ club and we had done a few long runs together on the weekends, just the two of us, as we prepared for our respective Fall marathons.
On our latest run, he had asked me if I wanted to do something during the week for a change, something that didn’t include running. So we had arranged to do something on Tuesday, September 1.
It wasn’t a date.
Not in my mind, at least. It was an evening with a running buddy, a way to end a trying day on a good note.
You see, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to September 1. It was to be the day of my divorce court hearing.
I had never been in a courtroom. I had never been divorced. All I knew is that I would take the stand and my lawyer and then the judge would ask me a series of questions. I would have to sit in front of my ex-husband, and about 100 people neither of us knew, people who had their day in court that very same day, and say that yes, we have decided that our differences are irreconcilable; no, I am not asking for spousal support; and yes, I am choosing to go back to my maiden name, among many other questions.
And that’s precisely why Brian suggested we plan our little non-running get-together on that day. So that there would be something nice for me to look forward to after an emotionally draining morning.
Most of the ladies had left my parents’ house after the makeup party when I received an email from Brian. He was getting in touch about the following evening:
Weather’s looking good, so I was thinking a little boat ride, show you the harbor and head over to the island, we can tie off in front of the house I’m helping to build. Great views of Bristol, has a deck with chairs, it’s neat looking at Bristol from the water. There a beach on the west side we can walk to. its like a mini Martha’s Vineyard. You were talking about real Irish food, you said you liked Aidan’s, so let’s try the new one, they updated it and it’s nice inside. so not sure what time you can make it, we can do 530 ish or before. Its going to be great weather so if you have the time, we can start earlier. Hope you’re having fun at the girls party tonight. Talk to you later, I think this will get your mind off things.
I read it and thought, “Oh, I get it… this is a date.”
In my mind, because I was literally in the middle of a divorce… because I was moving to NYC… because Brian was almost 5 years younger than me… it couldn’t be a date.
But I enjoyed spending time with him, and I knew we’d have a good time together, so the next evening, hours after my trip to divorce court, I drove to meet Brian where he was waiting for me, with his boat and his dog Tansy, on the dock at Bristol Harbor.
He was right; the weather was good. We walked to that beach on the west side of Prudence Island and watched the beautiful sunset, then took his boat back to Bristol for dinner at Aidan’s.
One of the things I liked so much about Brian at the time (and what I love about him now) is that he was so kind, understanding and patient with me. He knew I needed time, and he gave it to me. He knew I needed to move away, to be on my own in a new city, and he encouraged me to go.
Of course, the more I got to know him, the more I enjoyed his company… and I soon found that I didn’t like to be without him at all.
And that’s one of the main reasons why 6 months after I moved away, I came back home.
Exactly one year ago, I was a day away from forever saying goodbye to a piece of my past, not realizing that the same day would prove to be such a defining piece of my future.