I remember the first smile. It came from reading a facebook message moments after we became “friends.”
Why was I smiling to myself like an idiot. I’m not 12. But I was smiling. And we were messaging.
Afterall we were complete strangers who just happened to be in one another’s lives on a near daily basis for the past three years; with never more than a good morning nod or occasional awkward “I don’t know you but you’re walking past me so “hi” is the polite thing to do” greeting when our paths crossed. Yes, I noticed his good looks. Ray Charles could see how fine he was, but back then I wasn’t in any place to care about any man or his looks.
Now, I’m smiling.
We moved from Facebook to Phones and probably said more in 140 characters or less than actual conversations I’ve had in person. After a stream of steady communication came the inevitable “let’s meet up somewhere” text.
I stared at the request for minutes.
I like smiling. I like feeling lighthearted. I like the safety of staying behind this screen. Meeting means the possibility of all this going away. If he says the wrong thing, or does something dumb, if he isn’t anything like these amazing texted conversations then the bubble will burst and I like this smile. I want to keep this smile.
No, I can’t take the chance. I won’t do it. Final answer Regis. No.
“Okay” I text. “Let’s meet.”
The hell? How did my fingers betray my brain? Okay? Not okay. Not at all.
He was on time picking me up.
I didn’t know where we were going. He chose the absolutely perfect place to take me. We talked well into the night.
There was something there.
That was our first date months ago.
I’ve been single for a long time. I’ve not officially dated anyone, or had a man claim me as his own, the time I’ve spent with other people wasn’t wasted time; but it certainly helped me see the difference between “hanging” out with people who can’t invest in your worth and spending time with one who can, does and will.
I’m smiling because he isn’t a manchild, a struggling dude, a player (well actively anyway), or a homeboy. He’s not looking for a come up, and I haven’t had to sit through not one scheme to make it big. He’s self sufficient, intelligent, intuitive, confident, self assured, sexy and has an entire life that does not revolve solely around me. He has a life.
He is a grown man. Yes, the elusive “grown man” I’ve heard tale of a few darting through the concrete jungles of Philadelphia; but have been unable to verify an actual sighting. I was beginning to believe “grown ass man” was a myth along with Bigfoot and the Loc Ness Monster.
Then one waltzed straight into my life.
We’ve been together for months, we click. We click in a way that an aspiring couple should. There’s growth, discovery, laughter and learning curves.
There may be some who want to pick apart what is happening because misery loves company. There will be gossip and innuendos, there will be rumors and haters. There will be challenges just due to the nature of how and where we met; but a grown man and a grown woman handle their business like adults and we put children in time out.
We aren’t concerned.
That fits. It feels right. I’m smiling because I’m ready. I’m smiling because we’ve both graduated a boot camp of broken relationships and now we know how to build a better one.
So don’t look for us to floss our relationship in your face but don’t expect us to hide it either. We’re living it and whatever comes of “it” belongs to us.
You don’t own the rights to it.
I’ve been writing about healing and moving forward, I’ve been talking about it yet believing I may be relegated to writing about second chances and just like that, when I’m not looking, I’m no longer single. And I haven’t stopped smiling.
Just like that.