“I still can’t believe you moved back and didn’t tell me you were coming. What the hell were you thinking?”
“Baby, we all fight different battles. I don’t know all of the ones you fought but I hope you’ll share those stories with me because what happens to you happens to me. But during the time when I was gone things went to hell for me and I went through some very dark, difficult and hard moments.”
She watched him stare off into space and when he put his face into his hands she rubbed his head and said nothing. A moment of silence extended into something longer but still she waited for him to speak.
“Men are socialized to be providers. We are taught that you take care of your family and when something interrupts your ability to do so you do your best to change it, except some times it doesn’t change as quickly as you want it to and you feel like you have fallen down the rabbit hole and nothing makes sense.
It makes you question yourself and you start to wonder if maybe something is wrong with you and you are just too close to see it. Makes you question every part of who you are and that is when you realize that even though you haven’t given a damn what society thinks society still got to you. You realize that right or wrong some of your self worth is tied up in doing what is expected.”
“Honey, you are being too hard on yourself, corporate America is a bust and it has been for years.”
“Maybe I am, doesn’t matter because I had to look inwards and at myself. Right or wrong I couldn’t blame it all on someone else. But I figured it out.”
She smiled and asked him how.
“I looked in the mirror and told my reflection to ‘saddle up.'”
She rolled her eyes and asked if he always had to use that ‘macho crap.’
“Baby, when you are up against you will do whatever you can to pump yourself back up into believing that you’ll find a way out. So I did what I had to do.”
He walked over to the desk and grabbed a Post- Note.
“This quote is one of mantras and something that I have lived by for a long time. It is a big part of how I got through it all.
“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”― Winston S. Churchill
“I like that but none of that answers my question. How could you move back without saying something to me?”
” I guess there are two parts here.
There are about five people in the world whose opinion about me matters and you are one of them. I didn’t want you to see me as a screw up and I felt like I needed to square some things in my world first.
A while back I heard this expression that is what is meant for you won’t go past you and I thought it made sense for us.”
She shook her head at him and made a face.
“Sometimes you make me crazy. I don’t believe in any of that destiny stuff. How could you risk us on that? And I don’t think of you as a screw up, you know I have always loved you for you are. Corporate America is a bust.”
This time he laughed.
“I didn’t risk ‘us’ on a bunch of ‘woo woo’ stuff or anything that isn’t scientific. We are here aren’t we.”
She started to answer but he asked her to let him finish.
“I could give you the standard answer about how unexpected finding each other was and how many ways we defy what could have or should have happened but I won’t. Because the thing is I didn’t wait to see if that statement was true.
I worked my ass off to get to where I am at, to buy this house and have a new life. I danced in the fire covered in gasoline and kept going so that I would reach a point where I felt not just secure about where I was but good. The plan was to contact you soon. I didn’t expect that we would run into each other at the store, that sort of threw my plan off.”
Her eyes narrowed, “oh, so you just happened to show up at a place you know I shop at regularly.”
“No, I just happened to be at a place millions of people shop regularly during the business day. Who knew that you would happen to not only show up at the same time but park your car two down from mine.”
She smiled and told him his story sounded awfully suspicious.
He laughed and told her it wasn’t.
“I never drove by your house before and I still haven’t.”
“That is a likely story.”
“Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. Or maybe there is more truth to what is meant for you won’t go past you than we thought.”