In about two hours, it will the one-year anniversary of one of the strangest days of my life.
I was still at the Sun then, so Wednesday was my day off. I had been through hell the last couple of days as will become clearer as the words progress.
I got my lazy ass off the couch and took my dog for a walk. As we took those last few strides back toward the house, I saw the truck sitting outside my house. My heart leapt into my throat.
I walked through the gate, toward my door and there he was ... waiting for me.
With the Reader's Digest version of the previous six weeks, I had been dating a guy, whom we will call Muffin, but he was involved in a long-distance relationship with another woman. He had never quite been able to tell me that he loved her or why he needed to be with me, too.
The best I could get out of him was 'I don't know.'
Against my better judgment, I fell deeply in love with him ... no one on this earth has had the power to bring me to a state of relaxation like he could, to make me smile from the inside out, to feel that incredible kiss deep down in my toenails.
But I surreptitiously snuck into his e-mail, found her e-mail address, set up a fake name for myself and told her all about me ... on New Year's Day, 2006.
All hell broke less. I went to that old adage, 'Deny, deny, deny.' It worked until the guilt boiled up inside of me so bad it was in my mind morning, noon and night. My work was faltering, I couldn't eat and I couldn't run ... the one thing that had kept me sane for the last two years, I couldn't bring myself to do.
And there he was, standing on my back doorstep ... knocking at my door and calling my phone.
He wanted to talk.
We talked. I told him everything. Everything I had done. Everything I had told her. Everything I was feeling.
He didn't yell. He didn't hate. He didn't hit.
He said he kind of knew all along but didn't really want to believe it.
Stranger of all, he looked me dead in the eye and told me he wanted to be with me.
I couldn't believe it.
He. Wanted. To. Be. With. Me.
My heart skipped a beat ... or maybe a hundred. I asked him to say it again. Again. And again.
We promised to make Feb. 15, 2006, the first day of working towards trusting each other and building something together.
But something somewhere somehow changed along the way. We did stay together ... for another three months. And all along, he stayed with her, too. He told me he wanted to stay friends with her, that's all.
Except that's where he is today.
And I wonder if he remembers that one year ago today he told me he wanted to be with me.
You can tell I have questions, can't you? Questions that will probably remain unanswered for a hundred lifetimes.
Answers that I probably wouldn't understand.
Because really ... what does 'I don't know' mean anyway?
In a couple of hours, I'll head home from work. His truck won't be there. He won't be standing on my back doorstep ... knocking on the door and calling on my cellphone.
I'll walk the dog and he still won't be there when I get home.
And if it's all the same to you, I'll spend some time crying ... wondering what could have been if he'd just made good on his words.
Wondering if I'll find that perfect state of relaxation again. Or that inside-out smile. Or that kiss in the toenails.
And rest assured, someone's going to suffer my frustration ... tonight, Thorncliffe Arena. Somebody warn them about No. 7.