I was 27 years old when I met him. Well, if you count talking on the phone. He was working in Seattle, I was working in Boston. We shared a mutual friend, and he called her from time to time to catch up, while we were at work. Despite the “no personal phone call” rule, we both broke it often.
One afternoon, I happened to answer her phone, and it was him. We started talking. We talked the next day, and the day after that. I felt like I knew him based on my conversations with Susan. Pretty soon he was calling my phone, after hours. We’d talk about everything from writing to music. For months we got to know each other. And then the call that changed everything. He was coming back home. He wanted to meet me. “If I don’t at least see you in person, I’ll never know if you are the love of my life,” he’d said. I didn’t know whether he was crazy or just super romantic.
When I asked him what he looked like, he said “George Costanza” from Seinfeld. “Bald and quirky.” There were no cell phones back then. There was no internet to conduct a Google search. We’d talked for so long I felt like I knew him and I didn’t particularly care what he looked like. Really.
Two weeks later he called to say he was home, and asked if I wanted to meet him. When I pulled up, I saw him opening the front door…and then I remembered I’d left something in the car, and ducked back in to get it. He thought I’d seen him, and thought I was leaving, so he ran out after me. And then I saw him.
He was literally tall, dark and handsome. He had big brown eyes and the most amazing smile. I saw him and felt as if I’d known him my whole life. We talked for hours that night. It was like we knew it was forever.
He met my parents and my grandparents…he was smart and funny as hell. He was charismatic. We were inseparable. After six months of dating, he got a job offer in Ohio to run a sales company. It was the chance of a lifetime. He couldn’t turn it down.
On July 2, 1996 he proposed as the fireworks lit up the night sky. He asked me to move to Ohio with him and share a life. I said yes. Until I didn’t.
I had a family, friends, a career…
I stayed. He left.
He has since moved from Ohio, to Buffalo, to…well, all over the world. “Please Come to Boston” became our song.
From time to time he would call from New York or California to say hi, and ask about my parents. When his mom passed away, my folks and I went to pay our respects. He became the one I called after every break up. He became the benchmark. Truth be told, he became my best friend.
For 20 years, I’ve followed his travels, his highs and lows. Through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, he’s been my friend.
But tomorrow he’ll say those vows for the very first time, as a husband.
When my mom called this morning, she asked me about him. Do I ever hear from him? Do we still keep in touch…?
I simply replied, “He’s getting married.”