a few weeks of winter

I wondered what would happen to us, now that we were back home and back to real life. We arranged a date that first weekend after we were back.

Meanwhile, my girlfriends reached out, demanding details. Three of us decided to meet for a cocktail to celebrate the New Year and one of the girls’ birthdays at a local bar. Lee agreed to meet us at the bar and submit himself to their interrogation before we ventured out on our date. And my girlfriends were ecstatic to observe someone who was clearly into me and was willing to play along with ever-evolving plans.

Lee and I saw each other a couple of times a week under “normal” circumstances. We continued to grow closer and enjoy each other’s company. Sooner than later, we had talked about exclusivity.

I was so taken with the ease and naturalness of our time together. Lee was expressive in word and deed — and touch. For the first time in a long time (maybe ever), I didn’t have to think about (analyze, perhaps?) anything… By that, I mean, I would easily invite Lee with me anywhere or to meet anyone without a second thought. [A few months ago, I had more casually been dating a blue collar guy (Brad) who, I recall thinking, I would have difficulty explaining to some girlfriends…they would have wondered what I saw in him.]

It goes without saying that he understood my full-time, single-parent status. Out of necessity, we were soon talking about his meeting the children. Not in any formal sort of way, of course, but just coming over to hang out on the sofa after a dinner out, for example…Netflix and chill without the expectation of a happy ending.

And, considering the treatment my two had given the only other boyfriend they’ve met in six years, they seemed amenable to Lee. Perhaps this connection had some potential…

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