Although I am not participating in this contest/writing prompt that was posted into a comment on my short story posted yesterday, I liked the concept well enough that I decided to write about it. One of the prompts was to write about someone who you were glad to have met, and I instantly thought of this person.
My obvious answer is Ryan. When I first met him online in 2005, I was in a good place in my life. I had a new job (which I was unsure if I liked), I was happy, my sister had moved out and was living with her fiancé, and I was in the mindset that things could not get any better. Enter stage right: Ryan. He had come into my life at what seemed at the time, the right moment. His appearance had at first frightened me (although it did not last long, Ryan; if you’re happening to read this), but there were far more redeeming qualities to him that softened my thoughts on that. He was the first male I had known to say I was beautiful and mean it, which did so much for my self-esteem; he seemed genuinely into me, and it was nice to have a mutual attraction with someone.
By the time we met a month later, I was in a much better place with things. I now was sure I hated my job (I didn’t), my sister was moving back in with us (not that that was an improvement), and Ryan had brought sunshine to me when the sun wasn’t always out (metaphorically-it was January). When he first brought up the subject of finally meeting in-person, it was NYE 2005. I was on the computer in the den, a knot suddenly having formed in my stomach. I was keen to meet him, but nervous at the same time. Besides, having him show up on my doorstep when NO ONE in my family except my youngest sister knew I was talking to him, would have been weird. My dad would have most likely answered the door, and then started the Inquisition before I had the chance to leave my bedroom to welcome him. So, we set up to meet January 7 at the Italian restaurant in town.
I was so nervous about everything going right, that I almost canceled it because of the weather. But, I waited in the lobby outside the restaurant, reading an area guide for the White Mountains before he arrived. Like I had said in another post, he was supposed to come through the doors to my right, but ended up walking down the treacherous hill on School Street and up the stairs from the front entrance of the building to my left. I kept hoping he was honest in his description, and that he was not some balding forty-year-old. I remember thinking he was very nice to look at, even though I wanted to wax his eyebrows. He gave me a single red rose, and we went and had dinner.
Even though it did not work out between us, and there was a lot of resentment and miscommunication in the aftermath, I am still grateful to have met him. He was the first guy I kissed, the first I really liked, and the first real palpable heartbreak of my life. I cringe to think of what my life might be had I never met him, to not have had his influence on my thinking, or how he snapped me into reality about romance.
As I told my sister the other day, I will never find him ugly, no matter how much time has passed.