This is me saying “Thank You.”

Like a cliché completely lacking self-awareness, I sat alone at a bar; failing, without care, to keep track of just how many Captain & Cokes were on my tab. This wasn’t an unusual night for me — then, and now — but I was a much different person, three years ago, when she decided to say “Hi.”

‘April’ was a stunningly beautiful young woman who could derail any conversation simply by walking into a room… so, naturally, I was immediately attracted to (and absolutely terrified of) her. I was no more than six months removed from both my marriage and the worst night of my life, and here she was — a complete stranger attempting to get me to speak.

For the sake of full disclosure, I only remember brief flashes of our initial talk (Captain & Cokes), but I can testify to the fact that my frequent (near daily) trips to that little hole-in-the-wall spot were due to my desire to see her, again and again. ‘April’ was gorgeous in the way that water is wet, but her true value to me was her personality. Well before I could even begin to think of either physical or emotional intimacy, she made me feel like my entire actually didn’t end. In short, she made me feel.

It was her smile. Yes, her eyes could have made anybody fall in love, but it was her smile that kept me company when I couldn’t sleep at night (which was every night). It was her smile that made it a little easier to get up and take a shower every day, and it was her smile that kept me here. ‘April’ wasn’t fully aware of her effect on me, but she saved me the night she decided to say “Hi.”

Life isn’t a movie, of course, so things didn’t quite work out the way I hoped.

And, for that, I’m thankful.

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