West heading North

He sent me a Snapchat asking how far away I was from Daphne….. A little bit later we are seated across from each other at a Waffle House.

He gives me a big bear hug and calls me “Hon”.
He hasn’t eaten all day and has been driving for hours. I watch him devour food in record time and settle back in the booth with a cup of coffee. He’s a generous conversationalist without making you feel like you monopolize the evening.

Now, he’s a high school ex boyfriend. Admittedly we didn’t have much in common other than a class and a crush then so having a lot to talk about wasn’t an expectation I had, now. I think Waffle House has a magical power poured into the batter that makes confessions slide out of your mouth while you stir the cup, though. I am pleasantly surprised when the conversation easily morphs from one subject to another and back again. He asks me if I know how to spell check in Outlook. I ask if he played his fiddle much.

The hours tick by and the conversation turns suddenly intimate. No, not in the way you’d expect. But asking a full grown man if he believes in vampires and werewolves, talking about the death of your brother, the demise of your relationships and worrying over a child you didn’t birth is suprisingly intimate and vulnerable.

We spend hours talking, not minding the clock. When the clock demands attention we make hasty plans to get together with my family the next day. I get in my car saying “when you get done with work, let me know…..”. His work would suddenly change and he’d have to drive North as fast as possible to secure his next million dollar deal without seeing the family or saying goodbye. It’s all for the best, I suppose. Some moments you can’t recreate.

Sometimes he sends me Snapchats in the middle of the night of a street performer in Savannah, or a casino’s blinking lights in Vegas.

Sitting in the Waffle House in Daphne there were no Snapchat filters, no bright lights or million dollar deals to be made. It was a cup of coffee and a conversation. It was looking across a booth at a man who held my hand and wanted nothing but good things for me. It was watching years drift away. It was comfort and peace.

As of this writing I think he’s in Raleigh. But should he ever find his way heading South again, I’ll have a cup of coffee ready.

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