From Medium: Chapter 13, Standing When The Ground Shakes

*This is the 13th chapter of a story that left off here last week.

I knew the trip would take my breath away. I knew it. I just didn’t know how, exactly. I knew the waterfalls would do it. I just wasn’t expecting a person to do it, too.

I had no idea, while gripping the edge of a cliff with my toes inside a pair of soggy socks, that two letters would send me over the edge — literally and figuratively.

“Hi,” he said, his face inches from mine.

He walked out to the edge of that cliff, with an eyelash of space to spare, looked me dead in the eye, and said that. Then, he jumped off backwards into the waterfall. And, I followed.

He got me in that moment. Well, to be fair, it was the moments leading up to that moment, too. I drilled into his eyes before he walked up to me, pleading for something. Guidance? Courage? Reassurance? Back-up? I don’t know. But I knew whatever I needed was in his eyes.

He later confessed that he experienced something in that moment, too. But he said that I got to him first, a day earlier, as we lounged on a rock at the base of a waterfall and I spilled about my lovely sideshow.

“What are you writing about?” he asked, as I sat next to him, my back to him, in a bikini that I’ve never worn in my life, scribbling down scenes and feelings and senses into a paperback journal.

So, I told him. I mean, he asked. And I don’t shy away. And, I’m not even joking, we haven’t stopped talking since that day. We’ve seen each other almost every day since we got back from the trip. We are unabashedly diving in to each other. And, we’re loving every minute of it.

There is an electric connection there. There’s something that isn’t tangible. I mean, we can both feel it, but it’s not solid. Words can’t describe it. We’re making plans and I know we’re going to do them.

He’s met my kids, in a very casual way, and they love him. Like, we played it cool. We talk constantly, and we sigh, and we spill our guts. And we aren’t afraid. And we…fit. We just fit.

We’re that cool intersection of having so much in common, but still having so much we can learn from each other. I am not going to lie. I see something here. Something special. Something, dare I say, magical. Something the universe had a hand in.

And our first kiss. Wow. I can’t. it was so perfect. So well earned. So sweet and genuine and fun and magical. And I didn’t want to let him go.

Because, we fit.

 — -

I feel like I’ve been waiting for him. Maybe forever. I feel like it’s possible that I have gone through what I’ve gone through, lived the life I’ve lived, so that I can be ready for him. And, that he lived the life he lived so that he could be ready for me.

Is that the cheesiest thing ever? Maybe. I don’t care, though. It’s undeniable. We have genuine, strong, honest feelings for each other and we’re just acting on them. Just going with it. Flowing. We say we’re “flowing” quite a bit.

We connect on an emotional level, definitely a physical level, and on an intellectual level like I’ve never experienced.

And he really gets along great with my kids. They all adore him. My oldest hugged him and said “goodnight” to him last night in front of my parents and in that moment I felt just like Dorothy Boyd. That look she gave Jerry Maguire? I gave them to this guy. Couldn’t help it.

Every moment with him is special. Exciting. Full of warmth and comfort and peace. And love. There definitely is a strong emotion there.

And the cool part is neither one of us is holding back. At all. We both admit we have in the past, out of fear, but both of us feel completely comfortable going forward without reservation.

That’s one of the reasons why I feel like the universe has been priming me for him. And for that, I’m grateful.

— –

The kids started going to see their dad again over the past week, for short visits, the first since he came and broke the window and was arrested. The visits are part of a tentative agreement, in good faith, on a long term parenting plan and the final divorce decree.

And my oldest started talking about my relationship with the engineer. I mean, he’s here every day and every night. And I told her we have no secrets because we aren’t doing anything wrong. There are no secrets, but there also is not any reason that their dad needs to know everything about what goes on in this house.

He doesn’t have the right anymore.

I told her to say whatever she wants. Talk about whatever she wants. I told the other two, too.

“I’m not going to, though,” my oldest said. “I’m going to protect you.”

Gut. Punch.

If that doesn’t speak volumes about what goes on in her little head, I don’t know what else does. He did that. He made her think that she needs to protect me from his anger. Because last time, he broke the sliding door.

That’s disgusting. Oh, and the sliding door is finally fixed. The PD and a domestic violence organization paid for it to be fixed. I was without words. Thanks just doesn’t cut it.

I was told to just pay it forward, keep writing and consider speaking at a domestic violence commission meeting held for a local police department. Without hesitation, I put that on my calendar.