It was time to celebrate Big's birthday. I texted him a week ahead of time and told him I wanted to take him to dinner and a movie the following weekend. It wouldn't be for his exact birthday, but I was trying to not be presumptious.
Then, the weirdest thing happened. On his actual big day, I texted to say happy birthday, and he responded and actually made plans with me. For his birthday. Wow. I thought that was a pretty big deal.
We still weren't seeing each other all the time, but when we did spend time together, it was mostly him that would initiate our dates - and he was doing that more often. I still wasn't totally sold that he wanted to be exclusive or that he really had feelings for me. I had decided to end things with everyone else, mostly because I wanted to see where this was going. Also, this relationship was teaching me what I really wanted - and those others weren't going anywhere. Plus - I needed more time to myself.
Towards the end of the month, something very cool happened. We were at the mall, waiting for a movie, and we ran into a friend and her husband. They came over and I introduced them to Big. This was the first time he was really meeting anyone to whom I was close.
The next day, I got a text from my friend's sister (we're all close). Apparently, my friend had called to tell her about seeing me at the mall, and about meeting Big. She commented that I "looked happier than she'd ever seen me."
That comment stayed with me. Was that possible? I was married for a long time, and this person had known me all those years. The truth is, I was happily married at one point, but by the end, things had changed. I remember worrying that I would never find happiness again. Maybe I finally was?
I, of course, attributed this to Big. I thought that maybe, just maybe, I was finally finding my happiness...