I stood with shock at the end of my sidewalk as Elizabeth drove away. I left the house with gaping holes in my yard where the monkey grass once lived and came back to the holes filled with fresh dirt, sprinkled with grass seed. He insisted that he take care of the holes for me and I protested. He needed to focus on the move and his family -- not my measly little yard. But like a man true to his word, take care of it he did.
As I slowly made my way to the front porch, I could feel my heart tickling my stomach. It felt as though my heart was made of a thousand little butterflies. I have a habit of always checking my garden’s progress before walking into my house, so I naturally looked to see if there was new life. Laying neatly curled where my old, crusty black hose once called home was a fresh, green hose. Did he put that there? The butterflies started flapping faster.
I reached inside the mailbox for the obscene amount of junk mail that accumulated while I was at the beach. The lid creaked and closed, and I shuffled through the stack of credit card offers and utility bills. For some reason, I had the urge to look inside the mailbox again. There it was -- a little piece of paper stuck to the side. My hand went numb. The butterflies flapped faster. It was a note from him. My legs felt like two sticks of butter that had started to soften and would eventually melt on the kitchen counter. I opened the note and for a brief moment felt like I was in a story that didn’t belong to me.
His words were kind, gentle and doting. He was grateful for me. This guy to whom I bravely introduced myself a year prior wanted everything to do with me. “I can’t wait to do more projects with you. P.S. I bought you a new water hose. You needed one.” Surely I misread the last few lines. Surely. Standing on my porch with sweat rolling down my temples and pooling on my back, I slowly and thoroughly re-read the note. Yep. That’s exactly what he wrote. He wanted to do more projects with me. I still had three hours before the call.
When I finally brought myself to walk into the house, I scurried to my room, threw my bag down and changed into my bathing suit. Once again, I needed to distract myself, and George invited me to his pool. He coaxed me with his giant, yellow-duck float. Brilliant. “I’ll be there in five minutes.”
George asked me all the questions about him. I answered. The butterflies started flapping again. We had a photoshoot on the yellow duck float. Time passed. Quickly. Thirty minutes. Twenty minutes. We went upstairs to George’s apartment. Five minutes. I had five minutes before he called. “George, pour a glass of wine for me. God almighty. Please,” I said with the butterflies now flapping vigorously in my stomach and throat. “I’m taking the call in your closet.”
I snuggled up in the corner of George’s closet, between his loafers and Birkenstocks, with cardigans hanging over me like colorful clouds. The phone rang. I let it ring a few times. I didn’t want him to think that I was staring at my phone, patiently waiting for the call that would most likely crush me.
“Hi!!!” I said in my typical high-pitched voice when I’m excited to see or hear from someone. “Well hey there, Taylor. I’m safely in Southern Georgia,” he said with his deep, Southern accent that intoxicated me. He recapped his week and journey. We laughed about how Elizabeth’s family brings out my competitive nature, especially during Trivial Pursuit. He was excited about the opportunity to eat supper with his new boss on Sunday. I told him I couldn’t wait to hear about it. After twenty minutes of light conversation, there was a brief silence. I took a deep breath. “Here we go,” I mouthed silently to myself.
George walked into the closet to refill my wine, as he was starting to tell me how he felt about me and the past two weeks. He talked about the spark and how it came out of nowhere. He explained everything perfectly. George sat under his flannels with his mouth wide open, whispering, “Oh. My. God. Who is this guy?” “I know, right?” I silently said back. At the end of our conversation, we decided to be intentional about our new-found relationship. We weren’t sure what it was or where it would go, but we wanted to try. It was too good to be true and too special not to give it a go. From the moment I saw him in church, I knew I had to know him. But, I had no idea I would know him like this. We promised to do our best to talk every day. I suggested we take a trip to Savannah. He agreed. I looked at George. You would’ve thought he was watching a movie by the way he was sipping his wine with his hand on his chest.
Before we wrapped up our conversation, he told me about a little peach stand he saw on one of the backroads on his way to Georgia. He said he would bring some for me when he drove to North Carolina in the coming weeks. The butterflies flapped so hard to the point I thought they would explode from every pore in my body. This was it. I’d never met anyone like him, and I knew I would never meet anyone like him again. I was willing to take the risk and so was he. To me distance was an easy fix. We each had the other’s heart’s attention, and to me, that was the biggest obstacle. I clicked end, looked at George, and said, “What was that?” “I don’t know, but I want a man like him to bring me peaches from a farm stand in Georgia!”