I met him at MJQ. I wasn’t even supposed to be there that night. I happened to go by after an event that ended early and I happened to be extra cute. I was standing outside of the club when he went by. He walked by me and winked, and nodded toward the door and asked me to join him inside. I figured that we’d talk briefly and never see one another again. His name was Nick.
He bought my drink and we chatted. He told me that he’s a painter and showed me pics of his work. He asked me to guess his age. I guessed correct. I asked him to guess my age. He guessed correct. I was thoroughly impressed. We agreed to see one another the next day.
I called the next day around the time we agreed to but he didn’t answer. I ended up hanging out with a guy I was casually seeing at the time. Nick called while I was at a club so I didn’t answer. He texted me and called me “baby” and proclaimed that he missed me. Those familiar with my raging fear of commitment could see why that was a no go with me. I quickly dismissed him and erased his phone number.
Nearly two months later, as I sat with a friend, I got a text from a number I didn’t recognize. I nearly responded with my typical “who is this?” but my friend urged me to play along until I got enough clues to find out who it was. It was Nick. We texted back and forth for a while until I went through some mess with my ex the next day. Nick texted me a few days later to ask if he’d done anything wrong. I told him that no, he was great, however I was dealing with some major shit and simply not in a good place to date anyone. I told him that I wished him the best, but that I’m just not a good woman to pursue at the moment. He asked what happened and I told him.
Many men would have run after what I told him. Many would have simply wished me luck and washed their hands of me. But he didn’t. He asked if I wanted him to kick my ex’s ass. I half-jokingly answered yes. He continued to talk with me. The fallout from things with my ex got worse. Way worse. But Nick stuck with me. I eventually called him and he listened to me. I cried at times. He told me that things would be okay. He listened to me. He told me that he knew he loved me the night we met. Reading that text scared the hell out of me. But he assured me that he knew his feelings and that he felt connected. He came by on a night when I needed him the most.
He held me and made me laugh and forget my troubles. I loved how well he got along with my best friend, Sky. Sky was really worried about me and saw firsthand how horribly my last 2 exes treated me. He and Nick drank beer and talked me through my troubles. I had to make an overnight trip and the whole time I was gone, I thought about Deen. My mouth contorted into a frown and a scowl as I thought about our whole relationship. Then it turned into a smile as I thought about the week that I’d just spent with Nick. I didn’t know anything about him, but I knew that I wanted more of the love that he’d shown me. I made it a conscious decision to see where things would go with him.
We spent the following day together when I got home. I fried chicken and he and I sat in my home and laughed. We went to Centennial Park that night and walked into the middle of the fountain of rings. At that moment as the water swelled around us, I grabbed him and kissed him. I ran my fingers through his curly hair and allowed his love to encompass me. It was wonderful.
When we got home, I remarked that he smelled good. He told me that he was afraid that I’d noticed the smell of the liquor he had earlier. I grew tense. What kind of man shows up to a woman’s house under the influence of liquor? I texted Sky, but he urged me to give him the benefit of the doubt, so I did. He stayed the night with me and held me until the next morning.
I grew nervous. I liked him. But was he genuine? He had to be. He urged me to remain positive and strong. I wished I’d had his upbeat outlook and bright smile. When we hung out I found myself wondering if he was as physically attracted to me as I was to him. While I remained incapable of being “in love” with him as I dealt with my own issues, I knew that I loved him dearly for being there for me. One day after thinking heavily about him, I ran right into him. It was as if we in tuned spiritually.
I had a talk with the Universe. I thought about how I’d asked that Deen and I be together for the rest of our lives. This time I asked that if he were the man for me, to let me know within a week. I also asked that if he was not the man for me, to give me the strength to let him go.
He came back to my home and I cooked for him again. On the way there, he stopped for liquor. I knew then that something was wrong. I told him truthfully that he had a problem. He responded that he’s got some stress and deals with it how he could. The next morning I drove him home. He had me drop him off at McDonald’s and admitted that he’d been couch hopping with friends. I encouraged him to at least stay at my home as the cold snap ravaged Atlanta. He insisted that he was fine.
I started to feel that Nick was way more human than I anticipated. I knew it was looking bad. And real. Real bad. I thought about him a lot. Was he okay? Was he eating? Was he warm? Was he sincere? Was I in over my head? He seemed to disappear and reappear.
A few days later, I worried about him so I decided to see if he would be at the McDonald’s I dropped him off at. He was. He told me not to worry and that he was fine. Then he asked me to give him a ride to the liquor store. As we rode, I told him more firmly that he can’t live his life like that. He told me that I had no idea how he felt and what he was going through. I told him that we all had a cross to bear but that the answer wasn’t in a bottle. He said “some people have sex, some people eat, I drink.” I knew it was hopeless and that I had to get out. I had a 5-year-old boy to raise and I knew I couldn’t let him see his mother wasting time trying to save a man that didn’t want to be saved. I recalled watching the arguments between my own parents as my mom battled my father’s alcohol addiction as she tried to keep our family together while my father drank his life away. I knew that my son deserved better.
I brought him back to McDonald’s as he’d asked me to. He told me again not to worry about him. I thought about it and realized that it had been exactly seven days since I’d asked the universe for my sign that he wasn’t the one. I watched him exit the car. He winked at me as he walked in. I wiped my tear and drove away.
Since then I’ve seen him a few times. Amazingly, I literally think about him and he appears the next day. I’ve decided that he’s a soul mate of sorts. No, he’s not a boyfriend. No, we’ll never get married and we damn sure aren’t having any kids. But I love him and I miss him. I don't even miss my ex, but I miss Nick terribly. We’re very connected. I wish him the best and I’ll always feel that I owe him so much for being willing to be there for me when I needed him the most. But I know that he’s got a journey to go down and I can’t be his crutch. But I miss him and worry about him constantly. And if he ever decides to really clean his life up, I’ll be there with open arms.