Been almost 3 months to the day that Peter died. As the timing of my posts appear to dwindle, I'm reminded just how much time moves forward. I'd mentioned before that a week before Pete died, I bought him a housewarming gift to celebrate his year of sobriety and his move to a new home away from the group living he'd had before. I decided on a hourglass, as a symbol of the "one day at a time" mantra of those in recovery. I never got the opportunity to give it to him. It sat in my trunk, waiting for the perfect moment. That moment never came.
Anyway, the hourglass, while initially a gift to celebrate his time spent in recovery, and inspire more time, for me, has come to symbolize something else- the time of life. In the last 3 months, I managed to break my ankle (a small chip, but break, nevertheless), I've finally graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a master's degree in social work. I've secured a job that starts in just under 2 weeks. Ted, a former flame who have had a rocky time with previously contacted me recently to "catch up." It was a Saturday at 11 p.m. I told him about Pete and essentially said that I was shutting down shop until I was in a better space mentally. I also told him that my days of casual flings are over. At least for now. He couldn't believe it. Me? Malika?! Yep, Pete brought something magical, that couldn't just easily be replaced. It wasn't about physical connection, it was about how he made me feel. And my new understanding that I deserved a man that made me feel special. Time with Ted was nice at moments. But it was always until someone new started sniffing around and he started to act different. No thanks.
On another note, last night I attended a friend's bachelorette party, and while I was going home, was hit up by other friends that wanted to meet for drinks. I knew that no more drinks were in order for the night, but I still wanted the company of my other comrades. We decided on a bar named Chairs, where karaoke play in the background. I checked the scene, and like I always do, I looked around for friendly male faces. I found one, and pointed him out to my friends and was egged on to speak to him. I froze. I mean shit, its only been 3 months. Was I really ready to start dating again? Not only that, the very few men that I have shown interest in so far have been so "bleh" that I wasn't sure I wanted to chance it. Before I knew it, Reisha hopped up from her chair to talk to him. I'm a beautiful caramel color, but I'm pretty damned sure that every bit of brown drained from my face. I sat with my hands on my face and stuttered to my other friend that I was honestly probably not ready to date again.
Before I knew it, Reisha popped back up at our table, and was followed by the new guy, whom I'll call Hambrick. He sat down and told me that I was pretty. He made us all laugh, and offered to buy drinks. He was warm, with a nice smile. He'd moved to Atlanta a year ago to work in the movie industry. Hambrick urged me to hit the stage to karaoke my own song, and I'd selected "Brick House," my theme song. My friends left as the bar started to shut down. As we waited for the song to que, at some point, I put my hand on Hambrick's back. He surprised me, by leaning in, and starting to rub on my knees. It wasn't a gratuitous, sexual rub. It was warm, a simple embrace. But it felt so nice. Nothing extra. Despite him being a bit buzzed, he wasn't trying to get me to come home with him. I never got to do my song, and at 3 a.m., the bar was closed. He and I exchanged numbers, and he made me promise to text him to let him know I'd gotten in safely. I did.
I texted him while at work today, asking a few basic questions and exchanging smiley and winky texts with him. I still have every intention of taking my time. I'm still pretty gun shy. But this feels nice. Good company. No expectations, just good times, jokes and smiles.
It's so hard to believe, but it's true, life does go on. Even though we don't always want it to. I might just be ready after all. I guess it's time.