The hostess sat us in the back of the restaurant, in a booth big enough to seat eight. A waiter dropped off two large glasses of ice water and then asked us what we'd like to drink and both ordered tall beers.
We had some time to kill before the midnight show. I had already invited myself on Ben's Christmas vacation and he had agreed. Vulnerabilities aside and in B.J.'s while waiting for the opening night of Jack Ass in 3-D, is where the connection really happened.
"I don't want to seem like a stalker," he started. "But I read your blog. I went back to the beginning and read everything."
My mind raced back, thankful I hadn't posted anything crazy. But also hyper aware that what I did post was my truth. That's the thing about writing and exposing it to the world - it will be judged. And somewhere between typing those letters on the screen and hitting the publish button, you have to decide for yourself if you're okay with what ever may happen afterward.
I took a big gulp of my IPA.
"What became so apparent was just how much love you had for Ryan," he continued. "I'm envious of the love you showed for him."
Who are you? I thought. Where did you come from? I stopped asking questions and committed then and there to love him.
Somewhere in the depths of my soul, I knew that the key to loving Ben was figuring out how best to love myself. Because all relationships start within. And though my heart was broken from the loss of Ryan, figuring out how best to pick up the pieces and love myself would be reflected in the relationship I'd build with Ben.