I met her in passing and passed by for months. It was a January when we first talked, or first listened at least. Us two hiding together in the bathroom because we’d only paid for 4 in the hotel; there’s a picture marking our first day of friendship.
I met him online on a once-popular site – people laugh now but it’s not funny to us. Our first date was on a Wednesday, us, three friends I didn’t know, and a crust show. I left because I was cold and he tried to walk me home but i was already eating snacks in a cab. We were living together four Wednesday’s later.
So Thanksgiving was three people crowded around a 2×2 knee high coffee table sitting in office chairs and on stools.
And Christmas was a 3ft tree stacked up too close to the space heater.
And new year’s was spent at the bar, an off day, 6 people in the place while the world celebrated across the street where they had a TV.
In spring his parents came from Texas to stay in our home, 5 days, a moment in time awaited, come and gone in a flash. I cried when they left, these people who welcomed me.
July, his birthday, a last moment change of venue and still the whole room filled. People I now knew, skeeball in the back no one played and group trips to smoke by the dumpster. Henry puked and the bouncer flipped and I never knew they’d accept me.
August. The practice no one knew how to run sounded awful but we showed everyone our shitty one trick pony of a track. Tabletop games weekly, I go when I can. A road trip that I can’t talk about and I trust these people with myself, with who I finally am and I never thought I could say it out loud.
I have no father. I don’t speak to a sibling and can’t risk hurting a mother. But I have family. I have more in this life than I could have dreamt I could find.