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Familiar Territory

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It was early Saturday morning. Daylight was struggling to peek through the light-blocking curtains. Brian was asleep next to me. We were in his bed, back where we began. He was snoring softly, his back to me.

I was here again. Although we had said no more sleep overs for a while, I had given in to him the night before and showed up on his doorstep.

“Hi there!” he said cheerfully as he opened the front door for me.

“Hi,” I said, stepping inside with my overnight bag and a plastic CVS bag. “I had to stop and get some bottled water because my throat was killing me.” I set both down on the kitchen table and I turned to him.

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broken-heart

Taylor Swift Writes Songs About My Life

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I placed his things in a large Teavana shopping bag: a flannel shirt I once told him he looked sexy in, the photographic print of the Outlaw motorcyclist that I gave to him for Valentine’s day, and the SceneIt Seinfeld edition that he gave to me because I was the only one who could beat him at it.

Brian and I were on the verge of a break up on a night when he would be meeting my friends for the first time. How ironic, right? Did they know it? No. I didn’t want to ruin the occasion.

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That Girl

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“Kristine? She sits over there in the corner by the windows.” It was just after lunch and I had been sitting at my desk when I happened to notice, out of the corner of my eye, coworkers on the other side of the office pointing in my direction.

“Oh I see, you guys put the minorities all the way in the back corner,” followed by laughter. It was a voice I’d become familiar with over the past 3 months. He had that unmistakable deep, booming voice with the west Texas drawl. There he appeared from around one of the columns. He was smiling that handsome smile of his, dressed in jeans, his leather riding jacket, and a blue bandana wrapped around his head.

“Baby,” I said. It came out of my mouth almost instictively, completely forgetting that my coworkers were nearby. “What are you doing here?”

“Well,” he said, giving me a big hug. “I heard there was some holiday that everyone was making a big deal about. Valentine’s day or something?”

And with that, he reached into his jacket and pulled out a pink envelope and a brown teddy bear with a heart attached to its chest. “Awww, honey…” I said, totally and completely surprised.

My coworkers, who had stopped what they were doing to watch, chimed in and started doing their ironic clapping. “Oh stop it!” Brian said, waving them away. I couldn’t stop giggling. Had I been able to show any level of blushing, I probably would have been bright red. In all my life, I’ve never been surprised the way he surprised me that day. That afternoon I became that woman in the office who’s boyfriend paid a surprise visit to her at work bearing Valentine’s gifts. Before meeting him, I didn’t have any notable romantic stories to share with my girl friends. No tales of butterflies, of arguments, laughter, passionate makeup kisses, and surprises like this one. But here I was, and I’ve lived through all of it in the past 3 months.

The teddy bear smelled like him, he said. He had sprayed some of his favorite cologne on it so I brought it up to my nose and I sniffed it. Yes, it smelled exactly like him–cool and masculine. I smiled up at him, “Thank you,” I said, kissing him, totally not caring that my coworkers were still there. “I love it.”

I did. I loved it. I love him. And he loves me.

The Occasional Words and Photos from Kristine Macabare