By Seneca Zamora
Our hands didn’t fit.
You know, when you hold the hand of a person that you’re dating, or sleeping with, or is your mom or best friend, and it just FITS? Like your hand was made for their hand and to have it wrapped in yours for an uncertain amount of minutes is just fine. I hadn’t really ever qualified this idea as something to consider in a partner, but a recent conversation with my brother in law helped me to close a short but important chapter in my 28 year old life. “Look at this!” He says as he grabs my sister’s hand. “It just fits! Easy. Perfect.” My sister nodded in unamused agreement, nothing out of the ordinary. It just fit.
We met on the corner of Christopher Street and Bleecker in the West Village- the first day of his new life in the big city-fresh off the plane from Ireland! Like most things that happen to me with potential soulmates, it was a lightning strike.
“Do you know any good bars around here?”
“Well there are plenty of bars around here, but we’re headed this way. I am sure you’ll find something down here.”
As soon as my friends heard the Irish accent, they backed off. My love for all things Ireland knows no bounds. Having passed the where-are- you-froms and why-are-you-here background checks, the name and numbers exchange was a natural next step. I should mention that I have lived in New York for over 3 years and dated a grand total of zero people, so my expectations of hearing from him were low. In New York City, that’s called being realistic.
But I did.
And we did.
“I didn’t know that I was going to move to New York City and meet my wife the very first day.”
The first 24 hours were a blur of “I’m dating him forever” and “this is absolutely too perfect to be true.” Ever the optimist, I began my walk down the path toward feeling number one, and he seemed to agree. When I told him he would probably turn into a New York asshole and ghost me, his response was “what’s that?” Can you imagine?
“What are three things you want to do now that you’re a New Yorker?”
- Join a soccer team. 2.) Buy a guitar 3.) Fall in love
“Oops…did I say that last one out loud?”
There are a lot of words that were immediately etched on my heart. Trips to Bali in September, visits to Los Angeles with me for a family wedding, cooking dinner in our apartment, and discussions about the names of our future children and how many of them there would be. Assuming that we were feeling the same way, these conversations did not scare me. I was glad to not be initiating them, but I was not afraid of participating, because I felt confident that we were feeling the same things. I was, on the surface, not given any reasons to think otherwise.
Upon leaving his apartment on a Sunday morning, I stopped at the door and said “Patrick, what’s your last name?”
“I’ll text it to you.”
I did find that to be an odd response, but in my flurry of feelings, I let it slide. When I got the response, it was a picture of an MMA fighter that I did not recognize, but thanks to the wonders of Google images, I figured it out.
I decided to forego the morning after Facebook stalking session, feeling so good about where we stood. Although, there must have been some hidden trepidation on my part, as I jokingly told my mother that I wanted to “trap him in a little box before NYC could corrupt him.”
Let’s fast forward through a week of missing each other, a perfect date, and nonstop feelings of heading in the right direction, and right into some bad news in Ireland, which ended with “I’m leaving on the first flight out.” While sad, the goal was to be back in a week or so. I actually felt a little relieved to have some time to myself without feeling the pressure of spending every day together for the rest of my life. His instant presence in my day to day activities and thoughts had thrown the rest of me a little out of sorts.
Another week went by, with more sweet words and “excited to get back to see yous,” immediately followed by the trip to Ireland being extended indefinitely due to a relative’s illness. The information about what and whom this affected were not more specific than that. We promised to continue to talk, Facetime, and see where the wind blew us. Disappointment was in the air, but so was hope, and the promise of seeing where we might end up, perhaps a trip to Ireland would be in the works (his words, not mine). Against my better judgment, we decided to try and stick it out. Ah, modern love.
My small but committed arsenal of girlfriends, warned me to be wary, and ultimately led me to discover some misinformation about Patrick’s social media presence. I had been given an incorrect last name from Day 1, and also blocked from seeing his social media.
The explanations came rolling in. The photo he originally sent me that led to an imposter’s last name stemmed from a joke he had with some friends. I should have guessed that, given that I had never met his friends, barely met him, and don’t understand Mixed Martial Arts jokes. That is a genre of jokes right?
Ever the optimist, I understood that I had been blocked from viewing his social media because he didn’t want me to see the struggles of his life and sick relative. In his words, the emotional walls were built. A weak argument, but I went along with it, offered my listening ear, but started to smell some rotting fish.
We continued to speak with semi regularity, but the vibe changed. My outreach was driving the situation, and I felt a shift, as all of us intuitive women folk do.
I decided not to check Facebook for a while. This may have been because I trusted that he needed his space, but thinking about it now, I think it was somehow to prevent myself from what I now know. I even began to entertain the idea of talking to other guys. In a moment of drunken weakness, I broke my silence. Our chatter was brief, but not unpleasant. He did, however, ask how my love life was. Normal, especially when I thought he was my love life.
Seneca lives and works in New York City in the education sector, and jumps at any possible wordsmithing opportunity. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org