I was already in love, but one giant indicator was telling me to run far away: he was just that very second getting out of a long-term relationship with someone who liked to kayak as much as he did. I was about as outdoorsy as Zsa Zsa Gabor, without the wealth or good manners with police officers, and I had never been in a relationship that lasted longer that a Daft Punk song.
"I think Pete needs a little time to figure out who he is," M said wisely.
She was right, but another thing I'm no good at is being patient, so I damned the torpedoes and continued to flirt with my future boyfriend.
After a few cutesy lunches and walks around our mutual workplace in Burnaby, Pete was inspired to lend me a book of Vancouver walks with his name and number written inside the cover and then waited for me to figure out it was a silent invitation and not an indication of his fear of having his precious guidebooks ne'er returned.
More than 13 years later, I'm still mad about the boy, and want to hang out with him every day and go for long walks.
Pete took some time off this week because we haven't had any extended opportunities since my re-diagnosis in February to just be, sans kids. No cancer shizzle. No schmoop. No talk of what kind of stripper he'll marry if I can't crush this thing as expected. Not that we deteriorate into that stuff on the regular, but sometimes, between the kids and his work and the general running of our lives, we have to cram in a bit of everything in the couple of hours we steal for each other at night.
With entire days to fill with just hanging out, I forgot about il cancro. Like, almost completely at times.
It generally never goes away entirely, which I don't mean to make sound dire, but when you're trying to be badass, you have to be diligent, which means staying well is always top of mind. I don't wake up crying into my Holly Hobbie pillowcase or go to bed depressed, but on most days, cancer is an agenda item that I'm ticking off over and over again, and it gets a bit much.
The respite with Pete has been glorious, especially since I've been feeling completely fantastic for the first time in months. We lunched, shopped, walked, talked, cooked, cleaned, watched ridiculous Italian travel shows, and just generally enjoyed being boyfriend and girlfriend.
I also fell in love again for the 20,000th time, in a slightly different way that can only come with the shit we've been through together.
But more than anything else, I lived like a person without this blasted disease. Thanks for the mini-break, Mr. P.