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I’ve told you this blissful, sordid story about Mr. Hottie for a reason.
And the reason is because I know there are other women out there just like me who think they will never feel anything else for anybody except the person who has their heart. If that woman is you, I’m here to tell you that you’re dead wrong. What you’re experiencing is known as a limiting belief and it isn’t a valid one. You don’t believe me yet, but eventually, you will. Never in a million years did I think another man could ever make me feel anything other than the one who ate my boring, grilled chicken salads without complaining. But alas, it happened.
And to be completely candid with you, I think every woman alive deserves to have a Mr. Hottie appear out of nowhere like a flippin’ genie in a bottle when she least expects it…
…to bring her coffee with her name spelled correctly on the cup.
…mutter ‘damn, girl’ under his breath when she walks past him in a pretty dress.
…to heal her heart, even if just a tiny, little, itty-bitty sliver of it.
…and to show her that there actually is life after the man she thinks there can’t possibly be life without.
Mr. H., wherever you are, I want you to know that you still cross my mind.
I couldn’t go to Starbucks for months after we parted ways because it made me so sad that I’d cry and have to make my way out of the drive-thru every time I tried to go. I still get a little wistful on the rare occasion that I drive to Wilmington for a venti white chocolate mocha with double whip and a smile always crosses my lips because it so reminds me of you.
I especially think of you when I’m in Southport on the waterfront, sharing a swing with my restless dog, knowing that you love the area as much as I do.
There are times I wish I could go back to that day in May 2015 and undo every word I said to you so that we could explore this quaint little place together. I miss laughing with you, sharing the love of Starbucks with you, talking to you about everything and nothing, and watching you do crazy dance moves in the gym every time I lost my manager voice for who knows what reason.
I owe you so much gratitude for showing me that my heart could really feel something for someone else, even if it appeared to just be puppy love.
It was always more than that and I knew it, but I couldn’t allow myself to fully feel it because my love for The Other Him was just too big and to this day, still courses through my veins like tiny shards of glass. I’ve come to accept that he and I will always be entwined; I know you’re not surprised about that. In fact, I don’t think anybody is surprised about that, except maybe him.
Thank you for all the times you showed up for me with the only intention being that you wanted to be beside me when you knew I was hurting.
For showing up at work that day and taking my breath away just by walking through the door with coffee in your hand. For that forehead kiss you gave me as well as allowing me to make you believe in soulmates when you’d really always thought it was just woo-woo nonsense. I’m still quite the free-spirited gypsy that I’ve always been, but you repeatedly said you loved that about me, so I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve finally embraced who I am as a woman without caring what other people think about it.
Most of all, I’m grateful to you for not taking advantage of situations when you could have and for showing me the decency and respect I deserved.
If I had it do over, I wouldn’t have ever muttered those words to you, because four months later, That Man Who Had My Heart devastated me when he asked another woman to marry him and moved into her house without telling me. You don’t know that part, but he did.
Maybe you think I deserved it, but I can’t help but wonder if he did that because he innately knew that I couldn’t keep you a non-negotiable, even if I wanted to.
And on the day I found out, he had just told me that morning how grateful he was that we were finally in such a good place. That he was thankful that I had allowed him to rebuild trust with me after everything he had done in the past. He shattered what was left of my heart that day and he’s the reason I’m here in North Carolina now. I just wasn’t sure I’d survive his misdeeds if I stayed in Johnson City, so I ran away to the only other place I knew to run to. His actions have changed me in ways I can’t even describe to you and most days, I still question whether or not I will ever be okay again.
At the time, I wasn’t the one for you, even though you may have thought otherwise; and you weren’t meant to stay, even though I wish with everything in me that you would have.
The Other Him taught me to love things unconditionally—things that are very, very imperfect. You taught me that I have the capacity to continue to love even the most broken of people beyond what they deserve and that my heart is worth so much more than I’ve ever allowed it to be. It was meant for you to show me those things and I hope that you learned something just as valuable from me so that everything we shared together wasn’t for naught or in vain. Bittersweet. It is all so bittersweet that my lips, as chapped as they are from the salty air of the seashore, can still taste the remnants of what used to be us.
I know that I know that I know that I cheated myself out of something amazing with you and I recognize that more than I care to admit.
I try to live my life without regret, always being grateful for the lessons, but I dearly regret the day I let you leave because the only person I was cheating on was myself. We were both on different paths, you know this, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to be with you—it merely means that the timing was just very, very wrong. I had too much invested in The Other Him at that point not to see it through and I know you understand what I’m saying when I say that. It is what it is, but I didn’t like coming to that conclusion any more than you did on the day you walked out of my life, never to be seen again.
So for all the times I hurt you with my words and my actions, I am truly sorry.
I really did do the best that I could with what I had to work with back then, and if I could turn back the clock, I promise you that I would do it way better than I did the first time around. And for all those moments that I may have made you feel insignificant in my life, I’m apologizing for that too, because the truth is, you were a taste of possibility for me…
…the possibility that I could finally be loved and respected by a man of true character
(I am so fortunate to have been able to experience you).
…the possibility that my heart could actually beat for another person
(it did, and does).
…and the possibility that even in the midst of deep hurt and rejection, forgiveness can almost always undo every wrong that’s been done
(I hope that one day, you will find it within yourself to forgive me for everything I’ve done to hurt you).
You may not know it, but you left an imprint on my heart that I suspect will always be there.
I remember us joking about how maybe the timing would be right for us in 6 years or so and it amazes me that we are already halfway there because I truly have no idea exactly where the time goes. Not that I’ve been waiting, because I’d be lying if I told you otherwise. My life has gone on just as yours has—and I certainly can’t fault either one of us for that. Simply put, I couldn’t possibly have chosen you that day because I wasn’t sure in that moment that you were actually choosing me. And if you couldn’t see the doubt all over my face when I was struggling to find the words to say to you, then you weren’t looking hard enough, because I haven’t been in that much turmoil since then.
I don’t know what 2021 holds for either one of us, but if the planets were to ever line up just right, and I was your first call, I’d meet you at Cracker Barrel for a hello kiss any day of the week and I would never, ever let you go again.
You may very well be out of sight, but you aren’t necessarily out of mind. And I know I didn’t say it then, but I’m surely saying it now: You really did make my life a happier place when you were in it and while I’d certainly write a different ending for us if I could, I want you to know that I wouldn’t rewrite the rest of our story —however brief it was — for anything in the entire universe. Not even for a lifetime of free venti white chocolate mochas with double whip.
Every woman needs a Mr. Hottie.
Til next time, stay sassy.
Did you miss Part 1 and Part 2 of the Mr. Hottie series?! Click the previous links to be directed back to them! Thanks for walking down memory lane with me. I had more fun reminiscing about that time in my life than I could ever truly convey and I left so much out of the story that it probably could have been a mini-series if the truth be known! So, to those of you who have repeatedly asked me to tell more of the story and bundle it into an ebook or novella, it’s being considered! I’m thrilled that you guys loved this so much! See y’all next week!