by Caton McKenna
Reunited…AT LAST (Etta James style or Ella Ftizgerald…you choose).
Fast forward to August 24th, 2013. I’m living in Boston, entering my second year of teaching 5th grade writing at an inner-city charter school. I’ve been invited to a college friend’s wedding in Burlington Flats. As I make the four-hour drive to the wedding, I realize that Mike lives somewhere in Central New York, and I decide to shoot him a text.
Hey! I’m in Richfield Springs for a college friend’s wedding.
I tell him, but he doesn’t seem that excited, and there is a lot of wait time between texts. I know I deserve a lot worse. He continues to send a few texts about how Richfield Springs smells like sulfur, but no attempt is made to see each other.
When people gets back from the rehearsal dinner, everyone starts playing games (a recurring pattern in my life). We are in the middle of a hilarious round of catchphrase in which Max is trying to get us to guess “petit fours” but thinks they are small pants. Needless to say, the time runs out, and Jenna announces abruptly that Martin would like me to stop texting Mike.
Strike two Martin.
Why? OK fine. I won’t.
Like a guilty child caught with her hand in the cookie jar, I stop texting Mike. They’re right. I shouldn’t lead him on especially since I live in Boston, he’s looking for a serious relationship, yadda, yadda, yadda.
The next day at the wedding, I have a great time catching up with college friends touring a winery and brewery, and then enjoying a delicious dinner at the reception. As the night continues, the guests begin to make their way to the dance floor. Read: the guests follow myself and Jenna to the dance floor.
After a few fun fast songs, and the obligatory wedding dances, the slow dances commence. I groan. This is the worst part about going to a wedding alone. I begin to make my way off the dance floor when I notice a familiar face. Mike has just entered the reception venue and is making his way over to the outdoor patio to see Martin.
Jenna comes running over,
Mike Conde is here, and he has gotten so hot!
She grabs my hand, and we run like little girls toward the boys lounging on the bales of straw. I give Mike a giant hug. I can’t hide my excitement. My heart jumps as I meet his eyes for the first time in over four years.
I drag Mike to the dance floor, and we spend the rest of the night swaying in time to the music. We are inseparable.
Mike drives me back to Kristin’s house (where I was staying) in his new truck. I hold his hand the entire way. I can’t stop talking. It’s either my nerves or the wine. I ask Mike why he decided to crash the wedding. He says,
I came for you.
This simple statement melts my heart, and I invite him inside to play ____________…I feel like I don’t even need to finish this statement.
I change into more comfortable PJ’s and sit on Mike’s lap as we play another round of catchphrase. Everytime Mike gets an answer right, I reward him with a kiss on his forehead. James, Naomi’s boyfriend/now fiancée quips,
What happens if he wins?
Finally around 1:30AM, Mike tells us he needs to go home because he milks at 4AM. I don’t want the night to end.
I accompany Mike outside to his truck. Caught in the magic of the night, I kiss him under the moonlight.
Our first kiss.
At that moment I know I won’t be able to convince myself that what I’m feeling isn’t worth fighting for. Destiny or coincidence has been weaving our stories together for years. Just as the strands were at its thinnest, we were reunited, I finally realize that it’s him I’ve been searching for all along.