On our second date, she told me that she always knew on the first date whether it was "yes" or "no", but with me, she hadn't. I asked her how it had worked out with those who had been a "yes". We were on a date, so the question was somewhat rhetorical. By the end of our second date, she still didn't know about me. I took that as a good thing, because I wanted to.
Our third date did not go exactly as planned. We were "asked" to sit with the rabble, the squirrels went hungry, I had to call for a boost, and she defied a personal tradition. It must have answered the question for her, because we never had a fourth date; spending the weekend together with our kids was not considered a date. I was nervous about that, too. Very nervous, for various reasons. I needn't have been, for any of them. All in all, it was the best fourth date ever.
* * * * *
I spent almost a year wandering around a strange town, more than a little inspired by a modern fairy tale there, fully expecting to find my treasure among the pyramids. Once or twice, I thought I might could have, and even threw caution to the wind, but no. What I did find was the path to somewhere I had not been for a very long time - my self. Only after I discovered the treasure that had been sleeping there could I follow the signs to the one waiting under the blue sycamore tree.
* * * * *
First I had to be alone so that I could learn how to not be lonely. Then I had to be lonely so that I could want to not be alone. Now I don't have to be either.