When I found Kristin’s blog we had both taken opposite sides in a debate on fake wedding rings. I made some ridiculous comments, as I often do… fortunately she forgave me and although we never found common ground on that issue we moved past our differences only to realize that we have a lot in common.
“Are you sure you’re not a slightly younger, darker version of myself?” she wrote me once. I agreed. Aside from our feelings on wedding bands, the similarities between us are eerie.
I am now, along with thousands of others, completely hooked to her blog. Her writing is humble, powerful and single mom or not, it shakes you to your core, stirs your emotions and immediately hooks you into wondering what awaits Kristin, her brother and her adorable 3-year-old son, Nolan.
Today she is sharing a story with us that you won’t find on her blog – the story of how Kristin met Nolan’s father, someone she has recently found the power to forgive. Please read every word of this…
Shattering, Shattered, Grateful
By Kristin, single mother and author of Better Now
The concert had just started and I was standing at the makeshift bar at the back of the auditorium, contemplating the merits of beer versus vodka coolers. I was on the tail-end of a crumpled three year relationship, twenty-eight and wired, standing with a plethora of bar-star girlfriends, giddy with the surrounding pulse of music, adrenaline, and young male sweat.
“Heineken?” I glanced over at my friend Mel, black hair shining over one shoulder, leaning over shouting into the ear of another friend, already tipsy from ciders and pizza at the adjoining pub.
She turned to look at me. “Sure!”
I pulled out a crumpled ten and took two beers from the ice tub, about to nod at the beleaguered bartender when I saw him.
He stood half a foot above the crowd, wearing a short-sleeved green t-shirt and a blue baseball hat, low on his eyes. His hair was black and curled around his ears. Square jaw, rippling arm muscles and his greenbrown eyes suddenly met mine and something fused in the blue laser of the indie band and my heart froze, useless. I stood melded to the spot as if in a warbled dream. I don’t know what I was feeling, exactly, but I knew it was overwhelming and that I’d never felt it before. He grinned and walked straight toward me and then past, next to Mel in line for the bar. He stooped down and said something to her and I stood with ice-cold beer hands, incredulous. Then he walked a few steps away.
“Holy shit,” I turned toward her, adrenaline racing,”Who the hell was that? You know him?”
“Funny,” she said,”He just said the exact same thing to me.”
An hour later, he and I had purposely misplaced our friends, holding hands as we stumbled to the front of the auditorium to the tune of Coca Cola. We had exchanged a few words, hi and nice to meet you and the rest of our words were silent, mute communication between our eyes, hands, bodies. Chemical, inexplicable conversation. We went outside to breathe the green-scented spring air, and without saying anything he took my face in his hands and kissed me, completely and unabashedly.
“You,” I thought, “Are going to change my life.”
I was with him for almost four years. The shockingly handsome stranger at the Modest Mouse concert became my boyfriend, my soulmate, my partner in crime. We were the couple that made everyone sick: kissing in pubs, giggling silently at parties, rubbing legs at hockey games. We were young and tall and full of potential, partying into the wee hours and exchanging drunken pledges, until two unexpected blue lines changed my life. But not his.
We tried to make it work, we fought tooth and nail: tears, brawls, sobbing pleas. The confidence of alcohol and physical attraction that brought us together is ultimately what drove us apart. I morphed from party girl to nervous, diligent, expectant Mama. He wondered what happened to his carefree concert girl. We both cried, in the delivery room, when I gave birth to his boy. Two years later, we sobbed again, as we realized that inexplicable attraction cannot stand on its own.
Everyday I see him in the gait of my small son. His body is right there in the comically large hands, his spirit is there in our boy’s tenacious athleticism, his genes are responsible for the way my son sticks his tongue out when he’s concentrating. He changed my life, for the better. He gave me a gift that will last me the rest of my life, and when I think of that night at the concert, I wish he was here to see it. Though that night ended in tears, several years later, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
He gave me hope, he granted me the gift of life, and, in the ashes of it all, he has left me with good memories that will live forever in the eyes of our son.