Time to go.
Nook having done what she had to do, there came a time for practical concerns on her end. There was a shared residence that needed to be split. Assets in various names, belongings, knick-knacks.
Thankfully, this process went relatively smoothly. The day after Nook had her difficult discussion, she came home to a lot less stuff in the house than the day before. The rest, in theory, would be removed by the weekend.
The same weekend she would have been having her bridal shower.
It was an emotional week for Nook. As I’ve said a few times, we are keeping much of that part of her past to her - it’s really not about the story of Nook and Chair - other than the continued frustrations that I felt so far away from her.
That feeling of being numb continued for her in some ways, but she and I fell immediately back into our banter, our way of communicating, of knowing that we were “right” together. It was likely that there may be a delayed reaction to all of the stress of her life during this week, but, that was for later.
For now, the important thing was for Nook to know that I was there for her, that she had taken the biggest leap of faith that any woman could ever take, and that nothing at all had changed for me and my intentions. I loved her just as much as I always had, and knew that our being together was, now, inevitable.
As I mentioned earlier, Nook had the tendency to have things happen on a Tuesday which would give me pause for concern. Given the timezone difference, this meant that there was often a carryover effect into early Wednesday mornings for me. It would still be her Tuesday, and the effect would just hit me a bit later on the timeline...
During this week of making space and moving on, the Tuesday Curse struck again. I awoke to an empty NookMail folder, so she should be sleeping soundly. I began my morning routine, shave, shower, that sort of thing. When I stepped out of the shower and returned to my computer to check it one final time before heading to the office, I had a series of emails from her. One liners. The sorts of things that, again, made my heart beat fast (out of concern, not bliss):
Message one at 0618: “are you up?”
Okay, somewhat innocuous, nothing too much to worry about there.
However, it was quickly followed, by:
Message two at 0622: “I need you.”
Uh oh. I replied right away:
“Want me to call? Get on plane? Name it.”
Silence. I wasn’t sure what was going on. Then I got another message:
Message three at 0629: “call me.”
So I did.
Given all that has been going on, I had no idea what to expect. But, it again drove home the Tuesday Curse, as in Nook’s mind it was still Tuesday (I guess that much of our story takes place in two timezones, mine and hers, but, there are many events which I continue to see and mark in Nook Standard Time, which is whatever timezone Nook is in psychologically when the event took place. This may not be what the clock says, but how she perceived a given day.).
Thankfully, all was more or less okay. Nook was just needed to hear from me, to feel more grounded in some issues and talking to me, hearing my voice, helped her. She had not yet gone to bed, but obviously very much needed to, but wasn’t going to be able to do that until she heard from her Chair.
Eventually Nook did get to sleep, and my work day carried on. Indeed, I had begun making plans for she and I to spend a week together at a nice hotel whilst I attended a conference and give Nook a week’s holiday from all that had been going on. When she awoke the next day, she had the beginnings of a plan for a few months in the future when she could relax and be pampered, enjoy the spa, sun, and poolside drinks.
It was some time off, not until June, but hopefully it would begin to give Nook a light at the end of the stressful tunnel to focus upon.
I also extended an invitation for Nook to join me at a wedding here where I live; I was part of the wedding party for a good friend’s special day in July, and I was hoping Nook could attend. Again, some time off from when we were currently living, but it was, hopefully, something positive to look forward to.
Oh yes, that.
It was much later in the day that she responded to my invitation for the week of R&R and my friend’s wedding in July. She thought it wouldn’t be too difficult for her to get the time off of work in June, but it would likely mean she couldn’t attend the July event.
Her certainty over June was contextualised: It was the week before she was originally planning on being married, and thus, had already scheduled time off.
I had by no means forgotten that date, and I knew Nook would not either, but, well, yes. At the same time, I was most definitely looking forward to a time when it would be just another date, and not associated with the Past in the way it was. Sadly, I didn’t (and don’t) know if that will ever truly be the case.
So Nook was likely to get her week off in the sun, just not as she originally anticipated for June of this year, and obviously not with the company she originally anticipated.
A question of timing.
This week of tumultuous activity, of highs and lows, brought with it an unexpectedly frank question from Nook in email:
“When we decide to get married, can we have a short engagement?”
For Nook and I, we simply knew that our relationship was heading towards eventual marriage - it wasn’t even a question, it was something we both knew was right and the way things simply should be. Her starting with “when” instead of “if” in her query didn’t phase me in the slightest.
My response was simple and do the point: “Yes. I’m good with minutes. Hours. Days. Whatever you wish.” Being with Nook as her husband was the most natural thought in the world to me, and once she and I decided that the time was right to go in that direction, I saw no reason whatsoever to let it drag out.
Nook’s response was heart melting. She told me she thought her first name and my surname together had a nice sound. She also said she knew she was getting ahead of herself, but she just loved me so much that this was, again, the natural direction to think.
I realise that this update seems a bit longer than others, but it’s important to understand the context in which all of these activities (and many more) took place: Two days in March. The hundreds of emails and phone calls between the two of us covered an incredible spectrum of issues. From the painful endings and emotions at one end of the week, to the merging of names a few days later.
To the outside observer it no doubt must seem like quite a pace, perhaps even rushed or hurried, but for Nook and I, things unfolded at the most comfortable and natural pace we could imagine. We both hoped that would be the template for our future - easy on the stress, high on the comfort, and always just as it should be.