Winter in Germany.
The start of 2010 was like no other for me. Not only was I wondering what all was going on with this reunion with Nook, but as discussed in the Waiting chapter, there were far more somber issues to face and consider.
But there was also a moment which I am just now remembering the importance of in this story, and so forgive the digression back to January - but it’s necessary.
In mid-January I had a professional obligation in Northern Germany. It was difficult to plan for the trip, given the aforementioned issues with my friend and colleague, but, I went, nonetheless.
During these particular series of meetings, there is opportunity after our professional obligations for several of us to sit together quietly and exchange stories, talk, relax. I had been planning on taking this chance to talk with three of my good friends from this group about the early stages of my reunion with Nook.
I’m not an optimist by nature, but there was something in what was unfolding that made it clear I needed external counsel on the matter. I couldn’t talk to my colleagues at work about it, and other friends had already advised that once “someone could get hurt” I was transgressing into “evil” behaviour.
But things between Nook and myself were revealing themselves at such a pace that if I did not share what was happening, what was forming in both of our minds, that I was in danger of possibly making a mistake or misinterpretation of the situation.
Basically, I needed to know I wasn’t going insane, that this really was happening and to see what some friends whose opinion I deeply trusted would say about the developing situation.
And so, in a somewhat uncharacteristic manoeuvre, I shared the back-plot and current status of things, as of Mid January 2010, with these friends.
Their reactions surprised me.
As I’ve said a few times, I’m somewhat cynical by nature. Indeed, most of my friends have a similar bent. It’s part of why we get along so well, I’m sure.
So when I shared this peculiar tail of blossoming unconventional (and complicated) romance, I was expecting chiding, dis-belief (that Nook was real, or a woman, or a real woman), and a healthy amount of skepticism in the story and my expectations about what might transpire.
I really couldn’t have been more wrong.
One of these close friends looked at me with his head cocked sideways the entire time I told the story. He was not expecting such a tale from me, nor my own reaction to it. Another nodded slowly, taking it in.
At the end of the relayed tale (keeping in mind this is only early January, so well before Nook and I actually met and things really got interesting) the advice was clear: Proceed, but proceed with caution and keep your eyes open.
My friends were genuinely happy for this unexpected turn of events and what it might mean to me, and they never (in a million years) would have thought it likely that such a thing would happen, but by the same token they wanted to make sure I didn’t lose my heart and get hurt -- especially given the delicacies of the situation.
As I say, it is only now, several months on, that I can look back at that evening and remember their initial reactions (and disbelief) and see it in the full context of the “wow” this story has meant to not just Nook and Chair, but, everyone in our lives. More than anything, it was their gentle encouragement to proceed which probably allowed the rest of this story to unfold at all...
Had they persuaded me not to continue, well...this would be a very small website.
Oh, and by the way, both of these aforementioned friends are going to play a very special role in the near future. Stay tuned.