Several years ago, a college friend did the whole white dress/”I do” thing. It was summer and it was hot, and the reception hall had zero air conditioning and one water fountain. He was a groomsman and I was a bridal party groupie. Two of my best friends were bridesmaids, so when my dancin’ feet got tired, I plopped myself down in a vacant chair at the wedding party’s table. It was just the two of us—my roommate and I—until he caught my eye and slipped into the chair on my friend’s other side. He introduced himself, and we held an entire conversation around my roommate (polite, much?) until she rolled her eyes and excused herself.
Then, there was pie-cutting and first-dancing, and that was that, until the party ended and my friends and I decided we were hot as hell and going to Rita’s, damn it. That’s when I marched across the room and told him very assertively that he ought to come with us.
And he did.
So there we were, standing around a table at a shack of a Rita’s Italian Ice in God-knows-where Maryland, when he slid his phone into my hand under the table and asked me for my number.
Did I mention this was the summer of “Call Me Maybe”?
Naturally, everyone knew what was going on, and proceeded to ignore it for 10 minutes—long enough to swap numbers—before teasing us mercilessly until our beet-red faces bored them.
I’m not telling you this story because we’re planning our own wedding in a meet-cute triumph. I’m telling it because, in my last act of birthday bravery, I deleted his number from my phone. After I did it, the memory flashed through my brain and I felt sorry for a moment. Not sorry that those ten digits are gone (I haven’t talked to him in two years or seen him in three). Sorry, I guess, that my sweetest story of new beginnings wasn’t much of a beginning after all. And sorry, I guess, that after so little, it still hurts my heart to remember.