My energy and strength finally started coming back toward the end of the third round of chemotherapy. My iron counts were up after five transfusions, and I was able to get out of the house for short intervals.
My first real outing came after Best Boy had spent the night. I awoke craving Caramel French toast from Silver Diner. (The diner ended up being my first outing four out of six rounds. There’s something about sweet, carbohydrate goodness that gets me every time.) Traveling to a place that wasn’t a doctor’s office felt wonderful, but it was especially nice because Best Boy and I hadn’t been out together in a while.
Our conversation turned to family and how we’ve dealt with our mothers’ deaths. As much as Best Boy and I had previously talked about deep subjects, I felt like we connected more over this meal than we had ever before. I remember heading home and thinking to myself:
What would have happened if I had gone out with Best Boy instead of Mr. Exec back in May?
I knew that everything had transpired as it was supposed to, but there was a part of me that couldn't help but wonder, “What if?” Best Boy is kind and caring, and he had been there for me through a lot of rough days.
On one particular evening, Best Boy came over to watch the late football game with me. I tried to keep my eyes open as I rested my head in his lap.
Best Boy: Did you go out today?
Me: Yes. Went to watch football over at one of my best friend’s places in NoVA. [Northern Virginia, for you non-locals.]
Best Boy: Did you drive yourself?
Best Boy: No wonder why you’re exhausted.
Best Boy understood me and how much treatment affected me. The simple act of driving myself to a friend's house 20 minutes away to sit on the couch and watch a football game and then driving 20 minutes home was exhausting! Best Boy took good care of me that night, bringing me water and walking my dog. He knew that if I was to have any ounce of energy under the sheets that I couldn’t exert myself any more than I already had. He just got it.
There are guys with whom I always try to look sexy and act my best, while with a few rare others, I can just be myself. Best Boy was around no matter my mood — which thanks to steroids and early menopause wasn’t always chipper, my health, my ability to have sex, and my appearance. (And, trust me when I say that sporting no makeup, a bald head and baggy sweats while sick wasn't a good look.) Best Boy got me, and I was so grateful for that.
I found myself questioning why I didn’t see him as more than a good friend with benefits. Why was I so late to realizing what everyone else already had about Best Boy?