Text message received Friday, December 24th at 10:05 p.m.:
Miss me? I kinda miss you.
I heard my phone chime. I was sitting in the kitchen of my childhood home with a couple of canvases in front of me. Last minute Christmas presents. I put my paint brush down and wiped my bangs from my eyes.
It's from Valdosta.
Valdosta had kept his word that he would call me and bug me while he was out of town. He had left me the sweetest message wishing me luck at my dodgeball games and what to do if/when I get injured again. In the voicemail he had uninhibitedly laughed at a couple of his own jokes. I had been re-listening to the voicemail periodically just to hear that laugh. He says that I have the greatest laugh, but his isn't bad either.
Smugly I called out to my mom in the other room, "Valdosta misses me!"
"Aww, that's nice," she said sincerely.
I typed back, Kinda? LOL. I miss you.
Valdosta was four hours away in the southern part of the state with his family. His plans were to then drive North to visit more family. He decided to make a pit stop in the city on Christmas night to see me.
This is what dating should be. It should be like this.
"He misses me so much he's going to come back and see me tomorrow," I hollered from the kitchen.
"Wow," she said. Even my mom isn't used to that kind of behavior.
After the I miss yous had been exchanged, Valdosta sent me several well wishings for Christmas. He's coming home to see me. On Christmas day. It's a damn Christmas miracle.
I stomped my wellies and stepped inside Valdosta's apartment. It's snowing outside as heavily as I have ever seen. This is a big deal. Valdosta greeted me with the same silly grin that he gave me that one day at brunch. The I'm-having-thoughts grin.
I put my bag down. Valdosta went into the kitchen to mix us some Christmas whiskey sours. I took a seat on a bar stool. "Now I want to hear all about you missing me. Don't leave out any details please," I chirped.
He laughed and brought me my drink. He started talking; I didn't think he would actually answer.
"It was my first night there. I was lying in bed and wanting to cuddle and you weren't there." Valdosta's silly grin made another appearance. He took a sip of his own drink. "Did you miss me?"
Still seated on the bar stool I opened my knees, allowing him to step closer to me. I pressed my thighs against his hips.
"It could be a Thursday and I could have just seen you on a Tuesday; you don't have to leave the city for me to miss you."
A smile very slowly spread across his face. Whiskey sour kisses were exchanged.
Valdosta looked out his window. Snow was still falling. "Can you believe it?" he said. "It's the first white Christmas the city has had since 1882." It's been 130 years. Another Christmas miracle.
I took a long sip of my drink. "It's the only white Christmas in your lifetime, and you'll always remember it was spent with me," I said.
He kissed me again. The power of suggestion is strong. And now he'll always remember it that way. "Let's get back to missing me," I teased. "Was it you missed me kinda? Or you kinda missed me all the way?"
"I kinda missed you all the way."