Liam was still married to, but recently separated from Marien when we first met, so he was still raw. The rawness eventually lost its edge, but the longing never did. He stayed married-but-separated the whole five years we were together. But, in the beginning, he came to me for company, for a sympathetic ear, to talk, and to commiserate. He found me empathetic and compassionate, and easy to talk to.
It started shortly after we met when I got a phone call from him at 3 in the morning. We barely knew each other then. Disoriented from being roust out of a deep sleep, I had to pause for a moment to remember who he was. He asked me if I could use some company. I could tell he wasn’t drunk, there was no sound of ulterior motive in his voice, he was a good friend of Reese’s, and I knew what he was going through, so I told him to come on over. I figured anyone who had the guts to ask for that from a virtual stranger at that time of night obviously needed to talk more than I needed to sleep. He came over, we sat together on my overstuffed couch with my feet in his lap, and we talked. There was nothing memorable about anything we discussed… he just needed a friend, and I was available. That is, as much as could be expected at 3am… at some point I started to drift off, and about 6ish, he patted my leg, said he had to get his kids to school, and made his exit.
That next Saturday he asked me out, and the one after that, and the one after that, and we eventually developed a pattern of seeing each other regularly. He called me at night during the week. We talked for hours about everything. It got to be pretty much how I spent most evenings. He told me at one point that I was becoming a habit he was finding hard to break, that he wasn’t sure he could go to bed anymore without hearing me tell him goodnight. I felt the same.
Eventually he tired of the distance between us, and I “accidentally” moved in with him (yes, there’s a story to that, but, there’s a lot of stories between Liam and I, and most I’ll have to tell another time).
Five years later, though, Liam ran away to
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