We had been together now a little over a month and things were still going pretty well.  We had not discussed the meeting of anyone besides each other’s friends and I was ok with that. As the holidays rolled closer, I did my wrapping over at his house and actually spent all the way until Christmas Eve Day with him.  He assembled whatever gigantic over the top gift he was giving his children while I was wrapping my smaller, but yet important and personal items for my children.  The holidays that year would be different for everyone in my family being my daughter was away.  They were not sure if she was going to get to come home for a visit for Christmas, but I crossed my fingers and prayed for the best.  Christmas Eve we exchanged gifts to each other.  I can remember the day was warmer than normal and there wasn’t any snow yet.  I brought him to the couch and sat him down and instantly I was so nervous.  What if he thought my gift was stupid?  What if he thought I was an idiot?  Ugh….he asked if he could give me his first and I said sure even though I wanted to go first.  He handed me a box, wrapped, but probably by store itself.  I opened it and it was a Kindle.  Wow.  That was really nice.  That was a lot of money.  That was definitely something we could use.  In a flash I felt completely horrified by my gift.  Yes, it was heartfelt and thoughtful and personal, but it wasn’t a kindle.  The time and attention that went into the teeny tiny details of every stroke of the brush to the boat was impeccable and far more valuable than that of the kindle, but it was a kindle and I felt like an idiot.  I rallied and offered him the gift and he opened it.  He seemed surprised and was thankful, but I thought possibly let down.  He put it immediately up on the tree and it looked so cute.  It gave just the right amount of a woman’s touch to his otherwise devoid of emotion and character bachelor pad.  Thankfully my daughter came home for the holiday and I loved that Christmas even though it was unconventional to say the least.  I had my girls with me, a new man in my life, my family and friends….although terror could be lurking around any corner, again I was thankful for the moment in front of me, thinking, life is good.  Hard, but good.  New Year’s Eve was soon upon me.  Jolly Guy, the friends and a Big Party was in our near future.  We decided on a night out, limo style with dinner and dancing.  I spent the day getting all put together.  Blow out of my very curly hair, eye lashes, spray tan, manicure, pedicure, new dress, shoes, make up, lip gloss, clutch and coat.  I believe the day of pampering cost more than the events of the entire night.  I felt beautiful.  When I walked into his house, he looked at me with that look.  That look of pride, of “God You’re beautiful”, that look of….well….love.  And he said “You look amazing”  And I believed him.  I believed he thought I did and I believed I did too.  The limo picked us up and our very first photo together was taken that night.  We arrived at the venue and took an additional fifty pictures or so with just us and the friends and everyone looked so pretty, so shiny and so happy.  As the night went on, jolly guy wasn’t feeling well.  At first I thought it had something to do with drinking too much, but his heart was racing and he was sweating and short of breath.  I offered for us to leave, but he didn’t want to ruin the night.  I could tell he really wasn’t feeling well but trying to put up a good front as to be ever the entertainer, the fun guy.  We stayed until the very end and I never understood why.  After we rang in the new year thankfully everyone was ready to go.  Because this year would be better than the last…..

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