A lot has happened in my life the past few months. I've dealt with a death in my family this past June, I've been plugging away at a volunteer job one day a week, and this past July, I penned the first draft of my debut romance novel under the C.D. Melley banner. Things seem to have been trudging along at a slow pace, but I felt there was something missing in my life. That changed the first week of August.
While writing The Prairie Fire Within, I started talking with a woman whom I had "met" through a message forum I've frequented for the past six years. While the chats started out innocently about different facets of the fandom, the two of us began to develop a good online friendship. Then, something happened: our chats grew more into a personal interest in one another. She would become interested in my writing, and various nonsensical quips and posts on Facebook; while, I grew interested in her outside endeavours where she assists at a dog rescue shelter abroad. The chats moved from the Forum to Facebook, and on the odd occasion when we could afford it, long conversations over the phone. There was one slight hang-up to the whole situation: I live in Southern Ontario in Canada; she lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
However, despite all of that, we grew more and more interested in one another. Some people might say we became "smitten" with each other. I'll admit I've been in my share of long-distance relationships in the past, and I believed this one would be like all of the others. That was until last weekend when I took a deep breath, decided to test the waters, and took a trip to Florida's Gulf Coast to spend a few days with her. Some people would say I was crazy to throw such caution to the wind; flying over 1,000 miles to meet a woman I had only spoken with online. But, as the weekend drew on, our feelings for one another grew deeper. We developed a closer, stronger bond with each other, and it was a wonderful weekend spent. Then, something happened that gave me great perspective upon this new relationship.
As I sat in the airport on Monday morning, awaiting for my flight home to board, I was overcome with an urge.. an urge I had never experienced before. While I didn't act upon it (unfortunately), it was something I hadn't felt with any other woman I had been involved with in my life. That urge was the desire to turn around immediately, and return to the woman's abode, and stay with her forever. I couldn't do that as of yet because of my personal commitments here in Canada, but I would be lying if I said I haven't been thinking about trading in my poutine and Tim Hortons for a Cuban sandwich and a cup of Einstein's. This woman has captured my heart in a way no other woman has ever done before; including a former relationship I held very dear to me.
I don't know what the next few months will bring, but one thing for certain, my heart and part of my mind will belong to her, and perhaps in a few years time, the writing cave that is currently my 12th floor hi-rise apartment will be relocated to a small corner of the Marshall Student Center at the University of South Florida. If that does happen, I think Gary will enjoy his days as a Snowbird.