The diner is empty and smells of fresh coffee and burnt bacon. I had planned to sleep in this morning, but there was something about his text that told me whatever he had to say couldn’t wait.
He sits alone in a booth, paper in hand, empty coffee mug sitting to his right.
‘Eat dinner in a 5-star, and breakfast in a hole’, is how he greets me as he passes over the sports.
We talk hockey for a few minutes, before he suddenly takes a pause. The topic just changed without a single word being spoken.
‘They say she has cancer’, are the next words out of his mouth, as he looks down and rubs the ring which sits on his left hands’ ring finger.
There is another pause. This one is longer as he puts his words together.
He taps the ring three times then looks me in the eye.
‘If you remember only one thing from the many conversations we’ve shared, let it be this:
When love finds you, don’t overthink it and for once in your life, get the fuck out of your own way.
Don’t tip-toe around it. Don’t love with only one foot in so it’s easy to escape. Love her completely. Love her with all that you are. Love her in every moment you get together, through the good and the bad, because all of these moments will eventually lead you to your last.
That’s a cold, hard pill to swallow, one most people choose to ignore.
I know we are in the autumn of our time together, and when winter comes, she will be gone, but I’m not afraid.
Fear will have you overthinking some bullshit make-believe story in your head of what could happen, causing you to miss the beauty of the real story that is unfolding right in front of you.
Any pain that I feel when I miss her – her laugh, her touch, her love – is well worth the exchange of the memories I will hold onto until I see her again.
I won’t be around for a while, so don’t take it personally if I don’t respond to your texts or calls. I’m taking a sabbatical from everything that is not her. From this moment until our last, I’m going to make sure she knows she will be the most important part of my day.
Love, Jeff; don’t let fear get in the way.’