When I first met Chris in 2009, I had a hole in my heart. It was like it had been taped over with duct tape after so many relationships gone bad. I wasn’t going to let anyone too close again. I knew how much it would hurt if that tape got ripped off.

The truth was, when Chris first started chatting with me that night at a friend’s book launch party, I didn’t feel explosive fireworks. Yes, he made me laugh. Yes, I felt so at ease as he asked me questions and listened intently. But I didn’t believe in instant connections anymore. After eight years of dating off and on as a single mom, I felt sure that love — a deep, healthy, sweet love — wasn’t going to happen for me. (Years earlier, I’d even turned down a friend’s offer to set up with Chris because he’d sounded too good to be true.)

It can feel terrifying to let someone in. Again.

Chris and I had only been dating for a month when my gynecologist found a huge cyst on my ovary during a routine exam.

I was afraid to tell him. Because telling him would’ve made me feel naked and vulnerable. He knew something was up, though, and after gently nudging me, I cracked open. A few days later, he was holding my hand in the waiting room before the ultrasound. He was saying, “I’m here.”

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Last-modified: 2021-03-10 (水) 22:39:45 (95d)