I met Kym at AA.
She was a slim woman, with sharp cheekbones, dark velvety skin, and a soft smile. She captivated me. It wasn’t only her appearance, though. Her heart was good. Flawed, maybe, but good. The first week I met her, she told us her story, and I remembered that AA was a safe space, a space to heal. I could hardly walk up to her and ask, “would you like to join me for a coffee?” Of course, a woman like her never would’ve looked twice at a man like me. I wasn’t unattractive. I had hair the colour of dry sand, swept to the side, as if by the ocean breeze, my arms were thin like the legs of a heron, and my pale skin was freckled. It was my heart. It wasn’t good enough for her. I had been sober for only four weeks. My wife and children had left me three years ago. I was a wreck, always had been. That was why I was at AA. To heal.
The week after I met Kym, as I poured myself a coffee before the meeting, she approached and asked my name.
I gulped. “John.”
After that evening, for one whole year, Kym and I made a pact to share a coffee on Haven Beach every Sunday. We talked, laughed, shared. I never plucked up the courage to ask her out on a date. We supported one another as friends, but I felt more on the receiving end of it. Though I never had her love, I had friendship. And it was that that saved me.
One day, a man, a nice fellow in the restaurant business, proposed to Kym. She invited me to her wedding, and as I watched her float down the aisle in white satin, a wonderful thought drifted into my mind. Perhaps this woman was never supposed to be mine, perhaps she was sent as my guardian angel. Either way, I was grateful. Healed.
I still visit Haven Beach with a coffee. Only these days I’m standing on my own.