Fast-forward nine years from that first beach weekend…we found ourselves back in North Carolina for another beach weekend, this time because we needed a break from real life. We met at Bridget’s house, which was a grueling 8-hour drive for me. I arrived around 3:00 on Thursday afternoon, and when Amber opened the door, something shifted inside of me. We had been distant friends since the first beach weekend, keeping track of each other via social media and the occasional phone call, sending well-wishes when one of us had a new baby and meeting for coffee if I happened to be in Texas. And when the Thing happened, she shared some wisdom and strength and hope. I valued her friendship for sure, but we were certainly nowhere near falling in love…I mean, we weren’t even gay.
Loving a woman was something I had never really considered. It wasn’t that I held any firm religious beliefs that loving a woman would be wrong or unnatural…I just had never done it or even thought it was something I might want to explore. But then the door opened, and there she was, and all of the sudden I didn’t know anything and I knew everything; all of those Hollywood love stories and whirlwind romances were about to be my reality.