Here is leg 2 of my letter.
So I arrived in paradise and it was incredible and my carry-on survived berry free. We took a taxi to a boat and they rented some jeeps and we took a drive and headed to the compound. I have never stayed anywhere so extravagant in my life except for the time I met the tour manager from Rage Against the Machine in a bar and crashed at their hotel.
The group was split between 4 houses with 3 being in our compound. House of Wesseln- where I was staying, The Kitty Hotel had the bride and groom-to-be (and friends), and Chez Miller was where the father of the groom and best men (and co) were staying. That first night we went to Chez Miller for drinks and cards and it was a blast and when one of my house mates was ready for bed I took it as a cue to take her home.
I woke up early and watched the sky get light over the Caribbean and it was incredible. Day 2 was beach day and it was amazing. I got to know some of the group and we made jokes and had beach beers. The days all start to run into one at this point, but each one had its moments.
At some point, some of the other guests started showing up. The groom had a friend whom I had met previously (and got romantical with for a weekend) who was one of the late arrivals. We had both known each other was coming (he with his girlfriend), and the bride had put us in separate houses. I was fine with it, I thought. We had shared a lovely weekend (the one where the one who got away got married) but I thought those moments lived buried in a little capsule in 2014.
So I shit you not, but when he arrived and I saw him I pretty much forgot how to breath and everything but him blacked out of my peripheral and my god-damned heart squeezed and pulsed and blasted my eardrums, in the slow, drawn out way that medical dramas emphasize a patient’s cardiac movements in a critical moment. I think we exchanged a simple “hey” and then I realized that everyone else was around.
It was taco night at Chez Miller so naturally I got margarita drunk (I was responsible for a round of Nikki Surprise margaritas) and texted him one, eloquent text. “Get off my island.” (I have quite the way with words, lol). He said it was hard for him too. We spent the next day trying not to look at each other. Or maybe trying.
I wept again, on the fanciest boat I have ever been on (Feelings!). I snorkeled for the first time and it was basically all I could do to not have a panic attack. It’s so crazy to think you are just cruising around someone else’s home and then you see a sea urchin and hear each gasping breath and realize how small and insignificant you really are in the scheme of things.
We played cards that night and managed to play nice for the group. I made a pitcher of Nikki Surprises for the gang to enjoy. Apparently my drunk move is to throw cards on the table and go nap on the couch, but after boat day I was determined to maintain a level head. As the night wore on the remainders playing cards were disappointed I wasn’t more sassy, so when we were using Monopoly money for poker I picked up all the ones and threw them at Kate who was getting a little bratty in separating all her cash money winnings. I’m pretty sure he said “There is the Nikki we love.” At the end of the night I got a long hug and everyone parted ways to go to bed.
There were more adventures and beaches and everything was pretty magical. I had heart to hearts with nearly everyone. I cried (seriously, so much feelings. Also, my period was on it’s way which didn’t really help). I stayed up the whole night before the wedding with the brother of the bride and his groom and helped them cook the food (and by help I mean talked and sat at the counter while they worked).
The wedding was beautiful, nearly perfect and in one, amazing feat I had my best friend in the world ready early (for the first time in her entire life). I cried more, and delivered my Best Woman speech (and sobbed as I choked out the end) but I don’t think there was a dry eye in the cabana. I’m so happy my best friend is marrying one of my very good friends. I had made a bunch of jokes that I would murder him, but as I concluded my speech I said “I know I won’t have to because you are my friend too.” I also threw in a “park your car in the shade” for good measure (it’s a favorite line of the father of the bride that I still quote often in my everyday life).
Sometime during the wedding that guy I have all those chemical reactions to broke up with his girlfriend. Apparently she read the text from me on his phone. While I only sent the one on the island (I was in fact, very margarita drunk at that time) I have a feeling the other ones from long ago showed up too. They weren’t suggestive as you would guess, but they just explained that we had a deep friendship too.
Long story short, he ended up sleeping in my bed that night. And for the second time of that long, strange trip I finally slept through the whole night. Funny how sometimes you have to see someone again to realize how much you miss them.
I am a sucker, I guess. It’s not anyone I want beside me. I want the friend with the family that loves me for me, I want the chemicals that steal the oxygen out of my lungs. I don’t think I’ve yet found that in one person and I’m not sure I can. I think I have to hold out though. I’ve waited this long.