Greeley will always be a hard place for me to visit. Not a single inch of it doesn't have a memory that is so beautifully laced with Ryan's memory, and more importantly - that is where we had our start, we met, we fell in love, and as they say - the rest is history.
The day we met, I was technically dating someone else. A new friend of mine had informed me that I was 1 of 5 different girlfriends he had, and the days he was "spending time with his mom" he was actually at another girl's house. Most SANE girls would have left in a heartbeat, but not Arianne. I was lonely, I was trying to heal the heartbreak my last boyfriend left, and it was hard being the only single girl in the house. So I stayed, and endured all the mean things he said, it got really bad when he was drunk - but it didn't matter, he had a few nice things to say and I clung to those. One morning he begged me to come over - which was odd for him because we only hung out once or twice a week, if that, and never until night time. I finally went, and he as I sat next to him, he was talking to three girls online calling them baby, and saying things like "no I'm free tonight, can I come over later?" Man was an awful player - he wasn't secretive at all.
20 minutes later I was about to leave when he heard someone in the back and announced "Ooh Barber must be up!" And then out walked Ryan...I am pretty sure my heart skipped a beat before it started pounding so loud I swore he could hear it. You know those moments in movies where "love at first sight" is exaggerated by slow motion and the rest of the room going dark except him? That's what it felt like. Totally corny, and I just knew someone that good looking wouldn't be interested in me - until he sat down and smiled at me, and he wouldn't take his eyes off me. "You are pretty quiet over there, what's your name?" I looked up from behind my hair pushed in my face and felt my cheeks burn, "Oh.. I'm, uh- Arianne." In my mind I was hitting myself for being such a dork, but he smiled and said "That's pretty, I like it. I'm Barber."
There was an instant connection I felt with Ry that day, and he felt it too. Later he told me that the ex had actually asked him to take me out because he didn't want to see me anymore. I always told Ryan that when we got married, he'd get the first invite because if not for him we wouldn't know each other.
Today, Greeley was wearing on me very quickly. I drove by places that screamed Ryan & I...then a song would come on and I could just feel myself in my old car, him sitting next to me holding my hand as he puffed on a cigarette and sang at the top of his lungs. What hurt the worst? I saw that particular ex-boyfriend, speeding past me on what would have been the Harley of Ryan's dreams. I never got to see Ryan on his bike, but as much as he loved them - he got me interested in them too & he was determined to teach me how to ride so we could someday hit the highway together. Seeing that guy, he was so carefree, and I found myself crying. The way I met him, that eventually led to Ryan...it was no mistake or coincidence. It was 110% fate and I was supposed to love Ryan the best I could...but I couldn't help but think -- if I had never called him first to be my date at the bbq, maybe I might still have my life. I'd probably be single for a good year and a half now - but my lonliness wasn't something I hadn't handled before...
No regrets - just wish his path could have gone differently too - even if he ended up being a complete stranger.