When I left The Ex I immediately felt a wave of panic; I thought, "shit, I lied! I don't want to be alone!." I thought I made the wrong choice by leaving him, and I cried. I was convinced that no one would ever love me again and that I was done with love forever. I was such a dramatic twenty year old.
I vividly remember crying aloud, "who is going to give me the half-popped popcorn kernels at the bottom of the bowl?" You see, I like popcorn, but I love those few little gems at the bottom of the bowl. They are salty, and crunchy, and half-popped, and delicious. I look forward to empty bowls with at least two or three crunchy kernels, and the Ex knew this. He didn't know much, but he knew this one thing. I didn't think anyone would ever know me so well that they would remember this stupid little fact, and that made me absolutely hysterical. Apparently in my panicked state I was willing to overlook narcissism, emotional and verbal abuse, physical intimidation, and general parasitic behavior, because it was so important how well The Ex knew my idiosyncrasies.
I told Ben this sad little story somewhere in the beginning of our relationship, and as it turns out, he was listening. I don't remember how long ago it was or the movie we were watching, but I vividly remember the first time Ben handed me the half-popped popcorn kernels while we were watching a movie on his couch. He knew it was a big deal. He just smiled, and said "I remembered."
He listened to my story. He committed that small detail to memory, and he was thoughtful enough to hand over the crunchy little morsels (he loves them too, which makes it even sweeter). The butterflies I felt in my stomach that day are similar to the ones I felt the first time Ben told me he loved me. Seriously, it meant that much.
We were watching movies this weekend, and he gave me the half-popped kernels. It still catches me off guard, and it always makes me smile.