Raleigh and I met in Philadelphia because one of my girlfriends used to date him. But she was the type of girl who dated a lot of guys and it fizzled out between them. I met Raleigh a few times and then he moved away to Augusta, GA. After he left we randomly started messaging each other on Facebook, which I thought was weird because we barely knew each other when he left and he is eight years younger than me. I was like, “Why is this guy messaging me?” He was a total flirt.
But the years passed and we kinda kept in touch. One day I got a Facebook message that said, “Hey I’m moving back to Philadelphia.” We’d spoken a few times on Facebook messenger but he’d been gone for three years and there was no physical contact, so I was like…ok? At some point I guess we exchanged numbers.
When Raleigh got back in Philadelphia he called me. On that day I happened to be at my parent’s farm in Sugarloaf Valley, PA. My first and oldest horse had died earlier in the day and I was distraught. When Raleigh called me he was really chit chatty and asked me how my day was going. I was perturbed he was bothering me on such a difficult day when I didn’t really know him. I just lost it.
“If you really want to know how my day was, it sucked. My oldest horse just died. My father pulled the trigger.”
“Okay sit on that thought.” He said. “I will call you back in a few hours.”
At the time Raleigh was living with his best friend Dave. He turned to Dave and said, “Let’s go get a six pack of beer, a bottle of whiskey and write a song on the banjo about Blakeslee’s horse.”
Two hours later he called back and sang me a song about a girl with a white horse on a farm. He did a great job and it brought me to tears.
Raleigh had originally called because he wanted to meet me in person in Philadelphia. After he wrote the song I felt I had to at least thank him in person for it, so I agreed to meet him. Both Raleigh and I were very involved in the bike courier sub culture in Philadelphia. It just so happened that that weekend was the grand opening of R.E. Load courier bag store. Raleigh told me to swing by his store and then we’d go to the grand opening together. When I met him it was crazy – I didn’t remember what he looked like because so much time had passed, but we instantly connected. There is no other word for it.
That was pretty unusual for me because I was a player. I did not date guys more than a couple times – I was not interested in long term relationships. But I had never experienced that connection with someone before. We were inseparable that night – we went to the party and then back to his apartment and literally spent the entire night talking.
My rule is that I never hang out with a guy two nights in a row, but I hung out with Raleigh four nights in a row. I think I allowed myself to do that because I was about to leave on a three month promotional tour on the West Coast. I thought to myself, “Whatever – I’ll get to know this guy. Why be standoffish when I have the perfect out?”
I told him that I was leaving and that I’d see him when I returned in July.
“Have a good summer.”
He literally said “no” to me…