Three months had gone by and I had no answers. There were no labels, or indications on what we meant to one another past a good lay and weak friendship. Every time I looked into his eyes, I felt this feeling that made my stomach do back flips – a feeling that I had only heard about from friends and read about in books. I constantly went back and forth between feeling uneasy about him and falling for him completely.
It would be as drastic as going for a ride in the car with him, and listening to a love song and watching the way he listened. The way he looked over at me during certain parts of the song. And then we would come home and he would distance himself – no talking, turning away from my embrace and anything else that made me feel alienated.
Then came his college graduation. A milestone. An accomplishment. An honor. I had heard all about the upcoming celebration, but had yet to hear if the celebration would include me or not. On the eve of the big day, we had dinner and I figured that if he didn’t invite me, then he must want to keep it to his family and him only. Besides, we had only been seeing each other (with no labels) for three-ish months. A little soon for family celebrations and milestones, don’t you think?
Soon, the assumptions that I would be attending this lavish event came out. As we gathered in his living room with his friends and their respective partners, the awkward silence hung in the air as it was found out that I was not attending – nor was I invited. “What are you wearing?” asked one of the girls. “I’m not actually going,” I laughed nervously, praying that this wouldn’t be turned into a huge deal.
The shock amongst the group soon turned to him with questions and curiosity as to why he hadn’t asked me to be his date. I wanted to melt into my chair and disappear from that living room. It wasn’t that I wasn’t invited, but it was that now everyone had realized how not serious we really were.
All of my doubts about what we meant to each other were made a reality. Maybe he really doesn’t feel the way I feel about him. Maybe he just considers this to be a casual, emotionless affair that is coming to an end soon. As I lay in his arms that night, I realized that this was a turning point in our relationship: we have to talk about what we mean to each other.
That in and of itself has it’s own complications. It is one of the most scariest types of conversations to have when you are dating someone – especially when you don’t know where they stand. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I watched the moon out his bedroom window, as he snored in the background. I looked to him, taking in each detail and feature of his face, memorizing the moles and the creases in his skin. Truly thinking about how I feel about him. Did I love him? What does love feel like? Why is it made to be such a big deal? Can you even really be in love?
‘When it happens, you will know’ – the line that is shot my way whenever I ask those questions out loud. Anyone who has ever been in love, will give you this line. I’m not so sure. I can’t say I have ever been in love. I have loved, but not to an extent that it hurts. I quickly tossed these questions aside, deciding that I couldn’t possibly feel that way about someone I had known for a short while. l
I fit my body with his and desperately forced my brain to turn off, so I could get some sleep. The morning was going to bring its own complications, and so I wanted to be well-rested to prepare.
The next morning, I got up, leaving him lying soundly and showered, further trying to clear my head of all the craziness that had gone on the night before. I dodged his friends and all other existing humans in that house (there were a lot of people). I just wanted to leave – not talk, not acknowledge anything, just get on with my day and be away from him for a while. It was the first time that I had ever been rushed to be out of his presence. He drove me to work, leaning in for a kiss before I exited the car. I pecked him quickly on the lips and hurried into my building, not turning back for that last little look (like we always do).
I felt the change in my heart. The instant preparation of a broken heart – a feeling I know quite well. I could feel my emotions start to break down and the walls of protection start to build up. My mind was racing a mile a minute, and I had a lump in my throat the size of a grape, suffocating my tears.
It wasn’t that I didn’t care about him or wasn’t “falling” for him anymore. But I knew this feeling all too well. The feeling of realization that this good thing in my life was ending and I was going to be exactly where I was four months ago. My heart was starting to crumble at the thought of us being on separate pages and not sharing the same feelings.
However, I knew that I needed to get on with my day. So I shot my friend a quick text, letting her now how bad a night I had had and that caffeine was going to be needed as soon as I finished work. I pushed it out of my brain and got on.
This could wait. But not for long…