Cloudy J probably knows this story already from when I was blogging on Vox, so, darling, if you’re reading this, you can skip to the end.
When I lived abroad in a weird Eastern European country, I had this American friend. He was a hard partier, obnoxious. heavy drinker, womanizer–everything that terrified me about the male sex rolled into one. One night, he invited me out to a bar with some of his friends. He informed me that among his friends was another American guy who he described as “the nicest guy in the world.” Obviously, I was a little skeptical. He kept after me for days to come out with him, and, under duress, I relented.
C was the complete opposite of the insane guy. He was polite, soft spoken, considerate, and, as it would happen, the son of Christian missionaries, but who didn’t feel too convicted about putting away several shots of tequila. He was tall, thin but muscular, with dark, slightly thinning hair, blue eyes, and a big smile. He was funny, interesting, adventurous, and extremely intelligent. I was almost instantly hooked.
We were “friends” for several months. One day, we decided to go on a trip together during our break from school. Originally we had intended to include other people, but I think both of us ultimately wanted it to be just the two of us. On the first evening of the trip, in late evening at a lavish bath house in another weird Eastern European country, he confessed to having feelings for me. I told him I returned them.
Now against my better judgment, I fell deeply in love with this boy. Head over heels. I had never been so in love before. Given, I was only 21, so I hadn’t had too much experience in the romance department. But I knew what love was, and even though I knew we were soon going to be separated when we left the weird Eastern European country, I was about 95% sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this person. Stupid , right? Right.
We were together for about three months. In the summer, we both moved back stateside. He moved to New York, and I moved back to small-western-town. We cried at the airport. It was beautifully melancholic. We promised to be true and blah blah blah silly love stuff.
Months go by. I go to see him on my birthday. It was just like old times.
Another month goes by. We talk on the phone a lot.
More months. We don’t talk as often as I’d like. He’s working a lot, he says. He’s been really busy.
More months. I can feel him slipping away. My plans to transfer to a school on the East Coast fell through and I was facing another couple years without him. But he doesn’t seem too bothered. In fact, he asks what I think about having an open relationship. I say, “Of course, you’re right, that sounds great.” Inside, I was swearing up a storm.
Finally I realize that he didn’t love me anymore…and that maybe he never did. After another month or two of sleepless nights and tearful long car rides, I confronted him and asked him why he told me he loved me when he never really did.
He said he didn’t know.
I told him not to call.
That was the end.
A couple years go by. I date around. I try to forget him. But I still Facebook stalk him, and I still keep his number in my phone. I even fake butt-dialed him once. As much as I hate him, I still love him, and I hate myself for loving him. I even get into another long term relationship, but spent most of the time wishing I were still with C.
After things ended with the other long term relationship, I decided to email C to see how he’s doing. He said I should give him a call.
We talked for hours.
Months go by.
We talk frequently.
I moved to Chi-Town.
He asked to come visit.
And here we are, folks, without me even really knowing how this happened. C is coming in two days. C, the man who I would almost surely drop everything and marry, is coming here to see me. Well, OK, he’s coming to see Chi-Town, but in so doing, he will also see me. I have no idea what to do or how to act or what to say. I’m afraid I’m going to get drunk and then confess my undying love. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Hopefully, I’ll be so distracted by being a tour guide that I won’t have time to tell him I adore him.
I know that nothing can or will happen on this trip. Mainly I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get him out of my system. Like I’ll be able to finally look at him objectively and say, “Hey, you weren’t worth my tears. You’re not that great,” and then move on. That I’ll be able to see through what I’ve made him out to be in my head and realize that he’s not The One.
But the other side of my brain is hoping that he still loves me too and wants to get married on top of the Sears Tower and asks me to have all his babies.
The topper on the cake is that we’ll be seeing each other again for the first time on my birthday. Of course he doesn’t know it’s my birthday. Why would he?
But again, the other side of my brain is hoping he secretly remembers and then proposes to me in front of the Buckingham Fountain light show.
Oh, Lord. I am going to screw this up royally.
At least I’ll have some nice pictures of Chi-Town to post sometime later next week.