by Fallen Leaves on April 20, 2014
I am afraid that I'm not as clever as I thought. I am absolutely terrified, because I'm realizing that maybe he had control the whole time. That maybe our balanced relationship was concisely constructed by him, that he pretended to be weak or afraid sometimes so I would feel like we were standing on equal ground.
I made a comment tonight, joking that he wasn't as suave as he thinks he is. He digressed.
On our first date, I didn't even want to go. I was exhausted from - I kid you not - going on too many dates. I was tired of movie theatres and bars and first kisses and text messages the day after. The weekend I met him, I was busy promising myself to take some time off from boys to relax.
I liked that neither of us knew if it was really a date. I liked that he was sheepish enough to not insist on paying for my movie ticket, and I liked that he wasn't making an obvious effort to woo me. I liked that he laughed when I made silly jokes through the whole movie, and I liked that he didn't slowly creep his hand towards mine but seized it.
I liked that when we went for coffee afterwards, he ran his thumb along the top of my hand. I told him right then that there wasn't much point in trying to pursue me because I was everywhere all at once and didn't feel much like focusing my attention. "You seem great," I said, "and that's why you should probably stay away from me. I'm very manipulative." He laughed.
I'm scared because it seemed like we had really met our match. He was confident but considerate, smart and thoughtful, masculine with sensitive softness tracing the edge of his smile. He told me he was grateful that he had met me, because I was assertive and stubborn and challenged him. I never told him, but I was grateful that he didn't grovel at my feet like the rest of the guys I went on dates with, that he didn't reduce himself to a meagre beggar all too willing to please me.
I am scared because he and I used to laugh and tease one another about who really had the control in the relationship, about who was more emotionally attached, about who was 'winning'.
He likes to kiss my forehead softly, and then trace his lips down to kiss my nose. He will either pull back to look at my bashful smile, or he will brush his lips down to kiss mine. Whenever I start to act mighty and proud, he can kiss my nose and it will make me smile enough that I give up on my argument and surrender to fuzzy happiness.
He and his best friend took me longboarding for my first time. "She's good, man! What a natural!" his friend said. He tried not to be too blatant about it, he tried to keep it under the surface, but I could see how proud he was.
On my birthday, he gave me a leather-bound notebook and told me it should help me write. He got me a silly card with a horrible pun because, quite frankly, our sense of humour is too similar and he knew I would find it hilarious. I did.
I'm terrified because I so obviously don't have as much control as I first assumed. "I'm moving for the summer for work," he told me. "I don't think there's any point in us seeing each other anymore, if you're going to move for school in the fall."
I may not be moving for school in the fall. It is completely in my power to stay at the university here and not uproot my life. He knows this. He knows I don't want to move another 2000 kilometers away from home. "I might not even be going. You know that."
"I know," he said, "but I just don't think I can handle a relationship where I can't see my significant other all the time. Every second weekend just won't work. I will lose all romantic feeling."
"You know I won't cut you out of my life. You're one of my best friends. Besides, I hope you can still come to the lake with me every once in a while. I still want to see you," he told me.
I don't understand.
He was so gentle with me when I got upset. He stayed the night and didn't complain when I woke him up every thirty minutes to tug back my share of the blankets or to wrap his arm around my waist so I could rest my head on his chest.
"I'm scared," I said.
He quietly said, so shyly, "Me too."
I just don't understand.
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