So He Said
By: Jillian Jacques
The morning sun shines through the grimy car windows as you park in the employee parking lot. It is 9:00am and you are supposed to be punched in an hour ago. You like your job at the grocery store but you definitely don't want to be a cashier for the rest of your life. You walk in to work and see that it is a slow day. You aren't needed up front to bag or cashier, so they send you to the aisles to break down. You go to aisle 14 to fix the crackers.
<img src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/gapzlcAAe9k/maxresdefault.jpg" width="700" height="300" alt="Store Aisle">
When you reach the bread and cracker aisle, you see that you're not the only one without a job to do up front. A boy is breaking down the bread with his back turned to you. His white collared shirt stretches across his body and his hair puffs at the top. He looks about your age, 16 or 17, and you think maybe you saw him once at your school...As he turns his head slightly to fix the bread, you notice he is wearing glasses that seem dirty on the corners. When his hand stretches to reach the bread farther away from you both, you notice a tattoo on his fore-arm. This spikes your interest.
Do you want to:
You decide to ask him about the tattoo. Your hands break down the crackers as you try to think about a way to start the conversation. Eventually, you just blurt out:
"Hey. Do you have a tattoo?"
He looks behind himself at you. You don't think your statement was stupid, just straightforward. As you look over his expression, you think he isn't making any [[bad judgements]] about you.
"Yea I got this in another state. It represents my medical condition in case I pass out or get hurt. Then they know what I have."
This surprises you. After years of thinking there would never be a good reason to get a tattoo, this one actually seems useful. Your opinion of [[tattoos]] slightly changes. He continues to explain that his first tattoo was for a purpose but he would get more later in life. His goal is to have two sleeves and maybe a few more on his chest. You aren't entirely sure how he would look, but you decide that he might look okay. It would certainly stop him from seeming so sweet, but his broad chest and larger arms might enhance his toughness with tattoos. Unless...he just gets roses or something. You think those actually make guys look girly instead of tough. You don't tell that to him on the basis of common sense but it crosses your mind to ask him if he thinks rose tattoos are cool. You look back at him as he waits for your response and you decide he would probably think they are cool. Instead, you ask him if has any siblings.
"I have two. Although I wouldn't say I'm super close to them, I think I have a good bond with them."
You know you've ask this question because you want to give your answer instead. Immediately after he finishes answering, you say,
"Well I have 10 and I have an okay relationship with most of them."
He doesn't seem to notice that you ignored his answer. Instead he looks surprised and a small "woah" escapes his lips. He starts asking the follow-up questions that you are used to. "How many are girls and how many are boys?" "Are they all from the same parents?" "What are all their names?" You answer him proudly and soak up his amazement. Then he says what most immature boys say:
"Wow your parents must have really liked to F***"
Your face instinctively goes sour and you aren't impressed with his wise aura anymore. In fact, you aren't sure what you think about him now, but there's something about him that still sparks an interest. You have his full attention and if you want, you can get his number or snapchat...
What is your interest?:
[[Not Interested]]You decide to spend some time with him. You make your way to the movie and find that there are 7 other guys there. You walk into the theater alone and see him standing with his friends in line for popcorn. He looks over and sees you walking towards them. He smiles and gets out of line to [[come meet you]].
"Hey! Glad you could make it! I bought you a ticket so you could sit next to us. I was going to buy KitKats and popcorn...Did you want to share with me?"
You realize that he is being way too nice to just be friends...or maybe he is just trying to make you feel comfortable. Either way, would it hurt to get a free movie and popcorn? You decide to let him pay for your ticket and your food. You look at the ticket he hands you and you catch a glimpse of his. Both your seat and his seat are together. You are relieved that you won't have to sit next to someone you don't know. Then you look at his other friends to see if you know them. Two of them worked at the grocery store with you but you weren't close friends. Some of the others you recognize from school or different classes.
"This might not be so awkward," you admit to yourself.
He pulls part of your jacket to get you to walk over to his group of friends. He bends under the ropes to reach them and looks at you to see if you are following. You reluctantly bend under the ropes and join them. His friends do not notice that you have just joined, but are talking about the movie they are going to see. Some of them think it will be a rip off and some think it will be interesting. They all make bets and River joins them. He bets that the movie will be interesting. You smile as you think about his optimism vs some of his friends' pessimism. You decide that right now you are at least [[Friends]].
You are friends. You don't even need to hang out at all to know that you feel comfortable and that you trust each other. You aren't sure how deep your friendship really is but you are happy to have the start of one. After hours of talking to each other, getting to know him, and talking about yourself, you find that you must ultimately decide what to do.
You are answering his messages one day when he asks you a question:
"Do you think that you might want to go for dinner one of these nights?"
You instantly feel the pressure of decision making. You aren't sure that you want to change your friendship with him, but he is so nice. You also noticed that he has waited a while to ask to hang out with you privately. Maybe he really does just want to be friends? But your instincts are telling you that maybe he does want to be more than friends.
You also notice that the other guy from work has messaged you. You haven't talked to him too much since you started working with him but he has been persistent. He messaged you a couple days in a row recently and his last message almost gives you a heart-attack.
"Hi. I know I've been annoying but I'd really like to admit something. I like you and I would love for us to go out on a date...What do you think?"
You look at both texts and you don't know what you should do. Both of them have been so nice and you might want to go on a date with one of them...You're not the kind of person to string one of them along though, so you make the commitment to only choose one, if any. You look bewteen the messages and you decide:
[[Keep Being Friends]] with River.
[[Date New Guy]]You don't think there's much more to ask about him. He seems too straight-forward and boring. If you wanted to ask him about everything he believes in one question, he seems like the type of guy to answer without hesitation. This doesn't interest you much. He turns around to keep breaking down the bread as soon as you turn to continue working. It seems he doesn't lead conversations much. This also doesn't impress you. What kind of girl wants to engage in a guy who won't engage with her first? Well, at least after she's already engaged in conversation with him once? Obviously not him.
You're looking at Cheese crackers that are high in fat and thinking about who would ever eat these. Your thoughts drift to each new product that you touch, pull forward and straighten on the shelf. Who wants to eat cheese in a spray can? That always sickened you as a kid when you used to watch your older brother spray cheese into his mouth right out of the can. There was nothing more disgusting than the orange or bright yellow color on his lips after he leaned his head down. Imagining his gross cheese smile made you want to gag. You quickly move on from spray cheese to more crackers.
After about 20 min of silence and working on fixing the shelves, you notice that you and him are at the same end of the aisle. In fact, he's slightly to the left behind you and you can see him out of the corner of your eye. From behind, his broad shoulders and back make him look really tough. His hair looks gelled in the reflecting light and you begin to think about him again. You wonder what he might be thinking about while he breaks down. Does he think about the bread? Maybe he's thinking about his condition and how his life might go with that? You aren't sure so you glance back quickly to see if he's as focused on breaking down as you were. You notice his eyes shift toward you and he turns his head a bit. You look back to your crackers and shiver. You made him notice you again. Since you're not interested, though, the only thing to do is to [[Ignore Him]]. You have decided to Snapchat him. You pull out your phone and ask him if he wants to add you on snapchat. He half-smiles awkwardly and responds with a "sure." He pulls out his phone.
You click the ghost icon and open the app. The few seconds it takes to open the app and find your information is slightly awkward. He doesn't say if he's trying to find his information first but he is clicking through his phone too. You find your code and put out your phone for him to scan. He looks up at you and mumbles "oh thanks" as he goes into his camera and scans your code. You rarely ever use snapchat but maybe now you'll have someone to talk to. You both put your phones away and there's an awkward silence again.
Thankfully, a voice on the intercom that you recognize, calls your name to the front. You smile at him and you both say goodbye. You turn around and walk away, thinking about what you just did and what you just said. He was shy, somewhat like you, except his shyness made you outspoken. You aren't sure if you like him or not but this could be one way to find out.
A week starts to pass. You snapchat the guy from the aisle in chats, instead of pictures. You eventually start talking on Facebook messenger as well. You tell each other about your lives and the things you do each day. You learn that he has a whole group of friends, he used to play football, and that his parents are divorced. You tell him about the siblings you have that you don't like as much and how you never really tell your parents anything. After a week, you feel like he is a good friend of yours.
You are tired of cashiering so you decide to transfer to the Dairy Department. There is a new guy there who might like you and you have heard a lot about him. He has black hair and always has his hands in his pockets when he walks. He is scrawny and somewhat ugly but he seems nice. You are told that he likes Pokemon, anime and went to the same college you are going to in the fall.
The first time you meet him is while you are working in the frozen section. He is helping you stock the aisle. He talks to you about video games, and his history degree that he didn't know how to use. He tells you about his dreams to be an EDM DJ. He asks you if you can teach him to read music. You learned how in high school but you think if he wants to be a DJ, he should be learning that himself. You end your day and go home.
At home you are surfing Youtube when Facebook messenger opens up and the new guy from the dairy department is messaging you. Next to his messages are the aisle guy's conversation with you. Instead of opening the new guy's messages, you go back to talking to the aisle guy. In your snapchat and in your messenger, you have named aisle guy "River" (because he seems to flow with life). You see his last message was somewhat flirty. You also got invited to see a movie with him.
What do you want to do?
Just be [[Friends]]
[[Hang Out]] You decide that texting him would be the best way to continue whatever you consider yourselves to be..friends or accquaintances. You pull out your phone and look at the number that he gives you. You add him to your phone contact and send him a quick message to make sure it works.
"Is this Aisle guy?" You recieve a quick response.
"Yes! The one and only!"
From that moment on, you and your new contact whom you name "River" text back and forth. Your conversations turn to college as you both are graduating high school and soon to start. You discover that you are both attending the same university in the fall and that he is studying Business and you are studying English. You imagine meeting up with him on the first day of classes and hanging out after school. You can see a real friendship starting to bloom.
A couple months after you start texting, you are walking out of work and you recieve a text from him. You didn't expect him to text you so late at night and you eagerly open the message.
"Hey Sandstorm, what are you doing right now? I was wondering if you wanted to go to a movie with me and my friends?"
You notice that he has bad grammar and that he is bringing multiple friends. You consider that this isn't a date since it isn't just the two of you and that it might be good to finally meet more people. You text back that you would like to join and he sends the movie title and time:
"The Politician @ 10:30pm at the cinema near work"
Your heart flutters a bit with excitement and your stomach turns. You didn't bring a change of clothes so you will have to go in your work clothes. Your feet are tired from working 9 hours but you might like to go see a movie. You quickly look at the clock and it is 9:45pm. You don't have time to go home and come back.
What are you going to do?
Continue to just be [[Friends]]
[[Hang Out]] There is nothing worse than starting conversations or having to finish them. You decide not to engage with him. You continue to work by yourself and realize that he is occasionally looking at you. His eyes seem bright when he glances over and you can tell he's thinking something. The lighting dims and the only bright spot in the room is him. You know your mind is making things up and overthinking the situation. He might just be making sure that you aren't looking at him. Sometimes that happens. If you stare too long at someone, they start to stare back or think you're looking at them. He might think you're creeping on him. Don't look at him anymore.
You glance over one more time as his movements catch your eye. He smiles at you and you realize that maybe he might want to talk to you. If he did, would you respond? How much should you say? You ask yourself these questions as you slowly drift into a day-dream about it.
He would smile at you and say:
"Hi. Would you like to work together? With you on my side we could get this done five times faster..."
He would pause and run his hand through his hair. Then he'd lean in and whisper:
"And five times more fun."
Snapping out of your vision, you notice he's looking at you again. You're close enough that you could hear him even if you face the other way. What do you want to do?
[[Smile At Him]]
[[Leave]]You just smile at him, unsure of what will happen. He starts to talk to you. He shows you in great detail about his tattoos and then looks at your arms.
"Well I never asked, do you have any tattoos?"
You look at him confused for a second and reluctantly reply:
"No I don't. I don't really think tattoos are a good idea. They are so permanent and your mind can always change from when you got. Plus, have you seen the pictures of elderly tattoos that are all wrinkled and mishapen?"
He just laughs a bit and looks at you.
"Yea I have. I wouldn't mind when my skin gets all wrinkled and nobody knows what my tattoos are, besides me and you."
Your eyes widen a bit and you feel the blush coming to your cheeks. He is flirting with you and if you don't like it you'd better cut him off before it goes too far. You begin to tell him to stop but then he puts out his hand and asks you if you can keep a secret. You are taken back by this quick question so you nod your head yes. He puts out his pinky, asking for a pinky promise. [[you laugh]], surprised and you wrap your pinky around his. He is about to pull it away when you tell him to stop.
"A real pinky promise is locked by touching thumbs. That's the ultimate promise that no one can break. If you break it then you can't be friends anymore!"
He laughs too and touches thumbs with you.
"Then my secret is that I think you're super cool"
You smile. This feels friendly and kind. Not too creepy. The way he looks at you makes you feel like he just wants to be friends, but you know that might be a cover. Looking at him now, you finally notice some imperfections about him. His smile is somewhat crooked and his teeth are a little misaligned. His voice is relatively deep but he still seems quiet when he starts to talk. Even his humor is somewhat stupid and cheesey.
He is waiting for a response. What do you do?
[[Block Him]] Memory:
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WVDmENV5Y_LsVKlaxcdM-m15PnXalAxO8B40sjIBZ29NvBfAyOKwizdfequ68Rt5ystl4A=s85" width="500" height="700" alt="Jillian">
He thought I was cute: My brown eyes, brown frizzy hair and high cheek bones. This wasn't the first time he saw me, but this was the first time he had a real conversation with me. He was never a brave guy to start.
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/GxngnkM5EMxUkcoiNXBKOabP3Lq6DOxVYzptmtEcvohOhjd2KHTG2c9QWtAvexc0TQ3spA=s90" width="500" height="500" alt="Trevor">
He was the only one who made them seem beautiful. Like the scars on my arms, his tattoo was a reminder of the things he couldn't change. The things he wanted people to know in case they ever killed him.
[[Meet Him]] You decide to leave. You can't handle this situation and the fear of what he might say to you again. You know you don't really have anything to hold against him but you still don't feel comfortable. Maybe next time you have to see him you can work it out so you aren't so close or so that he doesn't notice you as much. Maybe he won't even care if you leave.
From that point on you begin working in the Dairy Department instead. You see that there is a new guy who might like you. He is much taller and about 4 years older than you. It turns out that you have a few things in common with him and you might like him too. He also does not have any tattoos and doesn't make immature comments about your parents.
The first time you meet the new guy is on your second day. You are learning how to stock the frozen aisle and he walks up behind you. He grabs a box of frozen carrots off the stack you are working on and smiles. There is a slight clenching of your gut when you look at him. You aren't necessarily attracted to his physical features but he seems nice. You have never dated before because most of the guys you met in high school were mean, but this guy seemed different. His smile made you pity him.
You don't say anything and continue working. You grab a box of corn and open the freezer door right next to him. He looks over at you and laughs.
His laughter confuses you. After all, you're only wearing the freezer gloves provided to you by the company. You look at his hands and see he's wearing thicker gloves that the store does not provide. You instantly feel a bit embarrassed but you can't tell if he was trying to playfully make fun of you. You decide to give him the benefit of the doubt and laugh about it. You look at him and try to divert his attention to something else.
"So what kinds of video games do you like?"
He slowly pulls the empty box apart to flatten it out and put it in the cardboard carriage. He is thinking deeply about it. You can't believe it takes this long for someone who people said liked video games. He finally answers after you grab another box:
"Probably Pokemon or Destiny."
You have never played Destiny but you liked Pokemon Tournament on the N64. You get slightly excited and ask him another question:
"Have you ever played the N64 or the GameCube?"
He looks at you and admits that he has not. He says he's not much of a Nintendo kind of guy. His mom bought him Gameboys when he was younger but he has never owned a real Nintendo console. You get slightly disappointed because your favorite games (Skies of Arcadia, Super Mario Sunshine, and Zelda Majoras Mask) are all Nintendo games. Then your phone buzzes and you notice that the boy from the aisle has messaged you on Facebook. You look at the message:
"Hi. We talked in the aisle last week and I thought maybe you'd want to start up a new conversation! Text me at (XXX) XXX-XXXX."
You are surprised. What do you want to do?
[[Date New Guy]]This is the end of your relationship. You've hit a wall and you know there's no way over it. The worst part is that if you felt feelings for him or if he felt feelings for you, it still wouldn't work.
You know that the best way to move on in life is to cut off all contact. No more messaging, texting or hanging out. You can't even be friends if it wasn't meant to be. You can't have a person who was never meant to be yours.
The illusion of control in a relationship can destroy your hopes and dreams. It can destroy your life and leave you wasted. If you hold on to the idea that you can make something fake turn real, then you're just waiting for reality to punch you.
No matter how you may choose it to go, you can't make it go.
You understand now that there was no path you could have taken to make it work in any way. It was your fate to say goodbye to your best friend.
[[So He Said Home]] You have more of an interest in the new guy. You start calling him Rave because of his EDM passion. You and Rave get together quickly. He is calling you "babe" before he even calls you by your name. At work, the two of you are inseperable. You stock shelves together and you go on lunches together.
The one thing that you notice that is immediately different is that you don't like EDM that much. Electronic Dance Music is somewhat annoying and it all sounds the same to you. The only cool thing is the name of the DJs. You tell him you like BlasterJs because the name is awesome, but you've never heard their music before.
There's still so much you don't know about him, but you want to!
[[Get To Know Him]]You decide that you really do want a relationship with River. He's sweet and gentle. He even seems to take care of you without noticing. You can imagine a good relationship with him. Your mind rushes to respond:
"If you're asking me out, I would definitely love to!" You hope that this goes the way you want it to...You were always a bold-talker.
He responds quickly and you hear every word with intensity.
"Yea. I like you. I like you romantically. I really would like to go on a date with you."
Your hand immediately lands on your forehead and you can barely hold onto the phone. You feel your body start to bounce up and down as your feet start jumping. You are so excited that you can barely believe this just happened.
He really does like you. You knew it, you felt it. The way he looked at you when he first met you said everything. You just know that he will be different than any other guy you've ever met.
The first person you rush to tell is your younger sister. She tells you to get to know him better by going on dates. After hearing the story of how you two met, she seems a bit skeptical though and warns you that this could be a hasty decision. You don't even know what to say to him now that you've gotten this far.
What are you going to do?
[[Go On Dates]]
[[End It]]You decide to get to know him better. You put your conversations with River completely on hold and focus on Rave. You two often play 20 Question games at work and you learn a lot about him.
-He lives with his parents and he's 24
-He wants to get a job in the electrical field
-He has an extremely old little terrier dog named Marley
-He loves anime and Video games
-He graduated college with $40,000 in debt but his grammie paid off half
-He is a virgin and has never kissed anyone
Knowing all this about him makes you somewhat reluctant to really date him. He is so nice though! You think that maybe no one would give him a chance and that if they did, he would love you the best. You know there's really only two options for the two of you:
[[enjoy the summer together]]
[[Break Up]]You take the time to enjoy the summer with Rave. He takes you camping, to the beach, and to a concert. You genuinely enjoyed your summer but there were things wrong with him that tore you apart.
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wTl7biVH2yQCpuogvQsu3WDyahYzG4FEk4CyhYD6uW8QsYBAQP3GnhVV3iaDbE1vsd2Gjw=s85" width="500" height="500" alt="Bryan">
He paid other women for nudes and everytime I found out, he called me out for snooping.
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/dHC-nSHUij6JTzblEjzG0X1cPY-xX_nVtFmOniG0ca71oKixoV7c3vNQkdi9mZ41X0vU=s85" width="500" height="500" alt="Bryan">
He kept saying he was going to change, that he wouldn't be paying for things he shouldn't be, that he would love me and only me...But he never did. He made me think that my body would keep his attention...But it didn't.
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wfoEpek-DS7Zf9K-bOOKV2aS2GizQVHxUE0W-TOOddKud5RuH6PhkHL3UOWgsk7-NO1MFQ=s85" width="500" height="500" alt="Bryan">
This was the worst relationship I ever could have been in. The only thing I knew how to do, instead of waiting for him to respect or care about me, was to break up.
You want to [[Break Up]]. You jumped into something that is really not your speed. He's creepy, ugly and he has no ambition in life! You want nothing to do with him and you honestly regret engaging in any kind of conversation.
Now you have to switch job sites because working with him is awkward and you see his family shop there frequently. Oh well, you were getting tired of that place and you needed somewhere else to go. Maybe you could even quit and work on campus when school starts. That way you wouldn't have to drive from home, to school, to work and then back home. You know you're commuting but you don't want to have to drive more than you really need to.
The summer months pass and you are approaching the fall months fast.
[[Start School]] School has just started and you are on your way to your first class.
As you walk, you reflect on your last relationship and the break up you had right before school. He wasn't right for you and you wish you could have seen that earlier on. At least it is all over now.
You notice your classroom straight ahead and walk towards it. You approach the doorway and immediately look for an empty desk. You see a few since most of the students haven't arrived yet. In the very far side of the room, you notice River. He is sitting with his back to the wall, but he sees you walk into the room. You don't think too much about what you should do. All you know is that you see someone you know and you walk to sit next to them. He smiles and seems happy that you recognized him. He might even be happier that you chose to sit next to him.
Well now that you've sat next to him, you aren't sure what exactly to do. You both know that the last time you talked was a while ago and you haven't really hung out much. You even heard from someone else that he broke up with someone around the same time you did. You both sit in silence for a bit and watch the clock tick tick tick.
Eventually he nudges your shoulder and says,
"Heyyyy it's been a while."
How do you handle this?
Just [[Enjoy Classes Together]] You look at him and smile. Of course you want to be friends with him! He was your best friend and you told him everything. There wasn't a time that you were talking when you didn't feel like he didn't understand you. River was the essence of safety and trust in your mind. Especially after your last relationship...trust was the most important thing to you. River was definitely trustworthy...
"Hey River! It HAS been a while! I actually broke up with that guy I was dating and moved stores."
He nods and looks at the floor.
"Yea I heard. I also broke up with my girlfriend and I quit that store."
You frown as you see the slight pain in his expression. He must have liked her a lot. At the same time, it seems like he's over it and he's able to admit that he is.
As class comes to an end, River looks at you and you know you have to tell him what you think.
[[Just Be Friends]]You don't really know what else to say to him except,
"Yea glad we can be friends again."
He seems disappointed and nods.
"Yea, I'm happy too."
The two of you leave class together and separate to go your own ways. Out of the corner of your eye, you see him look back at you, but you don't look.
That night he messages you on Facebook. It seems like he wants to be more than friends but you don't really know. All you know is that you're ready to decline anything if you have to. He says:
"Hey I don't really want to be just friends. I want to try something with you and if I have to end this friendship then I will do it either way...I'm still here for you."
You roll your eyes.
[[Keep Responding]] You think that you want to just enjoy being in class with River. You tell him that you want to hang out occasionally. You can imagine how much fun it will be to work on projects together and play pool in the game room. So far, this is the closest you've had to making a friend and you want to continue talking to him.
But how do you really feel about him?
One day in class, you are working on a project and he smiles at you again. You notice that this time, he has something to say and he is preparing to say it.
"You know, I've had a lot of fun with you so far and you're a really good friend...But I think that it would be cool if you and I hung out more often..."
He smiled again and you look at your shoes. You know that he likes you and he wants to be more than friends but you aren't sure if you're ready to make that jump again. Looking at him, though, you feel like maybe you are. He'e the guy you trust and the guy you've cried to sometimes.
Are you ready for another jump?
[[Keep Being Friends]]Some part of you really wants to hold on to him but not in the same way. You think about how you felt and some little voice inside you thinks that maybe you can be happy as friends. If you could keep talking to him, keep interacting, he might also realize how great you are.
You tell him you just want to be friends.
He still messages you, but it's not the same. He responds every other day or sometimes not for a week. You are used to talking to him daily and this causes you some stress. You know deep down that he isn't interested anymore but you think that there's no issue in just talking to him.
One conversation you have sparks your interest, however. He messages you early in the morning on a Saturday. You are at work, stocking shelves and breaking down skids of stuff. You hear your ringer go off and pause briefly to check the message. It is River. You read it desperately.
"Hey. I just want you to know that I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. I'm still tearing myself up over how we didn't work. I'm here for you if you ever want to talk but I'm sorry. I've decided that this was never going to work anyways and I don't want your hopes to get up by being my friend. If I have to cut you off then I will if it's best for you. I cared about you the whole time and I still do."
The message was bitter in your head and made your tongue roll back in your mouth. You can't believe how much he looks down on you. How small he makes you seem because you took back any raw emotions for him. He must have an ego that you never noticed. Especially if he can just pretend like he decided to be friends too.
How do you handle him?
[[Block Him]] You ask to go to the beach next! He is more excited than you it seems. He tells you that his favorite place to go is the beach. You think about how much you went to the beach when you were younger. This will be the first time you go later at night. You try to imagine the smell of the beach. That was your favorite thing about it. You didn't love the sand so much, but you could deal with it. You are wearing shoes that you don't mind getting a bit wet or sand-covered. You know that as long as you are with him, you will be happy.
You are on your way to the beach when he decides to stop for beach pizza. He tells you that it is his favorite pizza and you smile. You have never had it, but the sauce is supposed to be sweeter. You are willing to try it since you like pizza and sweet things.
He buys the pizza and hands you the box. The two of you drive to the beach and set up a spot on a cement wall that overlooks the beach. He opens the pizza box and hands you your first slice. You take it by the crust, feeling the heat seep into your fingertips. You open your mouth and take a bite. It is sweet and tangy, just the way he said. It tastes so good.
He smiles at you and laughs a little as he watches your face. You like it so much and it makes everything seem so good. You look at the beach, at the water, at him, at your pizza, and you feel like life is good. He laughs some more and inches a bit closer to you.
"So that means you like the pizza then?"
Your mouth is full, so you nod your head rapidly. After you chew and swallow, you thank him. He just keeps smiling and bites into a piece of his own. You both sit in silence for a while, eating and looking at the water. The waves crash over each other as the sun sets. The clouds blow across the sky slowly, but you watch them close enough to see them move. The two of you watch the people walking on the beach and the dogs running without a leash. At one point, a dog takes a squat and begins to poop on the beach. The two of you are watching and laugh. You look at him and he takes another piece of pizza. You think that you wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ULwPefL0M1mpBCWQBufqoIdYDbDoBp3y9QZe8sSeMjGuI_6tG8lq_uSF1mPPddRTA6hKtg=s85" width="500" height="500" alt="Our beach trip">
I never knew someone would make me feel that way. The way his gentle voice said my name made me wish he'd never stop saying it. Everything did seem better back then.
What will be your next move?
[[Tell Him You Love Him]] You want to go bowling with him! You feel like you could beat him and be able to show off your feminine curves. There's no better way to enchant a guy than to be better than him and hotter than him...Well obviously you don't believe that but you don't think it couldn't hurt.
He takes you to a new bowling place that the two of you have never been to. He pays for the shoes and the two of you sit down to put them on. You look at him and his hands are shaking. He seems nervous. You feel bad for him and ask him if he is ok. He looks at you and smiles.
"I don't really bowl much."
You realize that beating him wouldn't be much fun anymore. Disappointed, you try to show him the bright side.
"Well this is your time to learn then. I'm not that good at it either."
You will try to let him win a bit so he has fun. You remember how it felt to constantly lose and you don't want him to have to go through that either. After you have your shoes on, you start out the first bowl. You miss three pins and throw your ball into the gutter the next turn.
He reluctantly stands up and bowls. His bowl rolls a bit until it spins into the gutter, missing all the pins. You wince and smile when he looks back at you. He laughs a bit and comes to sit next to you. You laugh and look into his eyes. They shimmer in the dark. He leans in and before you know what's happening, he is kissing you. You lean in to kiss back. You never knew a kiss could feel so good. The moment he releases, you know there's a spark.
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6QiUGxv0MwlrZFSsk_N7oAdckyYidyg9lfwveXXnRF49CZzimtumP4LjizYpHnjXMhX89wo=s85" width="500" height="500" alt="Bowling with him">
Beating him in every game was the only way to feel equal to him. He was so much better at everything else. He even had friends that were better at everything else...So much cooler. I wouldn't have minded if he won, though, because it made him happy. All I ever wanted was to make him happy. That made me happy.
How will you keep the spark alive?
[[Let Him Take You StarGazing]]
[[Tell Him You Love Him]] You decide to go on a dinner date! You can barely believe this is happening. You tell him your favorite place to eat and he tells you to be ready. You give him your address and you get dressed. You put on your best pair of skinny jeans and a mint v-neck. You are wearing your black and white high-tops to sum up the casual look. You go into the bathroom and look at your hair. It is still frizzy but at least you washed it recently. You decide to braid the top layers of it so that they all stay together and then just brush out the rest.
With your outfit all picked out and your hair done, you are ready for him to pick you up. This is the first time you've been on a dinner date like this and you can feel the shivers going up your back. You sit in the livng room, watching your driveway, waiting for his car to appear. You can't imagine what it will be like. Will he be romantic? Will he get the car door for you? Will he try to kiss you after he eats? The idea of kissing after eating grosses you out enough to make you forget what you were looking for. Without even realizing it, his car is pulling into your drive way and the light blinds you. You smile instinctively as you try to cover your eyes. You run to the door out of eagerness but then decide that's too weird. You run up to your room to pretend like you weren't waiting for him. Instead of the ring of the doorbell that you expected, you get a message saying,
You unexplainably become disappointed and realize he isn't going to walk up to the door. That's ok. You know he's probably nervous and has never done this type of thing before. Maybe he will ring your doorbell one day.
You rush downstairs and out the door. He doesn't get out of the car to let you in. You feel another prick of disappointment as you let yourself into his car.
The ride to the diner was quiet and his music filled a lot of the emptiness. You look at him in the red glow of the dashboard. He is so handsome. You think about how this seems odd but it probably just needs time. You look out the window and wait for him to talk to you. Eventually he looks at you and asks you what you're thinking about. You don't really know what to say. You were wondering why he was so quiet...But telling him that would make it more awkward. You tell him that you were thinking about what food you wanted to get. He says he wants chocolate chip banana pancakes and chocolate milk. You smile at him. He seems like such a child inside.
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QWnk0y4f8xLLejzSonm00EESHIdoC4od84WNz2Psn5KeJmE4CSMezmbEw1uWpwTbc8Jk=s85" width="500" height="500" alt="Dinner">
The dinner ended up being amazing. We talked and laughed a lot once things got settled and I felt myself falling faster and harder than ever before. He even shared his food with me.
What will you do with him next?
[[enjoy the beach]]
[[Tell Him You Love Him]]
All you really want to do is go out on dates with him. You can't imagine anything more fun and entertaining! While messaging, he asks you what kinds of things you want to do and if you'd enjoy dinner first. It is rather late at night tonight but you can do three things. You might [[enjoy a diner dinner]] date. You love breakfast food and so does he. A late-night diner might just be the move to make. You can think of one really nice one closer to where he lives that you would enjoy.
You also might want to [[enjoy the beach]]. A trip at night, even later under the stars, would be so romantic. You can imagine walking in the near dark with his hand in yours and your bare feet being touched by salty sea water. If he kissed you there, you might never want to kiss anyone else.
You also know know that the two of you would [[enjoy bowling]]. You used to go a lot when you were a kid, so there is a good chance that you'll make yourself look good and show off your nice figure. He would be so embarassed to know that you can kick his butt at anything that includes hand-eye coordination. You think about all the times that you went with your family and the years you spent being worse than your siblings, only to be good at it now. This date idea might be more expensive, depending on how many games you play, but it might be worth it.
You also remember what your sister said any you know that you might be jumping into things too quickly. You really don't want to invest too much time and energy into the relationship only to lose it all. You know you can always just [[End It]] if it isn't right for you...This relationship doesn't seem right. You and him have some differences in personality that don't necessarily mix. They always say that some and most relationships just shouldn't exist, so you think giving it up is for the best. After all, it would be terrible to get so far and commit so much, only to realize it was a waste. The pain after commitment and vulnerability is not worth it right now. Especially if he seems a bit immature. If there was one thing you wish you could have done first, it would be to match life goals and beliefs before you just jump into something. Someone is a lot less likely to hurt you if they are on the same page of life as you with the same goals. In fact, having a list of qualities that you want in another person should be a priority next time.
But this time...You can't fix what is already broken. You can't make it right when it was wrong. You certainly can't control what is uncontrollable.
That is the love of another person...That's uncontrollable.
At the same time, you know control of life is an illusion. Next time, you also want to let go of that illusion and let what will be, just be.
How do you deal with your ex?
[[Keep Being Friends]] You decide to respond with a nice message to show him that you don't really care if he's angry. You don't want any problems anymore and you think that responding might even out any wrinkles.
"Hey it's all good. You do what's best for you and if you think you have to end it, then end it. I'm here if you need me too."
Even though you offered to be there for him, and he offered to be there for you, it doesn't feel friendly. It feels angry and bitter.
You keep messaging him over time but eventually, he stops responding and you think you can take the hint...
[[Block Him]] The words hardly come out of your mouth before he puts his hand over your lips.
"Don't say anything"
You look at him confused and frustrated. You just have this one thing you want to tell him and he won't listen! You look at him holding your hand and pull it closer to your lips. You try one more time to tell him that you love...
"Don't. Please don't say anything like that. I know what you're going to say and I don't want to break your heart."
You hear those words and your heart pitfalls into your stomach. You feel like throwing up and passing out all at once. What was he talking about? Why would he break your heart? You have been together for a couple months now and been friends for almost half a year...He has kissed you and laughed with you. He even knows your deepest darkest secret...He knows everything about you and he won't listen to your greatest confession. You try to blurt over him:
"Why won't you let me tell you that I might love you!"
He stopped talking and stared at you. The silence was so great that even the crickets stopped chirping in your head.
"What? Please tell me what is wrong?"
You plead with him and he just sighs.
"Listen. I've been unfairly stringing you along. I think I can be happier with someone else and I'm losing feelings for you..."
You choke on your spit. You can't swallow even the words that he just spit in your face. He's losing feelings? He can be happier...with someone else? The words opened every single scar that ever lived inside your soul.
Your eyes begin to tear up. They fill up so fast and so much that even the darkness is covered and your own fears are all you can see. He doesn't love you. After everything you thought when you were with him. After everything that you wanted to be with him.
He doesn't love you. You are not his soulmate.
He picks up your hand that has fallen into your other hand.
"Do you want to [[Just Be Friends]]?"
You don't answer him. You can't believe everything that just happened. He was your best friend. He was your better half. You can't live knowing you're just friends with him. You wouldn't be able to move on if you kept him around. You know you can [[Block Him]]. You ask him to take you out to see the stars that night. He seems enthusiastic when he says he would like that. There's a park only 10 minutes away from your house so he can drop you off right after.
It is dark and empty in the park. The two of you bring your blanket and sneak around a baseball field, behind a little shed. The hill drops downward and the two of you set up a spot on the slope of the hill. As soon as you lay down, he lays beside you and the two of you look up at the sky. You feel his hand grab yours and all you know how to feel is peace. The warmth of his hand radiates up your arm and into your chest. Every moment leading up to this one has amplified your relationship. Right now, you have never had a better friend, nor met a better person than him. He has shown you the world and given you excitement that you never knew existed.
You turn your head to look at him and he does the same. Looking at him in the dark, you feel the pull towards him and your heads move closer. You are nose to nose with him when you almost begin to cry. You've spend a couple of months together now and have been friends for at least 4. You already feel a deep connection to him and even though it seems rash, you think you want to spend forever with him. You can see him being the person you grow old with and die next to. You aren't sure if what you feel is real, but you think you should at least tell him how deeply you feel for him.
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6hsFv5JEdRQI-85zw1UmNeIuPDeZkk1FkRF7MRyZ2TNfcONneLYRMFG3UY7K9z4ggRCG=s85" width="500" height="500" alt="Stars">
Nothing hurt more than realizing what was broken. There wasn't anything possible to fix it with. Not my two tiny hands or my shrinking heart. He never knew what it felt like to be put down by everyone I ever loved, but I did. Some would call it desperation...Maybe it was...But I've never needed anyone but myself, so how could it be?
You don't know what else to do but to [[Tell Him You Love Him]].Memory:
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/szcx_gXz-1ODN1a_dB9nUwov_w9TXdjcQqfHz8in61tT82Gh1J4PJ-ZtGQob_FPiQPDf=s85" width="500" height="700" alt="Promise">
There's something about the way he made me laugh and smile...almost like he always knew how to. I felt a deeper connection to him than before. My image of friendship increased. I felt the desire to trust him.
[[Smile At Him]] Memory:
Sitting next to him was like having two halves of a whole put beside each other, separate but slowly coming together.
<img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1aHmkszXWHlAexI0xcTH3YPaUdpQytj4gq7kQTW0bTaJXmPuxzmzV3O7M2xVkvzlQN5Cww=s85" width="600" height="500" alt="Movies">