I went back to my dorm that night still wondering what “stuff” he had wanted to talk about with me. I had gone over and we didn’t talk about any “stuff”. We didn’t really talk at all. Maybe he didn’t realize his house would be full of a few friends and that his roommates would be home, but there was plenty of opportunity to just step out on the porch to chat or go for a quick walk. Whatever it was, he either changed his mind or chickened out. What I didn’t know about was the conversation that took place after I left.
“So are you still going to break it off with Allison, Barney?” one friend asked Jason. “Don’t do it, man.”, another said. “I was going to, but I don’t think I can.” He was preparing himself to talk to me that night about just being friends and not hanging out anymore. He was nervous about another long term commitment, which is where he thought this was possibly going. Weeks later he shared with me that the moment he knew he couldn’t just let me go was when he saw me come in the door, in this old yellow Scottish flag t-shirt. Along with the encouragement of his friends that were there and ones that weren’t, they were all telling him to hang on to me. Well, that was sweet of them, but they didn’t really know me very well did they!? 😉 I don’t know what saved me from the chopping block, his friends’ advice or that old yellow t-shirt.
Just as my friends and roommates were telling me to “give him a chance” and that they support this match “100%”, and things like that, I knew I was content just trucking along with how things were going and see what happened with it. But for Jason, apparently it was all or nothing.
A few more days rolled by, no calls, no messages on my instant messenger. I would log on, and see that he was available, but he wouldn’t send me a message. There was no way I was going to be the first one to send a message. Even that Sunday at church he never came over to say hi to me and he left quickly after the service.
Naturally, I sent him a message.
I didn’t want to seem like I was put off by him ignoring me for almost an entire week (which I was), so I played it cool and asked him if he was feeling better. He said yes, and that he had been wanting to call me and was really sorry he hadn’t yet. He said, “We need to hang out soon…I’m just doing laundry tonight if you wanted to hang out, or maybe some other night…” “I’m not busy…” “How about I pick you up in 5 minutes?” Okay! We hung out for about three hours and it was like the last uncertain week never happened. He drove me home and told me he enjoyed my company, so I should stop by anytime. And I did- still by invitation, but he was inviting me and it was much better than being ignored. Especially because I surprised myself by liking him. Less than a month earlier I was dead set on staying single and not dating Barney Rubble.
After that, he seemed to ease up a bit and even said “Okay, so I like you. A lot. Actually I’m crazy about you. I put off calling you for so long and you walked up to me in church that day in May when you were home from school…and I thought, okay, I’ll call her- you should have seen me pacing around the house- then I thought, it’s business- don’t think about the dating thing. So that was in my mind when I drove to Common Grounds, then I opened the door and saw you sitting there and you didn’t have to say anything- I thought ‘crap’.” Only he didn’t say crap. His rant was so sweet, so unrehearsed and vulnerable- it was maybe the only moment in my life that I felt like I was the heroine in a chick flick. But it was real, and it wasn’t with the guy of my dreams. It was with someone much better.