"But I don't think it's serious. I wouldn't let that stop you."
Those words played in my head for days. Our housewarming party was over and I was feeling much more confident in my new life in Seattle. I had dropped a few pounds without even trying (don't you love when that happens?), was in the swing of grad school, and had quickly developed a close bond with my new housemates.
I missed my ex. I couldn't deny that. But I felt free for the first time in years. I had no idea what my future held, and that was a glorious thing. Yes, being single felt good.
My single mind, however, was stuck on Blue Eyes. I knew nothing else about him at this point other than that he was dating someone, but as my housemate told me, it probably wasn't serious. Since he had stayed overnight at our housewarming party, I had to assume she was right.
A little Facebook stalking did nothing to help my cause. His relationship status said he was single and I only found one picture of the two of them. (Oh come on, don't act like you've never done the same thing...)
So here was my dilemma. Aside from the fact that I wasn't interested in getting involved again so soon, I had absolutely no desire to date someone who was not completely single. I had unfortunately begun falling in love with my ex while he was still in the process of breaking up with someone and the ramifications of that had reverberated throughout our whole relationship. Nope, wasn't going there again. Lesson learned.
Nonetheless, I couldn't stop talking about him. Exhibit A - An excerpt from this old g-mail chat I found with a friend:
he's really cute. has the most beautiful blue eyes i have ever seen.
2:45 AM and he's smart. and he likes socrates, which i just think is cute. and he likes to bake bread.
and he likes rain.My grammar is horrendous when I'm chatting.
But back to the point. How could I not be interested in someone who liked philosophy, baking bread, and rain? Add in cute with pretty eyes and you'd just described my perfect man. Well, actually if you threw in a ranch, a horse, and money, that would be my perfect man. But I didn't know Blue Eyes. Maybe he had all that too.
But no. I wasn't going to pursue it. No way, no how.
I went back to my yoga and school and finding myself.
Until a few weeks later.
I was at a costume party and in walked Blue Eyes. He was wearing a mask and a hat rakishly tilted to the side. My heart jumped and I silently panicked. What to say? What to do? Was he here with the girl he was dating?
Breathe, woman, breathe.
We briefly said hello but that was it. I found some of my other friends and chatted gaily with them, laughing as if I wasn't aware of every little thing he did. As if I wasn't aware that he was dancing with the Amazonian brunette in a skimpy red dress.
Thankfully my housemate had my back and she did a little scoping for me, coming back with the news that he had stopped dating the other girl not long after he and I met.
Yikes. Did that mean he liked me? No, I was getting ahead of myself. It was probably just coincidental. Act cool.
At one point, I remember he walked right by me as if he didn't see me. I turned to my friend, flabbergasted. "What was that? Is he ignoring me?"
She just laughed and said she didn't think he knew how to act around me.
Oh great. Ms. Awkward and Shy, meet Mr. Awkward and Shy. How was this going to work?
Finally I got up the gumption to talk to him and we moved outside where it was quiet. It was raining that night, just a soft drizzle. He liked rain. I liked rain. It was totally a sign.
I don't remember what we talked about, except a few stray details that have remained in my memory. The coat he was wearing was his grandfather's. He told me I had beautiful lips. Yes, he really said that, and no he didn't follow it up with a kiss. Did I mention how awkward we both were?
We went for a walk in the misty rain, my fanciful nature in overdrive. I was on autopilot, for the first time in my life not thinking about what would happen in the future. Not imagining that we would get married someday. Just living in the moment and enjoying it.
If I had known what was in store for me, I think I would have run. Thank God I didn't know.
Read the next installment here.