The following day, a Sunday, we texted most of the day, so I invited him to come over once he got off work.
It was raining by that time, and he wasn’t sure where to park to get to my apartment, so I met him outside, resulting in a movie-esque run in the rain (I was even wearing a leopard-print trench).
Sitting on my couch, he told me he needed to make sure I wasn’t leading him on, because he was starting to really like me. I was a little worried that it was moving fast, but I went with it. That same day, the Sunday of the Oscars, marked one year since we met. He invited me over to his house for the next day, what would be a year since our very first date.
I happily said yes, but only if he’d watch The Bachelor with me. He said he would DVR it.
On the way to his house Monday night, I stopped by a local grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine to bring over. Mid-search, the power went out, sending cursed cries into the dark. I wandered through the aisles, as if there was a way I could feel a bottle that would taste good. Minutes later, when the lights came back on, I was standing in front of a tower of white boxes, with wine inside. I reached down to see what kind it was.
The exact wine we drank exactly one year prior.
Despite its steep price, I decided to go for it. When I arrived at D’s, I told him I had a surprise. I pulled out the wine, and he couldn’t believe it. “Whaaaaat!? Are you kidding me?” he asked. So there we were, sipping on our wine, watching The Bachelor.
And it felt perfect.
Just a few days later, I came back to work after lunch and was aimlessly walking and texting D simultaneously, when the front desk lady said, “Hey…hey you’ve got flowers.”
There was a giant box from 1-800-Flowers on her desk, addressed to me. I figured it was from D, but wasn’t certain until I ripped open the box and saw the card:
It’s been a year since I let you slip away. Now you’re back and I will hold on tighter than ever, my angel. I cannot wait to see what is to come. -D
While my surrounding coworkers thought it was creepy, it was perhaps the sweetest thing that had ever happened to me. I displayed the flowers on my desk and called D right away, to thank him.
The following weekend, I was getting antsy to see D. His work schedule didn’t allow for much date time, and we often saw each other late, once his shift was finished.
That Saturday night, I’d spent the evening out with a few friends, but I was really missing D. I was texting him to see what he was doing, and he said he was still working. It was past 1 am, and on Saturdays he usually got off work around 10.
Kidding around, I told him fine, I would call my plan b.
“If you have a plan b, then I shouldn’t be talking to you, nor do I ever want to talk to you. Have a good one.”
This probably should have been red flag number one of things to come, but I was hurt, and tried to tell him I was just kidding. I didn’t have a plan b.
Eventually, he calmed down and told me to come to the restaurant right that second, hurry, or else. So I hopped into my car, in my plaid pajamas and argyle slippers, and drove across town.
When I got to the place, I walked inside, where a waiter was sweeping the floors.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
“Oh I’m, uh, here to see D?” I said.
He pointed toward the bar. “He’s been waiting for you.”
D was sitting there, drinking and smoking, talking to one of the waitresses.
D wasn’t mad, but told me he was “testing” me. Whatever that meant.
“Why aren’t we exclusive?” he asked.
“Well, I don’t know,” I said. “Because you haven’t said anything?”
“Okay well, go ahead, ask me to be your boyfriend then,” he said.
“Why do I have to ask!?” I said.
“Oh you don’t want to?” he said.
So I asked him, 7th grade style, if he would be my boyfriend, and he said yes.
It had been nearly two years since I was someone’s girlfriend. I felt I had done everything right; I played it cool, didn’t sleep with him until we were exclusive, and never pushed about being exclusive.
It felt so right…but things were about to go terribly wrong.
TO BE CONTINUED…