I don't know how I can feel so much for Chris, then turn around and have it all blown out of the water the minute I see Seth again. Maybe this is what you get after having no options for years and then suddenly having to deal with options - total emotional paralysis. I'm just not used to having a choice in the matter.
After reading my semi-humiliating IM messages in the light of day (yes, I still have a crush on you - yes, I will continually cast Chris aside in your favor - yes, I apparently have no self-respect whatsoever), and realizing Seth never called me afterward, I decided that was my answer. The end. Done. Over. Our relationship would have to change.
NO MORE FRIENDSHIP COOKIES FOR YOU, Seth.
In an effort to handle it all maturely, I resolved to be rude and dismissive the next time I saw him.
He finally showed up at my door on Tuesday night, claiming to want to watch the election results with me, but I wouldn’t let him in. I told him I was busy, and that he should go home.
He laughed at me and came in anyway.
I’m thinking we have boundary issues.
He planted himself on the couch, and ignored all of my efforts to make him leave, so I finally gave up and sat primly on the other side of the couch, arms folded, concentrating on keeping my angry face on. I would not laugh at his jokes. I would not be moved by his attempts to make me smile. I was determined to hold a grudge for at least fifteen consecutive minutes.
When Obama won Ohio Seth suddenly said, “So you wanna talk about it?”
My mouth opened and closed but no sound came out for a minute. I eventually squeaked out a very feeble “Talk about what?”
“Things being in limbo.”
Remembering that I was supposed to be very angry, I said, “I’m not in limbo. I’m in a very serious relationship right now.”
He looked amused. “Really. With who?”
“With Chris. So since last week, things have suddenly gotten serious.” He watched me, eyes merry.
“Yes. We spent Wednesday and Thursday and Saturday night together." Conflicting emotions washed over me. Have some self-respect. Let him know you're off the market. OFF THE MARKET. Come on Cordy, he can't just wave his magic crush fingers and make you lose all resolve. Make him work for it. Why do you even want him if he doesn't care enough to make an effort?
On the other hand... "But... If there's... If there's something you wanted to tell me... I could - I can still listen. I mean, friends - they listen to each other, so - if you wanted to talk to me..." Oh sweet merciful heaven, MAKE IT STOP.
He sat back on the couch, smirking. “I’d better not. Seeing as how you’re in such a serious relationship.”
Shoot. Shoot. Shoot.
He picked up his keys. “I’m gonna go.” He was obviously waiting for me to protest.
"Whatever. Do what you want." I tried for airily dismissive but I think I landed somewhere closer to she-doth-protest-too-much.
He grinned and moved over on the couch next to me, taking the pillow I was hugging protectively out of my hands. “It’s too bad.”
“What?” I grabbed for the pillow, but he tossed it on the chair.
He moved closer and put one hand in my hair, gathering it up, then moving it off of my shoulder. “I had all of these things I wanted to tell you, but I wouldn’t want to cross a line.”
I blinked. Was I hallucinating, or was he actually making a move? I could feel my eyes getting wider by the second. “Lines are important,” I said faintly.
The teasing smile disappeared, replaced by a more tender version, and I saw him swallow, which was strangely touching, because - was he nervous? He leaned in even closer.
We were sitting there looking at each other, and I was sure he was going to kiss me, or at the very least I was going to kiss him, but at the last possible second he swerved left and dropped a kiss on my cheek, and murmured "'Night Cordy."
It took me a minute to catch up, and I mumbled a confused, "OK," instead of good night.
He looked newly amused by my obvious befuddlement. "OK," he agreed with me, nodding and just barely holding back a laugh as he stood to go. How embarrassing.
I muttered, “I hate you,” and threw another pillow at him.
“You don’t hate me.”
“Right. You hate me, and you’re in a very serious relationship, I keep forgetting.”
A mental image of Chris flashed into my head, and I was suddenly ready for him to leave. “You know what? I’m tired. Go home.”
He looked surprised, but for once he obeyed me, and after making me promise to call him the next day, he left.
I sat back down on the couch, feeling discombobulated and happy and confused and guilty, all at the same time, and two days later, I feel exactly the same.