It's really hard to have your heart at war with your brain and your need for some modicum of self-respect.
I think I read his email approximately sixteen hundred times that morning before church.
The abject cruelty of his behavior - the fact that he'd had no problem letting me cry myself to sleep over and over again while he rubbed his relationships with other girls in my face - gave me serious pause.
Like fifteen seconds of pause, but still.
I want this to be the part where I'm strong and stand up for myself, and say, "It's not OK that you treated me like that. I have serious doubts about your character."
(Hint: This is not that part.)
It turns out that when you've been overdosing on a crush for years and years, the idea of a relationship with said crush object finally becoming an actual POSSIBILITY totally overwhelms the logical part of your brain with fizzy pink bubbles of carbonated sap.
Because it's what I've wanted for so long, with every part of my heart.
(I mean he basically said I'm the ONE. The ONE! Come on. I'm supposed to resist that? Really? How?)
(No, seriously - how??!)
I went to church right after getting that email, my mind mostly blown, and I sat with Chris. Seth came up and sat on the other side of me. I couldn't even look at him, because I knew if I did I'd probably have some kind of seizure.
I could feel him looking at me the whole time. I kept a death grip on Chris' hand. I thought maybe it would give me a little immunity against Seth, who was doing his best to use the power of his magical puppy eyes to break through my force-field of feigned irritation.
It was kinda symbolic - sitting there between the guy I trust, but don't really love, and the guy I love but don't really trust anymore. Symbolic and also incredibly stressful.
I had Chris take me home after the first hour, claiming to be nauseous (TRUE). He dropped me off, clueless about what was going on, then went back for his other meetings. I sat there in the living room totally on edge, waiting for Seth to get there.
He showed up ten minutes later. I opened the door and he was standing there looking upset but hopeful. We both stood there for a minute and then flew at each other.
Um... Wow. Without a doubt the most amazing, passionate kiss I've ever had in my entire life, ever. Ever ever ever. EVER. In fact, I had to pull myself away after a minute or two because it was getting totally out of hand. Embarrassingly, I may have whispered holy crap a couple of times mid-makeout, I can't exactly remember. (Although it does explain why he started laughing.)
After he stopped laughing, there were a few small kisses, then we disentangled. He started to say something, but I cut him off. I told him to sit down and be quiet, so I could finally say my piece.
There was a slightly humiliating ten minute period where I was having some kind of vocal chord problem - I kept trying to make words form, but they wouldn't.
I'd say, "OK, so - " and then I'd cry into my hands for a minute, tell him to shut up when he started to say something, calm myself down, and then start the process all over again. And again. And again.
But I had to at least try to talk to him, to make him understand that even though I was obviously head over heels for him, I was still really hurt and angry.
Because I DO remember that day at Brighton - when he leaned in like he was going to kiss me, then had second thoughts and retreated. And I remember how he spent the rest of the day flirting with some random ski bunny he met on the lift, and how awful it made me feel to realize I would never be the kind of girl he wanted. I remember going home depressed, thinking about how much it hurt, but excusing his behavior because how could I hold it against him when he had no idea?
Except he did.
All in all, probably not the best choice of romantic moments to include in his email. Even if the words near the end made me all swoony.
I wanted to say all of that, but I couldn't get the words out. He was looking at me like he thought my tears were adorable and sweet, and suddenly I got really mad. Because pain isn't adorable. It isn't cute. It wasn't o.k.
I surprised myself by telling him to leave. "I think you should go."
He looked as shocked to hear it as I was to have said it. "What? Why?!"
"I don't know." Always with the stupid tears. "Maybe I need a few days. Or maybe I just want to mess with your head until you know what it feels like to hurt the way I did."
He didn't want to go - he wanted to stay and talk it out, but I told him I couldn't do it, not right then. I watched him leave, mopey and hurt, and I had to fight against the raging impulse to call him back inside. "Just kidding! Ha ha ha ha ha - aren't I hilarious? With the sending you away? And the acting like I'm mad? Ha! Ha ha ha! So funny!"
But I didn't.
We've barely talked all week, other than random texts and comments on FB. We were talking about going to lunch on Monday, but I bailed. I couldn't do it.
Obviously I'm not going to Georgia. I was so flattered I wasn't thinking straight. Clearly, I'm not ready for that.
I think I need a romantic detox. I need to step away from both of them, and let all of the romantic carbonation drain out of my brain so that I can think clearly. If I have any functioning brain cells left. I'm a little afraid that thousands of them have died over the last few months, starved for oxygen because the pink ones were pushing them around.
I just wish I'd kissed him a few more times before I sent him on his way.
Because when I'm a spinster, I'll probably need those memories to keep me warm at night.