Continued from Romeo: Part 1.
That night, I went to meet him and his friends at a bar and had yet another night full of more mutual connection and banter and attraction than I thought possible. I watched him tell story after story while managing to effortlessly garner the attention of half the room in doing so and thought I had finally found someone who I would happily relinquish the spotlight to. He told me later that he felt smart just keeping up with my conversation and laughing at my jokes and that he knew he was in too deep when he was completely ignoring all the friends he had come to town to see so that he could spend the entire night in conversation with a girl that at that time he was pretty sure he would never see again.
I found myself completely wrapped up in this guy and could tell that he 100% felt the same way, but I was terrified to admit it to myself because long-distance relationships are stupid and destined to fail… right? Plus who said anything about relationship? I knew his type… he was just looking to get some ass while out of town… right?
Pause–> Update 9/10/16: He was. He absolutely was. Play –>
Once everyone started heading home, his friend invited me back to their hotel to drink beer with them and three other guys from the wedding party at their hotel pool.
“Umm, that’s how girls end up on the news. Get real.” I laughed off his invitation.
“Yeah,” Romeo said trying to hide his disappointment, “She’s clearly not that type of girl.”
Yes I am. But whatever – I know how to play this game.
He walked me to my car and looked like he was tiptoeing the line between hopeful and downtrodden, “So tomorrow you have to host a baby shower at 1:00, and I have wedding festivities starting at 4:00,” he said, “those will go probably till at least midnight, but I feel like I have to see you again.”
“Here it is,” I thought to myself. “This is the moment where he says that we should meet up after the wedding tomorrow. Out of town hookup, here we come. Guys this attractive and witty and intelligent and charming could never actually be in to dating you; you’re such an idi…”
“Can I take you to breakfast?” he asked, grabbing my hand and pulling me into him. “I know I’d have to wake up in like six hours to do it, but I want to see you when we can actually talk and not just after we’ve both been drinking all night.”
My heart flipped and I know the confusion on my face alarmed him, but I must have squeaked out a yes because I remember his face lighting up right before he lifted my chin to kiss me. It was a good kiss – one of my favorites on record – his lips were soft but they were pressed hard up against mine like it was taking all of his concentration to not turn it into more than a goodnight kiss.
The next day, breakfast lasted five hours. We couldn’t get enough of each other, and I left that date feeling like he and I had been friends our entire lives. The original plan was that he would take me back to my car so I could drive to the baby shower, but when time came for us to leave, I couldn’t tear myself away from him. “If you want you could just take me straight to the shower and I’ll find a ride to my car after. It would give us about 15 more minutes here,” I suggested somewhat nervously, “and, you know, another 15 minutes in the car.”
His smile said everything. I swear I could hear both of our hearts skip a beat.
He dropped me off at the baby shower I was helping to host at exactly 12:59. Later that night, he left the wedding he was attending pretty much as soon as toasts were given to come see me. “I was just texting you the entire time anyway,” he said, “I’d much rather actually get to be with you.”
We sat on my couch for hours, just talking, with legs crossed over each other so that our faces were inches apart and our hands were free to find little trailing places on smalls of backs, and soft forearms, and where hairlines met skin. I was drunk just off his presence.
He still has that effect on me.
That’s when he dropped a bit of a bomb – he had told me that he lived in a city three hours away, and yes, that’s where his house was, but his fourteen month pilot training was in a city that was another three hours in the opposite direction from me and would be the start of his 100+ hour work weeks.
“Well, that’s less than ideal,” I said, thinking how we would have to take advantage of all the time we had before he left for training, “When do you start?”
“Thursday,” he hesitantly replied as if he was unwillingly slapping me across the face.
“But we can meet at my house on weekends. And Skype every night. And… and… it’s only a year?” he said, one part comforting me and one part anxious of how I would reply.
“It’s only a year,” I answered. I could do anything for a year. I had been waiting my entire life for this guy; what was a year?
In response, he kissed me. Hard. But not like he had the night before; this time he pulled me in so that I was no longer just facing him, but in his lap with my legs wrapped around his waist.
“What is wrong with me,” he self-consciously laughed, “I like you so much that I’m trembling,” he pointed out while trying to take off my shirt.
After an adult slumber party that was way better than anyone has business having for a first time go ’round, he pulled me onto his chest and made me pinky swear to try to stay awake as long as I could so that we could spend as much time talking before he had to leave in the morning. Neither of us for a second felt like we were complicit in a one night stand. It was the first of many promises that for “only a year” we would make this work. The next morning as he left town, I had a split second where I thought “You are an IDIOT, this guy just played you like a fiddle. You are never going to see him again.” Minutes later, my phone buzzed with a text.
Is it weird to say I miss you already?
My heart swelled so full I thought I might actually throw up from the butterflies.
It’s only a year. We can do anything for a year.
To be continued in Romeo Part 3.