WANTING MORE THAN SIDE HUGS
I wanted to write the story of how Blake & I met & ultimately how our dating relationship started. It’s kind of a long story, so I’ve split it into parts– this is part 3.
When Elizabeth visited the next month, I spent more time with her than Blake did. She was thinking about transferring, so I ate with her in the cafeteria, gave her a tour of the campus, & sat with her through a guest lecture. They broke up at the end of the weekend before she headed back to A&M.
Our group had a pretty solid dining routine—Sharky’s burritos on Mondays, Taco Tuesday at Rosa’s, & Chick Fil A before small group on Wednesdays. We were either on a Sonic run or on our way to one of these fine dining establishments when I finally got brave enough to tell him I thought he was scared of commitment, which is why he was breaking up with Elizabeth every time she visited, & he needed to figure out what he wanted. Our relationship remained on the friendship side, but he wasn’t acting like he had a girlfriend anymore. I still hadn’t owned up to thinking of him as anything more than a friend, but he would have had to be a knucklehead not to pick up on it all. We were playing sand volleyball one afternoon, & he picked me up to keep me from getting the ball, & there it was—contact—or at least, more contact than the usual good-girl-good-boy-side-hug. I liked him, & it seemed like he liked me. We went on one date. An innocent date that could have easily been a group hangout, except it was just the two of us. We went to the movies & saw Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium & ate at Spaghetti Warehouse—nothing says a fancy date like the Abilene mall! We might have hugged, but the only thing that really said date about this was that he paid for it.
His dorm was on the first floor, with a window opening outside. We weren’t allowed in each other’s dorms, but Ramie & I would stop by the guys’ window to chat, & we only snuck in to watch a movie once. We were very dramatic about the whole thing, & it’s embarrassing to think about now. I was talking to Blake at his window one day, & I saw his picture of Elizabeth was still propped by his bed. I asked if they were still talking, & when he said yes, it hit me in an unexpected way. Blake & I weren’t dating. We had gone on one date, but it really was more like two friends hanging out. We had never held hands or kissed—& still, I felt a little betrayed. I didn’t exactly have the right to feel this way, & Blake wasn’t technically doing anything wrong. He was charming two girls while keeping us both at a distance, but I was starting to realize I wasn’t okay with it anymore.
I’m an internal processor, so when I couldn’t shake the uneasiness from my mind, I drove to Starbucks on the other side of town, & I read, journaled & prayed. These are the three things that bring me peace & make me brave 100% of the time. Then I drove to Blake’s dorm, & texted him to come to the car. I told him it was okay that he didn’t know who he wanted to choose, but that I couldn’t handle the competition anymore. My voice was shaking as I voiced every word, & I couldn’t meet his face but instead, looked in front of me at a brick wall. I told him I couldn’t handle just being friends, either, & that we shouldn’t talk anymore until he knew what he wanted. Without a word, he got out of the car & went back inside. I sat in the car for at least half an hour & cried.