We've finally made it. We are no longer just friends. We are lovers, and I'm loving every minute of it.
It had been the first time since sophomore year that I was completely in my right to pursue you. I was so happy that the drama from the last six months was subsiding, and the opportunity to share my feelings for you without shame became available. I was thinking about you all the time. That's not really a hyperbole, either. When I woke up, when I was about to sleep, when I was eating, in class, or during idle time, you were constantly on my mind. I think it was a week after your visit to my university that I realized what was going on. I was in love with you.
I knew that I had that feeling some months before, but I had deprogrammed that when I tried to get over you. The first time I realized it, I was sad because I thought that it would always be an unrequited love. Now, however, I was actually elated to accept my love for you. I could think the words to myself and not question it. So I had fallen in love, and you and I were still only in the talking phase. I wanted to tell you, even though I knew you didn't feel as intensely for me. I just couldn't keep my feelings inside anymore. I thought it might be better to orchestrate my confession than to accidentally let it out one day.
However, there was the problem of actually saying it to your face. That's the way people say you're supposed to do it. Yet, the thought of saying it made me feel like I couldn't breathe. I was trying to work towards saying it to myself out loud. Eventually it was easy, but visualizing you there as I said it still made me feel faint. It wasn't that I was afraid of you knowing. It was a fear that after I said it, you would run. I personally understand that people don't fall in love at the same time, and my intentions for telling you weren't to make you say it back. I wanted you to understand how serious I was about you and I being together. If you didn't feel the same way, but still liked me, I would be fine. I actually experienced pressure saying "I love you" to Jason, so I didn't want to put you through the same thing.
The issue was expressing all that when I confessed. I already knew I would be nervous, so my mouth would get dry, and there would be a limited amount of time that my ability to speak would be accessible. I could just imagine myself bumbling over my words, and it killed me inside. I'm such a perfectionist when it come to expressing my emotions. After a while, I started making plan B: my embarrassingly long confession letter. That letter ended up being 11 pages long. It was basically the condensed version of this story up to this point. Looking back, giving you that letter would have been ten times more embarrassing than just saying it. It would have been documented evidence of my gushy, lame side, that you could potentially show anyone if you flat out thought I was clingy, and that we needed to stop talking. But then, in the middle of November, it seemed life the perfect solution. Writing would allow me to put my feelings on paper more eloquently.
I wanted to give it to you the next time I saw you, as I was hoping that we could hang over my Christmas break. Well, when I began my break, plan B soon looked as though it was going to fail, for two reasons. One, my chances of meeting up with you were looking slim to none. Two, I was getting anxious. I knew that everything was time sensitive. If I didn't tell you when I had the opportunity, somehow some girl would pop out of the sky and re-complicate this whole situation. Since I now loved you, it would be a lot worse on me emotionally, and I'd already had one taste of how that could be.
It even started seeming like I was being divinely prompted to say something. You would post statuses on Facebook about confessions sometimes, and I would ignore them so I wouldn't be tempted to just say it. It got closer to Christmas, and I started feeling like time was running out. Then you sent me a mass text that said something like, "2011 is almost over. Confess one thing you always wanted to tell me!" I replied back saying that my confession was too long for a text message, and that I would tell you before the year was over. I don't know why, but two days later, I got the most anxious about waiting to say something that I had since the beginning. I realized that day that I was going to tell you soon. Sure enough, I woke up the next day and told myself, "I'm telling him."
All day long I had this determined temperament. I wasn't freaking out. I just kept reminding myself that I was in control and that everything was going to be fine. Defusing the intensity and importance that moment had for me was in my execution of plan C: just text the damn words. I didn't want to do it like that, because it lost feeling like that, but I needed to do it quickly and concisely, and text was my best choice. I waited until the evening when I knew you would be available to chat. I texted you, "It's confession time!" without greeting you.
"O.o *Turns on Usher's Confessions*"
"This is serious!"
"Like last time...?"
I typed out my reply and I did feel a hint of fear staring at it. I had to do this if anything was going to change. I just wanted more than anything for you not to run from me. Just please don't run.
"Yeah. I'm about 100 percent sure that I'm falling in love with you."
I pressed send and laid my phone screen down.
I waited almost 10 minutes for you to reply. Every minute was more horrible than the one before. I was okay for the first two minutes, but at minute three, I was screaming in my head, "What the hell have I done?!" At minute five, I felt like I was going to throw up, and at minute eight, I could feel my eyes tearing up. You finally texted me back and said something like, "I wish we could see each other more. I like you a lot."
I breathed the deepest sigh of relief. You weren't running. You weren't saying "I love you", either, but that hadn't been what I was fishing for. You accepted my feelings and that was the most amazing feeling ever. The next couple weeks after that felt so good. We were talking even more frequently. I think one week, we talked five times instead of the usual three. And our convos were stretching across the entire day, and into the late night. We stayed close to each other through December and January. I wasn't really pressed about us becoming an official couple because I figured it would all happen in good time. One thing I had learned throughout this whole experience with you was that I didn't need to press you for answers. Being patient was much more effective.
Well...most of the time.
As we entered 2012, I became anxious again. I knew that one of the main reasons why we weren't boyfriend and girlfriend was because of the distance. I lived on campus at my college while you lived back home and took classes. Neither of us had our own car, so there was no guaranteed way to see each other. And, for me personally, the physical aspect of the relationship was important. However, I was also sure enough about my feelings for you that it didn't matter if we couldn't see each other but once or twice a month until the semester was over. If you would have me, I wanted to be your girl.
We didn't really talk about the nature of our relationship, and I wondered if the reason we hadn't committed yet was because you had other girls you were considering. I didn't want to press the topic so much, because it was your own business who you talked to, but I would have days when my mind was reeling thinking about you liking someone more than me. One day, I had a mini freak out and texted you.
"Hey can I ask you something?"
"What do you consider our relationship to be? Because I really don't have a name for it."
"I really don't know what to call it..."
"Okay, easier question. What do you want it to be?"
"As in what?"
"-.- Bf and gf. Why such a random set of questions...?"
I realized then that I was becoming a little too interrogative, and I backed off. I had to believe that you meant that, and that you wouldn't play with me. It was fine again for a few more weeks. We were flirting and I was still trying to be patient and rational. Everything is fine. He likes you. You'll be together in time. I had to keep my faith in you, my amazing man. Maybe I hadn't been anxious for no reason. The last year had proven how well my instincts were in tune with my romantic life. I guess I just didn't want to see it coming. It was now the beginning of March. Everything was normal that Tuesday evening. We were texting as usual, just joking around. Then everything froze.
"Lol haha...But um..."
"There's no easy way to say this...I have a gf as of 30 minutes ago...."
"It was completely random..."
"I could say I understand but I don't, and I could say I'm happy for you, but that's a bit of a lie lol. I can say that I respect your decision."
"...Why do I feel like you're flipping me off through the phone?"
"I'm not trying to. I'm hurt, but if you pick her, that's just it. I still want you to be happy and care about you."
"I hate this..."
"I was thinking, 'Maybe I shouldn't tell Camera.'"
"No, I'm glad you did! I would have been mad if I found out about it on my own lol."
And then...we just continued our conversation as if nothing had happened.
Inside, I wanted to cry, I wanted to yell at you, I even wanted to tell you why you should take me instead. None of that showed on my face. I wasn't holding it in either. I welcomed my emotions to burst out. I thought it would be healthier to just go ahead and be irrational for a few minutes. But I couldn't cry. I couldn't yell. I just felt absolutely numb and lost, and I don't know why. I went to sleep that night and woke up feeling the exact same way. I might get mini bubbling-ups of anger but nothing would manifest in the physical aspect. I walked through my long Wednesday schedule not being able to express any emotion. I couldn't just brush this off. I texted you and asked if I could call you to talk.
We were supposed to talk that night, but you rescheduled for the next morning before you had to go to school. That was probably for the best, because after a long day running around campus for class and the gym, I might have exploded everything on my mind, and we might not be talking any longer. The point of the call, besides expressing my thoughts and feelings on this new development, was the hope that talking to you might get rid of the numbness that was overtaking me. I just wanted to be able to feel normal again.
Thursday morning, I woke up at 8 am, even though my only class that day wasn't until 5:30 in the evening. I texted you to make sure you were ready to talk, and you had me wait until you called me a little after 9. When I answered, I felt like it was going to be an encore performance of the first phone call we had, but it was actually alright. We started talking about this convo we had earlier in the week about rappers, which loosened me up a bit. Then you asked what it was I wanted to talk about. I immediately went into "Um, I...dang it!" mode like last time, and I heard you laughing at me again. However, I regained control quickly and started to explain my reaction to you getting a girlfriend. I wanted you to know that I wasn't mad, I just wasn't absolutely thrilled you decided to get a girlfriend. You told me it wasn't premeditated, and that it was just one of those, "I'll-give-it-a-try" sort of things.
If I'm being completely honest, that wasn't the best answer for me, but I was happy you were opening up to me, and letting me know you didn't like me any less. You were also asking me not to start crying on the phone, because you couldn't handle "lady tears." I laughed and said I would probably do it later, and you said you would know if I did. Eventually our conversation was completely lighthearted and humorous. We laughed together and I wasn't feeling numb anymore. Talking to you, actually hearing your voice, had done so much for me. After talking for about an hour and a half, you had to go to school, so we said goodbye and hung up. Before that though, you made a flirty comment that was not at all innocent. I blushed and didn't really know what to say except, "That's not nice!" and laugh.
After that conversation, I did feel better, but also a little lost with what to do. If I were to follow the rule book, I would have told you we had to be friends, and never respond to any of your flirtatious comments. That's what Camera from a year ago would have said.
This wasn't just a year's worth of talking to you that I would be putting to rest. This was from the point that I realized I liked you. That was about 2 and a half years of my feelings being built up towards you. I couldn't possibly feel content falling back into this same position. The girl who doesn't get picked as the main player, but left on the side line. Was that all I was ever going to amount to? A side line? I'm rational. Rational me said leave. Love isn't rational. When you were flirting with me again, the "in-love" me said, don't you dare stop until you've tried all you can.
I listened to "in-love" me. Not just for you, not just for this relationship, but for myself. I never put myself out there as much as I had for you. I'm not charismatic and outgoing or talkative. I'm an introvert. The one thing that I could take away from this experience is that you helped me reach for something greater. I am not the quiet girl with glasses in ninth grade anymore. I am an eighteen year old woman, who can be wanted and who can do more than she ever thought.
I decided that day that I wasn't giving up on you. So we aren't boyfriend and girlfriend. So what?
We are...what are we?