"Here I am. Preparing to make a liar of myself. I said I wouldn’t add to this thread, but a friend convinced me that she needs to hear what happened.
We met for brunch. I arrived half an hour early, and she arrived twenty minutes late. I had lots of time to consider what kind of music to listen to on the three hour drive home if she decided not to show up. Suddenly there she was. Live, in person, for real. Her brother was nice to me. I hope he didn’t notice how much I was shaking when we shook hands. After a couple of minutes of small talk they exchanged the secret signal that said I was ok.
There we were…two fish out of water trying to eat brunch. Somehow we lived through it... I don’t remember the drive home. We got in the car and talked and then we got out of the car... We had dinner at a favorite restaurant. We walked in the park. We threw rocks in the river. I bored her with pictures of my childhood... I showed her my studio and introduced her to our cats.
We talked awkwardly. We stumbled and searched for the right words.
In email and on the phone, she is strong. In person she is delicate. So so delicate. She cried in my arms. She is unsure. Those who came before me were not kind. They used and tainted every word I would use. They wounded and abandoned her. Now she feels she only has herself. Every single word I could use has lost its meaning. I can only hold her hand and earn her trust.
She is friendly, pretty, intelligent, considerate, perceptive, all of the good "I" adjectives apply, and I could go on and on. She is so much more wonderful than I ever expected her to be. (I already had high expectations... which she promptly blew out of the water.)
She has reserved the right to not make up her mind. I can tolerate ambiguity for a time. She needs to heal. Ambiguity is better than losing her.
She says it would be easier if I were ugly and a big jerk. I refuse to live down to that request.
We held hands on the drive back to the airport. It is more than I expected for a first date. I am so smitten. All I can think is "please be gentle with my heart."
She went home.
I’ve bought a ticket to visit her. There have been emotional high and low moments since she was here. Times when the only appropriate thing to do is hold her and let her cry on my shoulder. I’m stuck staring at my hands because I’m 1000 miles away. I’m lost looking for ways to reassure her I am genuine. I adore her from the emotional distance she deems appropriate. I don’t mind.
I sleep with 4 pillows. She bought 4 pillows for my visit. I find solace in 4 pillows. She says pillows are just pillows. I say, let me find comfort in your actions when your words offer uncertainty.
My message to her:
Give yourself time. Time to heal, time to trust, time to decide, time and more time. Give me time my dear. My actions will show you everything I can’t say. You can’t figure this out by thinking. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. There is no magic wand. There is no easy way. Posting questions in these forums won’t bring the answers you need. The hurt people will say run away, protect yourself at all costs. The hopeless romantics will give advice that’s just as reckless in the opposite direction.
You and I, us, we have to find these answers.
-la belle rousse-