It’s so hard for me to wrap words around this time of my life. I was confused and I felt like I was going crazy. After all, the decision to split up had been a MUTUAL one, but I suddenly felt like I’d been dumped for no good reason. I felt like Chris just wanted to be “free” so that he could make sure there weren’t any other girls in his new town that he wanted to date before he committed to me for life. (Um, had I not been the one doing much of the same before he moved down there?)
So. This new girl. She was a friend of mine from my church, and I’d watched Chris answer her phone calls like a giddy school boy while he was standing in my kitchen a couple of times, so I already knew something was up. Chris and I even talked about it one day over lunch. He wanted to “get it out in the open”. I ate my food but lost my appetite as he explained that he wanted me to “hear it from him” before it got to me through the grapevine. He liked her. She liked him.
I smiled and told him that I was perfectly OK with it, that I wanted him to be happy, and that, actually, I thought I might be starting to like so-and-so as well… it was all just a bunch of lies. I was screaming inside. How could he be moving on to other girls when just 4 weeks earlier I had been planning our wedding? I had already bought the dress and reserved the location. Now, Chris was sitting across the table telling me about someone else. What else can I say? My heart was devastated.
This new girl even stopped me after church one Sunday and told me that she liked him, but she wanted to make sure it was OK with me first. I told her it was fine, and really, I didn’t have a place to say otherwise. She really was sweet and kind, I had nothing against her personally at all. I understood how Chris could be hard to resist when he set his sights on someone. Chris was no longer mine. I had no claim on him anymore. Yet… somehow I still felt betrayed.
Two months after we broke up, I went to Reno to spend two weeks with family and just get away from all the drama for a bit. It was a much needed trip. I reconnected with my old friends, and let myself be carefree for awhile. I ended up spending a lot of time with Jesse, Chris’ cousin, while I was there. I was incredibly wounded by Chris, and Jesse was just… well, Jesse. The same Jesse that I had always known and loved. He took me out to dinners, out to breakfast. We talked for hours and he read my poetry, listened to my songs. He played me his. We hiked around, drove out into the middle of nowhere and just…talked. We would climb up onto the roof of his house at night and watch the stars and talk some more.
Jesse was still the perfect gentleman- never making a move or telling me directly how he felt about me. It was still way too early. I’d only been single for two months. Jesse seemed to have known that it was way too soon, and he had the self-control and respect to wait. To not rush into things. To give me my space. I am still so thankful for him honoring me like that.
We never talked about how we felt for one another, but Jesse did call Chris at some point and told Chris that he liked me. Chris gave Jesse the ‘go ahead’. I was clueless to all of this, and was still just wondering if I was imagining that Jesse had feelings for me, or if he really in fact did. So Jesse and I hung out for a couple of weeks in Reno.
And I fell for him again.
edited to add:
***to be continued…*** he he. Sorry, Erin…