Missed part one? Find it here!
I admit to you that when January rolled around, a major incentive to actually purchase a plane ticket to Texas was when Rizob2 said he’d like to make the 5 hour drive from his hometown to Dallas to spend the weekend with us, that is, if he was invited. I told him not to be silly and that I would love to see him. I think I did a back-flip off of my computer chair.
It was during this time that my grandmother had started living with us. Prior to Christmas, she had broken her hip and was a poor candidate for surgery. It was performed under spinal block due to her terrible COPD. Something happened to her sciatic nerve in the process and she was left unable to walk. When I wasn’t at work, I was with her. Getting her medicine, water, food, carrying her to the toilet, giving her sponge baths. She always asked me what was going on in my life. One day I mentioned that I was excited to meet someone on my trip to Texas. She stopped me and asked me “What’s his name?” I felt my cheeks get hot as I said “Robert.” My grandma looked me in the eye and grinned from ear to ear. “You’re going to marry that boy, aren’t you?” I laughed it off. “Grandma, don’t be silly. I’m excited to meet him because he’s a nice guy and a dear friend and I’m excited to spend time with him. Besides, don’t you think it would be a little foolish of me to want to marry someone that lives so far away?” She rolled her eyes at me and said “I know that look, honey. You’ve got it bad.”
A short time later, days, weeks, I don’t recall exactly how long. I’d had a particularly bad day. I tromped downstairs to my room and I curled up on my bed and hugged my pillow. Grandma was right. I had it bad for this guy. The last time I had it so bad for someone, it blew up in my face. I wasn’t sure I could handle that again. I’d made such forward strides in my life. I couldn’t bear to backpedal anymore. I had finally started pulling myself together and here comes rizob2 threatening to knock me off my feet? I started to cry. My denial fell down in curtains all around me and all I could do was hope that I’d be able to hold it together when I finally got to see him, touch him, interact with him. I turned on Garden State and cried myself to sleep.
At this point all my friends and family had reached the conclusion that Robert and I were already a couple. Despite my repeated attempts to cease and desist all rumours to the contrary. They would not go away. My friends would joke “Ashleigh, why don’t you just move to Texas, already?” Why couldn’t they accept that I was just very good friends with this guy? My denial was still, evidently, impaired. I decided I was going to make Robert a mix cd, as a belated Christmas gift. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him it was actually a belated Valentine’s day gift. Right, because THAT would be embarrassing. The track list to the CD was the following
If She Wants Me – Belle and Sebastian
Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
Existentialism on Prom Night – Straylight Run
Fair – Remy Zero
Chariots Rise – Lizzie West
Dice – Finlay Quaye and Beth Orten
Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
The Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice
Blue Eyes – Cary Brothers
Into Dust – Mazzy Star
It’s Good to be in Love – Frou Frou
Maybe I’m Amazed – Jem
In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
Orange Sky – Alexi Murdoch
Playground Love – Air
Red Right Ankle – The Decemberists.
After I’d finished the mix I’d so carefully prepared, I came to two realizations. 1, I really liked the music featured on The OC. and 2, as my Grandma told me, I had it bad. BAD. How could I give this CD to this guy when he probably doesn’t even like me better than a friend? How could I set myself up like that? And then I stopped myself and realized that this guy knew me better than my best friends. He knows all my past transgressions with boys. He knows about my struggle with depression and self-worth. He knows I look forward to our conversations. He sent me a package for Christmas full of his own mix CDs, a stuffed owl from his alma mater, and about 4 bottles of bubble bath from Bath and Body Works because he also knows I prefer bubble baths to showers. I decided there was something here. Whether it was romantic love or a deep friendship, I didn’t quite know. But I was determined to find out.
Tags: My story