Begin back at Part One.
I remember the drive back to Rogers being euphoric. I smiled the entire way. The sun was beautiful and the scenery was incredible and the road was perfect. I enjoyed taking each bend on the road, and speeding up on the straight-ways. Every song that came on the radio was playing for me.
“I’m so in like with you.”
What does that even mean? What does it mean that he’s in like with me? Does he mean it? Does that mean love? Do I ever see him again? Do we talk on the phone? Does he just pretend this never happened and hook up with Jenna again and keep living his life? Do I REALLY want to go back to Canada?
I’m so in like with you.
I had two entire weeks left of clinicals. I had to get all of my hours, all of my skills checked off, and all of my signatures so that I could “graduate” and get my diploma. I was offered a position as a paid tech at the hospital, and regrettedly informed them that I wouldn’t be staying in Arkansas. I started packing up my apartment. I sold everything. Honestly, I don’t even know who took the bed, couch, television. I put everything that mattered to me into the back of my jeep.
Brock and I had been texting and calling non-stop since we parted ways. A few days after I got back from Blackrock, Brock told me that he had spoken to Jenna. He recounted the story of how he went to her home and told her in person. He told me of her reaction. I was simultaneously elated at his honesty, his integrity, and the apparent truth of his “so in like” for me; and yet I was absolutely distraught that I had caused her pain.
Again and again, Brock assured me that their relationship was over, and that I wasn’t the cause. It was small comfort, but I tried to believe him. We talked for hours upon hours. I don’t know what about – I just remember that I enjoyed every second hearing his voice, learning about him, knowing him more. And then the last day of clinicals came, and I was finished. One more night in Rogers, and I would leave for Canada in the morning. My route was planned and my path was set. Until another flash of fateful words, “Come visit me instead.”
“What do you mean, come visit me instead?”
“Come here – to North Carolina. Just for a week. Come and spend some time on the lake, and meet my friends and let me show you a good time. I need to see you again. Just… just come and visit me before you go back to Canada. I’ll buy your ticket.”
And so, the next morning, I left my jeep in the airport parking deck and I boarded a plane to Charlotte. The only “available” flight dates had me staying with Brock for a full two weeks – although, in retrospect, I think that might have been a very clever ruse.
Without thinking overmuch about it, I rode an airplane Eastward towards a man I just hardly knew and had spent what was really only a few moments with a few weeks before. The longer I was on the plane, the more nervous I got. What if there is no spark this time? What if he’s not as amazing as I remember? What if he realizes he doesn’t like me at all?
The plane landed, and I felt like I was going to puke. Legitimately, I was going to puke all over him; that would be totally attractive, that would seal the deal for sure. My overactive brain started on about the, “MISTAKE, MISTAKE” business again, and I swallowed hard. I exited the aircraft with only my carry-on, and started the long walk to the luggage carousel. I didn’t have a suitcase, but that’s where Brock was waiting for me.
My feet hardly touched the ground. My heart was in my throat. I was light-headed, and I couldn’t follow a thought from one end to the other. I was absolutely… oh. There he is.
And there he was. In all his glory, striding towards me with the biggest grin to ever split a face. Adoration apparent in his eyes, and arms aching to hold me. We were hugging and we were laughing and then he kissed me. A proper kiss. The one that takes your breath away and gives you life in the same moment. He looked me straight in the eyes, deeply, all the way to my soul. “I’m so in like with you.”
The rest of that day felt like a whirlwind. He still had to go to work, so we drove to his home, and then to get a coffee, and then stopped at his place of business. We kissed at every stop light. He let me have his truck and told me how to get back to his place. I spent the rest of the day alone… waiting for him… thinking… allowing myself to ruminate on what would happen next. What WOULD happen next? Oh my gosh, I have no idea how this stuff works. Where do I sleep? Do I sleep with him?? OMG, DO WE HAVE SEX? Is that a thing people do? How long am I supposed to know someone before I have sex with them? DO I EVEN WANT TO HAVE SEX?
If this were real life, I would hit the fast-forward button. I get all squirmy and uncomfortable and squeamish when dealing with this kind of stuff. So let me fast-forward. I wasn’t aware what intimacy could be. I didn’t know how it was possible to feel so loved. Comfortable. Safe. Adored. Desired. And on top of all of those things, on a perfect day, in a perfect moment, I didn’t know how incredible it would be to be held tightly, kissed firmly, and told without hesitation, “I actually love you.”
To be continued.
Take me to PART EIGHT!!!