So, in our previous installment, I met my future husband in a band room, exchanged phone numbers, and then turned him down when he called me to ask me out because, in a twist no one saw coming (unless you, I don't know, already know the story or were around when it happened), I was dating someone else at the time. Let's continue, shall we?
After I had called Nate back to reject his date proposal and explain that I was seeing someone, I started feeling guilty. I thought back to the band room and wondered if I was being too friendly or if I should have said something, but at the time I didn't want to seem presumptuous and assume that he was interested when he wasn't and I couldn't find a way to subtly mention that I had a boyfriend (I actually just asked Nate about this, and he said that there was a connection, and whether it was romantic or not, he wanted to get to know me better, so he might still have called me up if he had known I was dating someone). If Nate hadn't been Catholic, it would have been much easier to simply put him out of my mind, but he was (I think I had mentioned something about it being Lent), and he was a musician, and I definitely found him attractive, so I had hit this trifecta that wouldn't stop niggling me.
I went to the boyfriend's dorm room to hang out, and I had to clear my conscience. "C., I have a confession to make. I went to Falls Church and there was this guy who was a band director in the county and I exchanged numbers to network and he called me up and asked me out and I just feel like maybe I was leading him on and...well, I just thought I should tell you."
C. looked at me. "Well, did you say yes?"
"No, of course not."
"Well, why not?"
"...because we're dating?"
"That means you can't go on dates with other people?"
"Uh, I thought so..."
And so started the beginning of the end of that relationship. We didn't break up right then, but I was miffed and relieved enough that I called Nate again and asked if he wanted to go, as friends, to see Falls Church and Stuart perform at District Festival on Friday (we'd both been planning to go anyway).
I saw Nate the next evening at the pyramid concert and worked out that we would meet at a library near one of my schools so we could carpool. However, Friday was rainy, and in rush hour weekend traffic it took us over an hour to drive about 10 miles. To be stuck in a tiny space for an hour with a person you're trying to forget you like is kind of torturous.
We ended up missing Stuart's performance entirely, but got there just as Falls Church was getting off the bus and stayed long enough to hear at least one other group and see the ratings get posted. We were famished afterwards and went to a place called Valentino's to get some cheese pizza before heading back to the library to drop him off, where he lent me a CD with Johan de Meij's "Lord of the Rings" symphony (another random side story: I waited in the library reading a Fulton Sheen book - Life of Christ - which I checked out and, as of now, still haven't returned because I forgot and it kept getting boxed up and moved around. I'm kind of terrified as to how much the fine is going to be since it's been, oh, over 5 years).
Over the next few weeks, we hung out as friends, chatted, and exchanged emails (mostly because Nate was on a modified calendar at the time and took advantage of his 3 week long spring break to visit his brother in England). At some point, C. and I broke up, which was a bummer but clearly not unexpected. Nate finally got back and said that he had got something for me, so in early April we met up again. I picked him up at his apartment and we went to one of his school's playgrounds and goofed around, and he gave me 2 first editions Fulton Sheen books - World's First Love and The Moral Universe - that he'd picked up in a used book store in England for me (apparently we also went to Auld Shebeen's to eat. I have no recollection of this, but that's what he says). We finally made our way back to his apartment complex and we sat, talking in my car in the parking lot, when Nate looked at me and got very serious.
"I can see us having kids, growing old together, sitting on a bench watching the sunset..."
I was very flustered. I stammered out something about how I had just gotten out of a relationship and didn't want to just jump back into one and how I was going to be graduating and didn't know where I'd be getting a job. Truthfully, I was more than a little weirded out, but a small part of me said, "It could work..."
Next time, on Googly-Eyed Storytime: how does Nate handle Dorothy's less than enthusiastic response? Does Dorothy change her mind about dating? Why is this story taking so freaking long? You'll find out next time! Maybe!