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“You were right.”
“Right about what?” I asked.
“I do like you. I am interested. I’m just worried.”
I was cautious. Just a few days before I had decided that I was tired of trying, tired of waiting on him to get to where I was.
“Okay. What are you worried about?”
“I’m worry because I don’t know if I’m going to be here next year. I don’t know if it’s right to start something when I may be leaving in May.”
I sighed. “It’s up to you.”
He was agitated. “Don’t say that. It’s not just up to me. What do you want?”
“[Chupo], you’ve known what I want from the beginning. But I don’t know what to think because you’ve been so back and forth over everything. We’ve been going out…on things that look like dates. What do you want to do?”
After a moment of quiet, he spoke.
“Move forward. See where this goes. I want to try this.”
(Oh my WORD, Liz! Wake up! Listen to the language he’s using. “TRY”?)
“If you are sure that’s what you really want, then we can.”
And that was that. Happy smooshy lovey-wovey days loomed ahead of us. It seemed like maybe he really did want to pursue a relationship with me.
Things seemed good. I was shocked, but thrilled, and just went with the flow. I still didn’t have a lick of commitment out of the boy, but I had the willingness to try and see where this would go.
Where it went, through ups and downs, was the month of April.
When I arrived at his house dusk had already settled on the street. There were a few little kids playing in a sprinkler next door and across the street a group of guys sat on their front porch, blank looks on their faces and cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. The front door stood open and I could see the blue glow of the TV through the screen. I knocked and let myself in. There weren’t any lights on, only the TV. And he was watching Van Wilder of all things.
We sat there for a good while, talking about nothing. Then he turned to me suddenly.
“What’re we going to do when I leave?”
“What do you want to do?”
“I want to date you.”
“You’re going back. This is your decision.”
“I don’t have any choice,” he snapped.
“I understand that, and I think that I could wait the year or so that it’s going to take you to get back here…”
“Well, what’s the problem?”
“I don’t know if you can.”
We were both quiet for a really long time. There was some disgusting surgery show on TV, lighting up the room, and despite my usual aversion to those types of things, I sat staring at the screen. Waiting.
“I want to go ahead. When I get back home I’m not going to forget about you. I couldn’t ever do that.”
He kept his arm around me for a long time and asked about meeting my dad. Asked if he’d pass the test.
“I think so,” I answered.
After a few more hours of sitting there, I told him I had to get back and get some homework done. As we walked to the door he took me by the arm and turned me around.
He leaned in to kiss me and I backed away slightly. I shook my head and I think he knew.
I couldn’t let it be that yet. I had waited 20 years to be kissed.
I had to get some real commitment before I let him be that guy.
Up to that point, the only thing he had shown any real commitment to was being a doo-doo head. I should have never expected otherwise…