But we all know that love is blind, and not in the I'll-just-close-my-eyes-while-I-kiss-him kind. Love is blind in that it sees nothing around but love. And so we were slowly seeing nothing around us but love.
We were cautious at first, setting up rules and boundaries. We were never to spend the night in each others bedrooms, regardless of how convenient that might be. We were not going to be girlfriend-boyfriend because this was not going to get serious. We were not going to ruin our friendship just because we were lustful toward one another. We were going to take it easy and let ourselves stumble around a bit, but nothing would come of this and so we were to have no hope.
We tried so hard to keep things simple. And then we went our own ways for Christmas vacation.
Who were we kidding? We had been apart for just 1 day when I texted him. I had been staring at this note for hours, deciding what to do. But really, who were we kidding? I was walking through the busy stores with my mom, looking for last minute gifts, when I pulled out his note from my pocket for the last time and decided to text him. We were casual and funny. Things were light. But we continued to text throughout the day. And the next day. And the day after that. And he ended up calling me on Christmas. And he invited me to his house a couple of days after Christmas. I freaked out. I hesitated. But I had nothing to do so I said "yes" as long as Travis could come with me. And of course, he said "yes".
I met Jon's family many times. I met them briefly at Graduation because they knew we were moving in together after school. I met them at our apartment when they came by to see our place. I met them on the holidays that he was too lazy to drive to MA for. So I wasn't worried about meeting his family. I was worried about meeting his family as a potential "mate". I was sure that he said something to his family since he invited me to stay overnight after Christmas. And what would they think? Would they think we crossed the line? Would they think we were being foolish? Or would they see the romance in the situation? Would they see the blush when I looked at him and he looked back? Would they notice how carefully we suddenly moved around one another?
But they barely skipped a beat. Jon's mom welcomes me with open arms, holding me just a second too long, letting me know that she was happy with our decision (I may have imagined this part). His sister said "hey" like we had been friends for a lifetime. His younger brother continued playing on the computer in the living room like we were too good of friends to bother and say hello to (I may be misinterpreting a bit here). I instantly felt at ease and welcomed.
Jon and I went out with his friends and sister (his younger brother wasn't old enough to go to bars). Penny, Jon's sister, and I giggled and chatted like we were old friends. Jon's friends and I got along easy.
And then the awkward crept in. Because when things are going well, you know that something awkward or unthinkable is waiting just around the corner. Jon's fling (I didn't know it was her at the time), was at the bar. She and her friends chose this place to hang out because, I'm guessing, she thought she could run into Jon. Her friend approached Jon and took him aside for a conversation. Penny and I laughed it off and continued to play pool. After we left, Jon didn't seem to worry much and so I let things go. It was months later that I found out that she was upset. His fling did not consider Jon a fling. She considered what they had more than he understood. He told her he wasn't ready for a relationship and she took it as a challenge. What girl doesn't love a challenge?
In any case, we went back to the King household and decided to call it a night. Jon and I retreated to the basement to exchange gifts. I was prepared. I spent the past week printing and putting together pictures into a frame. I thought it was thoughtful. It showed I cared. It showed that I knew that we were more than friends but didn't cross the line to say that we were much more. It was the perfect gift. Jon loved it. I was sure he understood that it meant that I appreciated him, but I didn't want things to move too quickly. I was sure he knew that our "complication" was just something we both had to get over and move on from one day without endangering our friendship.
And then he gave me this.
It's a diamond necklace. That he spent hours picking out. That he asked his sister to help him with. I was sure he just didn't get it.
I sat there silently, willing tears not to come. I was succeeding, although I didn't know how much longer I could pull it off. I could see the expression in his face changing from a smile to an inquisition. I tried to think about what my face must look like. A ghost? Was I horrified that he gave me a diamond necklace when we weren't anything serious? Was I terrified of taking our relationship to something serious? Did I want this to be more serious? I felt my heart speed up. I saw his inquisition change to a horrified look. I had to find my voice. I had to find something to say.
"I love it". But he could see right through it. I saw his expression change to sadness. How could he be sad? How could I make him sad? He just gave me the most romantic, gorgeous gift I've received and I was making him feel sad? What was wrong with me? What did I expect?
I knew what I expected. I expected nothing. Or a box of chocolates. I expected a movie. I expected something thoughtless, like I've received for years prior to this Christmas. I didn't expect this.
I did my best to show him that I loved it and quickly put the necklace away. I felt the eyes on me, waiting for me to ask him to put it on but I wasn't ready for that.
The rest of the weekend went by and we decided to go back to my house to go out with my friends for New Years. My friend Kerry was invited to an awesome party and she didn't mind if we tagged along. And so we decided to go.
I spent the whole day and night thinking about what this necklace meant. What Jon meant to me. What this relationship, or whatever it was, mean to me. Where things were going. And why I was thinking about all this when I was supposed to be single. The timing was wrong. Our situation was less than desirable. And yet, I couldn't dare walk away. I couldn't help but feel in my heart that this is meant to be something more. Somehow, when I stopped thinking, I felt that we were a good match.