Monday, August 2, 2010

70. Parting Gift

A few of you let me know via Twitter that last night's post confused you a little. Understandably, it's getting hard to keep all the names right. (How embarrassing) So, if you look to the right, under my Twitter feed, you'll see a handy little thing called "The Cast." It's a list of the key players in my past and present dating life with a short descriptor to refresh your memory. So feel free to take a glance at that if you can't remember who's who.

Just to refresh you on where we are in the story, it's my sophomore year of college, way before I knew Cayden existed. I'm telling you the story of Will, but in order to do so, I had to tell you a small part of the story of Casey (the one who ended up being physically abusive, who I wrote about in post number 10 and 10.5) to put it into context. So here you have it, the day I'm leaving for St. Louis for an internship, and the day after my blowout with Casey.


I woke up groggy with puffy eyes. My eyelids always swell to three times their size when I go to bed crying. It's gross. Even if I only cry for a minute, swollen lids are inevitable. I'd cried for at least an hour the night before, so I was afraid to see myself in the mirror.

Why'd I have to fall for Casey even though I knew he was seeing other people? Why'd he have to come running back to me only after I'd decided to forget about him? Such is life.

I felt bad that my going-away party had ended so badly, so I got together with my girlfriends to see a movie before I hit the road to STL. It was just what I needed. During the movie my phone vibrated and I saw that I had a text from Will.

How are you feeling today, boo? I stopped by to say bye to you, but you weren't there. I left you something on your bed. Have a safe drive!

I wondered what it might be, but only for a moment. I assumed it was something I'd left at his place, maybe a pair of shoes or a bottle of liquor.

After the movie I said my goodbyes to my girls and I headed back to my apartment. I'd forgotten about Will's text until I walked into my room to grab my luggage. There was a T-shirt on my bed from our favorite restaurant and a small, pink giftbag. Well, that was cute of him! I thought to myself.

I sat down on my bed and pulled a card out of the bag. I opened it up and pulled a dark blue card out of the white envelope.
The front of it read, If I'd have met you sooner, I would have loved you sooner.

Oh my god. This wasn't happening. Surely he meant in the best-friend love way, right?

I held my breath and opened the card.

I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear right now, especially after all of the drama with Casey, but I can't let you leave without telling you this. I fell in love with you. I didn't mean to. I loved being your best friend, but somewhere along the way it just happened. I know you're leaving, so there's not a lot that can come of this right now. But I just had to tell you. You mean more to me than I can explain, and I hated seeing Casey hurt you like that. So here's something I wanted you to have. I hope you like it.

I read it three more times. Then three more on top of that. I couldn't make sense of it. My Will, my best friend, my classmate, my source of positivity, had fallen for me? I thought back to all of the times we'd danced together at parties, booty dancing like drunken fools. Did he like me then?

I thought about when he drove me to the doctor and stayed with me when my fever was too high, because I have a tendency to pass out when my temperature surpasses 101. Was he in love with me then? Had I led him on?

I'd bitched to him about Casey and Brady. Was I breaking his heart talking about these guys? Or did it just hit him the night before, seeing me flip out on Casey?

I read it one more time and then realized he wasn't talking about the card or the T shirt when he wrote, So here's something I wanted you to have. I hope you like it. Because no one puts a card in a giftbag, right?

I pulled out the crinkly white tissue paper and fished around until I felt something hard. I wrapped my fingers around it and shook my head, praying it wasn't what it felt like. I closed my eyes and pulled my hand out slowly. Size, shape, and texture, I knew it could only be one thing.

I opened one eye slightly, and looked at the small gray box in my hand. A ring box.

I flipped it open to see the most beautiful silver-banded ring with three hearts lined up diagonally: gold, bronze, and silver.

You guessed it: He went to Jared.

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