Our love story continues.
Upon returning from New York City after our whirlwind weekend, the temperature of our friendship had changed. I found myself sitting with Shawn in our class together, across him for coffee, next to him at chapel, and we even volunteered together once a week. We'd walk to Cabrini Green together, then separate for our individual assignments (I taught hip hop dance, he taught guitar). Then we'd walk back together and grab dinner. We were exchanging calls, emails, texts, and Facebook messages quite a bit. And yet even with all these things that others would consider signs, I was in denial that there was more there than just friendship.
Lots of friends - including my roommate - approached me asking me if we were dating. I'd been getting that question for a while now, and eventually, I thought they'd stop asking. I'd say "no, we're just friends" because I still didn't feel like I had any real evidence that he thought otherwise.
Oh, the suspense.
So a few weeks after New York, Shawn told me that his brother Erik was having his senior art show in Indiana, and was wondering if I would be able to drive him there (I had my car at school, Shawn didn't). To my surprise and his, I immediately said, "Sure!" then almost immediately thought to myself, "did I just say yes?"
I vividly remember the morning we were to leave, I went into Ilene's office and was pacing with nervous energy. She was trying to tell me it'll be fine, he's just a good friend, and then he texted me to ask my opinion on what color tie he should bring. For whatever reason, that freaked me out. I thought for sure he must like me - why else would he care my opinion on his tie color?
Of course all this time I was hoping that he liked me. To be honest, that's how I spent most of my college days. I didn't always want a boyfriend, I just wanted someone to like me. I guess I enjoyed the chase and the drama. And yes, I'll be advising any future daughter of mine to not be this way.
We had a lengthy but wonderful drive down to snowy Indiana and on the way, Shawn just happened to mention that his parents were going to be there. I hadn't known this beforehand (and was especially surprised because they live in Germany!), and I became even more nervous. A girl has to know where a relationship stands before she meets the parents, right?
The weekend was wonderful and I got along with his parents great. On the way back, Shawn told me that both parents had taken him aside during the weekend to tell him how much they were impressed with me. (And still, we've yet to actually "define the relationship"). Apparently, they'd never told him this about any other girl before.
So as we drove the hours back to Chicago, I tried to break up the tension that was building in my heart and mind, and I pulled out a Seinfeld book. I used to love that thing on road trips growing up, and so I started reading passages from it, and could barely get through it without dying laughing. As we laughed together for hours, Shawn's hand somehow ended up on my knee. And then my hand ended up on top of his hand. And then, somehow, we were holding hands. Without gloves this time. Under an open Seinfeld book. Of course we didn't talk about relationships or the fact that we were holding hands. We just kept laughing with Seinfeld.
And while I may seem like the most clueless girl in America at this point, when I came back, I still denied that he had feelings for me because he hadn't actually told me he did. When my roommate cross examined me upon returning from the weekend, she looked for all the signs that there must be something more there. And with a straight face, I told her, "I think he just wants to be friends."
To be continued, of course.