So you know how I stated that living with my unrequited love has been, or would be, torture?
How naive I was to have that thought.
It has been three months since I reluctantly moved in with J, the reluctance stemming from a stressful situation tied to his circle of friends from back in 2011 which lead to an argument that ended in me forcefully being asked to leave the very house I’m now residing within. I don’t know what it was that made him break the silence between us, wordlessly forgiving me despite the fact that I still haven’t exactly apologized for slapping him. I didn’t really want to move in, but I was in a desperate situation where I needed to get out of another friend’s house. I thought I would be in the way, or that I wouldn’t be able to spend any time with him for whatever reason, so I figured I would be using the staircase closest to the kitchen quite often, making something to eat and then just spending my free time reclusively.
I didn’t know that I would remember that I ever had feelings for him once. I forgot so many things about him, about this house. Waking up to the faint melody of an acoustic guitar drifting up the stairway is always welcome, as his musical talents were one of the reasons I fell for him in the first place. His humor was another thing I admired about him, and I often find myself laughing at something he said or something we’ve built up to together. But there’s something about the ah-ha moments, and not just the A-Ha moments when he’s playing an acoustic version of Take On Me, when remembering the past feels no different from learning something new about him.
But in admitting my feelings for him, the feelings I once had and the feelings that redeveloped within me in spite of everything, I was told by him that he doesn’t see me romantically, that at best I am a friend with benefits.
I’ve held on, staying the course. But what course am I on? I’m not on an epic quest to make him love me, and I don’t know if its even possible to make someone see a person romantically if they don’t already. I’ve taken each day as it has come my way. That’s all I believe i can do, anyway.
I’ve allowed myself to be hurt, to be sad or upset, and I’ve expressed my emotions when I’ve felt like I had the right words to do so. At first, J tried to force an explanation out of me when I wasn’t quite ready, which resulted in me writing a lengthy email as I managed to get the thoughts out of my system. Weeks later, he persisted with gentler pestering, hugging me and making jokes until I felt a little more relaxed and willing to release my thoughts. A couple of days ago, he remarked that I seemed like something was wrong, but let it go and I eventually told him what was on my mind. I don’t know if I’m feeling safer with him, or if he realizes that I just need time to process my thoughts sometimes.
But that’s the thing, the last time I was consumed by overthinking my situation, just a few days ago, it was because I’m just a housemate and friend with benefits. His ex is struggling with her current situation, and in my mind, the only way that things would improve for her situation is if she left her current guy and moved out of his place. J has already offered her a room in the house once more, until she found another place, if that did end up being the plan. I don’t know, though. He always seems happier when she’s around, like genuinely happier, and she has said that she misses him. My thinking was that they’d end up back together, to which I asked what would become of him and I.
I would lose the time we spend watching Cougar Town and Iron Fist (our currently viewed shows at the moment), and it would be replaced with Steven Universe which I can’t stand to watch. At least with Cougar Town, I find myself questioning romantic relationships and how people act as couples, or at least how I view myself in relationships.
But I would also lose the time that he and I spend laying side by side in his bed at night, watching an episode of something or part of a comedy special. Wouldn’t I lose that to another girl who might be jealous or possessive and insist upon being next to her man? I’d be at the foot of the bed until I’m dismissed for the night, sent to return to my own bed at the other end of the hallway.
He said my thinking was way off. He said they’re not getting back together. He reminded me of how he was single for two years before he was in a relationship again. He told me that things do get better.
But… he never said that I would find someone.
And as soon as the clouds of my overthinking storm had passed, new clouds rolled in, soft, puffy clouds that were grey enough to cast doubt about whether a new storm was on the way.
I swear he has feelings for me.
The night i got a coworker’s phone number, J was in a less than pleasant mood until after I emailed him and pointed out that he was already getting the best of me. After that, J was much friendlier to me… for about a week or so, before we went back to our regular routine. Probably the one thing I don’t want to do would be to keep getting phone numbers, or getting the attention of new guys, because that’s when this whole thing becomes a game. Sure, I may appear to be desired by other men, but there’s always the possibility that the one I want will give up and look in another direction.
And if I read all those articles that are like Facebook’s version of a supermarket tabloid, it’s easy to believe that he loves me, if not just that he’s fairly into me, but that he surely has some interest no matter what. “Aquarians love their alone time, so if he’s spending a lot of time with you, he’s into you.” Check. “He values your opinion and wants you to make a decision.” Check, maybe not so much with the movies and shows we watch, but I did choose where to get a quick bite to eat on Saturday. I really can’t help that I’m indecisive and indifferent at times. Oh, what else have I read? Because if most of it is to be believed, J is into me.
So then, what is going on?
I’ve started to feel like I should back off, maybe not cuddle with him at night, or stop washing his travel mug, or just opt to do my own thing instead of watching shows with him. I figure that if I start to pull away, my feelings for him will go away, and then I won’t feel like the last person crossing the finish line when he does get into a relationship again. I’ve done a terrible job of trying to do just that. He is too much fun, and as always I try to get a few extra minutes of his time when I can.
I wonder, what is he up to?
It would be easy to say he’s lying and sugarcoating. Maybe he’s not really interested in his ex anymore, but just wants to make sure she’s happy with whatever life does bring. Maybe he just doesn’t want me to be upset until he actually does get back in a relationship with her. It’s really hard to say.
I do wonder if he’s… planning something. You know what I mean. While Thanksgiving is this Thursday, it’s the December holidays that would be really good for… something. Merry Christmas, I’m in a relationship again… that’s the kind of thing I’m thinking. J sitting down with the guitar, starting with a Christmas carol or two before leading into a love song. His hands never leaving the guitar, he dictates to me which gifts I open and in which order, and I scurry over to where they’ve been placed and grab each one that he asks for. The first gift or two are rather trivial, maybe a small bottle of shower gel to get me by until I can liberate my hoard from Bath And Body Works that I have in storage, maybe something else related to video gaming. The next gift is a necklace, something semi-decent, with a star or a moon design to it. I’ll glance at him as if something is wrong, because we’re just friends and I don’t think that calls for nice jewelry. Maybe at this point, unless there’s a nicer gift to be had before his reveal, he will tell me that he does love me, or that he wants me to be his girlfriend, or something like that.
Honestly, I don’t even know if it would be worth it to have to wait until Christmas to be told that he’s actually interested in being my significant other. It’s one thing to have met someone, and constantly wonder for days on end whether or not they’re into you. It’s another thing when you live with the person that your heart seems to call out for, especially after their lips have said they’re not into you in the same way that you’re into them. J will always be here, and as long as I’m here, I will have to deal with my feelings for him.
We’re three months down, living under the same roof. The arguments have been more civilized than anything I’ve had before. The discussions have been more intellectual and interesting as well. I can’t give this up. I feel like we were meant to be.
But I know how that sounds. I’m delusional.