How we met, the LONG version - Part III

PART III of ???

For the complete low-down, catch up with Part I and Part II.

The next time I saw him...

That jerk face. He acted like nothing at all had happened! Okay, fine. Nothing really did happen. It was all some mishap. He tripped on the carpet in front of me, landed next to me on the fireplace bench (which subsequently forced his hands to slip off my flip flop), and took hold of my foot to balance himself, which ended up as a five minute foot rub. Yeah. Riiiight....

So it was his turn to play 'poker face', huh? Okay, then. He had just prolonged the inevitable. I actually didn't have to have that awkward "I can't go out with you because you're like my brother but I kinda do like you anyway" conversation just yet. And I was okay with that.

Nothing came of that foot rub for weeks on end. I wasn't exactly waiting with baited breath, but I was just a little confused. I knew he wasn't a player, so that theory was out. But I also realized that he was extremely picky with whom he dated (reference to Part I where I pulled out the ward list to find him a chica. He came up with an excuse for EVERYONE on that list to not date them!). On top of that, he was a little gun shy with the ladies. So I figured that I fell into one of two categories: I wasn't up to his caliber, or he was just plain scared stiff!

Good thing it was the second one. :)
Fast forward to about a month later. It was January 2005. I was really honestly over the boys and was ready for a man. It was a new year, and I knew that it would be a great one. It was the year that I cut bangs after over 10 years. It was the year I got a really great promotion at work. I was a woman on a mission: have joy in the life I was living, manless or not! And I would start my new found mission with my BFF Kimmy. At Disneyland! We spent at least three days in a row there! It really was a lot of fun, just being a girl and silly. And on the third day after we were kinda bored with D-land (who gets bored there, anyway?), in the afternoon I get a call from... BRYAN!!!
Okay, right then and there I knew I was really into him because:
a) I got the sweaty palms syndrome when I answered his phone call
b) I actually answered his call in the middle of Disneyland (I think it was Main Street, to be exact)
c) I was genuinely happy that he called me, even if I was at the happiest place on earth
d) I convinced Kimmy into going home early so we could go see a movie with him and a buddy of his. Call me crazy but who leaves DISNEYLAND to see a movie???
So, he invites us to the movies, we leave Disneyland and meet him at the theatre. Dumb movie, fun company! I will owe Kimmy a million favors for that one! She didn't even know the other dude and it was slightly awkward for her because he was acting 'cool' and non-social. More like really awkward. Or maybe it's just considered payback, since after HS graduation we went to Magic Mountain and a friend of her friend was my riding buddy, it was for the entire day and he was even WORSE! Well I digress again... :)
Since we all had separate cars (my car was parked at Kimmy's parents house, we had her mom's van at the theatre, and Bryan had his own car), Kimmy 'suggested' that she turn in for the night, I go out for ice cream with Bryan, and he would take me to my car at her house afterwards. Um, thanks again Kimmy! :) We did just that, sans ice cream. He took me straight to my car, yet we spent about two hours together (in front of Kimmy's parents house, nonetheless!), having a wonderful conversation about I don't even remember what. He has always influenced me to feel so comfortable around him, we could have been talking about unusual body ailments and it would have been fine! The other reason why we were in the car for so long was because it was a wet year, and it was raining like cats and dogs outside. Every time we would try to wrap it up and I would make to open the door to leave, this monstrous hail storm would brew out of nothing! So for my own safety, I stayed for a spell.
And no, no awkward "I can't date you" conversation yet. Truth be told -as if you haven't already guessed- I didn't want to have that conversation. But I still wasn't sure if it was worth the future possible hurt down the road to not have it. To make matters slightly crazier, I had recently learned of a years long crush/infatuation with another girl in our ward, that he still wasn't quite over. But I had never been one to back down from a challenge, maybe I could break him of that? I was still trying to sort out everything, but all the while I was being won over by Bryan just being himself.
Maybe a week later, he asked me out again. We went on a double date to Filippi's pizza. It was pretty fun! I don't remember why, but the same car situation happened again... Oh! I remember, because we all wanted to carpool to the restaraunt, and my car was the only four door/non-truck out of the bunch. So we met probably at a church parking lot, and took it from there. Anyway, I was in the driver's seat this time, and it was once again, raining. Thank goodness for the rain! I'm pretty sure it was at this time that I tried to have "the talk". I'm sure it was totally screwed up!
It seemed like to me that he was just going to break down my defenses until I cried 'uncle' and agreed to marry him. But I wanted a definition! (Define this, Bryan it! Tell me what you think we are! lol) So I approached that elephant in the room first. The conversation went something like this:
"um, so you kinda figured out that I like you?"
(At this point, his hand was resting next to mine, almost touching.)
"yeah. Are you okay with that?"
"Well, here's the thing... Nate and Lisa... if we ever broke up... I would be forced to see you all the time, and I don't want to screw up what we have now. Does that make sense? I'm just a little scared because of my recent track record."
"what? That's it?"
"well, yeah, I can't MAKE you date me. But I was thinking about taking it one day at a time and see where this goes..."
"oh. um. How are you going to guarantee that this won't get weird? or that you won't be weird after we break up?"
"you're going on the assumption that we're going to eventually break up. why don't we just let this take it's course and see what happens?"
(I just have to interject right now and point out that this conversation is completely indicative of our personalities! I always need some sort of collateral; he can shoot from the hip and not feel out of control)
"well... see, that's the thing. I am still a little fragile. And I'm not sure if I can take another twenty dagger stabs at my heart (called breaking up) any time in the near future"
(he casually takes my hand at this point... pretty good move for a rookie)
"Sarah Virginia McBride, I like you and I want to see where this ride takes us. If you are willing to trust me, then I promise that I will try as hard as I can to not get weird if we ever break up."
He didn't exactly have me at 'hello', but that was good enough for me. We had made it official. That was a good night, even if it was raining kitchen sinks. :)
Dating Bryan was always really fun. I could never get enough of his company! And much to my surprise, everyone totally approved of our match up. Even the bishopric mentioned that they couldn't have set up a better match! And Bryan was so cute about it, too. When Jeff Porter (an old family friend of the Harrisons, and also one of Bishop Uda's counselors) said to Bryan "So you guys are an item, huh? (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)", he shot back "No, we are dating. Sarah is not an item that can be bought and sold.". I will always remember how he said that, it was so sweet!
Only a few weeks after we started dating, I felt that we were fairly serious. This didn't scare me off necessarily, but I did wonder if he was on the same plaine? Once again, another elephant in the room.
During our first kiss, I had this really special, amazing impression that I would never kiss anyone else like that again; all my kisses would go to Bryan forever more and that we were going to be married. And I felt that it would be very soon.
However amongst all this bliss, I did have a major concern. I knew that Bryan didn't have much experience with girls, and he had had this infatuation with a certain girl he had known for years. I didn't think he was completely over it. And I was unsure on how to broach that subject (even more delicate than the family issue), but it was something that HAD to be talked about! I attempted a few times, but it just came out wrong. And he did tell me that he wanted to be over her, but it was like his old crush just wouldn't let go, as if his love was for the idea of her and not the actual person.
(You know who you are and I seriously don't hold grudges or have any negative feelings toward you. I'm adding in this personal part for the sake of the story. Though it did happen this way, I have never felt bitterness or anger towards you at all, so don't worry we can still be friends, LOL!)
Regardless of this, our dating is progressing pretty well, I am secretly planning our wedding, and we are both happy.
And then, about four months after our relationship defining rain drenched night, Bryan tells me he needs a little time to sort things out...
uh oh. I know what that means...
It means that he is out of his MIND!!! It must be that other girl issue. Doesn't he get that she is SO not into him and never was, ever??? And that she's engaged and will be married in, oh, a MONTH! Doesn't he know that I trusted him? Didn't I tell him this would happen? But no, no one ever listens to the experienced dater! Okay Sarah, breathe. It's not the end of the world... yet. Maybe he really means he needs space? He couldn't have used that transparent of an excuse just to get rid of me? And just how would he get rid of me? I am his freaking council co-leader! (we were putting people in 'councils' in the singles ward. If you need an explanation, just post on my comments and I'll tell you all about it) Our lives are entertwined too much at this point to simply make a clean break!

But this shouldn't be the end of the world, I can get through this... I guess I'll just have to have another amazing, totally mind clearing, direct impression about my future companion while I am kissing a different guy. It's possible, right?

After weeks of giving him his space (such a stupid nebulous phrase!), and talking it through with a good friend of his, I had decided I had given him ENOUGH if his crappy SPACE! He wasn't going to avoid the wrath of Sarah any longer! :) I mean, really. Avoidance is not only cowardly, it's downright rude. And if I wanted to 'magnify' my calling, it was necessary to get his input and ok on a lot of stuff I had put together. Stupid Bryan. Stupid love. Stupid awesome impression. Grrr!
So I called him. (in reality I think I gave him like three days. I am so impatient!) I told him I wanted to take him out... No, not mafia style! I would meet him at Filippi's Pizza (creating a pattern here) to have a talk about some things.
When he got there, we actually sat at the same double date table. Wow, these memories were still so fresh, it hurt! Oh wow, I really love him, so what am I doing? --Breathe and work through it Sarah, you gotta do this.
So, this is how it went (thoughts are in italics):
B: "hello"
S: "hi"
(we ordered our food)
S: "so, how have you been?"
B: "all right"
S: "oh...good" (of course you've been all right. No emotional baggage for you. I suppose I'm the only person on the planet who can't compartmentalize my life's experiences into little boxes. I loathe you... And I love you!)
(big pause)
B: "how about you?"
S: "um, not so good"
B: "oh...oh."
(another big pause)
B: "So, how are the lists [for our councils] coming?"
(I stare at him: "you're an idiot for breaking my heart and if I didn't love you so much I would really hate you right now. Do you honestly think I asked you here to talk about church stuff?")
S: "They are done, it wasn't too hard"
B: "oh, well that's good. Sorry I didn't help you out with it. I've had a lot on my mind"
(my ears perk up for further information but he doesn't offer anything else on the subject)
S: "that's fine, it was a one person job anyway"
(we proceed into small talk, our food comes, we eat for a while, I get my nerve up, the air is still heavy with discomfort. 15 minutes or so passes)
S: "So, I have a question for you..."
(The look on his face is pained and haggard. He knows what's coming and looks tired and apologetic at the same time)
B: "I might have an answer"
(I'm hesitant to even ask, and I come so close to taking the conversation to a different path, but I HAVE to know this and I have to ask)
S: "How would you feel if I moved?"
(He looks surprised and curious and sad)
B: "to where?"
S: "Las Vegas. I would rent an apartment with Sam"
I am waiting for an answer for seriously a full minute.
B: "I would miss you"
At this point, I am totally ruffled. How dare he! There is no way he would miss me, I just wouldn't allow it! :) I let him have it!
S: "No, you wouldn't! How could you even miss me, you haven't called for weeks! You don't look at me at all during council meetings! How am I supposed to have a calling with you if you don't communicate with me? (I know, it was a low blow, but I had to at least cater to the Priesthood side of him) How am I supposed to move on if you don't let me?"
B: "I was just asking for some time! You don't know..."
S: Bryan. {sigh} I have been here before. I don't like being here. This is the weird limbo where I can't date others because I don't know if you'll freak out or not, and I can't date you because, well I don't know why, you just don't want me. So, if you're not going to do it, I have to. I need to break up with you." ...


1 devoted readers:

Brooke said...

I'm totally laughing...good memories!