In the weeks after Sam and I called it off, it wasn’t always so smooth sailing. Some days we’d be buddies hanging out with our friends, or even had late night chats about nothing in particular, other days were awkward with hurt feelings. I’m grateful that he saw, as I did, the importance of our friendship, and when things felt too weird we were open with each other about it. In hindsight I realize, that isn’t a realistic transition in any situation, but I valued his friendship too much, and was willing to work for it. We were adjusting into our new relationship.
I remember well a Halloween dance/party our group of friends planned to attend together. I wasn’t too excited to go, but figured I couldn’t just sit at home on Halloween night. My roommate Hali had a fun orange wig that I propped on my head, and though it felt silly at first, I later enjoyed the character I was playing for the night. I ended up having fun dancing with lots of friends that night, despite some jealous feelings I felt towards the boy I just broke up with, and girls around him.
One day, I went down to the boys apartment to use their computer to check my email. Back in those days, not everyone had their own computer, and when online, it was also using the phone line to dial up. Matthew was home while I checked my email, and he and I chatted for a bit after. We had become more comfortable with each other in the past month, conversation flowed much easier. He told me he had a friend, Hal, that he wanted to set me up on a blind date with, and I mentioned a friend, Liberty, in my ASL class that I wanted to set him up with. A double blind date–would that be fun? I remember he asked me questions about what I liked in boys and I mentioned 3 H’s:
As we talked, Sam and Chris came home and heard us chatting about setting each other up, and then left the room shortly thereafter. Later, Chris told me that he and Sam were going on a double date the next night. Though it cut me a little, I knew it was the next step in our friendship. It was time one of us made a move.
Another time I was down checking my email in apartment #20, I had my back to the main part of the room, and smiled from ear to ear as I heard Matthew busting out lyrics to the Counting Crows CD playing. “Omaha….somewhere in middle America…”He was always so reserved, it was fun to see that side of his personality. When I tried to go back to my apartment, I realized my roommates left and locked the door and I left my key in there. When I went back to #20, Matthew said he could bust it open, and with the jimmy rig of a credit card, he popped the door open. Nice–I think.
In early November, I had a chat with Chris about this, that, and the other, and mentioned to him that before I met he and Sam that semester, I had a little crush on Matthew. Apparently, he & Sam had assumed that, but I told him I didn’t want him to tell Sam. I wasn’t sure if it would hurt his feelings. Chris reminded me he was trustworthy, but in my heart, I knew where his true allegience lied.
Early November brought the first big snow that stuck to the ground. Being a Texan, it was still so exciting for me to live where it snowed! I was walking home from campus and ran into Matthew who was also walking home. We were making plans for our double blind date when Sam came up behind us and asked if we wanted to help him build a snow throne. The 3 of us worked together for a while, and after a bit a handful of others joined in.
I was starting to feel more carefree and less anxious about my present situation. I was grateful to have escapes from reality to my brothers home, my best friends Natalie’s, and a few other friends from my Texas home. I was more relaxed, and felt more confident in general. It’s interesting reading through my journals that I kept on a day to day basis. I remember this time frame as such a blur as to when I started to have feeling for Matthew again, but then I read an exerpt from November 8th that says, “Matthew & TJ came over to eat pumpkin pie that my roommate made. Hali and I sat at the table with Mr. Matthew and chattted for quite a while. He’s so adorable. I didn’t want him to leave.” I hadn’t really thought of him in that way for a while. He and I became better friends and considered each other “off limits” from my dating his brother. I see hints in my writing that I’m starting to notice him again. Another entry says, “I cleaned my apartment and talked with my roommates about how Matthew could never love me. I wonder if he ever would.”
Conversation with him was much easier than it used to be, it was so enjoyable. I got to see who he really was, instead of just crushing on his cute-ness. I wonder what he thinks–if he thinks about me. I’ve started to get nervous when I’m around him–it’s so strange. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I feel that something will happen.
I went to a symphony concert on campus with the Duke brothers. Wasn’t that an interesting pickle I found myself in. Several friends planned to go, but backed out for various reasons at the last minute. There I was sandwiched in between these two boys that I had a spectrum of feelings for. I tried not to pay too much attention to either one, so the other wouldn’t think anything. I wrote in my journal that night, “It’s too impossible. I told Matthew he’s a mystery to me.”
A few days later, Sam and I went grocery shopping, and he said, “I have a random thought…have you ever thought about asking my brother out?” It caught me completely off guard. Of course I had never mentioned to him in all of our time spent together that I had been waiting on pins and needles the previous summer to see if Matthew had emailed me. Didn’t tell him how much I was let down when school began that he didn’t ask me out, didn’t tell him that I was starting to feel those feelings for his brother again. I pretended as though the thought had never crossed my mind. He went on to say, “You guys are good friends, I think he would complement you well.” I then asked if he thought I’d complement him, he paused, and said yes. I was happy that he brought up the subject, and with that conversation, gave his stamp of approval. That was very thougthful and mature of him. Though I wasn’t so convinced anything would ever happen.
Matthew and I had actually planned our double blind date for a Friday evening, but at the last minute BOTH of our friends cancelled. What are the odds?? Instead, we got to gether with all of our friends, and he taught us how to make French crepes that he had learned on his mission to France. A man who can cook–nice. My roommate Hali told me that she noticed Matthew looking at me a little differently. That night, he used the word “jubilant” to describe me, and those words couldn’t have been any sweeter to my ears.
One Sunday evening in mid November, a group of us had gone to a musical concert and as we walked home in the evening, Sam was in the back lost in his thoughts. I pulled back to chat with him, and he offered his elbow for me to link into. Our steps slowed as the others carried on, and he said to me, “I’m going to tell Matthew that he should ask you out.”