Thursday, January 29, 2004

Melissa means "Honey Bee"

Ok, so I admit it, you scared the hell out of me and I wasn't ready. What I was ready to do was to find anything and everything wrong with you in order to get out. In the end, all I could come up with was that you just didn't seem to see anything wrong with me. You called when you said you would. You sent me thoughtful packages with inside jokes and hidden memories. You bought a plane ticket to come see me. Your brother asked why I couldn't fly down to see you and meet him, meet the whole family. Your mom sent me a gift in one of your thoughtful packages-- a pewter frame and a nice, little note (I didn't have the heart to tell you the glass had shattered en route). We had only been dating a week and then two and then three and then I started to break out in hives.

I liked you a lot and I admired you more. I knew you were a mature man of God. I knew you were going to be an amazing husband and a loving father-- just not to me and not to my kids, even if I would have wanted that-- which I could have, maybe, in time but not right then, not at that time in my life--maybe not even yet. It's so hard to explain how I know these things, I just do. Kind of how you know the feeling of wet or how the smell of something tastes; you don't know how, you just know. I suppose it could be like how you know when you're in love-- though I might not be the right person to judge that. But I can judge when I'm not, and when I won't be. I just know (the hives might help).

I got a message that you called back the next day. Terrified, I picked up the phone to return the call, bracing myself for the verbal shredding of the century, waiting to hear how much your mom hated me now. But you thanked me. You thanked me for being honest. You didn't second guess me and go through a thousand "why"s. You thanked me for knowing and for following what I knew. I guess deep down you knew, too. That call confirmed my decision. That call saved our friendship-- because we were friends first and are friends still. And I can't express how much that means to me.

You got engaged and married the next year and I am still as sure as ever when I won't fall in love- and sometimes I still break out in hives. Unfortunately, I am still a day late and a dollar short delivering the news to the other "you"s. Not because I am unsure of him, but because I'm still trying to talk myself out of what I just know. I want to give him a chance. I want to believe I'm wrong. I want to be wrong, just once. But I've learned I have to trust in what I know and trust that I'll know when I could fall in love. So I'm waiting. Waiting to just know like I know the smell of a fresh cantaloupe or old cedar-- the way I know my mother's cough or my father's laugh-- the way I know my favorite song from just one chord--the way I know when I'm not in love- and won't be, regardless of the hives.