I’d never really been in that situation before. Two very different guys, two very different feelings. If Rabbit had never needed to fill a room in her house and resorted to Craigslist, I would have never met Mr. Clean. He was cute, he was goofy, he was fun. He laughed at me, I laughed at him, we laughed together. We talked and talked. Gchat really is the 21st century form of the love letter. He was genuine and sweet, but silly and carefree. We made a bet, we had dinner, we kissed, we held hands. He skipped out of work to bring me a breakfast bagel. A bagel with cream cheese (ew) no less. But I ate it, because he had got it for me. A bagel had never tasted so good. The way he looked at me in the mornings simultaneously scared and excited me.
But I needed this to stop. Mr. Clean came along at the wrong time. There was already another guy. But everything was happening so fast. I couldn’t stop myself. He was always there, whenever I asked him to be, there he was. I took a step back. I told myself “don’t text him that,” “don’t say what you want to say”… don’t let him like you, you have invested yourself elsewhere. Don’t hurt him.
A friend told me to “get out of the buffet line already,” choose one and follow through. Put your heart into one or the other, see what happens. But how did I choose, when I didn’t know if either wanted to be chosen? Because sometimes, they don’t.
And then he went away for a while. A week is not long enough to be considered a “while,” but when you realize the person you want to talk to everyday has been gone for even a few days, it seems like forever. This is good, I thought. I can clear my head and figure out where to go from here. But I wanted him to come home. My heart would jump if I saw him on gchat. Not wanting to seem too eager, I backed off, didn’t message right away. Wait for him, don’t annoy, he’s on vacation. And then all of a sudden, I was playing games. This hadn’t happened before with him. I was in unfamiliar territory. I missed him. I cared.
I was at my friend’s wedding when it all became clear. I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure it out, but then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Apparently, it was obvious to everyone, but me. The entire time I was pushing Mr. Clean away, emotionally at least, I had inadvertently fallen hard. I hadn’t felt like this since I had a ridiculous high school crush. He just got me. He felt right. It just all felt natural, the way it should be.
Maybe it was my happiness from seeing my good friend marry the love of her life, or maybe it was the giggly wine-induced coma I was in, but I texted my friend that night: “I made the choice. I’m happily leaving the buffet line.”
And it was never really a choice to begin with.