Being Friends

This follows on from my First Date post.

I awoke the next morning to find a text message from Jan, simply asking whether I’d made it home safely. I guess she was waiting and hoping to hear from me first and, I would’ve texted her sooner, if only I hadn’t felt so flat that morning. From the minute I walked in the door late on Saturday night, I knew I was missing her company. I was all alone again. Anyway, I told her how nice it was to meet her, how I’d look forward to seeing her again and she replied to say that I should’ve just said “I think you’re fat and ugly“, exclaiming that she wanted her books back! She wasn’t the only feeling low and, later that day, at my mum’s house, I burst in to tears when she asked me about how the day had gone.

After a few days, I spoke to her on the phone and she seemed to have calmed down considerably. She was deeply apologetic; stating that she gets like that sometimes because of her condition and that she never meant to react in such a way. We agreed that I would see her again in two-weeks’ time, while we both kept looking for other matches on the dating website. I would’ve gone up to see her sooner but, she has her daughter with her every other weekend.

During this time apart (although, we were still texting daily), I began to realise how much I did miss her company. I also began to believe that I missed her for more than that; as if I quickly developing feelings for her. In reality, my emotions were all over the place, due to a combination of her mood swings, my loneliness and the inconvenience in living one-hour apart. She’s update me on how her search was going and, each time she wanted to message someone, she’d ask me to log-in under her name and ask them to text her (there was an incompatibility issue between her phone and the site in question – she had to use a computer at the local library to respond to my messages). I felt awkward each time and, yes, it did hurt but, I also wanted to help. At this point, I reckon it was about two-weeks before I heard from Emily, as mentioned in the previous post.

Meeting ‘Jan’ had given me a sense of ‘confidence’ that left me feeling curious about other women who may be on this site, even though I was feeling something for her, which I now believe to be a form of ‘sympathy’. Maybe even a strong dosage of empathy. I kept my eyes open but no-one else besides Emily really caught my eye. My second wink came from a girl called Scarlet, based down near Barnstaple in Devon; a good two-hours away. Perhaps she simply mis-read Bristol for the village she lives in… Because, she didn’t respond to the message I sent her. She was very much in to her walking and hiking and even mentioned her shy and reserved nature in her profile description.

By the time my second day with Jan came around, we’d both planned to go out and visit a couple of museums, as we both felt it would be good to get out of her flat and find something that we can both enjoy. Sadly, that never happened. Once I arrived, she told me how she just wanted to stay indoors because of the cold. I believed her, as well. Later that evening and, through the night, snow even fell. I helped ice the steps leading up to her flat. But, what I wouldn’t see was the fear in her eyes. The anxiety; her increasing fear of facing the outside world.

We filled our time by watching more of her favourite films and even played a couple of games on her Nintendo Wii. She even cooked for me that night and, for the very first time, I got to taste quorn sausages! I was expecting them to taste like a roll of cardboard but, they were surprisingly good, if missing that very slight ‘something’… With the snow falling outside, she offered me a space to rest for the night; in the bed beside her. We’d discussed the possibility of this beforehand so, there was less of the awkwardness. I can also assure you that NOTHING happened! This isn’t the sort of thing I would openly admit but, at the age of twenty-seven, I’m still a virgin and I’ve never even kissed a girl. I only feel comfortable saying this here because I know that nobody will try to judge or mock me. 🙂

Sleeping was the bigger problem though! I didn’t get nearly enough of that. Sharing a bed with someone for the first time is quite awakening. I was already ‘excited‘ down below (as I had been for most of the day – I could not help this!) but I became so aware of everything in the room and about her, lying next to me. Truth be told though, she wasn’t only sleeping… She did snore and, when she wasn’t snoring, she was a heavy breather (smoking?). I would drift off every few hours, only to wake up again minutes later. Shortly before morning came and she woke up, she began talking, out loud, while in her sleep! I told her about all these things but she didn’t seem to mind. Apparently, her daughter had commented on the same in the past.

I stayed for a few hours and I think we had hot-crossed buns for breakfast; making a dash down the M5 just in time for Sunday lunch. By this time, the snow and ice had pretty much cleared. But, before that, we spent more time sat in front of the TV. Jan went off to have a shower, came back, did her make-up, made herself look pretty and even dressed up quite nicely. I complemented her on this and she seemed very grateful. I felt, deep down, as though she’d done this not only to make herself feel better but, that she’d done it to impress me as well. We said goodbye with another hug and I left feeling as though I should’ve said something about my feelings towards her. Again, I sad instead of happy, driving back down the motorway; knowing I would have to wait another two weeks for such a small amount of care and affection. I wanted to try and start a relationship with her to see what could happen.

It was now the beginning of February and Valentine’s Day was looming; so soon after Christmas. Jan had set herself up for a date with a guy from Swindon, who was going to drive up a see her after work… Argh! I haven’t mentioned taking my laptop and camera and helping to put a photo on her dating profile! Erm, it didn’t go too well… Each time I pointed the camera at her, she looked terrified. I tried to make her laugh but, it still wasn’t relaxed. A flash would leave her with red eyes and could see her struggling even more. She decided on one photo to upload but, she was never happy with it. In truth, it wasn’t a great shot of her… As I tried to discuss in another recent post; she’s one of those people who looks quite lovely when she smiles. But, the fear brings out the worst in her appearance. Still, it was enough to get her a few confidence-boosting winks and she did exchange messages (via. me) with a couple of others as well.

This guy from Swindon seemed keen at first but, I wonder whether her anxiety scared him off. She was messaging several times during the work day, asking what time he would arrive in Gloucester. She was beyond nervous and, when he began to hesitate, I helped to convince her to call it off. Yes, it was part-fuelled by my own interests but, I could also see the distress it was creating. She told me how “ugly and stupid” she was feeling. I offered reassurance but, she insisted that I “must feel the same way” as I “didn’t want” her either. This is when the truth came out and, as it had happened, she was secretly hoping I was going to say something to that effect…

So, on the 8th February 2012, less than one-week before Valentine’s Day, via. text message and, having almost been forced in to admitting to it; I was in my very first relationship, at the age of twenty-six! 🙂

Jan was the sort of person who would question why I put ‘kisses’ at the end of every text when I only wanted to be friends. I could go on and write about everything that happened on the 14th of that month but, there’s a lot to consider and, I’ve already given you more than enough for today, dear reader. Thank you for following. 🙂

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3 comments on “Being Friends

  1. This is a lovely story, I’m looking forward to reading the next bit of your story with Jan!!

  2. meandanxiety says:

    Enjoying reading your story Brandon. You’re right, no one will judge you here. x

  3. […] on from Being Friends, there was actually one piece of information that I forgot to include near the end of that story. I […]

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