Statham's contact with me after our encounter was primarily apologetic. He said he's not normally like that and he doesn't typically move that fast with women. I heard his apologies so many times that what I began to hear was I respect women, just not you.
He asked me out on a date and I half-convinced myself he was following through on it just to prove that he was a nice guy. I even gave him an out the morning of our date while we were texting in bed and expected him to cancel before the day was through.
My fears were calmed as soon as I opened my front door. Statham looked good. Really, really good. He wore a plaid button-up that was rolled up to the elbows, jeans and flip flops. His hair was styled into a messy fauxhawk of sorts and had enough product in it that it was hurricane proof.
I smiled. It was a date. A Real Date. I brought my A game as well. I had lost so much weight recently that my jeans no longer fit me. I had them tumbling in the dryer on high heat for two hours trying to shrink them. Even with my belt notched on the tightest loop, they still were loose. I covered them up with a silk khaki top that made my hair and eyes look like chocolate.
Knowing Statham's penchant for outdoor patios, I took him to the same place I took Guy with Rash. As we pulled into the hidden neighborhood, he was impressed. Despite being after 9 p.m. on a weekday, we still had to wait for table.
The conversation was easy. It's always been that way with Statham and me. I met him in early December between Valdosta's and my first and second date. I was stretching in the hallway before my first dodgeball game and he just walked up to me and began talking. As he chatted away, I smiled and thought that I could get used to this. Then he dropped the girlfriend bomb and my face fell in disappointment. However after every dodgeball game, he always wandered over and said hello and spoke to me. He was my first dodgeball friend.
Statham and I have identical personalities: outgoing to a fault and no social filter that would sometimes get us into trouble. (A prime example of this would be the incident in which I asked about the status of the ex in front of her, and then he told me that she's in front of me. Fail on both of our parts.) Even when we were talking in the previous weeks, people would laugh at us because we spoke the exact same manner with the exact same vocal inflections. They said we sounded like twins speaking our own language.
"You know, this week I remembered something you said to me during dodgeball season," I told him as our second round of drinks arrived.
"After we played your team, you crossed the court immediately after the game and you told me I had the cutest stomp you had ever seen. I thought I was some badass during dodgeball and you completely threw that image out the window by calling me cute."
"I remember that! You would stomp every time you got out, like you were surprised. It was hilarious!"
He asked me more about my list of things to do before I turn 30. "I never would have guessed that you're turning 30," he admitted.
"Why?" I scrunched up my nose. "Older or younger?"
"No! I would have said you were 25. You just have this thing about you that most people lose when they get older. You're just so energetic and bubbly."
A smile slowly spread across my face. I've heard this before. Adam said the same thing. Andy used to tell me that I had a childlike sense of wonder about me. Matter of fact, I haven't heard this in years. I beamed. S and Christopher didn't kill me; it's just taken me some time to recuperate.
Back at my apartment he checked out my city views. Once again, he's impressed. He said my apartment looked like home. We talked for a few minutes and he got up to leave.
I walked him to the door. This was the test if this was a Real Date or not. He turned around, grabbed me by the hips and leaned in for a Real Kiss. Real Date! Real Date! Unlike last week, the kisses were tender and gentle. Until they weren't.
He pulled away and sighed, "Do you want to go to your bedroom?"
He found his way to my bedroom as I made a pit stop in the bathroom. But when I get to the bedroom, he's sitting on the edge of the bed. He changed his mind.
He told me the events of the week. He met up with his ex for closure. Breakup is still on, but he feels like he's betraying her by being here with me so quickly. He said people thought our conversation of outing her at the Mexican restaurant was planned, when in reality it was just both of us being awkward. He said the difference between us and the rest of the group is that the rest of the group just hooked up. He was going from a relationship to dating someone else—feelings are involved and people are hurting.
I felt like I was getting dumped all over again.
"What do you think?" he asked.
"I mean, what do you say to that?" I spoke carefully. I've said these exact words to Valdosta.
I sat next to him on the bed. I said that it was natural to feel what he was feeling. He would be pretty cold-hearted if he wasn't conflicted by this. I maintained I still didn't know what this was, but I saw myself as having two roles with him. It was my job to support him and give him his freedom. And as far as feelings getting hurt, that ship had sailed last weekend.
He sighed, "There's nothing I want to do more right now than rip off your clothes. You're incredibly attractive and I've noticed you. I've been watching you. I, I, I... I just don't know what I'm doing right now. I should go."
I wasn't going to fight for someone that isn't confident in wanting me. I've wasted my entire twenties doing that.
"I'll walk you out." We stopped in my hallway and I reached in my gym bag. "Before you go, I wanted to show you my new running shoes. They were my birthday present to myself." Statham is an ex-track runner and I wanted his approval. My new running shoes are bright fuschia with neon yellow laces. They are the new version of the Nike Free line that was just released this month.
"Omigod, those are bright," he laughed. He flipped them over and picked out the gravel already stuck in the tread. "And they're light!"
"Best of all, they're pink!" I bounced in excitement.
He stopped and got serious. "That's what I'm talking about. That's the thing you do.
"Screw it," he said and he began kissing me again, walking me back to the bedroom.
We flopped on my bed. "No," I fought. "You can't give me that whole speech and then change your mind. I'm not going to let you feel bad about being with me."
He said I was right, that as far as hurt feelings go, the ship had sailed.
His face was on top of mine. I could feel his breath on me.
"What do you want?" He asked hoarsely.
I turned my head and stared at my closet door. It was too intimate of a gesture for me to handle. I don't trust Statham. Not yet. But here is a beautiful boy on top of me, detailing the past four months about me. He had been watching. Besides, we already slept together once...
"I don't want you to go," I whispered, still looking away.
So he didn't.