In my short life I have thought often about love.

(I think I’ve said that before.)

I, like everyone else on the internet, am “forever alone.” I don’t mean that literally; forever is a long time and not one I have any conception of. It just means, like it does for everyone of my generation, that we can’t seem to get a relationship when we want one.

But I think I may be forever-er alone than a lot of people. Of my eighteen years almost exactly seventeen of them have been spent single. I’ve loved. Often. Only twice has it worked out that I got into a relationship with the lovee.

Sometime back in the spring, I think, or maybe early summer, I visualized the odd scenario that I was driving, with my two ex-boyfriends and my two what I like to call Close Encounters of the Dancing Kind (referring to the boys I danced with at junior prom and went with to senior homecoming, and also had a serious crush on) in the car with me. I don’t remember where that idea came from or why it arrived here, but I had it, and yesterday and today I wrote a 1500 word story which sort of expanded on that idea. And I gave it to Derek to read.

As far as my relationship with Derek –  I don’t even really remember how it began. Sometimes it feels like it’s been going on much longer than it has. Anyway, sometime after I joined the jazz band, in the latter half of junior year, he would just be friendly every morning and ask me how I was and this and that, and ask me for hugs and whatnot. (We also sat near each other in trig.) So I gradually sort of accepted that he was interested in me, and then he asked for my number (encouraged, I am told, by Hannah), and texted me, and gave me subtle and not-so-subtle compliments, and I confessed to him that I didn’t think the attraction was mutual, and he said, “Okay, then can I have a friend-hug?” and I said sure, probably because I liked the attention, and we have been friends ever since, and I have come to almost depend on him.

Derek has changed his mind about his feelings for me many times, and he thinks now that they are probably gone for good, or so he tells me. That notwithstanding, today he wrote a poem which he gave to me. It describes his feelings for me as they were when he actually had them, and it reminded me of something.

Doug, the original and best jerkface ex, who isn’t mentioned much on this blog or the old one, but who has a long, sad, messy story attached to him, wrote me poems when we were together. Of course, it was a bargain we made that if I wrote one for him, he’d reciprocate, writerly nerds that we were, but he wrote me poems. (One of them was about my eyes. I think it was my favorite.)

I’m not really that forever alone. Three blond, blue-eyed guys have been desperately in love with me throughout my life (or perhaps I flatter myself, but that’s the impression I got, from all of them), if you count Jake, and I almost don’t want to because it was so short-lived and he moved to another girl so quickly. Derek certainly wins the loyalty award.

Often throughout the years (is it years now, that I’ve known Derek? I don’t think it is quite, not yet, but it feels so much longer) I have considered what would happen if I were in fact to date Derek. As a matter of fact when Matt appeared on the scene, one of the items of interest at the time was that Hannah and Tanner were planning to get us together at a New Year’s Eve party held at Hannah’s house. (Side note: we beat them to it.) I heard this in the first days of December, and as it was the 2nd by that time, I decided that, since I was so sick of being single, I was giving myself, Derek and Matt 28 days for something to happen. If nothing happened with Matt in those 28 days, I was going to invite Derek to Hannah’s party and kiss him at midnight. And then Matt was all, “Hey there you’re attractive by the way I like fonts,” and we had our first date on the 16th.

Honestly, if that hadn’t worked out and I had stuck to that ultimatum, I would have been a very crappy sort of person. One does not manipulate other people’s lives like that. It is rude, uncalled for, and highly unwise. And I often forget, when trying to remember why I liked the idea of going out with Matt in the first place, about that ultimatum. I don’t remember why I made it. Why was it so important that I finally have a relationship?

I have also often wondered if maybe Derek will turn out to be the guy I have been waiting for, and I imagine that happening and I don’t like it. How can something be right for me if I don’t like the idea of it? But what if I don’t know what’s best for me?

I never have quite understood. I suppose it comes from a lot of things – stubbornness, romantic ideals, and an unrealistic idea of love. I visualize myself marrying a very different man than Derek. But that doesn’t mean I will. And when will come the time, if there is one, when I realize that I’ve been chasing after something ridiculous all my life and that Derek has just been waiting patiently while I did so?

I just can’t visualize myself realizing it.

Maybe one day I’ll figure out what I’m missing.



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