I needed to talk to George. But I was much more of a rigid traditionalist back then. The girl chasing the boy? Could my ego handle it?
A couple days passed and I decided that I was going to have to throw caution to the wind and find out what happened with George and why he hadn't told me he wasn't returning.
I don't remember what I said exactly, but the conversation wasn't extremely long. I do know that I tried to convince him to return. He asked to talk to my roommate's boyfriend, a friend of his, and I relinquished the phone.
I was stunned. I really had come to the realization that I was in love with George, yet I was now in a state of confusion. If it was meant to be, wouldn't we be in the same place? Wouldn't everything just work out? Well... not in our case. Destiny needed a little prodding, and I for one am so grateful that I realized back then what I wanted and I set out to get it... even though it took a while to finally obtain the object of my affection! ;)
And so the chase went on. I would call, and he'd be allusive. I found out from my roommate's boyfriend that George had asked him if I was still dating "what's-his-name", and wanted to be certain that he wouldn't be rejected again. Boy, did it take some convincing. The volley of calls continued and my parents and others tried to convince me that I still needed time to go out with other guys to make sure I was "settling" for the right one. And so the tug-of-war in my heart continued.
One day, a boy with whom I had gone out one time the previous year asked me out again. I was shocked. Had he asked me for a second date the previous year, I'd have jumped at the chance, but now? "No, thank you", I said. And then I talked to my parents and told them where my heart was, and what had been going on. My dad asked me to promise him that if the guy came and asked again, that I'd say yes to at least one date and then make up my mind afterwards. I promised I'd say yes if he asked again, because really, what guy asks a second time after being told no? Well, apparently some guys do. Who knew?
How would I tell George? I guess there was no easy way around it. I just had to say it. I had promised my dad I'd say yes if he asked again, and so I'd be going on a date with a guy I had no interest in. It is all very strange for me to think about now because I think if I were to have been a little more like I am now - or maybe a little more like I had been a couple years before that time, I'd have told my dad how much I love him, but that he was just plain wrong. Regardless, maybe it was just a good lesson for me to feel the tussle of my sentiments in ways I had not yet known.
I had a pleasant dinner on a group date with a few other couples, thank goodness. It was nice, but I couldn't think of much other than "I have to tell George that I went tonight." Stressful. I didn't want to hurt him, but I knew it would. I don't remember much else about that evening except my arrival home. I can picture myself walking into the dorm, and from the moment my feet hit the floor of the long hallway, I heard the phone ringing. Each step seems to replay in slow motion as I got closer and closer to the ringing phone and lifted it to my ear.
It was George.
I will never forget the sound in his voice. I had hurt him. But if it was any consolation, I told him that what I had figured out that night was that I never wanted to do that with any other guy but him. Now, I just had to convince him of that. So the phone tag continued, and my dad says that I racked up about $100 a month in phone bills, since those were the days of pay phones and phone cards. But it finally worked. George had told me that he loved me and agreed to come to meet my family for Thanksgiving. I would be driving home with a friend and he would fly in to my beloved home town where my dad would pick him up. It had been 6 months since I had seen him.