Tony called me the next day. I believe he may have called me more than once. Not that he was needy. He (and I) both like talking. Phones were invented for people like us.
As much as I liked him, I wasn’t sure about getting involved with someone new. I didn’t know if I was ready for another relationship with all the drama of my previous one. So I played it cool. I basically set all the stupid dating games aside and just acted completely natural around him, the way I do with my family. I may have farted in his presence. I figured, if it was truly meant to be, he would like me for me and not care about my insanity.
Sure enough, he liked me for me. He went in for a kiss a few days later, and I turned away from it. I told him that I wasn’t really ready for a relationship yet, but that I liked being friends with him. Had I known that Tony had been hearing this excuse his entire life, I may have come up with something a little more flashy. Like I had cholera and only weeks to live, and I wanted to devote my life to helping crack-heads get off the street. But I wasn’t that creative, and I thought I was being true to myself.
So things went casually. On my end, I was happy with the way things were going. I found myself more and more attracted to him each day. I told myself to wait one month, and if I still felt this way, then I would make my move. On Tony’s end, he claims that I devastated him, that he skipped school for a couple of days and did nothing but mope around the house. Apparently he was hit on by a very pretty girl at the grocery store, who asked him which type of pasta sauce he liked, and he stuttered and mumbled “Umn…catelli is good,” because all he kept thinking about was me.
Then one evening two weeks later, a Friday the 13th with a full moon, he invited me over to watch a movie with his friends. I met his friends, as well as a cute little mouse living in Tony’s walls, which made an appearance and sent Tony racing onto a chair as he squealed for someone to kill it with a broom. Despite this totally laughable scene, I felt even more attracted to him. He wasn’t afraid to show his vulnerabilities, which is more than I could say about any of the guys I had dated before.
When the night was over, he drove me home and walked me to the door. I flung my arms around him and planted a good kiss squarely on his lips.
The rest, as they say, is history.
And that wily mouse managed to outsmart all of our traps, a hunting cat, and lived to eat all of Tony’s soda crackers in his cupboard.