Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Chapter 35 (7/26/16)

I was getting ready for my date with Jesse on Saturday when I got a text from Jamie.  It said, “Hey stranger, when are you going to come visit me?”  It had been over a month since I’d last exchanged texts with Jamie, so I was surprised a little by him revisiting the invitation he’d offered me months earlier.  “Why? Horny and run through all your Seattle options?” I texted back, teasing him.  “You insult me,” he replied.  “I want to see you!  The sex that we may or may not (but probably will) have is just a bonus.”  We bantered back and forth for a few minutes and I told him I’d look at my schedule and try to figure out a time to go see him. 
I finished getting ready for my date and then headed out to meet Jesse.  I beat him to the restaurant by several minutes and put our names on the short list for a table.  When Jesse got there, he apologized profusely for being late again.  “I’m late a lot, actually,” he admitted.  “You might as well know that!”
“Well, that’s honest,” I said, chuckling.  “Late people don’t bother me too much, as long as they let me know if it’s going to be more than 10 or 15 minutes.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” he replied, grinning.  Then he paused, looked me up and down, and said, “You look really beautiful.”
“Thank you, you look good too,” I said sincerely.  I wondered if he was going to be overly complimentary again, then realized I was being silly and it wasn’t the worst thing in the world for someone to be nice to me. 
We talked while we waited, and it was a little disjointed and awkward.  I was trying really hard to keep the conversation going, but once we got seated, Jesse had relaxed a little and it got easier.  I could not figure out why he was so nervous.  Once he loosened up a little I realized he was actually pretty funny.  It was subtle, but he had a great sense of humor if I was paying attention. 
When we finished dinner, Jesse asked, “Do you want to grab a drink somewhere, or…I don’t know, go for a walk or something?”  He looked down at my shoes, as if looking to see if they were appropriate for physical activity.
“Actually, I’d love to go for a walk, do you want to walk down to the lakefront?”  He agreed, and we walked the couple blocks down to the Lakewalk.  We wandered along the trail, walking close enough together that our arms bumped from time to time.  The first few times it happened, he quickly moved his arm away, but by the 7th or 8th time, he didn’t even flinch when they brushed together. 
“Can I ask you something?” he blurted randomly after we had been walking quietly for a couple minutes. 
“Sure,” I replied, curious what he wanted to ask.
He took a deep breath, and then said, “So, you’re divorced.”
“Yes,” I confirmed, feeling a sinking in my stomach for some reason.
“You don’t have to answer this, it’s okay if you don’t.  But…what happened?”
I struggled with what to say.  How much detail did he want?  Finally, I just said, “He cheated on me.  Repeatedly.”  I left it at that, not wanting to be the crazy person who rants and raves about her ex on a date with a new guy.
“Oh, okay,” he said, sounding relieved.  “Well, that makes sense then.”
Puzzled, I said, “Can I ask why you asked?  You seem like you were expecting something else.”
He laughed nervously.  “Well, I have to admit that I don’t remember the night I met you all too well, and I have no idea how much you remember, but you had a lot of not so great things to say about being married to an asshole that night.  I’m not holding any of it against you, of course,” he clarified hurriedly, “Because we were both really drunk, but I’ve just been really curious since then.”
My face burned.  “Yeah, I was really out of control that night, and I’m pretty embarrassed about it, actually.  I honestly don’t remember much of the second half of the night, but Rachael filled me in, and I was horrified.”
“Don’t be,” he said immediately.  “We all have those nights!  I just wanted to ask now because it was on my mind, and I wanted to be able to get an answer and then not worry about it.  I don’t think any less of you for it.  For getting really drunk, I mean, not for being divorced.”  After a beat he seemed to realize what he’d just implied and quickly said, “I mean, I definitely don’t think any less of you for being divorced either!”
I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing.  He peered at me curiously in the weird light from the setting sun, and I just shook my head.  “I’m sorry, this is so awkward right at this second, and I’m a nervous laugher.”
He laughed too then.  “I’ll be honest, I’ve never dated someone that’s been divorced before, so I’ve been really nervous about not saying or doing the wrong thing and upsetting you.”
“Oh, I wish you weren’t,” I told him.  “Despite what drunk me would have you believe, I’m actually pretty hard to upset.  I think.” I caught his eye and we both grinned.  “I’m still pretty new to dating after being divorced too, so I’m not entirely sure what the ‘wrong thing’ might even be!”  After taking a second to catch my breath, I said, “Can we just agree that if you have questions, you should just ask me, and if I don’t want to answer them, I’ll just tell you that and it will be fine?”
“That sounds like a really great plan,” he said, nodding. 
The rest of our walk was much more enjoyable.  Jesse almost immediately relaxed and turned back into the guy I had originally met during my night out with Rachael.  We walked for well over an hour and if taken by itself, was one of the best dates I’d been on since my divorce.
Finally, we called it a night and headed back towards where we parked.  Jesse walked me to my car and we stood outside my car talking for about 15 more minutes.  Eventually, he said, “So, now that we got everything all straightened out, I’d really like to see you again.  Soon?”
“We can do soon,” I agreed.  “Monday?  Tuesday?  Tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow,” he suggested.  “Feel free to laugh if this is a dumb idea, but have you ever been up to Split Rock?  To see the lighthouse?  It’s kind of nerdy, but I’m really interested in lighthouses, and that one is pretty cool.”
“I’ve been to the park and I’ve seen it but I’ve never been inside or anything,” I said.  “I don’t think that’s dumb. I think it’s a great idea, actually!”
Jesse grinned.  “How about I pick you up, we grab some lunch, go explore the lighthouse and wander around some of the trails if you want, and then see what we feel like after that?”
“That sounds good to me!” I replied. 
We stood there awkwardly for just a split second, and then Jesse leaned forward and kissed me.  His lips didn’t linger long on mine, and I had just processed what was happening when it was over.  “Okay, well, goodnight,” he said.  “I’ll see you tomorrow.  Will you text me your address?”
I assured him I would and said goodnight, then he stood there for just a second more before smiling shyly, shoving his hands in his pockets, and turning and walking away.


  1. Well that was surprisingly sweet!!!

  2. Aww how cute!!! You are making me love all these guys! Haha

  3. Awww that was such a sweet date! Great post 😊

  4. I know Kevin was a huge jerk, but Jenna has had some pretty awesome luck these days!!! Good for her!

  5. Excited for her!!!!

  6. I cant help but feel like jesse isnt that exciting, im sorry. Im a horrible person but i get nothing from him and it feels like jenna isnt overly excited either...