Monday, September 5, 2016

Chapter 48 (9/5/16)

When I woke up, Ryan was sitting on the edge of the bed, stretching.  “Hey,” he said softly, noticing I was awake. 
“Hey,” I replied, looking down.  I realized that I probably looked like a wreck from crying and I tried in vain to at least smooth my hair down.
“You’re beautiful,” he told me. 
I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t know what to say.  Finally, I met his eyes again.  “Now what?” I asked meekly.
He smiled slightly, the corners of his mouth just barely turning up.  It was a sad smile.  “That’s up to you,” he said.  “Jenna, I want to be with you. But I understand where you’re coming from and I won’t push you.  The ball is fully in your court.”
“Haven’t you learned that I don’t make the best decisions?” I asked.  It was an attempt at a joke, but it fell hollow and was too true to be funny.
“I think you make whatever decisions are best for you at the time,” he said quietly.
I looked down, picking at some imaginary lint on the bed.  I was silent, but my thoughts were racing.  If I could just get him out of here, I could try to forget him.  But his presence made me think about what could be.  As soon as I thought about being happy with him, visions of catching him cheating pushed themselves into my head.  I covered my face with my hands and forced the negative thoughts away. 
Ryan’s weight moved the mattress as he got back in bed with me.  I couldn’t help myself; I rolled onto my side and fit my body against his.  He wrapped one arm around me and stroked my hair with his other hand, occasionally shifting it to brush along my cheek and jaw and down my neck.  I relaxed under his touch and melted against him, realizing that I could have this whenever I wanted.  
“Ryan?” I asked softly, my voice cracking.  I cleared my throat and tried again.  “So, if we did this…”
He waited for me to continue, but I stopped.  “Jenna?” he prompted.
“I don’t know how well I’d deal with you being gone a lot,” I finished.  “I think that would be hard for me.” 
“I don’t know how I’d handle it either,” he admitted.  “But I don’t have to do this much traveling forever.  If we decide to go for this, and it works out, down the road I can always ask to be moved to doing something where I spend most of my time local.”
“But that’s your career,” I said.  “You love what you do.”
“I do,” he agreed, “but it’s never been my plan to travel forever.  I just haven’t yet had a reason to stop traveling.”
“Oh,” I said dumbly. 
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do something where I don’t travel at all, unless I leave my current company.  I don’t want to do that.  So there will probably always be some travel, but it won’t always been so frequent.  Right now I’m spending more time traveling than not, and eventually it could be more like a week or two every couple months or so.”
I shifted against him, listening to his heart beat.  It seemed faster than usual.  Was he just as nervous as I was right now?  We lay silently for several minutes as I processed what he just said, and then I said, “Okay, I don’t mean this to be mean, but what…what if it doesn’t work?  What if we jump into this and it doesn’t work and it’s terrible?” 
“Will you sit up and look at me for a second?” he asked gently.  “Please.”  I did, pulling the blankets tightly across my lap as if they could protect me from myself.  “We don’t have to jump into anything,” he said.  “And like I said last night, we can go at your pace.  If that means you’re hanging out with just your toes in the water for a while, that’s fine.  If you want to take the steps into the pool instead of jumping in, that’s what we’ll do.  And then if it doesn’t work, we’ll know and be done and at least we won’t have to wonder.”
“Your metaphors are terrible,” I grumbled. 
“No they’re not,” he retorted with a smirk.  “Don’t deny it, you love them.” 
I laughed softly.  “Okay, I kind of do.”  Ryan spontaneously reached out and brushed his fingers across my cheek, then pushed a stray piece of hair behind my ear.  The gesture was so tender and unprompted that I almost lost it. My skin felt warm where his fingers had been, however brief.  “So, if I wanted to dip my toes in the pool, what would that look like?” I asked tentatively.
“Well, I’m open for discussion, but in my mind, that would look like letting me take you out on a date.  A real date.”
Now I smirked.  “As opposed to the fake dates we’re been having?” I asked.
“Exactly,” he replied, chuckling.  “I’m talking I pick you up, bring you flowers, take you to dinner, the whole cliché 9 yards.  And then at the end of the date I walk you to the door and stand there awkwardly for entirely too long trying to decide if it’s okay to kiss you, and then I do and you turn your head and I kiss the side of your face instead.”
I laughed.  “Flowers?  Who even does that anymore?  Too late though, I expect all those things.”
“Are you accepting my request for a date, then?” he asked.  His tone was light but he was looking at me seriously.
“Yeah,” I said quietly, looking away from the intensity of his gaze for a second.  “Yeah, I guess I am.”

11 comments:

  1. Yes!�� Love this post!

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  2. Any chance you could do a post from Ryan's point of view? Please!

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    1. I agree, since it seems like Ryan hasn't had many relationships in the past, I am curious to hear his side of this decision.

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    2. YES!!! Agreed!

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  3. Jenna still sucks, hahaha! I'm glad to see she isn't playing the victim so hard core and is actually giving Ryan a fair shot. Great post!!

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  4. YAY! But, I think if jenna is already have flashes of him cheating on her and they aren't even dating yet...it might be doomed. Especially with him traveling, her paranoia about being hurt is probably going to be x100, and he would have to ease out of the travel slowly for his job.

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    1. Also...re reading this post again, I am having flashbacks to New Beginnings New Adventures (RIP ); )when Brody was working too much and never had time to spend with Liv.

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    2. But Brody had to work so much as he was starting his own business, Ryan travels so much because he had no reason not to. The fact that he can pare it back because he now has a reason is great! mum

      PS..finally a post where I don't want to just choke Jenna!

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  5. YESSS YESSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I am obsessed.

    I really think, like other readers have suggested, that Jenna should get a therapist and really start dealing & healing from her divorce/Kevin. She has to nip those relationship insecurities in the bud! I really hope she can.

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