Thursday, January 12, 2017

Chapter 63 (1/12/17)

Not sure what's gotten into me!  Next post will be up Sunday evening :)

I left early enough on Sunday to get home in time to grab dinner with Ryan before he got on a red eye flight to London for more than two weeks.  “So,” he said casually while we shared an appetizer, “I have this wedding to go to the weekend after I get back.”
“Oh?” I responded carefully, not sure where he was going to take this.
“Yeah.  It’s in Chicago.  I haven’t RSVPed yet because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be around, but I will be.  And I knew that before, but I still haven’t RSVPed because I wasn’t sure how many to put down.”
            I cocked an eyebrow at him.  “Are you asking me if I’d like to go with you?”
“Well, I don’t know.  That depends on if you’d like to go or if it would freak you out.  Would it freak you out?”
I laughed.  “I would love to go with you,” I told him.  “I love Chicago.  And I love weddings!  Well, that’s not true.  I love wedding receptions.”
“Before you agree,” he warned me, “you should know that it’s a friend from my hometown.  So pretty much everyone I knew growing up will be there.  Except Rachael, ironically enough.”
I hesitated.  I hadn’t considered that.  Ryan noticed my hesitation and quickly started to say that it was okay if I didn’t want to go, but I silenced him with a shake of my head.  “I want to go,” I said. 
Ryan grinned broadly.  “I have enough frequent flyer miles that we can fly.  It’s a terrible drive.  And I don’t know if you have the vacation time, but if you do and wanted to take a couple extra days there, we could stay Monday.  Or Monday and Tuesday.  It’s just such a great city.”
“That sounds fun,” I said.  “I’m not sure how much time I have, but I know I have at least a day.  Let me double check, but I’d love to stay until Monday or Tuesday.”
Ryan looked so excited that I thought about trying to talk to him about our status and making things officially official, but I didn’t want to risk changing the atmosphere on the fun time we were having.  And I also didn’t want to have that conversation a mere hour before he got on a plane.  Maybe when he got back.

The 16 days Ryan was gone went really fast.  I spent a lot of time rehearsing in my head how I would tell him I was ready to call him my boyfriend.  Erica, Kelly, Grace, and Rachael all thought I was crazy and overthinking it.  But I had taken such a long time getting to this point, I wanted the conversation to go flawlessly. 
But every time I tried to bring it up, something happened.  It was a comedy of errors.  My phone would ring.  His phone would ring.  We would get distracted.  And then we were on the way to the airport to fly to Chicago.  And in the airport or on the airplane wasn’t the right time either.  We got in late on Friday and pretty much fell directly into bed.  After the wedding, I thought to myself, as we drove from our hotel to the church for the ceremony.  Tonight.  Or tomorrow over brunch.  Yes, tomorrow over brunch.  That would be perfect!
“So,” Ryan said casually, flipping down the visor and checking his hair out in the mirror.  “How do you want me to introduce you?”
“What?” I asked, frowning. 
“Well, you won’t know anyone.  They won’t know you.  Polite society demands that I tell those people who you are, and vice versa.  So what do you want me to tell them?”
“Tell them I’m Jenna,” I said, giving him a weird look.  “Am I supposed to make up a code name or something?”
Ryan sighed.  “Of course I’ll tell them you’re Jenna.  But if I just say, ‘Hey Jacob, this is Jenna,’ we’re going to get a lot of, ‘Oh, are you two…?’”
“Are we…?” I asked, confused.  Then the realization hit me and I colored.  “Oh.  You mean they’ll want to know if I’m your girlfriend.”
“Yep,” Ryan said, nodding.  “So, in order to avoid any awkward conversations, I figured I’d ask you how you wanted me to introduce you.  As my friend?  My date?  My great aunt?  Who looks amazing for her age, by the way.”
I knew it was a joke, but I didn’t laugh.  Now I was wishing we had already had this conversation.  But now wasn’t the time either.  “Um, well, as your date, I guess?  Wait, they won’t think I’m hooker then, will they?  Maybe you should stick with friend?  But we’re not really friends, we’re…”
“I could introduce you as the woman I’m dating,” he offered.  His voice was calm but I could tell from him shifting in his seat and looking at his watch that he was frustrated.
“Sure, that’s probably most accurate,” I replied.  “Are you mad?”
“No,” he said. 
“Are you sure?” I asked, not believing him. 
“Jenna, I’m not mad.  It’s fine.  I’m just nervous, I haven’t seen a lot of these people in a long time.”
“I’m a little nervous too,” I admitted.  This was going to be a lot of people I didn’t know and needed to impress. 
Ryan turned and smiled at me.  I smiled back, and reached for his hand.  He squeezed gently before saying, “We should get in there.”
“Yes, we should,” I agreed. 
We didn’t even make it to the door of the church before we heard a loud, “Ryan?  Ryan Christianson?  Oh my god!  I didn’t know you were going to be here!”  Before I could even turn in the direction of the sound, a tiny, shockingly pretty redhead was engulfing Ryan in a hug.  Or, as engulfed as a tiny woman can do with a tall man.  “I haven’t seen you in years!”  She became suddenly aware of me.  “Oh, I’m so sorry, hi!  I’m Eleanor.  Ryan and I were high school sweethearts.”
“Well, that might be taking it a bit far, don’t you think, Nor?”
Eleanor giggled and rolled her eyes.  “No one calls me that anymore.  Well, actually, no one ever called me that but you.  Stop being rude and introduce me to this beautiful woman next to you!”
Ryan chuckled.  “This is Jenna, she’s my date,” he said.
I frowned and looked at him.  That’s not what we had decided on.  But he wasn’t looking at me.  “Hi Jenna, it’s so nice to meet you.  Ryan and I go way back, I could tell you all sorts of embarrassing stories about him.  Find me during the cocktail hour and I’d love to tell you as many as I can remember!  I have to run now.  I’ll connect with you both after the ceremony!”  She stood on her tiptoes and kissed Ryan’s cheek, flashed a perfect grin, and hurried into the church.
“Eleanor, huh?” I said.  “Your high school sweetheart?”
“It wasn’t like that,” he said, shaking his head. 
“No, no, don’t worry about me,” I said.  “I’m just your date, after all.”
“Jenna, I’m sorry.  I was surprised by her sudden arrival and messed up my words.”
“Right, of course,” I replied.  I took a breath, determined not to sulk.  “Well, shall we?”
He grinned and held out a hand to me.  “We shall.”


  1. Ahhh! Cannot wait to see what happens next


  2. Girlllll!!! You're killing me these posts! I was so excited to see another one!! :)

  3. Jenna is ridiculous. Ryan left her a perfect opportunity to tell him to introduce her as his girlfriend and she was the one who downplayed it. She has no right getting all bent out of shape when she's the one who insists on playing it safe and being a cold bitch.

    Jenna is miserable, high maintenance, and very unlikable and I love it! Great writing!!!

    1. exactly! what's with all these nonsense of "the perfect time" when the perfect opportunity present itself and she just let it past aaarrg *frustrated

  4. Come onnn!! Girl! Tell him you want to be his girlfriend. Gosh she is so frustrating!
    Great writing. Let us know when you write on NBNA blog :)

  5. This girl is so frustrating! The man wants to be your boyfriend, you want to be his girlfriend. Combined, that makes any moment the perfect moment.