Read part 1 here.
The phone call from Jeff was unexpected. However, learning of his secret admiration warmed me as much as it alarmed me. We'd been forging a friendlier than usual union from the wreckage of my last relationship, but never did I pick up any clues that for him it was more. Our most common interest, my ex and his friend, had moved on to another girl, so he thought the coast was clear. I honestly never saw it coming. We had made our prom pact sort of jokingly. But he now took full advantage of the deal. And upped the ante, it seemed. Jeff wanted more. Jeff was laying all his chips on the table. Jeff actually made a good argument for himself. By being his honest, humble, humorous self he forced me to look at him in a new light. He used the hell out of the surprise element. He was also fortunate in his timing. Navy boy's resistance to me had been wearing thin. I'm not even ashamed to say I succumbed to Jeff's subtle charms. I've no excuses except for that my 16 year old self was subject to flattery and attention. Both of which Navy boy was being stingy with.
I'm sure subconsciously my motivation for dating Jeff included prodding Navy boy into action. I wanted him to act. Did I expect him to? No. And he didn't. With my preoccupation at giving this new thing with Jeff a go, added into the excitement of upcoming prom, I temporarily abandoned my advances. But I never stopped wanting. If Navy boy was my life's lesson in patience and determination, then Jeff was my lesson in settling for less.
From the beginning of our arrangement (I hesitate to even call it a relationship) I felt - even knew deep down - that what I had with Jeff wouldn't last. I tried my best, enjoyed myself, gave over to the experience of someone, something new. No matter how I tried I couldn't lie and say that my smiles and happiness were as true as his. I couldn't say that I wanted him as much as he wanted me, or as much as I wanted Navy boy. And even still, I carried the power within me to make things so much worse. I began exchanging late night conversations with the ex. Conversations meant to be light, friendly catch-ups and how-have-you-beens turned into I-miss-yous, are-we-really-overs, and I'd-like-to-see-you-one-last-times. *sigh* And that's how I found myself agreeing to skip school early on the last day before spring break in order to have an illicit, long overdue breakup fuck with my ex. No bones about it. We weren't rekindling a romance. This was not a reunited love. It was scratching an itch, and it was either so right it was wrong, or so wrong that it felt right. But this was the first spark of excitement I'd felt in too long. I had no regrets. Even when I ran into Jeff outside the school and lied to his face about my leaving, even when the ex lied to Jeff about why he didn't need a ride to school that morning, and no...not even when Jeff surprised us both by showing up after school while we were sharing a post-coital nap and I had to quickly hide in my ex's mother's room, thanking God that I'd had the good sense to park my car in the garage.
Believe it or not, it took all that for me to see that perhaps, just maybe I sorta wasn't taking this thing with Jeff seriously and needed to cut the poor guy loose.
If it was only that easy.