There is always a 'but' with us (whatever 'us' really means). I like you a lot, but; this feels amazing, but; there is a real connection here, but. But we won't be in the same country; but we've only known each other for less than a month; and so taking this further doesn't make sense.
Let me backtrack and make a stab at some narrative linearity here. Briefly (for I spent a lot of emotional energy writing about this and thinking about this and feeling sad about this over the weekend and I am exhausted): I met G for dinner on Friday at Buona Vista. While he waited, he walked around the place and after I arrived, he said that he spotted a couple of interesting eating places. I teased him about making a decision on where to go for once. The food was surprisingly pretty good, the conversation was better, and the company was amazing. After dinner, we went to Rochester Park (which was unrecognisable from the last time I was there, probably sometime in 2007 with Kenneth) and had a couple of drinks in a Spanish-themed restaurant/bar. For a while, things were amazing as usual: we talked about nerdy thing like writing papers and how to get into a constant routine to help with the writing process, such as going to the same place every day, one that works for you; I told him about Ronald Dworkin's take on moral reasoning and how amazing I found his writing; and then he asked me about my ex-boyfriends. I wanted to ask him about his ex-girlfriends, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to know, and so I didn't in the end.
And then it went downhill. It went downhill because he said, 'Our relationship perplexes me.' He also said, 'I don't know what we are.' He said, 'This doesn't feel casual. There is a real connection here. This feels serious.'
These are the kind of things that a girl would always love to hear from a guy she's dating. If the circumstances surrounding this romance, whatever it's called, were remotely normal, I would be on cloud 9, walking around with a stupid smile on my face and a light spring in my steps, my heart bursting at the seams with happiness.
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
It was another emotionally-charged conversation that was honest, open and revealing, but which ultimately resolved nothing. At the end of it, I asked him what he wanted to do about 'us'. He said he didn't know, and then he was bothered by some smokers next to us and we got up and left.
We walked around the new mall (whatever it's called) and I could tell that he was making an effort to rescue the evening from, well, despair. I appreciated the effort but I needed answers. Yet, I couldn't say anything because - I was tired, I didn't want to waste my time with him on negative emotions, I don't know. I don't know. At the MRT station, I couldn't move when my train arrived because I didn't know what was going to happen after I got on the train that would take me away from him. I finally asked if I should expect to see him over the weekend; he said he'd text me on Saturday.
I walked home that night from the MRT station, half crying. It took me thirty minutes. The next day, I felt like shit. I woke up too early; I couldn't go back to bed because I immediately found myself thinking about G. I was morose at breakfast. I cried in the car when my mom drove me to campus. The only time I did not think about G was when I was working on my paper.
I felt like shit through tennis with Adrian. My legs were also aching like crazy from Thursday's run, and it was through sheer determination and willpower that I managed to play on half a leg. I needed the distraction; I needed to feel like I was on the brink of collapse; I needed to hit the ball. I had to, because my mind was flooded with thoughts of G otherwise, and I was tired.
I played really badly at first, mistiming all my backhands and pissing myself off. Then I told myself to focus, to prepare properly, and it got better. Maybe I even started to feel a bit better too, but that was swiftly ended by G when he texted me at about 5.45pm.
It went back and forth. And then it just stopped. Six or seven hours went by; absolute silence on his end. From what he told me the night before, I knew for sure that he was having a bad day; it's got a point where I can tell from his messages the kind of mood that he's in. On Saturday, he was half-hearted, and then he just fucked off without warning.
Six or seven hours later, I finally admitted to myself that I was fucking hurt by the silence. Ergo, I sent a massive message to him at 2 in the morning, saying that I had a terrible day, that I was sad thinking about him, that his freezing me out was very hurtful, that I was emotionally exhausted, that I couldn't deal with his hot and cold behaviour anymore, that I wanted to meet on Sunday and resolve this one way or the other.
He replied half an hour later (when I was already sleeping) with four simple lines: was having a bad day; didn't feel like going out; didn't aim to hurt me; and wanted to be alone.
I absolutely needed to see him on Sunday. I was tired, too tired, from this - the emotional expenses, the constant back and forth, how he made me feel happy and sad all at once, and the extremities were costing me. I decided that, no matter what, I was going to talk to him on Sunday - even if it meant driving all the way to his village in Upper Changi to corner him. That was how much I needed to talk to him.
Thankfully, I didn't have to resort to that like some crazy person. He texted at 2-ish saying that he was going to his usual Starbucks in Dhoby Ghaut and that I could join him if I wanted (he called this Starbucks our 'love nest' on the Sunday that we went to Sentosa).
We met in the early evening. Before this, I had talked myself into talking and resolving things; I had almost convinced myself that it was going to be over, that he was going to tell me that he was resolutely against a long distance arrangement and therefore, there was no point in continuing to see each other.
As a result, I was stiff and weird when we met. He was working on his laptop when I arrived, and when I sat down without leaning in for a kiss, I said that I'd left mine in my car. 'You should get it,' he said. Before I went back to Park Mall to get my laptop, he reached across the table and gently squeezed my hand.
My brain had already gone into overdrive analysing every single gesture that he made towards me. This simple squeezing of my hand confused me. What did it mean? He didn't try to kiss me and yet he seemed a bit affectionate. Was it just a pity gesture?
We worked for an hour and a half and the working distracted me from thinking about what was going to happen. At one point, he walked over to me and stood behind me; I half expected him to wrap his arms around my waist or shoulders, but all he did was gently touch my shoulders and told me that he was going for a five-minute walk.
When we headed off for dinner, I wasn't sure whether to take his hand or not. My mind registered his failure to kiss me. It put me in a weird frame of mind; I didn't know how to act, what to say, whether to bring it up or to keep my mouth shut. In the end, I let him dictate. He took my hand - literally took it in his. I noticed the reduced intimacy but said nothing.
We went to the Glass House for dinner. In my mind, I'd sped ahead to after dinner, thinking about where to go that was private to talk. As a result, I couldn't really focus when he was talking about the Greek crisis, going in depth like he always does; I probably came across as disinterested, but I was distracted.
When we left the restaurant, I was surprised when he suggested getting dessert in lieu of drinks (I drove that day and I never drink and drive). He even said that he was up for watching a movie, and so we walked to Plaza Singapura. I was confused and unsure when he started tickling me after I teased him about making an actual decision on what to do, and then his hands lingered on my waist, and when we resumed walking, he took my hand again, this time with our fingers intertwined.
The intimacy returned. He kissed me at some point; I don't remember when it was. At Plaza Singapura, he put his arms around my waist when we were riding the escalator. He wanted to show me some stores at the top floor, and one of them was selling Totoro plush toys. I started gushing, telling him it was a character from my favourite animated film as a child...and then he said, 'I'll buy it for you.'
He bought me the first Totoro plush toy that I picked up without even checking the price. I know it's just a plush toy, but he bought it for me out of nowhere - and it single-handedly melted me. 'It's for your office,' he said. This morning, I brought it to work and even took it to the library with me in the afternoon.
The night steadily became another amazing date. We went to Adidas in the Cathay where I couldn't find the Stella McCartney outfit that I wanted; he joked, 'You can always play in the nude.' I looked pointedly at him and said, 'With other men?' He had a sheepish smile on his face as he replied, 'No, with me.' (Yeah...sure.)
We had ice-cream at this Milk Cow place. We walked around the Cathay; went all the way up to the top floor, where he suggested stepping over the barricade and crashing one of the theatres since no one was checking anyway. We caught a couple of creepy movie trailers on the ground floor, then sat at Starbucks and talked. We discussed horror movies; he showed me a John Oliver clip on his phone; he marvelled over the smoothness of my skin, complimented my sandals, told me that he liked seeing me in short shorts, sniffed my hair and said that 'even your hair smells good', kissed me the way he's always had.
I debated on whether to bring up the subject that I originally wanted to talk about. But my resolve was weakening rapidly; it felt amazing to be with him; and I wanted to believe that it was real. And so I said nothing. He said nothing too.
He walked me to my car (I must admit that when he said 'let's go to your car' I thought he meant go to my car to make out) just because. I came home feeling stupidly happy, my Totoro in hand, the memory of how it felt to hold him close to me still fresh in my mind.
I slept pretty soundly, until I drifted out of sleep at 4 in the morning, checked my phone to see if Federer had beaten Djokovic in the Cincinnati final (he had!), and suddenly thought, 'I should have brought it up.'
I was ready for it to end - that is, as ready as one can be for matters that would cause a considerable amount of hurt, heartbreak, pain and suffering. I was mentally prepared. I was tired of going back and forth and I wanted a resolution, I wanted a conclusion, I just wanted some fucking certainty; I also wanted to talk about it, to explore the different options that we had and their plausibility, and I wanted to know, too, the exact nature of his feelings for me. Why does he like me? Is there something specific about me that is important to him? I wanted to get to the bottom of it so that I could decide if this was worth fighting for: if he likes me the way that I like him, then I would be more inclined; but if I'm just another girl that he happens to be attracted to, then I would rather just walk away.
None of these issues have been addressed because I chickened out, and I chickened out because I fucking love being with him and I just - I just wanted to prolong it. It turned out that I wasn't ready. And now the same uncertainties persist, with the added question of what exactly he's thinking, where is he in this...I don't know, struggle, whatever, this process. Has he managed to resolve the emotional struggle? Has his rational mind won? But why did he make it so couple-y last night?
Is it possible to be happy and sad at the same time? His US visa is supposed to be approved tomorrow (Tuesday). He said last Friday that it was entirely possible that he'd fly out immediately the next day because he was supposed to be in Berkeley a week ago. He's probably leaving this week. I should have resolved it on Sunday. And I don't know, this is disjointed and incoherent because I am physically and mentally tired and my brain isn't working - but I would be crushed if Sunday turned out to be the last time that I see him before he leaves. If he does that to me, I think I would hate him. I couldn't think of anything worse that he could do to me at this point.
I am incredibly tired and confused. I need to sleep.