Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips

“We spent the next few hours in bed, doing those things that sound really lame once they’re written, but they’re so perfect in the moment.”

A few months ago, I reconnected with a guy I went to high school with. But he’s not just any guy, he’s the guy I spent too many nights wishing for — my high school crush.

Since I moved to Louisiana, he’d cross my mind every year for random reasons, and sometimes I contacted him; other times I didn’t. Finally, 10 years later, he answered.

We talked every day for weeks, even making plans to meet up on my next trip in town. Despite my decade-long crush, I realized how little I knew about him.

Turns out, he has a journalism degree (interesting), he’s an animal lover (sweet), and he loves to cook (sexy). When he told me he was on his couch, reading on a Friday night, I wanted to sprint the 842 miles to his house and propose.

Seriously, where had he been all my life? I was already fantasizing about my upcoming road trip, ending up in his arms for a movie-worthy kiss. And at some point, we’d end up in bed beside each other, reading, because I’ve always wanted to do that.

Weeks later, I woke up in his bed. The night before, he cooked for me, and we watched episodes of our shared guilty pleasure, “Party Down South.”

Light flooded his bedroom, and I could clearly see my clothes from the night before, draped over his nightstand. We didn’t have sex, because I vividly remembered saying we shouldn’t (but hey, I’ll still get naked), given it was the equivalent of a first date.

He wasn’t in the bed with me, and I hoped it wasn’t my snoring that kicked him out.

I crept out of his door, and started down the stairs (still nude), to see him laying on his couch.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I woke up and didn’t want to wake you,” he said.

I went back to his bed, and he followed soon after.

We spent the next few hours in bed, doing those things that sound really lame once they’re written, but they’re so perfect in the moment.

He has this silky blond hair that curls at each end, and if I could wake up running my fingers through it every day, then I would never get out of bed.

“Don’t leave,” he whispered.

Could it be, that after dating all the wrong guys for 10 years, the one I liked in 9th grade could be The One?

My ride back to Louisiana was spent reliving that night – and the next morning. I wasn’t sure when I’d get to see him again.

While it was apparent we both felt some type of spark, I hate gray areas. So, I spilled my guts and basically told him everything.

In response, he told me how much he enjoyed my visit, but he’d just gotten out of a serious relationship and wasn’t ready to jump into another one.

Although I don’t know many details about his breakup, I tried not to let the cynic in me take over. I believe he was being honest, and I can’t get mad about that.

I’ve been in his shoes before; and dating at the wrong time often leads to disaster.

After being single for a year, I’m ready. But of course, I need to meet someone who’s also ready – it might be him, or it might be someone new. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, we decided to read the same book (“The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith), so we could discuss it together at the end. Some nights, when I’m in bed reading it, I picture him reading it in his bed, too. If nothing else, I know we’re under the same moon.

Read more about Holly’s attempts at time travel on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com. 

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