Part II: [our] Love Story [takes a leap forward]

(Other parts: i, iii, iv, v, ivvii)

It was November 12, 2011: roughly a month after my hospitalization and three weeks since I last saw my Boston boys.

It started out as a pretty normal Saturday. Junk food shopping in the morning with Elaina at the town’s supermarket. Essay writing in the afternoon.

Mini high school reunion in the evening. :DDD

Nothing extravagant, just dinner at a restaurant in Boston with eight friends whom I haven’t seen since graduation. The restaurant… was the most bizarre eating establishment I’ve ever been to. The servers are supposed to be the rudest, least hospitable bitchfaces you’ll ever meet. For example, if you ask for straws they’ll throw a handful in your direction. They’ll take your order by nodding at you, saying, “You. Whaddya want?” One chick took Merry’s hat off her head and wore it for the remainder of the evening. An interesting experience, to say the least.

The main feature of the restaurant is not the food, but the hats. They give every diner a paper hat resembling a giant condom with a personalized insult written on it. Sometimes it’s random, sometimes they truly pick on you. Like, Lynne’s random insult said “I braid my pit hair,” but another friend’s was truly insulting. This friend’s gender is kind of ambiguous, and so the server just wrote a question mark on her hat. She honestly didn’t understand what that was supposed to mean and I felt soooo bad that I knew exactly what it meant.

As for my hat, the server had simply written “EZ.” Uhm. I hope that was a random insult that had nothing to do with me personally.

Near the end of dinner, I received a text from Manny out of nowhere. (I got a new, non-sucky phone that can text and take pretty pictures, by the way. Except for the data plan, ’twas freeeeee <3) And I say out of nowhere because I hardly interacted with him since that day I embarrassingly ran away from the theater, and here he is with a text casually asking me what I’ve been up to when we haven’t talked in four days.

I mentioned that I happened to be in the area at that very moment, and so he tells me omg come visit!!

(His exact words, btw.)

I was actually going to ask him myself if I could visit. He just saved me the trouble.

It was pretty late when I finally got to his college, about 11:30 at night. The subway would stop running in an hour and I needed it to get back to campus, but it would have been such a shame to travel all this way only to leave moments later. Plus, it’s risky for a girl to be outside alone at this late hour.

I asked Manny and Benji if it was okay with them that I spend the night. They had made the offer before, and I know Cappa slept over once. And the guys were completely cool with having me over. The only issue was where to sleep.

(Confession: I planned it all along. I had planned on visiting and I planned on pretending I was too sleepy/it was too dangerous to leave. Why the hell else would I have my glasses and contacts stuff with me in my bag?)

But the thought of sleeping in the same [teeny tiny] bed as one of the boys made my prudish self blush, so I offered to sleep on the floor. But apparently chivalry isn’t completely dead, as Manny refused to let me do that and told me to stay in the top half of his bed; he’d sleep at the foot of it. Okay. I could handle this.

By 1 am, I was snug in bed and already semi-unconscious. The boys were wide awake on their computers like teens typically do. I was still awake enough that I opened my eyes when one of their female friends from a nearby school dropped in, wanting to watch a horror movie.

Next came the single decision that likely changed everything. Should I stay where I was and allow myself to fall asleep while the others watch the movie, or get up to watch and reposition myself so Manny could fit on the bed too?

Suppressing my inner lazy bum, I chose to watch the movie.

Benji and the girl, Traice, sat against the wall on Benji’s bed. While I got up to retrieve my glasses, Manny slid into his bed as if he were about to go to sleep, head on his pillow. I moved toward the foot of his bed and half-lied down, half-rested against the wall: a position that eventually caused me quite a bit of discomfort and cramping. Halfway through the film, I shifted until I was next to Manny, lying side-by-side, and he gave me his second pillow to use so I could be comfortable.

Well, it was a horror movie. I am easily startled. Throughout the film, these embarrassing and involuntary squeaks and squeals would escape from my throat every time something creepy jumped out. I would also bury my face into whatever was closest to me. In this case, it was either the wall or Manny’s shoulder.

Er, bad move? Boy expert Elaina said that some boys find it to be a turn on when girls look to them for comfort or protection. What if he misinterpreted my actions as being flirtatious?

After the movie ended and Traice left, it was three in the morning and the boys were scared out of their minds, LOL. Sure, I got startled during the movie, but I wasn’t scared at all afterward so I had to stifle my giggles at these two scaredy-cats. The guys were too frightened to get up and do anything else, so Benji flicked off the lights. Bedtime.

…with Manny and me lying just the way we were, just an inch of space between us.

We were close in proximity but clearly separated. The comforter was sorta bunched up in the area between our bodies, we weren’t touching at all, AND we were facing different directions. As spaced apart as two people on a twin bed could be. Let the sleeping begin!

Usually I would pass out immediately, but this time it took me a while to fall asleep, for a.) I was wearing a sweater and skinny jeans, not exactly the most comfy things to sleep in, b.) it was hot in the room and I always sleep with the fan on, and c.) I wasn’t used to having that extra body heat next to me. Manny has an abnormally high body temperature. -___-

I must have drifted off for a bit, though, because something woke me up 30-ish minutes later. I opened my eyes slightly to find that Manny and I had turned in our sleep so that we were facing each other.

That didn’t freak me out so much as his arm did, which was now draped around my waist.

You know how when you sleep you might hug a giant pillow or plushy or even your blanket? I figured Manny was doing exactly that to me. I thought it was entirely an unconscious thing, an action in his sleep. I shut my eyes and did my best to ignore it.

Manny, over a course of five or ten minutes, kept shifting in bed. It really did seem like typical sleep movements (and he did warn me beforehand that he moves a lot), and so I went along with it and didn’t wiggle away. But as time went on, his movements became more… deliberate. Calculated. Each shift pulled me closer and closer to him, until I was completely pressed up against his body, his leg wedged between the two of mine. I was positioned slightly below him, my forehead at the same level as his mouth. With my face pretty much buried into his neck, I could hear every time he swallowed. It had yet to register in my mind that this meant he was very much lucid.

By this point I was beginning to think, okay, there’s a possibility the guy’s doing this on purpose. I wasn’t sure yet, even though YOU IGNORANT BIMBO OF COURSE HE’S DOING THIS ON PURPOSE.

(Actually. I did ask him much later if he was doing it on purpose, and he said that he never went to sleep. He lay there awake the entire time, deliberating whether he should make his move, see how far he could go.)

When I sleep, I always hug my arms to my chest, hands under my chin. So I knew for sure that he was doing everything deliberately only when I felt his fingers encircle my wrist and — with more force than a sleeping person could apply — pull my arm away from my body, placing my curled hand on his chest directly over his heart.

Throughout this ordeal I was trying to feign sleep — badly, haha. It was so obvious that I was awake and wondering what the hell is going on, omg.

Manny answered that question when he tilted my chin up and softly, tentatively kissed me in the dark.

Okay, so I lied in one of my previous entries. I guess my first kiss WAS kinda short, sweet, and shy. I just hadn’t quite imagined that it would happen in a boy’s bed, in his dorm, with his roommate sleeping in the same room, at 4:30 in the morning, with me all loopy on crazy pills.

The antipsychotic I’m taking prevents abnormal activity in the brain. So while it suppresses the deep sadness that makes me do freaky things, it also blocks excitement. I had just reached a major milestone in my life, a moment that young girls imagine in their heads many many many times with the boy of her dreams, but I literally was not able to feel much beyond shock. My heart continued on beating at a normal rate. Manny, on the other hand…

My hand was resting right over his heart, and so I could feel it rapidly drumming beneath my palm. Contrary to his usually overconfident self, he was nervous. Unsure of how I might react. Well, I didn’t pull away or slap him. So he kissed me again, then quietly said my name because I wasn’t responding to him, shocked as I was.

Oh yeah. One more silent reaction.

THE NERVE OF HIM TO STEAL MY FIRST KISS FROM ME. D:< Okay, I’m not angry at him at all because I had a crush on him and had been imagining scenarios like this in my head for a while, haha. But I very well should be mad! That boy knew that I was a total relationship virgin. Heck, practically all the boys on his floor knew. He did not know for sure if I wanted this, yet he took a chance anyway.

I’m glad he did. :)

Like I said, I had noooooooo idea that he liked me. He showed no signs. Or maybe I’m just slow to the nth power. Yeah, probably that. I can never ever tell when someone likes me.

So when I whispered to him, “Manny. What’s going on? Why me?” and he whispered back, “Because I like you,” it’s understandable that I would stupidly blurt out, “No you don’t!” in response.

I kept arguing with him on this until he said some things that set me at ease and made me believe him (can’t remember what; this was two months ago). Then he kissed me again, and there was no more talking for the next twenty minutes, which was when I stopped him so we could get some sleep.

And that was only Makeout Session #1.

He had to wake up for his hour-long work study at 8 am. He left for work late and came back early. I thought it was weird that he only spent half an hour at work, but he told me later that he abandoned his shift because I was there and he wanted to spend more time with me before I left.

I inwardly awww’d. ♥

I woke up when he came back. Seeing that I was awake, he took this as time to commence Makeout Sesh #2. Not that I minded. ;P This one was more, erm, intense. Like, he pulled me on top of him and then he climbed on top of me and that was when the hickey at the bottom of this post happened. -///- That’s the sweater I was wearing at the time, too.

Aside from the tentativeness of that first kiss, his actions were as confident as ever. I could tell from the sureness of his movements that he had a ton of experience with who-knows-how-many girls. AH, but I did resist whenever his hands traveled a bit further than I was comfortable with. He respected my wishes and stopped each time.

I told him to stop after, uh, twenty minutes :P because I had to leave soon and I needed time to make myself presentable. He went back to bed while I left for the restroom.

I stared into the mirror for the longest time in horrified fascination at my appearance. Who would have thought my hair was capable of defying gravity like that. But the most telltale sign of our nightly activities was the gigantic hickey on my neck, in plain sight. Thank God I brought a scarf with me or else there would be awkward questions.

The boys were awake when I returned to the room, donning my scarf even though it was an unusually warm day. The moment Benji turned his back, Manny silently went up to me and lightly tugged my scarf down to see the mark he left on me. When he sucked in his breath, that was when I knew it was as bad as it looked in the mirror.

(By the way, Manny later casually asked Benji if he had heard any… odd noises that night. Benji didn’t, but he was curious why I was wearing a scarf on such a warm day. Then he put two and two together and figured it out. Haha, to this day I still don’t know how he reacted to the news.)

Besides that little hickey check, he acted as if nothing had happened just hours earlier. Maybe it was for his roommate’s sake, maybe he was merely reacting accordingly to how I was behaving. After all, I was pretty much doing the same thing, sitting on his bed in this incredibly prissy nothing-happened-last-night pose: one leg crossed over the other with my folded hands resting on my knee. But being paranoid as I am, that didn’t occur to me until Elaina calmly explained it back at school. Instead, I worried that Manny was just messing around with me.

It’s true that I had a crush on him. It’s also true that I was well aware of his image as a huge player, a sex god of sorts. He just looked like a very sexual being. I imagined that he slept with a different girl every weekend. I had no proof of this, other than watching him bring back a huge bag of condoms from a college event and then show them off to his friends. Well, he wouldn’t NEED condoms if he wasn’t getting any bedroom action, right? It’s not something you would just happen to have.

That’s why I was completely okay with believing that Manny didn’t reciprocate my feelings. He was the typical bad boy that good girls like me are attracted to.

I wondered about his true intentions every day for the next week. I consulted friends. I sent him subtle texts (well… subtle except for the time I let slip that I thought he was beautiful). Does he truly like me or is he the playboy my head made him out to be? I had the opportunity to find out just a week later, when he invited me to come over again. Little did I know that his roommate would be out of town then…

[to be continued!]

Until next time,

~ Mimi :O

P.S. I intended this tale to only take two posts to tell, but it looks like it’s gonna take four. Can you blame me for wanting to remember every detail of my first relationship? I feel like this will come in handy for future romancey fics, now that I actually have experience. :Dv

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