Always awkward. Trying to establish what to call yourselves. Are you a couple? Are you not a couple? Do you WANT to be a couple? Or do you kinda not want it?
I have probably been a pain in the neck to more than one boy when it came to the DTR. Brian Weller being one of them.
Actually, Brian Weller is the first boy to successfully carry out the DTR with me. Looks like he'll be my last too. Whew, glad I've put that DTR bogus behind me.
For those of you who don't know the 'lingo', DTR stands for defining the relationship.
I still remember the day that mine and Brian's DTR happened. It was on Presidents' Day. Year 2010. So long ago :). We had the day off from school. So Brian and I celebrated together that evening. We went to a movie. At that beautiful gem of a cheap theater (tickets for $3? I think yes!). After the movie ended, we were cracking lame jokes as we walked through the cold to Brian's truck. The cold air nipped at my nose and seemed to freeze my lungs with every intake of breath. We continued cracking lame jokes even as Brian started driving away. Then when we hit a red light at an intersection. . .well, that is when the lame jokes ended and the awkward pause started.
* * * *
What is happening? Brian is staring way too intensely at that red light. I am actually afraid that maybe it will blind him. Could staring at street lights blind you? Injure your eyes at least a little bit? If so, Brian is in deep danger. I feel something in the air. An air of seriousness. And I don't know quite what that could mean.
Brian and I have been going out consistently now for about a month. The kisses goodnight (and a few in between) have continued. The texting is more frequent. Almost constant, to be honest. And Brian has now witnessed several of my spaz outs, something I keep very hidden from most boys I crush on. So pretty much, he has been shown first-hand that I am strange and maybe slightly crazy. One of these spaz outs involved me pinning him to the ground in my apartment for a solid hour and chicken pecking him (remember, I was on USU's track team at the time, working out about 40 hours a week. I was tough.), and another one involved me chest bumping him right into the vegetable stand at the grocery store. Don't worry, it was just Wal-Mart. That is probably one of the classier acts that has taken place in that dirty store.
So I have been playing with the idea that this air of seriousness might make its way between me and Brian at some point. I figured the result would be either him wanting me to be his girlfriend or him telling me he's just not that interested. I don't know how I'll respond to either.
Finally, Brian speaks. He is still staring into that darn red light.
"Kels, I've been thinking. . ."
Ah man, the boy has been thinking. Never good.
Suddenly, he turns and looks at me. He looks at me more seriously than he ever has.
"Kelsey Keller, I don't want to play games any more. I really like you."
I feel as if my body is sinking into the truck seat. Luckily, the green light saves me some time.
Brian makes the left turn and then is ready to continue with the conversation.
"Um, alright," I say, "I really like you too. That's nice. We like each other."
Gosh, I sound so stupid.
I realize I am sitting up very straight. Which is common for me. I am a girl of good posture. But when I am nervous, I tend to sit up extra straight.
I quickly go through all the possible ideas in my head to change the subject.
I could talk about an actor in the movie we just saw.
I could talk about the rapid divorce rate and why he thinks marriages seem to be failing left and right.
I could ask him who his favorite US President is, since it is Presidents' Day and all.
I decide on a topic and quickly change the subject away from our. . .relationship. It is totally obvious what I am doing and I can tell Brian is slightly irritated, but he goes with it. Maybe just to entertain me. However, I know he hasn't given up yet.
* * * *
We hurry inside my apartment to escape the bitter cold air outdoors. I feel the warmth in my college home quickly wrap around me and I can begin to feel my nose again. I glance at Brian and know that he is adamant on discussing what he'd wanted to discuss earlier. He must have decided to not beat around the bush because the next thing he says is,
"Kelsey, I want to date you."
"Well, what did we just do? I thought we went on a date."
Brian shakes his head, "Well. . .yeah. . .but. . .I want to date you and only you."
My eyes are wide open. I feel like I can't blink. I glance around the room, looking for some place to escape.
Brian is looking at me like a parent would look at a scared child.
"Kelsey, what are you thinking?"
What am I thinking? How do I put my thoughts into words? Instead of answering his question I say probably louder than is necessary,
"So you want me to be your girlfriend? Is that what we're getting at here?"
Brian suddenly lets out a laugh of surprise and answers with a, "Yes. That's what I want."
I stick my lip out for a moment and then reply, "I'll have to think about it."
The smile crumbles off Brian's face and I know I've just hurt him. And knowing that makes me hurt. Brian tries to smile again and says,
"Alright. I'll give you time to think about it. And you just let me know, k?"
The way he says it is so kind and gentle. And I feel like a total loser that someone as nice as him would even consider wanting to be my boyfriend. He gives me a soft and sweet kiss on the cheek and walks out the door.
Suddenly, Shayla walks into the living room with her arms folded across her chest. I drop myself onto the couch and let out an exhausted sigh.
"I really like Brian. He treats you great, Kels."
"I know, I know." I pause, "Did you hear that whole conversation?"
Shayla nods her head and asks, "What's stopping you?"
I slump further down into the couch, "I'm scared."
Shayla just looks at me, waiting for further explanation.
"This is college, Shayla. He is a returned missionary. Being in a relationship in college to a returned missionary is not just fun and games. It's not like high school. Relationships in college actually. . .go somewhere."
The room is silent for a moment until Shayla says, "Do you like him or not?"
"I like him a lot," and it is the first sincere and enthusiastic thing I've said for a while.
Shayla shrugs, "Then why not give it a shot?"
I smile and rush to send Brian a text that says, COME BACK!
Several minutes later, Brian walks through the door and back in our cozy living room. We both take a seat on the couch. Before I find the right words to say, Brian starts to speak.
"Kelsey, I want to be patient but this really isn't fair. I don't want to play these dumb games anymore. I just want. . ."
I quickly cut him off, "I decided I want to try it!"
Brian pauses and gives me a bewildered look. "Huh?"
"Let's date! I'll be your girlfriend. You be my boyfriend. Does that work for you?"
Brian grabs my face and kisses me.
I guess that means it works for him.