Basketball Guy did return that evening. His sudden discomfort had nothing to do with a change of heart, as I had imagined. Let's just call it a young guy thing (could be embarrassing to elaborate further.)
Finals were in process and I would be returning to my hometown soon. With my impending departure in the forefront of our minds, discussions between Basketball Guy and I turned to the future. When would we see each other again?
When the semester ended, I packed my car, minus a few things. There was a Beta fish, (the only pet allowed in my college apartment) a box of brownie mix (my mother sent it to "fatten me up") and my peach comforter. Basketball Guy kindly offered to store a few things for me, including my blanket, until I returned. Now that he had my stuff, we had an unspoken pact or promise, we had to see each other again.
A million things had been racing through my mind those last few days. We had just started to get to know each other and now I was leaving. I didn't know what to expect next. How serious was this relationship?
When Basketball Guy came to see me off, he gave me a single red rose and a note. He told me all the usual things: be careful, drive safely... then he said three words I hadn't expected... "I love you."
I wasn't prepared with a response. It seemed like this had all happened so fast and I wondered how things might change once we were apart. Did I love him? Would he still think of me after I was gone? I just listened and kissed him good-bye.
As I waited for another student, a girl who needed a ride home, I read Basketball Guy's note. How did he always seem to know exactly what needed to be said?
to be continued...