So a little over a year went by of us rarely talking and then one day John started texting me out of the blue. It was sometime in September 2011 because he had just gone back to school. He asked how I was doing and we caught up on life a little bit. I remember sitting on the couch with the biggest smile on my face. He told me about the new girl he was dating, and that they were doing long distance. He said that I would really like her. (What I really liked was that he said, "she's like you.") I felt happy for him. It really seemed like we were both in good places in our life. But I also missed him so much it made my heart hurt. This sounds so corny, but it's almost like talking to him after all that time made me remember this happiness I had lost. My life was going pretty well, but I wasn't nearly as good as I was pretending to be. (And pretending to myself.) My current relationship had pretty much been doomed from the beginning, we couldn't have been more different people, and now we were more or less just together because it was easier than breaking up. I remember this was a time in my life when I would write in my journal (I always destroy old journals so I'm guessing here) how I couldn't picture my life any differently. I couldn't see past where I was at. If I tried to look ahead a year, two years, five years; it all looked the same. I wasn't sure if there was anything else, and that made me sad.
A few weeks later, John texted again. His girlfriend had broken up with him and he was really upset about it. I believe he even used the word "devastated." He said he needed me. Maybe not in those exact words, but he asked me to come out and see him and that was actually very unlike him to ask so I knew it was a big deal. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't have because as I said before I didn't really have the most understanding boyfriend(s) when it came to John....but as fate would have it he was going to be out of town that weekend. And it just happened to be the big Michigan/Michigan State game so I had an excuse to pull the "going to see my sister" card because I knew that John and my sister would be together anyways.
(Ok, I feel like this post desperately needs a picture already and I don't have any, so this is from that day. He was actually standing next to my sister but I cropped her out because I thought it might be weird to have that as the main picture with this title, hahaha.)
So I have no idea how I remember this, but it was October 16th, 2011. I wasn't interested in going out there to tailgate during the day so I planned on just meeting up with them later, but long story short - everyone gets drunk (duh), they all go to Johns apartment, someone he kind of hates throws up and then lays in his bed so he makes everyone leave. (This makes me laugh now because it's so like him.) So now John's at his apartment and my sister's at another place, so I try to do the right thing and meet where my sister is and tell John I'll let him know where we go later. And I remember being so, so, so sad because now there was a chance that I wasn't going to end up seeing John at all since him and my sister were fighting. (They really act like brother and sister lol.)
The bars they wanted to go to all ended up having huge lines, so in the funniest throwback to our story, we ended up going to that stupid club that I mentioned we used to love in Part 2. I don't think anyone had been there in a long time though, so it was really random. So we go there and I text John where we were and he made it seem like "maybe" he would show up. I was really sad now. And I was really drunk because for some reason we were taking tequila shots and I was not used to drinking like that anymore, so I don't exactly remember everything clearly now. BUT I do remember John finally texting me that he was outside in line, so I RAN out there and looked up to see him standing up on the steps smoking a cigarette. (This place was like in a basement, so there were all these stairs.) And then I ran up to him and seriously gave him the biggest hug of my life. Maybe it's my romanticized memory, but it totally felt like a movie, haha. So inside we all got super drunk of course, and I'm going to admit some things now that make me look really bad (again) but I haven't held back yet so why stop now, right?
So I wake up the next morning at Johns apartment...in his bed. I was still in my leather jacket and jeans so I literally must have fallen over and passed out, but still, I was in Johns bed! I didn't freak out about it or anything, it actually didn't feel weird at all. It was like I completely forget about that other part of my life. We stayed there for a long time talking and this is the only time I remember John talking about his breakup, but I remember he didn't seem that sad about it anymore. We even went back to sleep for a while basically spooning each other before we finally woke up and decided to go to McDonalds before John drove me back to my car. There were these people there setting up a party (not like a kids party, like an adult party, they even had candles lol) and we could not stop laughing about it, we were like so delirious. It wasn't until later on, once I sobered up and was heading home that it hit me that I might have done something wrong. My sister said she thought I kissed John, but I can't say for sure. John thinks we did too, but he can't really say for sure either. If I had to guess, I'd say that we probably did. I know it sounds bad, and yes it is bad to kiss someone when you have a boyfriend, but I think it was a sign. I think it probably had to happen for me to start being honest with myself. It was the first time in a while that I could look ahead and imagine my life maybe going in a different direction.
So we never really talked about what happened or what didn't happen that night, but we started talking a lot more again after that. Mostly texting, but a lot of times I'd call him when I would be out. I remember going out to my sisters birthday dinner and not wanting to go back home afterwards, so I called John while I walked around Meijer for a good 30 minutes (bought the Kanye cd lol) and then deleted my call log before I went home. (I might be making it sound worse that it was, it's not like I couldn't talk to John...I think I just knew it was more than that, so I was hiding it.) I don't remember how it happened, but we made a plan to hang out over Halloween weekend because my boyfriend was going to be out of town again. I even remember buying a new pair of boots and thinking how I was going to wear them next time I hung out with John. But once the time came I started feeling so guilty that I cancelled. I knew it wasn't really as innocent as we were making it out to be...I wanted to hang out with John because I liked John. And I get really guilty consciences, so I couldn't do it the wrong way (again), if that makes any sense. John was being pretty persuasive (he's good at that), and I wanted to go but I was really torn, so I ended up just turning my phone off and going to bed so I'd stop thinking back and forth about it.
It was after that, that I really started to reevaluate my life. I knew I wasn't where I wanted to be, and I don't think I recognized it at the time, but something about John just becoming single and us reconnecting like that really pushed me to make the changes I knew I needed to. I started to bring up to my boyfriend that maybe we should break up, but that stuff is hard so it didn't happen over night. It took about two months of "almost" breaking up before we decided to break up for good. And once that happened, I could not get out of there fast enough. (It really was a long time coming.) I remember taking my things over to my Moms house as fast as humanly possible so I could just move on with my life. I had talked to John about this during those months before, but I remember specifically not telling him once it was happening because I didn't want it to seem like I was doing it "for him" or anything. (But of course I was.) I remember thinking I would let him know afterwards, but not immediately so things didn't happen too fast. (Not that I was thinking we would date immediately, I just knew once we could hang out, we would, a lot.) But it did. Here's a little timeline perspective to show just how fast it happened...
December 24th: Officially moved out.
December 25th: John texts me "Happy Birthday Jesus." I tell him whats-his-face and I broke up. He asks if I want to do something for New Years Eve together. I say yes.
December 31st: We go to a NYE party together.
January 6th: The weekend after we go on a "friend date" that ends as no longer "just friends"...
And we've been pretty much inseparable ever since. So you see? It happened very, very quickly. Which wasn't what I would have ever planned, but this...this was a long time coming.
So for NYE we went to this "Champagne Explosion" party at a hotel and John planned the whole thing and got us a room and paid for everything and basically, it was a date. We went "as friends," but it was so clearly a date. Like who does that? As much as we tried to lie to ourselves, we were so into each other at this point. We weren't acting like a couple (although I'm sure we appeared to be one) and nothing really happened, I think we kissed at midnight, but we had already decided on doing that earlier in the day so it wasn't a big deal. And we slept in the same bed, like we always did, so that wasn't really a big deal either. But something between us was different. **Just a side story that I love: John came with me to the mall the day before this to look for an outfit and some guy in Aldo was chatting us up and points to John and says to me "he's a catch" and I was like, "oh...thank you." Hahaha. I mean, people always thought we were dating. It was so stupidly obvious.
The next weekend (January 6th) we planned on hanging out again, so John came home (FYI when I say "home" I mean to his parents/our home town where I lived and not up at school where he lived) and I suggested we go to the movies. Does everyone else remember their first movie together? We saw "Young Adult" with Charlize Theron, which was such a weird movie. And the whole thing felt a little awkward because it was like a date, but it wasn't. I'm pretty sure I offered to pay because I didnt want to stand there assuming that he would just pay. I talked in part 2 about how watching movies is so weird because both people are like waiting for the other person to hold their hand, and that's how this felt. I remember crossing my arms because I just couldn't even handle it, haha. Then afterwards it was still early, so we went to this martini bar and then met friends at another bar, and then so on...
I don't think I have to spell out why, but after this we weren't really "just friends" anymore. But we weren't really a "thing" either. We were being very casual about it, like it was nothing. We were both still to scared to say like, "hey I actually like you." Whats funny though, was that John DID say "I love you Morgan" to me once, and I think he didn't even realize it because we had been saying that to each other for years, and I said it back but later I made fun of him for it and then he didn''t say it again for a long time, haha.
So this whole routine of hanging out every weekend, going to bars, not talking about our feelings, etc continued on for about a month or so...
This was the first night I remember John being kind of possessive over me. And I don't meant in a weird/bad way, I just remember him putting his arm around me in a way that said like we were there "together." It was the first time I felt like we were showing real feelings is that makes any sense.
I wish I remembered how it happened exactly, but eventually we admitted our feelings for each other (DUH) as more than "just friends" and then we really, really quickly became like so obsessed with each other. I have so many text messages saved from him during this time that I won't share, but we were soooo in love. Like we always tried to suprise the other person and text in the middle of the night and it was just so cute. Most of the time I'd wake up to texts from John because he was in college and stayed up later than I did, haha. During this time John would go home every Tuesday to stay at his parents (not just to see me, but also to see me lol) and so every Tuesday night I would come over like, "oh hey I'm just here to watch tv....." because John didn't want his parents to know anything was up. He was really weird about that for a while because he didn't want them in his business, which is so like him, but they weren't stupid, they knew. So I'd spend the night every Tuesday and then when Friday came around he would either come back home for the weekend, or I'd pack a bag and drive out to stay with him. That Valentines day I made him red velvet cookies, and when "our Tuesday" came I brought them over to his house. Before I got there he texted me to get something out of his truck in the driveway, and when I opened the door there were red roses on the front seat. He seriously left them in his car because he didn't want his parents to see. Which he obviously didn't think through because I was going to have to bring them inside. But I was really dramatic about it and wouldn't bring them in so he had to get them, haha. (I just seriously remembered that, case in point why I'm writing this all down.)
So at this point we were "together," but not "dating." And since I'm a girl, that started to bother me. John didn't want to make anything official or use any titles, and he had his reasons. #1 being he was moving away in June. He already had a job from his internship and he didn't know where yet, but he would be moving away, so in his mind this thing we were doing wouldn't make it past June. And I thought that was stupid. I remember messaging him the longest thing on Facebook one day and this is embarrassing to share, but I screenshotted part of it before I deleted FB for good...
I think John didn't want to get too deep into a relationship and then have a hard time moving away. He was scared. Which is understandable, but I'm not like that. I was all in. And if I'm being honest, I was annoying about it. I wanted us to be boyfriend and girlfriend. One day we were in his bedroom sitting on the floor across from each other talking about it for the 100th time and it was his idea, but we decided to be "secret boyfriend and girlfriend." Which is SO immature sounding, haha. But it was baby steps. I wasn't like ecstatic about it, because I would have full on dated him, but I know John and he is slow sometimes at these things so it was fine. Plus....I mean, we were so dating. There was really no way around it, and eventually he would have to admit it.
That St. Patricks Day, I was a bridesmaid in a friends wedding and originally I had rsvp'd with no date, but luckily I was able to get John in as my date last minute.
(This is one of my favorite pictures of us. Both eyes are closed lol.)
So we booked the hotel for the weekend because we had the rehearsal dinner and what not on Friday, and then the wedding on Saturday. Friday (^ pictured above) we got super drunk (everyone did, some kid fell out of his chair at dinner lol) and after a (super drunk) late night heart-to-heart type of conversation, we decided to really date. Then in the morning John tried to say he was just kidding, but I wouldn't let him take it back, haha. When I went to go get ready with the girls in the morning they were like, "how was your night?" And I was like, "good, John's my boyfriend now." Which was probably very confusing and stupid to everyone else because we did a bad job at trying to convince everyone we were just best friends. (Or "best friends with benefits" as John told the brides Grandma lol...)
They made a mistake seating him with the Grandparents, haha. I'm sure I mentioned it before, but John loves Grandmas. (He was giving her a shoulder massage lol.)
(I used to be so proud of this filter job, lol.)
So we were officially dating now. John doesn't like to use that date as our anniversary though because we were seriously so drunk it's not really "romantic" to remember that's how we decided, so we just estimate our anniversary is sometime between January-March, haha. (So about four years ago now.) Dating life was basically the same as "secretly" dating life. John would come home on Tuesdays. (I remember always like wearing makeup and matching pajamas, hahahahahaha. Why do we do that?) And we would spend every weekend together, most of the time up at his apartment. Sometimes I'd even stay Sunday night and then have to drive almost two hours to work on Monday morning, but what can I say, we were sooo in love.
I don't know why, but I've just always loved this picture so much. We had this tiny little grill we were cooking on in his hallway lol.
We went out to bars, to dinner, had fun plans every weekend - you know, the typical just-started-dating stuff.
^ This night we went out to dinner to celebrate a new job that I got. (The waitress pretended it was my birthday lol.) I had been working as a temp at a bank, and had just gotten a full-time position. And it was around this time (late April) that my sister and I were getting an apartment together too, since I had literally been living on my Mom's couch this whole time. My life was coming together. I had my new job, my new boyfriend and now my own place. Everything was going pretty great. But there was always this underlying thing that we didn't really talk about, and it was what was going to happen in June?
Next time, on Serial. (HAHA, sorry, I think I'm so funny.) I mean, next time, on my blog. Part 4/4. (Finally right?)