Recap: CP writes Jeff a letter to confess his feelings and then runs like a little girl.
This is going to be very awkward for me to write. If you don’t mind, please do me a favor and return this note to me when you are done reading it because I do not want it to fall into the wrong hands.
Ok, the truth is I don’t actually remember what I wrote verbatim, except of course for the most salient parts of my letter to Jeff. But I can paraphrase — so just work with me for a few minutes. After all, this was over twenty years ago.
I have enjoyed getting to know you and hanging out with you this semester. The problem is, sometimes I think maybe I like you more than I should. Sorry if it is awkward or uncomfortable for you to hear this, but I thought I should tell you what I’ve been thinking.
Nothing has to change between us at all as far as I’m concerned, but if you feel uncomfortable being around me after I’ve told you this I will totally understand. I guess I just wanted to say something to you because sometimes I think maybe you could feel the same way, but maybe I’m totally off base.
Anyway, I hope to talk to you more about this soon. If you would like to, that is.
I let the letter sit in an unsealed envelope in my top dresser drawer for a few days while I worked up the nerve to give it to Jeff. I already knew I would have to hand deliver the letter rather than leave it in his student P.O. box, since in those days the boxes were not private at all – no locks, and multiple students sharing one box. And since there were well more than one Henderson on campus, it would have been easy for the wrong person to intercept and open the letter.
So I waited until the following Friday when, as usual, I could drop by the snack bar toward the end of Jeff’s shift as per my weekly custom.
“Hey Jeff, how’s it going?” I said as I approached the snack counter on that fateful Friday, trying to act as if I were not about to reach down into my stomach with my bare hands and rip out my intestines.
“Hey Tom, not much, what’s up with you? Want to hang out when I get off?”
“Yeah Jeff, that sounds great!” I’ve always been good with the fake enthusiasm in times of crisis. So I stood next to the snack counter while Jeff closed up, and probably talked his ear off about God-knows-what until he had his coat on. When we exited the building into the cold night, Jeff turned to me and asked what the plan was.
“Actually Jeff, now that I think about it, I’m kind of tired and I think I might need to go back to my room and crash. Is that ok?”
“Yeah, sure Tom, whatever you want.”
“Great. Oh, Jeff, here is something I wrote that I want you to read if you don’t mind. Can you read this and not show anyone else?”
“Um.yeah, Tom…is something the matter?”
“No, everything’s cool. So just read it and don’t show it to anyone, ok? Talk to you later!” I couldn’t bear to say another word so I quickly turned and walked away, not looking back for a second. When I turned the corner around the building and became sure I was no longer in Jeff’s line of vision, I started to run as fast as I could toward my dorm.
“I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST DID THAT” was all I could think. My mind raced ten times as fast as my legs, and I felt like I was going to throw up.
————————to be continued——————————