Part I here. Part II here. Part III here.

First of all, I have to apologize for disappearing. I could blame it on the holidays, but that’s really not the reason why I didn’t write. The real reason I didn’t write was because I was afraid. I was afraid my writing wouldn’t do justice to this amazing man I met. I was afraid my writing wouldn’t be..well.. perfect.

I had a conversation with someone about this, and he said something quite eye-opening for me. He said perfection exists when you have a barometer in which you measure it, usually against a precedent. But when you’re creating something new, there’s no precedent. How can you measure something that’s never been created before? By which standards would you measure it against? And if you can’t measure it, how can perfection exist?

The conversation happened so casually, but it’s one of those conversations I know I’d never forget because it completely altered the way I view the writing process.

Anyway, let’s get back to the story, shall we?

After I broke it off with T, my attraction towards Mr V started to grow. I remember an instance where we were talking, and I couldn’t hear a word he was saying because I was too distracted by his lips and kept picturing what it would be like to kiss him. I also recall gazing into his brown eyes as he was talking, and feeling like I was completely drawn to them. To him.

This was a really weird experience for me. It’s only been a month or so since we started talking, yet the attraction was so strong. And it wasn’t just lustful or superficial. There was more to it than physical attraction. In that split second, I knew I couldn’t dismiss it without exploring what “this” was. Only problem was, did he feel the same way too?

I knew he liked blondes. It came up in one of our conversations. In fact, there was a girl he’d been talking to. She was blonde. And a nurse. There was no way I could compete with that!

Don’t get me wrong, I know I can flirt and be charming. I could spend a bit more time getting to know him and figure out what makes him tick. It’s a strategy that’s worked well for me in the past. But I wasn’t interested in coming up with a plan to ‘charm’ Mr V. I didn’t want this to be another one of my ‘missions’ i.e. get the guy to fall for me and once he does – mission accomplished. I was genuinely interested in Mr V, and I really wanted him to like me. Without the seduction, without the flirtation, just me.

Over the next few weeks, we continued to meet in class. We talked on the phone every now and then, and he sometimes gave me a ride to the train station after class. One night while giving me a ride, he showed me a photo of a girl that he was planning to go on a date with. I took a quick look at her photo and almost squealed with excitement. She had dark skin and black hair – in fact she looked Indian or similar. If he’s dating Indian-looking girls, then I definitely have a chance! And, the best part, I looked way cuter than her! There was a part of me that was a bit annoyed though. If he was willing to date her, then surely he could date me – so why hasn’t he asked me out already??

That date didn’t end up happening, and I silently celebrated when I found out. At the same time, I realized he could easily find another date. Worse yet, what if they hit it off? What would I do then? Stay in the friend zone and wait around for him to realize he wanted me all along? I definitely didn’t want to go down that path. So, what was I going to do about it? Since charm and flirtation were off the table, there was really only one way: Yep, I have to actually tell him how I feel. Oh gosh. As much as it made me cringe and turned my stomach into knots, I knew there was no other way. I had to tell him, and I had to do it soon.

2 weeks, 1 overseas trip, a million pep talks from my friends and sisters, and 2 tattoos later, I finally mustered the courage to send him the “let’s talk” message. I said I had something to tell / ask him, and that I’d like to do it face to face. We would be meeting at the leadership course that night, so we agreed to talk afterwards.

At the end of the night, he said he’d give me a ride so we could talk in the car. As we headed out to the parking lot, we stopped to have a conversation with some mutual friends, one of which said to Mr V “Hey, aren’t you like looking for a date? I’ve got this friend I’d love to set you up with!” I was horrified but of course pretended to be cool. I stood there thinking Damn it, can you guys just shut up!

Luckily he didn’t seem all that excited by the idea, and we finally walked towards his car. I started rambling on about random things – which is what I do when I’m nervous.

We get to his car, and here I am, fidgeting in the passenger’s seat, my hands are clammy, my heart is racing a thousand miles an hour, and my stomach is doing cartwheels. He, on the other hand, appears to be calm and collected as he slowly drives out of the parking lot. I try my best at pretending to be cool and in the process make a random joke – to which he responds with a light chuckle.

In my head, I work up the courage to tell him, and then talk myself out of it, over and over again. This goes on for what seems like hours, until he interrupts my thought process “So, let’s get this difficult conversation out of the way”, he says. “Difficult conversation?” I ask, still trying to play it cool. “Well, you said there’s something you wanted to tell me. What is it?”, he asks. Shit, quick, make something up! I can’t think of anything, so what comes out of my mouth is a bunch of Ums and Uhs. I mentally kick myself in the butt and decide to go for it.

“Okay so”, I start off “I know we don’t know each other that well yet… “ I pause and take a deep breath. No turning back now. “…but from what I know of you so far… I really like” I continue talking and avoid any eye contact with him “So, I just wanted to say that I like you.. I think you’re cute..  and I’d love to see where this goes…” I can feel my face turning red  “Anddddd .. that’s it… I’m gonna shut up now” I quickly finish up, still avoiding eye contact. OMG. I can’t believe I did it. I hold my breath and wait for his response.

Final part here