"Am I," Adrian asked when I answered the phone at 7PM, "um, interrupting anything?"
I laughed and shook my head, telling him I was alone apart from my dog and cat, and asked what was up. We chatted about work until the pizza I ordered arrived and I ate 2 slices while watching television.
"I could have had a date," I had confided with no small amount of happy surprise, "but I left home before 6AM and worked late and had to take Sibling home anyway."
Telling Adam about Sunday's departure-from-normal event was spurred by a bit of nervousness. I'd arrived early and decided the Blackberry Messenger with my boss was as good a distraction as any. I'd told Sibling as well when she asked about my weekend, grinning at her expression of fascinated delight.
"It was lovely," I told her. "Easy and fun - it's the only first date I can remember where I came home feeling good rather than exhausted or disappointed." I paused, wondering if that could possibly be true and shrugging when I decided it actually was. I've long accepted I'm simply not very good at this.
I was disappointed that I had to turn down tonight's offer, though I knew I was too busy and tired and cranky to be good company. But when the phone rang after I'd taken a shower, I chirped a hello and settled in to talk, feeling somehow refreshed and energetic again.
Over an hour later, we'd mapped out potential plans for this weekend, talked and laughed.
I like him.
It seems as though he likes me.
And I'm completely lost as to what happens next - it's supposed to be I like him and he's flattered but uninterested or he likes me and I want to like him back but just don't. Instead, I find myself smiling over new email or pouncing on a ringing phone.
And even as it's rather wonderful - and I keep reminding myself to just relax and enjoy it - it's too abnormal for me to completely stop waiting for the flaw that means I'll end up hurt and alone again. But even as I try to protect my heart against it, I've ordered myself not to look for it.
I like him.
And it seems as though he likes me.
And that is a delightful change of pace.