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How I Met Your Father, Part Thirteen

Chapter One      Chapter Two      Chapter Three     Chapter Four

Chapter Five     Chapter Six       Chapter Seven      Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine     Chapter Nine Point Five     Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven      Chapter Twelve

Part Thirteen: Officially Official

Back in those days, AOL Instant Messenger was all the rage. (Yes, I’ve mentioned before that I’m that old.) Meant To Be and I spent many an hour IM-ing each other via that delightful forum, discussing everything from current events to things we’d read or learned in the Bible to the lives of our friends to what was happening to both of us at our respective jobs.

I also reconnected with several other friends, and enjoyed the use of technology to instantly connect with the people I’d known but drifted away from.

Among those I got back in touch with were both of my ex-boyfriends, Bobby Pillsbury and Little Tony.

Shortly before Christmas, I had an online chat with Bobby Pillsbury. He told me that he realized he had been a big, stinky, mean, boy-person, and he wondered if there was a chance we could get back together.

I already knew nothing had ever happened with the girl he dumped me for, and he hadn’t really dated anyone else, either, yet now, out of the blue, he suddenly realized what an awesome, delightful, and ideal gal I am? Where was this epiphany a year ago? Why couldn’t he have decided I was worth his time back when he squished my heart (and my ego) like a cockroach?

I can honestly say, though, that I wasn’t even tempted. I was so blissfully infatuated with Meant To Be and the prospect of finally being with him, that Bobby Pillsbury’s attempt to get me back, though flattering and validating of my self-worth, never stood a chance. So, even though Meant To Be and I weren’t technically officially dating, things were definitely headed in that direction, and I sure wasn’t going to thwart that possibility by reconnecting with Bobby Pillsbury, despite what good friends we had been. I informed him that I was sorta seeing someone, so, no.

Then, within a week, I happened to have an online chat with Little Tony.

After radio silence for about six months, Little Tony finally got around to explaining what happened with our relationship on his end.

He told me that when we both graduated, he knew that our relationship couldn’t remain stagnant. It either had to move to the next step—engagement, theoretically followed by marriage—or end. At the time he wasn’t ready to make a permanent commitment to me. He wasn’t ready to get married (and really, where was that epiphany a year ago, too, when he told me he wanted to date me with the understanding that we’d probably end up married?) and yet he didn’t want to just break up with me.

Somewhere in between not being ready to end it himself and not wanting to be the bad guy and dump me, Little Tony concocted a plan.

He figured that if he just ignored my phone calls, emails, and letters, eventually things would work themselves out. Instead of confronting the problem, talking to me about it, about our relationship, about how he was feeling, about how he wasn’t sure where he wanted “us” to go, or even just manning up and saying he wasn’t interested and he wanted to break up, he decided to just completely break off communication. The little weasel was actually hoping I would eventually get tired of the drama break up with him.

Clearly, it worked just as he’d hoped. Except that now, he realized he’d made a mistake, that he missed me and thought I was the right one for him, and he wanted to try again to make our relationship work.

Really? I mean, come on! What was he thinking?

Seriously, the world is a crazy place. Both of these guys had toyed mercilessly with my heart, and had unceremoniously rejected me, only to come back and realize their mistake at almost the exact same time, just when I was exuberantly moving on with my love life.

If either one of them had wanted to get back together earlier, I just might have gone for it. I might have decided things with Meant To Be weren’t meant to be, and have settled for a relationship with someone who was good, but not the best for me. Sometimes I wonder if that was God’s way of cementing for me His will for my life. I never had to wonder about “what might have been,” because I had the chance to make the choice. A second chance at both of my college relationships was presented to me, and I was given the opportunity to make my choice.

Without hesitation I chose Meant To Be.

With the water of my past relationships safely under the bridge, the timing seemed now to be right for moving on.

In January I went to visit Meant To Be, meeting his family for the first time. It’s a very intimidating thing to meet the people you hope will be your future in-laws. What if they hate you, or think you’re completely the wrong girl for their son?

On the other hand, they managed to produce a stunningly attractive, kind, funny, charming, and brilliant son, so they couldn’t be all bad. I could only hope they trusted in their boy’s ability to make good girlfriendly choices.

Fortunately, Meant to Be’s parents are of the nice variety, and I was welcomed into their home with little torture involved in the process. I think his mother was a little shocked at the number of earrings I was able to fit along the length of an ear, but she was kind and hospitable, and didn’t throw me out into the street to fend for myself or anything.

That week, Meant To Be and I had the inevitable DTR that finally changed our status from “just friends” to Girlfriend/Boyfriend. Naturally, the first thing to do in a situation like this is to announce it to everyone you’ve ever met.

First on our list were some of our mutual friends—namely, his cousin Kandi and our friend Pooky.

We called Kandi first, to tell her we were dating.

Her first words were, “It’s about time!”

Apparently, Boyfriend’s Mom had been talking to her sister, Kandi’s Mom, about how we talked on the phone all the time, and when we weren’t on the phone we were talking on the computer.

So apparently this wasn’t big news. A little disappointing, since we’d hoped to shock everyone with this revelation, but at least she was happy for us. Anyhway, better luck next time.

We called Pooky. Pooky, of course, had been Boyfriend’s friend since high school, had been acquainted with his one and only highschool girlfriend, and knew he hadn’t dated anyone else since. (A little to her disappointment, since  she’d had a crush on him in high school, but she was long since over that phase so we weren’t worried about her reaction in that sense.)

At any rate, since she was pretty up on his love life, or lack thereof, when Boyfriend told her he had a Girlfriend, we could actually hear her jaw hit the floor on the other end of the line.

“Who is it?” she gasped. “Tell me about her.”

“Actually, it’s somebody you already know,” Boyfriend said. “And she’s right here.”

“Hey, Pooky!”

“Avily?!”

“Yep!”

At first, she was a little taken aback, but very quickly she was thrilled for us. Later, when other people commented on how they didn’t see it coming, she said, “Really? How could you not? They’re perfect for each other.” And she’d point out our various levels of compatibility, to which the other person would typically say, “Oh, yeah, huh. I guess they are perfect for each other!”

As is often the case, especially when small communities have the ability to connect via social media, within nanoseconds the word spread, and any pretense of a private life dissolved as our friends and family became aware of our datingship.

I returned home from visiting him, one boyfriend richer, and praying that this long-distance relationship worked out better than the last one….

About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

One comment on “How I Met Your Father, Part Thirteen

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