It was all too wonderful to bear. The flickering of the candlelight, the sheen of the chandeliers, my reflection in his eyes. He was being so honest and open with me and we were really connecting and suddenly my heart filled with dread and became anxious with guilt. "I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!!" (I had interrupted him and blurted out, unable to hold in my secret anymore). "I've lied to you, about something," I said. "I've lied to you and I feel terrible about it." "Okay," he said, looking at me confused and uncertain as how to react to my sudden and unexplained outburst. "Okay", he said...what is it?" I took a breath and looked down at my lap, unable to look him in the eyes.
It wasn't a big lie. By any measure it had been a small one.. One of vanity and pride. But I'd lied about something just the same. And to Mr. Unicorn- the first guy I'd really liked in a really, really long time.
Mr. Unicorn leaned across the table, took my hand in his and he said, "T, it's okay, Really it's fine." "No, it's not fine," I said. "I feel terrible. I don't know why I did it. It's was so stupid. But I just thought you were some guy from 6th grade I didn't even remember and I didn't want you to go around telling everyone I was a loser or something. I just didn't expect to like you so much." I was still staring at my lap at not at him. I was a complete imbecile stuck in the 7th grade when I used to get picked on. I was not acting like a mature woman and for this display of childlike falsehood I perfectly deserved to never have this perfect perfect man ever hang out with me again for being so lame and for being such a sham.
"T," he said my name gently. "T, it's okay. You told me the truth and you feel terrible and I forgive you. I understand. I didn't expect to like you so much either. But no more lying okay? About anything." (Great, was this the moment where I was supposed to fess up to the fact that I had a blog out in the world depicting every detail of our dates? Perhaps it was, but the moment passed. I could only hope that somewhere in the future, the Unicorn could find it in his heart to forgive me of that one too.)
How do you describe a moment like that? The feeling that he gave me? I think it felt something like feeling safe. Like who I was was okay. That I could mess up and I would still be okay. That he really genuinely liked me for who I was and I didn't have to pretend or be on my best behavior or say and do all the right things. I could just relax and be myself because this was real and we were something. And a man like him, patient and kind and honest really cared for me, just me, whoever that was. The security in such a realization was profound.
What can I say about that dinner? That dinner was amazing. It was perfect. Not because we were "perfect" (we all know I wasn't) but because we were perfect together.
When the waiter came with the dessert menu, Mr. Unicorn waved it off. "Not feelin' it," I said? "We have somewhere else to be", he replied. "Besides, I have all the sweets I need sitting across from me." (Trust me fellas, even really corny compliments work. In fact, anything that can be technically deemed a compliment, is going to work."
We left the restaurant and got in a cab and headed out to our next adventure. The museum, the incredible dinner and now what? The night was full of possibilities. In fact, that's all I was thinking about Mr. Unicorn. That he made my life feel FULL...of possibilities.
To be continued...