You know that feeling you get when you first see a police officers lights in your rear view mirror?
I was sitting in Claire's living room when my phone starts ringing the "Hungry Eyes" ring-tone that Andrea sent me as a joke months earlier. [insert above described feeling here]
I look at the phone half hoping that it was someone else. Some other profile I may have accidentally attached the ring-tone to. Nope, it is Andrea.
Claire says, "Who is it?" I look at her, but don't really listen to what she says. Claire says, "Are you okay? Who is that?" I say, "It's Andrea." Claire gets excited and says, "Answer it, Dummy!" I nod, stand up and head for the door as I answer the phone.
Andrea: Heeeey... Jake.
Jake: Hi... it's been a long time.
Andrea: Yeah, not that long.
True. Andrea and I met less than a year ago. We dated for 3 months, broke up and now she is getting married to someone else in 3 days.
Jake: True. It feels like a really long time, though.
Andrea: You didn't answer with your full name. It... kind of... threw me off.
Jake: Huh...? Yeah... my bad.
Jake: I wasn't quite prepared for this phone call.
Andrea: (half laughed) I know. I'm sure this is super weird.
I heard her laugh and I instantly start to feel myself tear up. Not like a Goose-died cry, but like the opening-sequence-of-UP teared up. I love Andrea's laugh. It was loud and awkward and beautiful. She was right. It was weird. I decide I need to take control of the conversation and talk faster to help quell the cracking in my voice.
Jake: So lets just say it! Let's get it out first thing. You're right, this is super weird ...and awkward. It's not easy for either of us. Right?
Jake: So we don't have to say anymore about the weirdness... we know it's weird, but whatever right? We can just talk now like it's not weird... ...even though it is.
Andrea: That's a good idea. (I could envision the way she was smiling as she said that)
Jake: So, back to un-weird regular talk... I hear congratulations are in order? I hear you are tying the knot.
Andrea: Yep. Pretty soon.
Jake: Wow. Getting married? That's a big step.
Andrea: Yep. Getting married.
Jake: Holy cow! Soon? You weren't kidding.
I chuckle nervously. The conversation felt one-sided. It felt... me-sided. She was the one who called me. Problem is, if I don't take control of the conversation I will cry. The last thing I want is for her to hear me cry... again.
Andrea: Yeah, Saturday. It's been so crazy! Getting ready for it and everything.
Jake: So who's the lucky guy?
Andrea: His name is Adam (great I thought, if I just killed all the Adams of the world I might be able to get back all of the girls I screwed things up with) I thought you would know all this. I thought that you would hear everything through Aaron from Carla.
Jake: Yeah, I may have heard some stuff, but I want to hear it from you, you know?
Jake: I never knew the guys name though I have always just referred to him as "Fireman"... or, sometimes "Evil Fireman".
Andrea: Oh I see. (laughs) Well, yeah, this week I am getting married to the "Evil Fireman". We are getting married in the Bountiful Temple. I am pretty nervous for that.
Jake: Oh the temple's nothing. No big thing... in fact, you will love the temple. I know it.
Andrea: Good. Yeah. I just hear so many things, you know?
I don't want to talk about the Temple. I am wondering why she called. If I wait for her to tell me it'll take forever. I decide to stop thinking so much before I speak and to just start talking.
Jake: So, do you love him?
Jake: Adam. Do you love him?
Jake: How did he propose?
Andrea: It was just a small thing he did at the top of Mt. Timpanogas. Just the two of us.
Jake: Ooh nice. Midnight hike?
Jake: So he steals my girlfriend, steals my midnight hike idea and then proposes to one while on the other.
I made sure to put a lot of sarcasm into that statement. When I found out he proposed to her on that hike (a hike which she had never done until we did it on one of our first dates), I started tearing up again. I hoped sarcasm could pull me out of it.
Andrea: Oh stop it! You broke up with me remember?
Jake: Yeah, I do remember.
Jake: I remember everyday when I cry myself to sleep regretting it.
Andrea: Shut up, Jake.
I think I hear a small crack in her voice and she doesn't laugh. I was expecting her to laugh. Perhaps I wasn't the only one struggling to hold back tears. There was a bit of a pause as I think we both realize what we were talking about.
Jake: You love him though. You love Adam -- What's his last name?
Jake: Adam Walker. (pause) Andrea Walker.
Andrea: (laughing) It's a pretty good last name.
Jake: Yeah. You can name your kids Moon or Texas or something...
Andrea: (laughs big)
Again I find myself with nowhere to go. I had walked out of Claire's apartment complex and down the street nearly four blocks by now. I decide to try and say less and see where Andrea takes this conversation.
Andrea: So... are you dating anyone these days?
Jake: No. Not really. Just dating around... same old.
Well that doesn't work too well. There is a moment of silence. I wonder if there was a purpose to this call or if she just felt obligated to do it by some... well I don't even know.
Jake: Tell me about this "love" you speak of?
Andrea: (laughing) What!?
Jake: You are in love with this guy. To a point that you feel like he is the guy you want to be with for time and all eternity.
Jake: That's a pretty big deal. A huge deal! I'm your friend, tell me about it? Tell me what I have to look forward to.
Andrea squirms a little. I imagine her adjusting her clothes and the way she was sitting on the other end of the phone because of how uncomfortable she felt.
Andrea: Well, I don't know. It's not the kind of thing I can describe very easily. It's just like a feeling that you... like... know.
Jake: Right. That seems to be the best explanation I can get out of everyone. Next thing you are going to tell me that I'll know when it happens to me, right?
Andrea: Well... gawl Jake, that's how it is. It's an indescribable feeling that you just know is there.
Jake: You have that for Adam?
Andrea: Yup. I do. (she laughs)
Jake: Well, that's awesome Andrea. Seriously, I envy you. Sure I am a little jealous that this Adam guy gets to marry you... but really, I envy a feeling of love for someone so strong that you want to marry that person.
Andrea: (nervous laugh)
Jake: I'm sure Adam is a great guy. I'm sure if you picked him that he deserves you.
Andrea: He really is a great guy, Jake. I sometimes wish things were different because I think you guys would really like each other.
Ah ha, I thought, I can finally find out why she called.
Jake: Is that why you called?
Jake: Um, I don't know, I thought there was one good point you were getting at... but I... can't think of it now.
Jake: So... why did you call?
Jake: Yeah, why? You are getting married in three days. I'm a little bit confused.
Andrea: Well, I don't know...
Jake: I mean, it's good to hear your voice and everything... It's great hearing your voice. But I'll be honest. It...
Andrea: You were my best friend for a long time, Jake. (Four months doesn't really constitute a long time... but okay) I have never been able to open up to someone like I have to you. I just felt like I needed to share this with you. To talk to you about it... Because we were so close.
Andrea started crying midway through that sentence. Which in turn made me cry. It also made me see that there was no real point to her calling. At least no productive purpose that I could see. I mean seriously, I wasn't going to talk to her about her romance with her new husband. Our friendship had been non-existent up until today.
Jake: Now you are making me cry. I... I am really glad you called. We were really close and if situations were reversed I'm sure I would want the same thing. (not true, but I felt like it was the right thing to say) I am honestly so happy that you are happy.
Andrea: Thank you... I really do miss you.
Jake: I know, me too. But... (I wipe tears from my eyes like that's going to make a difference) go on. Go be in love. Maybe it's because I don't have it, but "love" seems like a huge deal. Especially a love that you can commit to for eternity.
Andrea: I know. (she sniffs hard like she's done crying)
Jake: I'll find her one day, that girl that will make me as happy as Adam makes you.
Andrea: I know you will Jake.
Jake: Well, lets leave it at that for now, okay? I'll send a present along with Aaron, but... I don't think I'll be attending.
Andrea: Are you sure I--
Jake: Yeah, I'm sure. Thanks for calling. It means a lot.
Andrea: It went a lot better than I thought it would. You really are a great guy.
I should have said, 'tell that to the people who read my secret blog'. But then she'd probably notice the letter I posted for all to see and kick my butt.
Jake: Thanks. It's been good talking to you. (this is where I started crying again but tried desperately to hide it until the call was over.)
Andrea: You too.
Andrea: See ya.
I hang up and find myself in front of some Asian Market. I'm half way between my house and Claire's place. I decide to just walk home and think about the fact that I will likely never talk with Andrea again. Luckily it's getting dark so strangers don't notice my allergies acting up.