He said I Love You!
He did say I Love You, didn't he?
I'm pretty sure he said I Love You.
Why did he say I Love You?
Why did he throw up right after he said I Love You?
Just to recap: Darren and I have been dating for a while now. I've met his family. They loved me. I've met his friends. They loved me. I've met the guys at his firehouse. They loved me. And tonight, Darren has met my friends for the first time and confessed that he too, loves me.
Right before he vomited everywhere.
He threw up in the bar. He threw up on the street. He threw up on the train. He threw up at the train station. He threw up on himself. It seemed like every time he looked at me on the way home, he threw up. I was trying to blame the whiskey for his spewing and not take it so personally. To be perfectly honest though, when a man says he loves you for the first time, and follows it up by regurgitating 48 hours worth of food and drink, it's a little more difficult to believe that the two are not related.
I want to think that Darren loves me. His kisses tell me he loves me. His hand in mine tells me he loves me. His calls and texts and our time together tell me that he loves me. His friends and family quite literally tell me he loves me. But now he's said it. Now it's out there. Now the words are hanging between us, mixed with the sour stench of alcohol induced puke, and they're tainted. This is not the sweet, sincere, soul-mate profession I was so badly hoping for. This is love at it's most putrid. The foul odor of destiny gone terribly, horribly wrong.
I get him out of the bar, across town, on the train, and all the way back to our hometown safely. He bounces back and forth between throwing up, sleeping, and saying I Love You a few more times. I don't know whether to be flattered or humiliated so I decide it's best to wait until he's sober to approach the topic again or declare my reciprocal feelings for him. Besides, at this exact moment, I don't love him very much. He slid with alarming velocity from fun / happy / life of the party drunk to sloppy / sick / disgusting drunk. I hate that I'm forced to live in his shadow again, everyone following us out of the bar with "Is Darren ok?" and "Can you make it home with him?" and "Tell him we had a great time tonight!" My awesome show is quickly forgotten, even by our most loyal audience members. You'd think they came out to drink with Darren tonight, instead of to see me and my team perform on stage. Frustrated and hating my sudden responsible, good girl, mommy image, I drag him through Manhattan and back to Long Island. His head on my shoulder while he snoozes on the train is sweet, and I am tempted to forgive him and forget the whole evening. After all, he did kick in a locked door and rescue a trapped girl tonight! Then he vomits profusely on the inside of the train door before it opens, stinking up the entire carriage with his Jameson infused bile, complete with greenish yellow chunks of indistinguishable stomach contents and I flip right back to angry.
This is NOT how I imagined our date. It is especially not how I pictured the first time a man I *may* want to spend the rest of my life with would tell me he loves me. I want to stomp my feet and ball my hands into fists and throw a full on Toddlers and Tiaras style temper tantrum at him. But I don't. Because I am a grown up.
(But I want to. Just for the record.)
Once we are safely off the train and away from the hoards of rightfully pissed off passengers, I tell him that he has two choices: he can come home with me, or I can drive him back to his house. He immediately stiffens up and declares that he is perfectly fine to get home by himself thankyouverymuch. I insist that he is not, in fact, ok to get himself home and I refuse to allow him to drive in this condition. If he wants to get himself killed, he can do it on his own time, but he is not risking anyone else's safety and well being on the roads just because he over imbibed tonight. If anything happened to him or someone else while he was driving, I could never forgive myself. I take his Jeep keys away so he's forced to take me up on my offer. "My place or yours?" I insist. Darren's whole face changes into an expression I've never seen. If I didn't know better, I would think it was rage. If I didn't know better, I would think he was capable of beating me down for those keys. I take a step back. He steps towards me and falls in a snowbank.
"Fine!" he yells, "I'll sleep at the firehouse. I don't need you!" With a few stumbling starts, Darren turns and walks away from me. It is 3 in the morning, he has to cross the highway, and I am really worried about him, but the way he treated me puts me in no position to argue. I speed away and head to the firehouse, waiting around the corner to make sure he arrives safely. Then I drive back to the train station and leave his keys inside the tire, figuring I'll send a text in the morning when he's sobered up. Wondering how much of this he'll remember. Wondering if the night will exist in his mind at all. Wondering if this will go down as the date where Darren first said I Love You, or if it will be the date he got stupid drunk and scared the crap out of me. Wondering if this is the beginning of love for us, or if it is just the opposite. Wondering if it's The End.