After Redhead told me how he felt, I had a minor freakout. I distanced myself, while all the same time just wishing he was here so we could really see how things were. It was hard to imagine myself with him, since at this point, it had been weeks since I had even talked to him, and when he left we were simply friends.
When Redhead came home, he was eager for us to get together. My freakout continued, and I am sad to admit now that I blew him off for a few days. I was simply trying to garner the momentum I would need to get through even seeing him again after the intimate things he had said to me in his gut-spilling Facebook message.
When we finally saw each other, Smart-Ass certainly had a few more surprises for me up his sleeve. He had a bag full of goodies from all of the places he visited in Europe - literally a present for every day he was gone. (This on top of the postcards he had mailed me from every city he had visited).
But, there was more.
Days before Redhead had left, he had asked me to borrow a photo I had of the two of us. I thought it was a little strange, but didn't think too much of it (thinking back it is totally weird, and I should have called him out on it). Well, as it turns out, Redheaded Kid had plans for the that photo.
Essentially, that romantic Smart-Ass Redheaded Kid took me to Europe with him.
At this point, you'd think I would have realized I had a bona fide romantic who was so obviously worth taking a chance on. Well, you'd be wrong. I needed more time. More time to pretend we were just friends, more time to date other people and pretend like I wasn't thinking about Redhead the entire time, more time to pussyfoot around the fact that I may very well have been starting my future in the freckled-face for the past 8 years. But that all changed over a long weekend in the hot summer sun in Mohave Valley, Arizona where in less than 72 hours, Redhead and I went from friends to more than friends.