They always say that hindsight is 20/20.
It occurred to me after Devon and I were together that he had been planning this relationship-thing for awhile before he fully made his move. There were signs everywhere; some were so large they should have neon flashing on them; Devon’s not known for being the most subtle person in the world. Granted, I’m not hopelessly naive; I did notice some of it, but he was my best friend, taking that leap into another level was a little scary to me.
I think all of it…or well….maybe most of it started around the end of April/beginning of May. I actually went out on a date with a guy named Justin. Justin was nice enough but no real spark there, so the likelihood of it going any further than the two dates we went on was pretty slim. Devon and I hung out the weekend after Justin and I went out and I brought up the date in passing to him. For the life of me, I could have sworn I mentioned it to him before, but he claims I didn’t. As I was telling him about the date, I could just see him getting upset; he was just shrinking into his seat. He didn’t say anything, but I could tell it bothered him. I didn’t mention that I noticed (until later) because I didn’t want to embarrass him, but I definitely noticed.
I also noticed that we started spending a lot more time together. Normally, Devon and I would get together maybe every month or so; see a movie, go to brunch, something like that. We lived on opposite sides of town so if we were going to make the 30-ish minute drives, it was for more than just a quick meal.
But there was a gradual increase in face time. We went from once a month, to a couple weekends a month, to random lunches in the middle of the week along with weekend hangouts, etc. If I had pre-determined plans for say Saturday, Devon would ask what I was doing on Sunday.
Proximity was also beginning to change. Devon and I had always been kind of huggy friends but I noticed he was starting to stand a lot closer to me, hugged me a lot more and then there were a few times he either was holding my hand (because he found a reason to) or had his arm around me. THAT was new. And I noticed….I just tried to not make a big deal about it. There was even a movie that we went to where he found a reason to hold my hand throughout the entire movie.
There was also an early, very expensive, birthday gift given to me by him in July. He’d asked me OFTEN what I wanted for my birthday, and if you know me, you know that I never know what to tell people to get me for my birthday. I joked with Devon about a Coach bag I wanted; it was a pretty light blue saffiano, I’d never seen a bag that color before, and as much as I typically don’t use colorful bags, I was obsessed with this one. During one of our many outings in July, guess what he shows up with? That Coach bag. I was absolutely floored. He’s not one for pricey gifts (and as I’m sure you know Coach bags aren’t cheap). I told him I was kidding, he didn’t have to do that, he was like “yeah, but I know you really wanted it”. I still have it and still love it.
He’d also been dropping the “love” word a lot more. We’d always said that we loved each other as friends but he was throwing that at the end of conversations and a lot of “you know you love me” comments more often. And there was a lot more flirtatious conversations from him. Like if I look back on my Time Hop for around this time, I’ll see that he commented on literally everything that I posted and most of it was meant to be endearing. But almost every conversation ended with him saying “Love you!”; it was almost like he was trying to sound funny or sarcastic with it, but I know he wasn’t.
In the beginning of July my brother was hospitalized for about a week. We weren’t sure why in the beginning, so I was nervous. My brother had to have surgery to see what was going on and Devon actually came to the hospital during his surgery because he knew how worried I was. My brother wound up having an ulcer which was bleeding and causing his issues, so after a surgery and a transfusion he went home a couple days later very well recovered. But all throughout my brother’s stint at the hospital, Devon was pretty much at an arms distance the whole time. He texted like 10 times a day to check on my brother, facebook messaged me silly pictures to make me laugh; he prety much did everything except send a carrier pigeon while we were in the hospital.
The 20th of July was a Saturday. A couple days prior Devon texted to see what I was doing that weekend. I had some work thing I had to do that morning but I was free in the afternoon. So we decided to meet up at Towson Town Mall for dinner. It was still a little early when we met up so we decided to people watch for awhile. And, of course, the proximity thing came back. For SOME reason Devon decided he had to have his arm around me the whole time.
He also decided that he needed to kiss me while we were standing there.
I didn’t hate it; I was surprised, despite all of those signs that had been happening. I don’t hide my reactions well, so the surprise was evident. Devon’s looking at me, trying to gauge my reaction and he’s like “well, at least you’re not slapping me, so I’m guessing you’re not too upset about what just happened.” And I wasn’t that upset.
My brain was in overdrive, though. Because I wasn’t upset. Devon’s my best friend; he wasn’t supposed to do that. But I was okay with him doing it. But what did this mean for our friendship? What happens if this didn’t work? We can’t just be friends again like we were. I was standing there in silence for like 10 minutes just thinking about all of this. Finally, Devon says, “Steph, please say something, your silence is killing me.” So, we talked a little and at some point…..I kissed him…….back….in return……because I wanted to….I don’t know, I just know that it happened.
So we decided to talk more over dinner. Somehow, over the course of dinner, we decided that us dating might actually be a good idea. So 7/20/13 is the day that a lot of people won bets and “Devon & Stephanie” became an official thing. I will admit Devon can be pretty persuasive when he wants to be.
I’m still not sure how he conned me into this. This is why I always say, us being together is all his fault. He claims because I had to go and try dating other people that he had to take charge. He says, “we were fine, we were alone, together, you had to go and decide that YOU wanted to have more, so you had to go out on dates and stuff. You messed with our status quo, so I fixed it so that you can’t go off and date people ever again.” He “fixed” it, so it’s his fault.
to be continued