by Jane Moneypenny

I hit my year anniversary in Austin last week. A year ago, I got into a ridiculously bad car accident on my first weekend here, which also happened to be my ex-bf’s birthday. This year, it was lingering in the back of my mind, but faded quickly as I laughed and screamed through the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster. Last year, I was stressed and lonely and hysterical. This year, I spent a glorious beautiful weather weekend in NYC with old friends and the crush that seems to never fully go away.

Although I got late Friday night, I didn’t see him until Saturday evening due to busy schedules, the US Open and a checklist of people I needed to see. Up to that point, he had slipped from my mind as I busied myself preparing for Africa and he for a trip to Costa Rica. But when I walked off the subway and saw him grinning at me across the street, all doubts flew out of my head. Is it possible he got better looking since I last saw him?

He gave me options for our plans that night, one of them involving a long walk up a hill through the Cloisters. He being in the camp that I needed to train more for Kilimanjaro strongly hinted at that one so I sighed and agreed. The sun was setting over the Hudson, the weather was cool and there was green all around. It’s as someone directed the perfect scenery for a romantic walk.

We had dinner at a small Italian place by his apartment. Conversation was smooth and fast flowing, filled with laughter and teasing. He lamented over the true meaning of “adoration” and how sad he was it’s gotten lost through time due to the “cuteness” of the word “adore” and “adorable.” To truly have adoration for something is to love and respect and be passionate about it. His adoration is for tennis and Africa, where he did Peace Corp for years. Deep down, I hoped he would have adoration for me some day.

He’s not an emotional man; he’s passionate about a few things, but generally, a stoic person. On the rare chance he makes a comment about us or me, he’s sincere to the point I desperately wish for more moments. My friends find him overwhelming great, probably because he’s so opposite of my usual. As we’re riding the subway, Smallbone giggles and whispers, “He’s so dreamy, Jane! I’m in love with him for you.”

But all these happy good feelings are just that. I leave for Africa next week and I wonder if he’ll fade from my memories or if he’ll move on. There was no talk about the future. Maybe that’s what happens when you live in the moment. The DTR (Define the Relationship) was looming in my head, but I pushed it away. What’s the point? He’s there, I’m here and there’s nothing to debate. But when I fall asleep in his arms and he comments that we fit together very well, I find myself wondering about the future.

Reality bites.