I approached the restaurant and saw the sexy professor waiting for me just outside. It was our third date, and the second Saturday in a row we were going out to dinner together.
He saw me walking towards him and said hi. I smiled and said hi as I stepped into the hug he offered me.
“Are you okay? Your voice… You sounded a little tired or something. I thought I heard a little sigh there.”
I joked, “Well, so much for me having an acting career,” and had to admit I’d had a bit of a rough week. (Context here)
And that was all that was needed for a conversation to start.
I didn’t blurt everything out at once. I did, over the course of many hours of meandering conversation topics, wind up telling him everything.
He already knew a lot about my history, the relationship I escaped two years ago, and the long and arduous healing process that has consumed the majority of my time since then.
It was easy to tell him the Narcissist’s voice was back inside my head and had been there for days. How it had been a really long time since I’d dealt with emotional flashbacks like I was experiencing. How I had been concerned about what the sexy professor was thinking about the abrupt change in the frequency and tone of my communications.
What I did not say was the reappearance of the Narcissist in my thoughts was primarily due to a realization of affection for and vulnerability with the sexy professor. It was a trigger. A hefty one.
It was a remarkable journey to experience alongside Blair. However, Blair’s first boyfriend was very similar to the Narcissist. I told the sexy professor it was this, this total book immersion that I often experience, that caused me to have emotional flashbacks.
It was not a complete lie, although it was definitely a half-truth.
The conversations we had throughout the evening were good. They were better than good. The sexy professor is an incredibly empathetic listener. I felt heard, reassured, and cared about.
I can’t say it was a great night. I wasn’t in the right headspace to appreciate or recognize a great night even if I experienced one.
But I still like him. I’m glad I went. I’m glad it went okay. I’m glad it was surprisingly comfortable to be around him even when I didn’t feel at my best.
As was the case last week, we continued messaging after our date and through the next day. And as was the case last week, he has already requested I go out with him again this coming Saturday. There was zero hesitation in my response.
I said yes.