That line has always struck a chord with me. E. said it in the beginning after we’d just confessed that we loved each other. It was a warm, comfortable sentiment that hugged me close and made me feel like no matter what kind of psychopath I would inevitably turn into, he knew who I was at heart. No PMS or bad hair day could shake his knowledge of my life, my personality, my habits.
He uttered it four years later and it felt very different. Four years after the “I love you” and three years after the “I don’t love you anymore.” I had changed, I had grown up. I wasn’t co-habiting a tiny dorm room in rural Western New York. I was breezing into high-rise apartment buildings and rubbing elbows with models and Wall Street bankers in chic and urban Manhattan. Gone were the days of hoodies and excitement in the form of the Webster Fireman’s Carnival. Gone were the days when he knew me.
But we stood in the bar, sipping beers at the annual Christmas get together in my little home town, me trying too hard to look the part of Sophisticated New Yorker and him seemingly the same boisterous, pompous goof he had been in high school, and he made me feel like he could still see me. He made a joke about how much I eat. “You don’t knooow me!” I joked back. He grinned and his eyes narrowed and he said quietly and only to me, “I know you.”
E. used to say, “I like because, I love although.” It was eventually what broke us up. He knew me, but those little things he loved “although” must have been too much.
The initial weeks and months (and years...) of flirting and talking are fun, but I am a girl who lives for the moment when a guy knows me. When I become predictable. In addition to his inadvertent “we” comment last week, The LDC made another small step for him, giant leap for me statement. He called last night at 11. I was asleep.
“What time is it?”
“It’s… oh, it’s 11 there. I’m sorry, were you asleep?”
“Mmhmm… it’s okay.”
“You’ve been such a night owl lately, I forgot how early you usually go to bed.”
Whether he means to or not, he is getting to know me.