The CHB Diaries, Part II

Two weeks after submitting my petition to the universe, "I want Jacob Knudsen to be in my life", I received a Facebook friend request.

And so began several weeks of correspondence--each email gifted me with a better understanding of CHB's life experiences, his likes, dislikes, memories, family, his hopes. I learned about his love for jazz music as he would always attach two or three of his favorite songs to each email. I learned about the hot air balloon ride he took in high school and his ever expanding sneaker collection. I learned about his reverence for nature and his undying devotion to Coca Cola. Each email made my stomach flip and was immediately acknowledged with a long and carefully articulated response.

The emails led to courtship. On two occasions, CHB asked his parents to arrive, unannounced, at the Kindergarten where I worked to give me bouquets of blooming, fragrant flowers. At one point, CHB even offered to fly me back to America for a first date(!).

I wanted this. I wanted to know more of him. To somehow be closer to him. But it felt fast and a little overwhelming, too. And what of Gus? We were still corresponding, and although we occupied friend territory at this point, I could feel that perhaps our break was melding back into something more than friends. Gus was safe, he was known, he was kind, and smart. CHB was unknown, he was a glimpse, a bright flash in the sky, and a bit of a dream. I knew I had to make a decision: completely break things off with Gus to pursue someone I hadn't spent more than 5 minutes with or break things off with CHB to pursue someone I knew and trusted. I chose the path most traveled, the path of lowest risk. I ended my correspondence with CHB, the man I had invited into my life two months earlier. I said a resolute "No thank you" to the gift I had sought and been granted.

Even though I was determined to move forward with Gus, I continued to harbor feelings for CHB. I knew it wasn't fair to Gus to have my divided attention, and so I tried to push out all thoughts of CHB. I deleted all of our emails as I found myself reading them over and over. I tucked the notes he had sent me into the bottom of a cardboard box. I tried (mostly unsuccessfully) not to look at his FB page and dissect comments written on his wall by pretty girls. My deepest self--the knowing part of me--wasn't on board with this stubborn suppression, and so CHB emerged elsewhere. Because I wouldn't allow him in my waking life, he emerged in my sleep. For the next 6 months I had a dream about CHB every week. Every. Single. Week.

After 6 months of these dreams, I couldn't take it any longer. I needed to contact CHB and reach out and somehow reconnect. He was occupying my mind and my heart with a doggedness that demanded resolve. It was around this time that Gus and I were going through another "break not break up", and so I contacted CHB. Holding fast to my courage, I IM'd him and asked if he would like to join me for Christmas. I was flying back to Portland, and 'you know, I would really enjoy having you around.' A pause. Then, a 'no thank you.'

My heart sank, and I felt foolish. Ah yes. He had a girlfriend now. Well, why wouldn't he? Did I expect him to spend all of his time dreaming about me as I did him? I suppose some part of me hoped he would be just as haunted as I was. Embarrassed, I resolved that this was my definitive answer from God to move on, move forward, to stop seeking my bright flash in the sky and continue to seek those safer, softer lights.

To be continued...