After all my drama and second-guessing, I finally got around to talking things out with Buddy, like grownups. Sort of.
Eventually, he started getting the hint and laying off, but whenever I saw him it was clear he still wanted my attention. It's hard when your feelings for someone just don't match up, and I've never been on this end of it before. So we got to talking.
"Look, Tor," he said, "I realize you're not into me the way I... I mean, yeah. I'm over it..." although he didn't really sound like he was, "And I hope we can still be friends. Right?"
I was taken aback, and feeling bad about the whole thing, but I agreed, not really wanting to delve into my own feelings.
He continued, "I'm going away for a while. I've got a job -- it's just a temporary assignment, but it requires me to relocate to Ohio for a little while." I guess the company that's hired him on wants him on-premises. So I just asked him when we could expect him back. He said he might be gone all summer.
Knowing that I might never see this guy again I got a little sad. As confusing as all this is, and his attraction to me has been particularly hard to deal with, I really do care about all the people in my life right now. So at the end of the night I gave him a big warm hug and told him to keep in touch. He deserves something better than what I can offer him, and maybe if he's lucky the real Tori will take some interest (even though, sadly, he doesn't seem like her type.)
He's gone now. I feel like that's one major loose end sort-of tied up before my trip back to Maine next month. I still feel bad for leaving things that way, but we're not always given a choice in these matters. I know that better than anyone.