So I went out on a couple of dates with Boy-X. He was nice, and maybe there weren't sparks, but I quite enjoyed his company, and I felt like conversationally we were a good match. That's important to me.
Then after a couple of weeks, the texts started to drop off, and I found myself freaking out a little. "What did I say wrong? What can I say to get him back on my side? What can I do to make him like me?" I thought things were going fine. I was having these private little freakouts with my phone, wishing that little light would blink.
Normally, especially in past lives, I would walk away. I would take the hint, suck it up, and go try my luck somewhere else. And I'd feel terrible about myself, like a loser nobody wanted, and even since I've been in this body I've felt pretty crummy over the years: turning into a fairly attractive woman hasn't dulled my ability to find flaws in myself. But in this case, I decided I had it. I wasn't going to give up that easy: I'd seen what was out there, and I liked this guy, and I was going to get to the bottom of this.
"Hey," I said after two days (yes, it only took two days of silence to break me) "Do you like me?"
I swear, I haven't felt so tense since, well... best not get into it. Still, it was very nervous.
A while later he texted back "Yeah... I think so."
Hrm. Not promising.
Then he continued: "I'm just really intimidated. You've got things figured out, you're in a good place, and I just... don't know what I think about life right now."
Ding. It hadn't occurred to me that someone else in the world might be insecure. Get out of your own head once in a while, Pearce. The idea that my life might seem full to an outsider has never occurred to me... certainly not while I'm sitting at home on my butt, slinging my bras over the furniture and wondering if I have enough room to get a cat.
Now, when I was a guy, I would sit around, wondering why some girl I liked couldn't take an interest in me. Well here I am, taking an interest in a guy not that unlike my old self... and he damn well better appreciate it.
After a moment's thought, I told him that I was plenty insecure myself, and that the things he was worrying about weren't things that bothered me: that I enjoyed his company, and if he enjoyed mine, we should see each other more.
After an incredibly tense twenty minute wait, he responded... very positively.
So we started making plans, and tonight I'm having him over to hang out. You know, real casual. I'm not getting my expectations up, but all the same, it'll be nice to have someone I can call up once in a while. Someone I like.
I'm on a bit of a high right now, not just because someone likes me, and not just because I put in some work to make sure things were square, but because I suddenly saw where he was with his life: uncertain, intimidated and nervous, and I made him feel better. I did a good thing for someone, had an impact. I just feel so psyched right now. It used to be, I was the one who needed constant pep talks.
Five years does amazing things to a person.
PS That's right... 10 days ago was the five-year anniversary of 27-year-old John Henry Clifford becoming 22-year-old Victoria Pearce. I'm back to the age I started at... and I feel so good about it.