Friday, December 12, 2014

Chapter 13, part 2: Gift for Ian

The heavy package was awkward in my hands.  It took longer than I expected for the special order to come in, and I was glad it arrived today, the last day before Christmas break, so I could give it to Ian.  I still hadn’t decided if I was going to give him the card with its written confession of my feelings for him.

I knocked on his door.  I had called ahead to make sure his roommate wasn’t there.

“Merry Christmas!” I said as I handed him the gift.  “And it’s kind of a thank you gift too.”

He ripped off the festive paper to reveal a piece of inspirational art with his favorite Bible verse inscribed on a placard at the bottom center of the frame.

“Wow, this is so thoughtful. Thank you.”

“No, thank you.  Without you getting me to all those appointments, and even my classes last month, I don’t know what I would have done. I wanted to—” I hesitated as I decided what to do next.  It felt so awkward to hand him a love letter and watch while he read it.  But I didn’t know if I had the nerve to say anything directly either.

“Aw, Gigi, you are so sweet.”  He gave me a quick hug and caught a glimpse of the card in my hand.  “Oh, did I miss the card? How rude of me.”

I pulled it away from him.  “Actually, I was hiding it.”

“Hiding it? Why?”

“Because it’s a little sappy and I was chickening out of giving it to you.”  I said and tried to keep the card away from his long reach.

“How bad could it be?  C’mon, just let me read it.”  He snagged the card at last and began to open it.

"I like you, Ian.”  I blurted just as he unsealed the envelope.

“What’s not to like,” he joked, assuming a body builder pose.

“No, I mean, as more than a friend.  That’s what the card says.”  I took a step toward him, putting my hand on his arm.

He stepped back. “Wow.  That is really flattering.  Wow.”  He turned beet red. “I wasn’t expecting this.  Wow.  I’m so honored that you think of me that way.”  

I looked at him expectantly.

“I do like you too, Gigi—but, um, not in that way.  I’m so sorry if I did anything to give you the wrong idea.”  

“Oh.  Sorry if I made you uncomfortable.”  I reached out my hand again.  “Can I have my card back please?  I’d rather you not read it now.  It’s too embarrassing.”

He held it out.  I snatched it and fled the room.

He caught up with me in the lobby and put a hand on my shoulder.  I felt so mortified, I couldn’t even look him in the eye.

“Gigi, you don’t need to run. You have nothing to be ashamed of.  Please, let’s stay friends and move past this?”

I smiled at him through my tears. “I’d like that.  Just give me some time.  Good thing Christmas break starts tomorrow.”  I sent up a silent prayer of thanks that Phoebe Daniels was driving me to the airport in Columbus instead of Ian.