Roger and I very first met two days before my twenty-fifth birthday.
I happened to mention this to Roger while we were out.
Just cause anyone who knows me knows how excited I get around my birthday, so of course I just blabbed it to Roger.
He said to me, "Oh, I will have to take you out for your birthday."
I wiggled my way out of inviting him to my official birthday events just cause I was planning on blowing Roger off. He was too dorky for me.
But Roger did not forget his promise.
I started dating someone else in the next couple of days and Roger developed a crush on another girl.
Roger and I however remained just friends. My blow off was to do so, but I did not think he actually would.
"Hey, I think we should remain just friends." "Oh, okay."
And Roger was an extraordinarily good friend.
Being that good friend, he kept reminding me that he owed me a birthday dinner.
"Yeah, sure. Whatever."
Finally Roger being Roger said on Wednesday, October 26, 2005, "Let's do your birthday dinner on Saturday. We will go to Pleasure Island."
And I shockingly said, "Hmm, that's date night. We are just friends. We cannot go out on date night."
"Cause it's date night. Everyone knows Saturday is date night. And we are not dating. We are just friends."
"Well, when can you go then?"
When I checked my calendar, Saturday was about the only option.
"Fine. We can go on Saturday but this is NOT a date. This will be a non-date."
In the next couple of days, I made it even more difficult on poor Roger.
I told him that I wanted to drive my car (because I wanted to secretly show off).
But not only did I want to drive my car, I wanted him to drive over to my house so I could drive my car.
Roger lived about 45 minutes from me at the time. Yes I was very difficult.
Roger just said "Sure."
He did have one request.
He wanted to go on our non-date after Saturday night mass.
"No problem." Inside my head I thought, "Hmm, he is a Catholic boy" and hence his nickname was born - Catholic Boy.
Roger pulled up and rang my door bell.
He was dressed very nice (why did he do that, this was not a date) and we climbed into my car.
I showed off how cool I was in my MINI.
We went to dinner at Bongos in Downtown Disney.
The restaurant was very busy so we sat in the bar waiting for a table.
I had one drink. I did not want to have anymore. I did not want to be anywhere slightly tipsy because I did not want to lose control of myself.
I suddenly was a die hard VT football fan. I pretended to be very interested in the game on the TV.
Roger told the restaurant we were willing to sit outside.
I think we got the most romantic table in the entire restaurant.
We had a table over looking the lake.
The sun had already set.
The weather was perfect.
But we were not on a date.
We ate a nice meal and of course Roger grabbed for the check.
Not sure why. This was not a date.
There was a live band in the center of the restaurant.
People were dancing.
Roger asked me if I wanted to dance.
Not really but I obliged.
Roger kept pulling me toward him.
I kept pushing him away.
This was not a date. What was he thinking pulling me close to him. (Well Bongos is a Cuban restaurant and Spanish dancing is normally close dancing but whatever.)
Roger whispered in my ear "You are the most beautiful woman here."
"Argh. There are about twenty other more beautiful woman here. Like that one or that one or that one."
"Yeah, but they are all in high school. They are just girls."
Roger claimed for years that I was truly the most beautiful woman that night.
We left the restaurant and went to some of the nearby clubs.
More pushing Roger away.
I was getting exhausted of reminding Roger that this was not a date.
I finally asked if we could leave.
I drove back to my house.
I did not want him to take me to the door since this was not a date.
So I stood in the driveway for him to get into his car.
Roger moved in close.
In my head, "Oh my God, he is going to kiss me."
I screamed like a school girl, "NOOOO!"
Roger laughed, "I was not going to kiss you on the lips. I was going to kiss you on the cheek."
The next day, I got an email from Roger.
He basically accused me of not being my normal flirty self and gave me an ultimatum.
And if he was going to continue to be my friend, then I had four choices:
One, to pursue a romantic relationship with Roger.
Two, to stop being his friend completely.
Three, to be myself and flirty with him knowing it was just as friends.
Four, to just let whatever happened happen.
I choose number three.
Or at least I choose number three for a couple of weeks...
Until the night I came in the middle of the night.