Back in the day, long ago, a few days after Rudy and I first met, he called me. During that time I was living at home with my parents. I’m almost certain we met on a Saturday night and on the following Thursday evening he murmured into my ear, into the phone, something about
“Do you remember me?”
The night we met I was taken aback with how kind Rudy was. His behavior toward me felt very honest. Our carefree conversation was, simply-put, comfortable. As we strolled down the sidewalk along the edge of a congested boulevard he guided me away from the curb, placing himself in that possibly dangerous position. A chivalrous behavior that welled up a homespun emotion in me. He didn’t realize it then that he had made a move just as my dad would have. He protected me from harm’s way.
“Of course I remember you,” I said quietly, shyly.
After several pleasantries, Rudy proceeded to ask me if I’d like to go out the following night. Unfortunately, and honestly, I already had plans so I declined his invitation. Feeling disappointed yet confident, he called again the next Thursday, immediately mentioning
“I had a dream about you last night.”
As nice and genuine as I figured him to be, warning bells chimed. The warning wasn’t overbearing, just cautious.
‘Was he already going there? Making sexual innuendos?’ I asked myself.
I wasn’t sure. His voice tone seemed innocent; as if he was just making a sweet remark, admitting that he was thinking about me, even in his dreams.
Rudy continued to call for the next several Thursday nights, and each time I declined, not because I wasn’t willing to give it a go, but because I seriously had other obligations.
About six weeks after our first encounter I had heard that Rudy, who had decided I wasn’t into him due to all my excuses not to hang out, might show up at the nightclub my friends and I were going to. And, well, because the two of us never really made a seriously serious connection, I was hesitant about seeing him.
“Do not leave me alone with him!” I pleaded with my friends.
Yet, later, as Rudy and I sat together, laughing and enjoying each others company, my loyal pals bounded over and tried to drag me to safety.
“It’s okay.” I whispered. “He really is nice. I’m fine.”
Every Thursday night thereafter, Rudy would walk down the block to the nearby mini-mart near his apartment, and call me. We’d talk, and make plans to hang out, on both Friday and Saturday nights, plus Sunday afternoons. Long gone were the weekends of other obligations. Rudy and I quickly connected, permanently, becoming each other’s priority.