It's been one full week since Hannah got back. Here's your update:
I got a call Saturday morning around 11am. I can't describe how happy I was to see her number pop up on my phone so soon. I mean she literally called me less than three hours after getting set apart. That's a good sign, right? Unfortunately this phone call has become a source of great confusion for me. While she called me right away the phone call that followed lasted only two minutes and nineteen minutes, according to my phone, until she said she needed to go. Mixed signals. Important enough to call me right away, but not enough to warrant time for a conversation. Later that day we texted a couple of times to set up a time to meet up. Wednesday was decided upon. That was that.
The next time we had contact was Monday. Pioneer day here in Utah. It was afternoon and we exchanged a few text messages about holiday plans. I'll admit I was secretly hoping we could bump up the day of our meeting by a couple days. Unfortunately Monday was a day of disappointment as I found out Hannah had already done a few of the things we had talked about doing together when she got back.
Finally Wednesday came around. I don't know what emotion I would say that I was feeling. I was excited to see Hannah. I had hope that being face-to-face would make things better. I was confused about the events and actions of the previous few days. We met up at one of my favorite little food joints for lunch so we could eat and talk. I have to say the tempo was set right off that bat. I went in for the hug I had waited so long for, and was met with the side-lean hug.
We ate, we talked. It's incredible hard to talk to a returned missionary who's like this. I spent most of the time desperately trying to feel out for common ground. We were together and talked for about two and a half hours. It was difficult for me, there she was sitting across from me, cute as ever, the girl I've know for years. I was so happy to be back there, I'm sure most of the time I had this idiotic smile on my face as my memories of us did battle with the stark reality I was surrounded with. Her outward appearance was where everything stopped being familiar.
The experience kind of reminded me of all those movies where someone has amnesia, or otherwise can't remember their life or recent events, when another character, usually the romantic interest, is trying to trigger their memory and return them to normal. It's a difficult situation, while all of my memories of us together were preserved over time, hers were overwritten. The final blow of the afternoon was struck when, after a short silence Hannah asks:
"What do you expect from me now that I'm back? I really don't want a relationship."
I didn't really know how to react. I knew that she felt this way, and I was willing and able to go along with it, but it was this moment that I felt there was little chance of being friends like before, as we had discussed. Any move I initiated towards friendship would be viewed as an attempt at a relationship. The reason I had been kept at arms length since she got home was made clear with this simple question.
The Quandary: The problem I have now is what my next move is. I feel I have two, equally poor choices.
1. Keep trying to find chances to get together and spend time together. While this is the choice I want to make, I also know that this action could be viewed as trying to force her hand, or pressuring her into something she doesn't want now.
2. I give her a wide berth, I let her dictate when we get together, or even speak. I really don't like this option because first it can make it look like I don't care to see her or talk to her. Second it could look as if I'm bothered by her saying she's not interested in being in a relationship, and that I'm a douche for running away because of that. Or third, I'm unsure how much she really wants to see me, I get the distinct feeling that if I don't contact her that we won't be in contact at all.
Following my answer to her question she almost immediately called the meeting to a close. Now I'm left wondering what my next move is. I want to spend time with Hannah, but at times I feel that will be counter-productive. I guess I'll have to find some kind of middle ground. I'll see her at her official homecoming on Sunday. I'll keep an eye out for an opportunity to tell her how I really feel about all of this, then maybe wait a couple weeks to initiate contact with her again.