Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 63byrpsuch©
Not only had I never worked this hard, I hadn't even imagined working this hard. The amusing thing was I wasn't working for grades. I didn't want to embarrass myself, but, given that, they were of little concern.
My primary motivation was I wanted to learn and I felt way behind because I hadn't put much effort into the learning part of my education. To my complete astonishment I was exhilarated by learning, whether I thought it would turn out to be useful or not. No wonder Jeff had so much patience and such joie de vivre.
I worked with such focus the first two weeks back I barely noticed Jeff was continuing to put in the same effort he had when he was a student less than a month ago. I noticed something else disturbing.
Before, time together and time not together was still our time. Now, even the time we spent together was time we each spent alone.
Sunny would have recognized the difference in her relationship with Louis very quickly. I felt like I stumbled onto it. Jeff wouldn't have been aware of its existence until it was time for us to break up. I had to do something.
"Jeff, I want you to remember me telling you to remember this request that you remember it."
He didn't have to say, "What?" It was implicit in his dazed look.
"That's all. Just remember."
I needed to prepare before I could discuss our situation with him.
That evening, when I had finished the amount of work I decided earlier I had to get done I wandered into the kitchen where Jeff was working at the table. I sat down on his lap. I put my arm around his neck. I didn't say a word.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"You're my guy. I want to spend some time with you."
"But you're just sitting here."
He thought a moment, smiled, turned us from his computer and kissed me. I kissed him back. It lasted a few minutes.
"How about we go to bed early tonight? We could both use a good night's sleep."
I smiled and got up from his lap.
"Lead the way, Dr. Goldberg. Your wish is my … wish." I didn't know if I would ever reach the point where I would feel comfortable following anybody's command.
Going to bed early is not the same thing as going to sleep early. Sometimes you just can't manage to fall asleep.
Sometimes there are things for which you would prefer to stay awake. This was such a night.
"I don't know that it's any one thing," said Jen.
We had been talking regularly, trying to come up with an appropriate bottom line for the wedding.
"It's more of a general concept. In some ways it's easier for me to think about it that way. I'm not a member of a royal wedding. But that may also mean I expect to have more things my way.
"Maybe the best way to describe it is I want to be appreciated, no, worshipped on the most important day of my life."
"Well, that's easy enough. All you want is deification."
She thought that was hilarious.
Jen had a sizeable list of must-haves for her wedding. I knew I would never get everything on her list. I decided to make my own list. It wouldn't be me just rattling off a bunch of things I wanted. I would make a written list. I decided to try to start with the most important items at the top of the list.
1. At the end of the ceremony I had to be married to Jeff.
2. The ceremony must include a rabbi and a chuppah.
3. All of Jeff's family must be there.
4. My closest friends must be there. That was Jen and Rich so far, if she is still seeing him.
I swapped two and three and then swapped three and four. As I added to the list none of the new items seemed make-or-break.
5. Attire must be dress-up.
6. Artist for drawings
7. Photos for guests
10. Dancing -- how will they accommodate twelve hundred guests?
11. Theme for the wedding
12. Entertainment for guests during hors d'oeuvres, pictures, whatever Each item became more difficult to add. The order wasn't clear. As I considered them, nothing seemed important enough to insist upon. Should I add dozens so I could be turned down enough times to get the ones I really needed? I couldn't muster the enthusiasm. I'd come back to the list another time.
For the fourth consecutive night I entered the kitchen to sit with Jeff. He wasn't there. I found him in the bedroom at the table beside the bed.
"There you are," I said.
"I figured I wouldn't have as far to go when you showed up."
"Getting pretty cocky aren't you?"
"Well, if being observant led you to conclude I would show up, I assume you have figured out why I'm doing it."
"I figured out what. I'm not clear on why. That's probably because I considered so many possibilities it was difficult to narrow it down to one."
"Do you remember me asking you to remember me asking you to remember?"
"Aha!" he said.
"So you've figured it out?"
"No. But I remember you asking me to remember you asked me to remember."
"This is starting to sound like a sitcom."
"If it is, I hope it has a very long run."
I laughed. "In the sitcom, they would move to another scene and leave it up in the air."
"Fortunately, this is not a sitcom"
I smiled enigmatically.
"Right?" he asked.
I hesitated before answering. "I wouldn't make you suffer needlessly." I paused. "Any more."
He chuckled. "You can be a wicked woman."
"Perhaps. But the old Ashley would have needed no reason to make you suffer. Not you, but some guy."
I sat down in his lap.
"It's fun to toy with you. But I might as well get to the real topic.
"We both seem to be focused on our individual goals. I know I have been. But I think for a while there I was so focused I forgot that without an us, my goals wouldn't mean very much to me.
"I can appreciate my accomplishments without somebody telling me how well I've done. But what a rush I get when I can see you savoring them as well."
I could see his eyes doing that thing as I spoke. He broke out into a smile when I mentioned the rush.
"It could be that I've been hyperfocused. That can be a bad thing if it lasts too long. Perhaps I can do something to correct it."
He rose and picked me up in his arms simultaneously. We were kissing as he set me down on the bed.
"I want to make sure I understand the entire context so I can avoid falling into this kind of mistake in the future. Please explain it to me completely."
"I don't want to give you too much to absorb all at once. Let's give it some time to sink in and then I'll try to explain it to you more fully," I said in as serious a voice as I could muster.
"Thank you for being so patient with me," he said.