Atticus posts are hard for me to write. It wasn't a good or healthy relationship, and I cringe when I think of what he did, the things I put up with, even his name. Sorry it's taken so long to follow up the How we met story, but here it is!
Atticus called. I was a friend's apartment and nervously giggled my way through the phone call. He pointed out how much I laughed. I was embarrassed; I could help it! We set a date and time for our coffee date. I picked the location, as he asked me to do, and I could tell from the tone in his voice that he was less than thrilled with it. He insisted, however, that we visit the place I wanted. When Date Day finally arrived, I spent the early part of the day at the mall with my friend, building up nerves and killing time before I met him at a coffee and tea shop downtown.
When the time came, I walked into the small shop and there he was, reading a Thomas Pynchon novel. (To this day I can't look at a Pynchon novel without thinking of Atticus.) I almost didn't recognize him without the heavy layers of jackets and hats he had worn when we met. He bought me a coffee and one for himself, and we sat and chatted about ourselves a bit. I made sure to embarrass myself completely by making a sarcastic, offhand remark that I spoke Spanglish. I had taken Spanish throughout school, and often would, and still do, insert Spanish words into my speech. After I made that comment, he cocked his head to the side a bit and said, "Well, I speak Spanish fluently."
He was from Central America.
I felt like an ASS for having said anything. I thought I was being funny and witty but I was just putting my foot into my poor mouth.
We talked a little bit more - what I was studying, how old he was (a full decade older than I), and what he did. Atticus was very touchy-feely on this date. I was not, and thought it weird to be so forward so fast, but I was certain that I was abnormal in some way and so I let him put his hand on my knee and then my thigh. Next, he leaned in to kiss me. I instinctively pulled away from him, as far as I could. He said, "You're so naive" and then smiled. I wanted to say, "What, I'm naive just because I don't want to kiss you?" but I didn't. I didn't want to be rude.
After finishing our coffee, we walked around downtown and he pulled me aside at every alley way to plant a kiss on me, or makeout for a bit, or stare longingly into my eyes. I went along with it - that's what normal girls do, right? - and at the end of the date I told him I'd go out with him again.
And so, I did.