Previously: Part 1
Location: Giacomo’s Basement, Buffalo, NY
Time: Friday, Mid May 2003 (a week later)
Again we were hanging out in Giacomo’s basement. Giacomo, Giacomo’s girlfriend, Marco, Marco’s girlfriend, HotBallerina and myself were killing time before going to meet Paolo and his girlfriend at Denny’s for food.
[Note: Yes, my hometown is THAT boring.]
I was sitting cross-legged on the same recliner, shooting the shit with everyone. HotBallerina sat directly in front of me on the floor and leaned back up against the recliner. I wasn’t complaining. My confirmation of her claddagh ring’s orientation would see what my next move would be.
Due to the significantly high Irish population in South Buffalo, a lot of the traditions of that ethnic group dispersed into my hometown. For instance, St. Patty’s being (almost) a week-long Guinness/Jamison-fueled drinking fest, non-Mick girls learning Irish dancing, bars on almost every corner (often across the street from Catholic churches), and girls wearing claddagh rings to show if they were “taken” or not (as they’re supposed to be worn).
Wait a second, why am I trying to peep HotBallerina’s ring even though I deemed her “out of my league”?
Earlier that week, Marco’s girlfriend (HotBallerina’s friend and classmate) out of the blue hinted to me that HotBallerina was “really impressed” and “interested” by me leading her out of the basement last Friday. Real subtle on their part, I know. Even with my non-existent game and beginner’s-level experience with girls, I got HotBallerina’s telegraphed message loud and clear.
“I think you’re cute! Talk to me! Did I mention I’m single? Talk to me! I’m hot! Talk to me!”
HotBallerina turned her head up to me, interrupting my thoughts.
HotBallerina: “Beppo? I wanted to let you know that I came prepared this time.”
Beppo: “Oh? Prepared for what?”
HotBallerina: “Let me show you!”
She dug into her purse for a moment, pulled out a small key-chain flashlight and lit it. I laughed.
Beppo: “Yes, you definitely are prepared!”
She smiled brightly, laughed and dropped the flashlight back into her purse. As covertly as possible I checked the orientation of her ring. The point of the heart was towards her fingertips. Sweet.
Later that night, it ended up that I was the only one able to give HotBallerina a ride back to her house. Obviously this was planned beforehand. Again, not very subtle, but I feigned being oblivious and rolled with it. I knew I would be kissing her before she left my car.
She gave me directions to her house and we set off in my car. HotBallerina lived in Hamburg, so we had a long drive (by Buffalo standards) before I got her home. In the meantime, we just talked. HotBallerina was telling me how excited she was about working a second job at a playground for the “Summer Program,” but wouldn’t actually start until the later part of June. Even though she was getting an almost full-ride scholarship to Northeastern (she was the salutatorian of her class), she lamented the coming costs of her textbooks. I silently agreed and nodded my head.
After almost missing the turn for her street (“Sorry, it does sneak up on you!”), we eventually pulled into her driveway. I turned off the engine and turned to HotBallerina.
Beppo: “Shall I walk you to your door?”
HotBallerina: “I’d like that, but no, my parents are still up and my Mom is probably already looking out to see who pulled in the driveway.”
Her Mom would spy out the peephole in the door. I’d later find out that her Mom was really weird, but in a way I couldn’t put my finger on.
Beppo (leaning in): “Okay…”
We had the initial kiss and then moved up to making out for a bit. The center console in my car made it slightly awkward, but it worked out alright.
HotBallerina (coming up for air): “Let me get your number…”
Reaching into her purse, she grabbed her recently acquired cellphone and fumbled with it due to unfamiliarity. It didn’t help that I was distracting her by playing with her hair.
HotBallerina: “Sorry. Lets see…”phone book”…”add number”…B-E-P-P-O…Okay! Your number?”
I gave it to her and she called my number after saving it.
Beppo (saving her number to contacts): “Do you know your schedule for the week? I’d like to see you again.”
HotBallerina: “I’ll know on Monday when I go to [Local Hardware Store Cashier Job] and I’ll definitely let you know when I’m free.”
Beppo: “Good. We’ll figure something out.”
She smiled and we leaned back into each other for a short make out. A subsequent “Goodnight” and she got out of my car with a smile. I waited until the front door closed with her waving before starting my car up for the drive home. There was a big smile on my face the whole way back.
Location: La casa dei miei genitori, Buffalo, NY
Time: 21.00, Early June 2003
HotBallerina and I were laying on my bed, alternating between talking and making out. A little while ago she had finished reading the poetry I’d written so I could show her my “sensitive side” (and no, I didn’t write anything specifically FOR her, even back then I knew that was way overboard).
[Note: I’m shaking my head now at how I believed this would help me in the long-run, but I’m letting you know what ideas/crap I had floating around in my mind at that time with regards to dating and relationships. For example, I didn’t even own any condoms at this point and the concept of sexual escalation was foreign to me. Again, this all happened WAY before I “woke up”, so to speak.]
I kept playing with the edge of HotBallerina’s shirt, pulling it up and running my fingers across her stomach and lower back. I wanted to see those amazing breasts again, which I’d managed to do the third time we hung out (Giacomo high-fived me much later on for this, since we were the only two in our circle to “play with her perfect tits”).
HotBallerina (breathing heavily): “Beppo…your parents…”
Remembering that they were downstairs and my room’s lock was non-functional (don’t ask), my ardor cooled slightly.
Beppo: “Yeah, that would be a bit…awkward.”
HotBallerina: “Too awkward! By the way…I really liked your writing.”
Beppo: “Yeah? Any particular favorites?”
HotBallerina: “[One of the first things I’d written]. I really liked that one.”
Beppo: “Okay, not one of my personal favorites but I’m glad you liked it.”
Slightly later on in the conversation…
HotBallerina: “…this creepy guy I work with won’t leave me alone.”
Beppo: “Did you say something to him to give the wrong idea?”
HotBallerina: “No, I don’t think so. I’m just being friendly and all, and I heard from one of the other girls that he wants to ask me out!”
Beppo: “Ouch. You know…you could…you could turn your ring around, and that’ll let him know you’re taken.”
HotBallerina (smiling): “Beppo, are you asking me to be your girlfriend?”
Beppo (nodding): “Yeah.”
HotBallerina’s eyes lit up, she reached down to her hand and flipped her ring around. I kissed my new girlfriend thinking, “holy shit, how the fuck did I get so lucky?”
This thought would be the seed for future doubt/uncertainty.