I met Mary in college and we were friends but lost contact. We met again and
became close. When I was 25 I bought a car and drove down to visit her in her
house, some 100 miles from the city I live in. She had a younger brother
named John who was 15 at the time. I don't remember meeting him, but Mary told me years later, innocently, that she was very surprised the day I visited because, when her girlfriends usually visited he would make his excuses and leave but this time he stayed and even when we went out for a drink (non alcoholic!) he came along.
When he moved to the city to study 3 years later the three of us would go to the
cinema together every week. I got along well with him but never had any romantic
thoughts. He is almost ten years younger than me. When Mary graduated and moved
to the USA I stopped visiting the house she stayed in and lost contact with them
all, only writing to Mary a few times a year.
When Mary returned to this side of the Atlantic she brought me a clock that she
and John had picked out for me in the states. He had apparently dropped out of
college and moved there. He stayed there. He once sent me a letter in relation
to a conversation of about a year earlier which I found amusing. When I got my
own email address in the late nineties Mary said I should email John because he
would like it and I did. in 1999 one of his friends was dying and John (now
about 21) came home for about ten days to visit him. Mary said that he wanted to
visit me (now 31). I think she was a bit taken aback by this and I certainly
was. I didn't think I was that important to him and he certainly was only my
friend's favorite brother. He took the bus 100 miles or so to see me. We met
with his sister and had a laugh as usual and that was it.
That summer his brother was getting married in the US and Mary invited me. It
was my first trip to the U.S. When I got there John was there and after about a
day I felt that he had taken a very very strong liking to me. He was never not
by my side. He sat next to me (and we were a group of about 30), we even ended
up going to New York by ourselves for a day. We went to Niagara falls as a group
and he was splashing me with water. We had a car accident and changed a tyre
together. The next day he spotted a bruise on my arm and he almost touched it,
then got self conscious and held his hand back.
Almost everyone at the wedding noticed bar the happy couple and my friend Mary.
Whenever a group would walk somewhere I would be deep in conversation with John
and look up and see the rest trailing ahead or behind. I felt that they
disapproved because of the huge age difference and possibily because I'm so close to Mary.
When we went on a boat under Niagara falls it was me and him downstairs and the
rest upstairs. I was swept off my feet. The attention was intoxicating. He is very attractive,intelligent, considerate and listens to me like no other man has. The last day of the holiday I cried because I knew it was over. I returned home and he stayed in the U.S.
We kept writing and he would send me photos and gifts. We both got on with life.
I would see him at Christmas every year at least. We visited him in the U.S
where he lived with a nice girl for two years but it ended because as he told me
with tears in his eyes, he couldn't give her what she wanted.
Since then he has become very flirtatious with me. He has also taken to joining
me, Mary and another sister Lisa on holidays. We have been to the us, France and
around the U.k together. He has admired my figure, my hair, is genuinely
impressed when I get promoted, remembers the slightest details about me, tells
me what films he thinks I would enjoy (he knows I'm extremely squeamish), he
once exclaimed to Mary "Even her handwriting is beautiful". Mary finally
realized, I think , that there was something going on and didn't approve. Last
year for example when the girls came back John and I were deep in conversation
and Lisa made a remark about hoping they weren't interrupting. The fact that two
of my best female friends don't approve and are his older sisters has made me
feel very uncomfortable and has held me back. I never compliment him and
sometimes draw away from him.
Last week we four were on holidays. I hadn't seen him in a year, within minutes
he was kneeling by my chair showing me photos. He carried my luggage, opened the
door for me. He would reach out his hand and lift me up steps, play with my
hair, my phone or just mess with me. We chased each other around a maze and push
each other all initiated by him. He sets things up as a joke but I wonder. When
the four of us had to share a family room and I shared a bed with Lisa he would
joke, Move away Lisa, "I want to get a clear look at My Anna while she sleeps".
He also photographed me a lot as a joke, in my swim suit or nightie or just ordinary shots. Once I hid under the blankets and he said he didn't care he had what he needed. "needed?", "wanted" he corrected himself.
When I'm telling a tale he sits and stares, giving me his full attention and he
is always telling me stories about himself and his life and he smiles as he
recollects. If I tell him of a film I saw that I liked he will go and get it
himself. I once wrote a book and he is the only friend or family member who
actually read it. He asked me to send over a copy.
This summer I thought his feelings might have waned but they seem (and this is
all seem) to be as strong as ever. Also his sisters didn't seem to mind this
time, I do not know why. Mary told me he had dated someone this year but it
didn't work out. He didn't tell me but he did mention going to the cinema with a
friend but was irritated because she couldn't follow the film. He has never told me directly that he has feelings for me.
I know he doesn't suffer fools gladly and has a very low opinion of people in
general. He holds about five people in high esteem, Mary, one sister in law and
Me. He likes loyalty.
I think he has a crush on me, I think it might actually be love but I am not sure if I'm reading it right. It has been 14 years but he was young and needed to experience life, as did I so its not like we have been pining for each other.
I think he might be getting ready for a change now.
Also I think his sisters might no longer be afraid that either of us was being
selfish or flighty or was going to hurt the other and that with time and knowing
each other the age difference has ceased to be a contentious issue.
My question is, Do you think I am reading this right? Also I might meet him in 6 weeks and plan to be more encouraging than previously but ultimately will let any moves up to him, because he has been the initiator and I would rather have our current arrangement than lose three good friends and their family whom I am very close to. Is this the right approach? Do you think there is any future in this? Has anyone else been in a similar situation and has it worked out?
Thanks and sorry about the length.
Under my nose? and 3000 miles away