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I got up and got some coffee while the computer booted, then got dressed while also getting Casey up, dressed, and fed. I dropped him off at school at the usual time. I saw Daniel and he waved, but it was cold and I had my hands in my pockets to keep them warm. I flashed a grin but wasn’t sure how noticeable that would have been from such a distance, so before heading home I sent him a message saying I would have waved if it wasn’t so cold. We exchanged a few messages that, for two people who had been involved for a year, were quite normal.

Once home, I got on Aura Kingdom for a while until my free book & paid emails had arrived, then I took care of those. After that, I got on Fortnite for a while. Once Colin was available to talk, I stopped playing Fortnite to talk to him.

I sent Brad a text saying that I didn’t have anything going on later if he didn’t. I did have plans to go to the Holiday Train with Casey and then dinner with Mindi and her friend Bobbo, but I knew that by the time I heard from Brad I’d be free.

I got my “chores” done, then went to pick Casey up from school. I got in the shower while he sat on Dave’s toilet for a bit, then I got him some dinner and a quick bath before it was time to head out to the Holiday Train. I said we needed to take separate cars because I had plans at 7 that I had already told Dave about. He demanded to know what my plans were, and said I need to start paying some bills because he’s not running a “hotel.” Umm, if I were helping to pay bills, that would be more like him running a hotel, would it not?

When I got downtown by the Amtrak station, I saw that the road wasn’t yet blocked off. I wanted to see if I could park a bit closer so my knee wouldn’t get as sore, and I got what I thought was a pretty decent spot. Unfortunately, by the time I got over by the train tracks, they had everything blocked off so I couldn’t cross over to the side we usually watch from. I got highly upset, to the point I was tearing up. Then the crowd got more and more dense, making me feel incredibly on edge. But then the train arrived and the music started and I felt a bit better.

I’d left the house earlier in hopes that I would maybe hear from Brad, but it occurred to me that the Holiday Train was sponsored by the food pantry he works for part-time, and his social anxieties are possibly worse than mine. I would imagine they would have “all hands on deck” for an event like this, and that if he were there I probably wouldn’t hear from him later.

After the Holiday Train event was over, I went back to my car and drove down by the restaurant where I’d be meeting Mindi and Bobbo. I went to the gas station next door to fill up, then sat in the parking lot waiting for them to arrive. Mindi’s class got out early, so I didn’t have to wait too long. She was upset about something that had happened during class, so we talked about that while we headed inside.

After dinner, the three of us went back to Bobbo’s house and watched Young Frankenstein. I’d never seen it before and enjoyed it. As it was wrapping up, I got the text I hadn’t been expecting but had been hoping for. Brad’s response to all my previous texts was that he was good with keeping it simple. I asked when he would like to go about keeping it simple, and he said 11:30. I asked if a bit earlier would be possible, and he said 11 would work, otherwise we’d have to wait until another night. I said 11 would be fine, and that I would try to aim for a bit after. I wouldn’t have worried about making it a bit earlier except we were all falling asleep after eating so much food and I didn’t want to head home and make a raucous just to leave the house again.

When I got to Brad’s, we chatted for a bit and he asked if everything was alright, because of wanting to get there earlier. I explained it to him and he said I could have told him that, but that he knew I was just being understanding about his need for space before I came over. We chatted a while longer, then headed upstairs for the night.

So, we are definitely a “thing” now. We are a simple and undefined thing, but a thing nonetheless. I’m good with that. We’re not in a “relationship,” but that’s not completely off the table anymore either. He’s a good guy, he’s so nice and good to me, we have so much in common, and our chemistry is off the charts. I would very much like to have a label, but I’m not going to push for one, and just remain hopeful that everything will fall into place. In the meantime, I am very comfortable with him. I can talk to him like I’ve never been able to talk to a guy before, and I feel like he opens up to me a lot more than I would expect. All in all, life is good.

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