MAY 25, 2009: “Vindication” …

It happened on a Monday night at a hole in the wall pizza joint in McKinney, Texas, called Brooklyn’s Pizza. I could tell something was off with him and wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, but had chalked it up to stress and just tried to lighten the mood by being silly.

After he’d finished ordering our pizza, he returned to the table with a “look” on his face of something serious. For a minute, I thought he was about to say something along the lines of, “this relationship is just too much for me and I think it would be best if we go our separate ways.”

But then …

I remember it like it was yesterday and can still see his face, hear his voice, and feel the moment his hands reached across the table for mine:

So, listen, I need to talk to you …

(… at which point my stomach dropped …)

… do know that I love you, right?

(… and then I laughed back at him …)

Oh, so, you LOVE me, huh? Well I love ya too, Williamson!

Catherine, please! This isn’t meant to be funny. Be serious for a minute and listen. I don’t just ‘love ya’. I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU! I’ve tried to picture my life without you in it, but I can’t. So, yah, I kinda REALLY love you.

All I can remember after that is my jaw literally hitting the table. And, of course, me crying like a little girl. I’d already beaten him to that punch, of course, when I’d figured out that I loved him while I was away at The Meadows. The first morning I woke there to any sense of coherency, I knew it:

I LOVED HIM!

But you see, I had long since resolved myself to the fact that we would never work “that way” under the circumstances, and was okay just being friends. Even still, he was important to me. He’d already become my eyes, my ears, and the beating in my heart, but now he’d become my Williamson. It was a “vindication” for both of us and the first day of the rest of our lives. That Godforsaken black suit I’d been wearing since the day that I was born began falling to the ground in glorious tatters.

VINDICATED

Hope dangles on a string like slow-spinning redemption. Winding in and winding out, the shine of it has caught my eye. And roped me in so mesmerizing so hypnotizing. I am captivated. I am – Vindicated. I am selfish. I am wrong. I am right, I swear I’m right. Swear I knew it all along and I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well. I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself. So clear like the diamond in your ring. Cut to mirror your intention. Oversized and overwhelmed, the shine of which has caught my eye. And rendered me so isolated. So motivated. I am certain now that I am – Vindicated. I am selfish. I am wrong. I am right, I swear I’m right. Swear I knew it all along and I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well. I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself. So turn up the corners of your lips. Part them and feel my fingertips. Trace the moment, fall forever. Defense is paper thin. Just one touch and I’d be in too deep now to ever swim against the current. So let me slip away. So let me slip away. So let me slip away. So let me slip against the current. I am – Vindicated. I am selfish. I am wrong. I am right, I swear I’m right. Swear I knew it all along and I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well. I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself. {Dashboard Confessional}