When we were finished with wardrobe, Jake and I had both been changed appropriately for the next scene, which would be after we had supposedly slept together. My makeup was slightly messed and my hair was tousled. Returning to the set, Joshua ordered us back onto the floor, this time with a blanket over us. The blanket was pulled up over my bra and he had his arm draped across my stomach, holding me close.
When I processed exactly what sort of scene we were filming, it felt strange and uncomfortable. But it was my job, and I had been acting long enough to feel professional even in the embarrassing situations. Somehow we managed to get through the morning without too many problems between the two of us, though once we were done for the day Joshua stopped us.
"I don't want to see either of you back in these studios until you have straightened out whatever issues you've got going on." Josh told us angrily.
"Josh, we don't…" I tried to defend us but it didn't do any good.
"I don't want to hear your excuses, Callie. I wasn't happy when the two of you started a relationship, but now you're too far in it. If you need to break up then do it, but don't bring your romance problems onto my set again. Got it?" He stormed away in a firm huff, leaving Jake and I staring at our feet like guilty school children.
I was not in the mood to talk to Jake. All I wanted was to go home and go to bed, but I knew that wasn't a likely scenario. I turned away from him and headed out of the studio towards my car.
"Callie!" Jake caught up to me and stopped me. "We have to stop avoiding each other."
I rolled my eyes. "I haven't been avoiding you."
He crossed his arms over his chest and raised an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Well, maybe I have a little, but you're no better."
"I'm not saying I am." Jake protested. "Can we go somewhere?"
I hesitated for a moment but finally nodded. I left my car at the studios and drove with Jake. I was surprised when he pulled up outside of the small café where we had had our first 'date'. He grinned at me to make sure that I had noticed, and my smile assured him. It was late for dinner and not very crowded so we were able to procure the same table we had before. We ordered immediately and neither of us spoke until the food had been brought to the table.
"So, where should we begin?" Jake asked, finally breaking the silence.
I shrugged. I didn't know how exactly to tell Jake that he was in a way suffocating me. I mean, I loved him, I did with all my heart, but ever since I had told him so, he had been overly jealous and protective about the littlest things. It was a little irritating. And then there was the issue of the increased physical attention that he had shown me in New York. Luckily, I didn't have to start the conversation.
"Callie, I feel like you've lost interest in us." Jake stated bluntly.
I knew that I had been distant from him, but I couldn't believe that he would think that. I was still very much in love with him and very interested in keeping our relationship strong, as long as I could trust him to genuinely love me back. I knew I had to explain so I started rambling out my feelings, not sue if anything I was saying made sense or not.
"Jake, I'm still interested, but I think I've lost confidence in our relationship. I feel like things have been changing ever since Colorado." I explained quickly.
"I sort of feel like ever since you told me that you love me, you have expected more from me…physically." I told him.
"But I don't…"
"Jake, just let me finish." I interrupted him. "I've noticed a difference in you. First I thought you were just being jealous, but then you've also been strangely more aggressive lately, and a little overly protective and almost…" I hesitated to say it. "Pushy."
"Pushy?" He frowned. "I'm sorry Callie, I really am, but I don't understand where all this is coming from. I'll admit that I do have a jealous tendency, but I don't think I'm necessarily out of line for it. There're times when I feel that you're being a little too flirtatious with other guys…"
"Like in New York?"
Jake nodded. "I know the guys are just your friends, more like brothers than anything else, but I can't help my jealousy."
I nodded. "Okay, the jealousy thing I get, and I definitely don't hold it against you, but what about everything else?"
"You mean the physical things?"
"Yea, that." I felt embarrassed bringing this up with him. I knew that he had had relationship before me, and he had undoubtedly been physical with his previous girlfriends, and since he was older than me it was expected for him to be moiré experienced than me, but I still felt foolish about my physical boundaries at times.
"Callie, when we first started dating, I thought I had made it clear that I would never try to pressure you into anything you weren't ready for. I'm not going to take that promise back, ever! I respect you completely!" He assured me. "If you think I've been trying to push you into anything, I'm sorry! I never meant to."
I was silent for a minute. "Jake, I don't know why this has been bothering me so much."
"Well, if you've really been feeling this way I can understand why you've been uncomfortable around me…" He sighed. "I never meant to make things so difficult between us."
"It wasn't all your fault. I guess I haven't been the best either." I shrugged. "I wasn't myself in New York…"
"Yea, no joke." Jake rolled his eyes.
I frowned. "I'm trying to apologize."
"Right, sorry, continue." He took a sip of his coffee.
"I have no excuse for my behavior in New York…" I began. "I suppose in some ways I simply wanted to have a little bit of fun without worrying about the consequences, but I know that's not exactly the most responsible explanation."
"Your desire for 'fun' wouldn't have had anything to do with my jealousy, would it?"
I avoided eye contact with him.
"Right. I get it." Jake responded. "So, I guess in a way, this is all my fault?"
"No! That's not at all what I was trying to say…" I insisted quickly. "I'm not really sure when or why our problems started. I think in a way it was just me being paranoid about the whole thing…" I fell silent and clenched my bottom lip between my teeth. I know what the problem is with me. This realization surprised me. So far, it had been easy to blame Jake, but I felt instinctively that there was more to it and that I knew what it was, if only I could admit it. "Jake, I think, more than anything, I'm scared of myself."
Jake frowned. "Why?"
I hesitated nervously. "I have given myself boundaries for any relationship, as you know, and I've never had problems with them before. But lately…" I paused trying to decide how best to word it. "Lately, I think I've been reconsidering some things and that frightens me. I love how you make me feel." Jake smiled. "I love being with you and kissing you…I'm afraid of letting things go too far. I mean, I've always known that eventually I would well, you know, do it…" I hated how immature I was sounding. "But I'm not ready yet, and I don't want to be ready yet. It's too soon…"
"And you know that I respect that Callie!"
I nodded. "I know, but what if I can't hold myself to it?"
"I think you're stronger than you believe. If you're strong enough to have this conversation with me, than you're going to be strong enough to say 'no' until you're ready to say 'yes'." He grinned. "And I have to admit, that I hope one day, I'll be the one that you say 'yes' to."
I returned his smile. "Me too actually."
"Good, I'm glad we can agree on that." Jake told me. "But in the meantime, what are we going to do to sort out the other stuff between us. For example, I need you to trust me, and yourself for that matter."
"Maybe, just for now, we could take things a little slower." I suggested lamely.
He nodded. "I agree completely." He paused. "But, you don't mean to take it all they way slower do you? Like, you're not breaking up with me are you? Because really Callie, I think we can work this out! I'll be better. I promise! I won't even kiss you without your permission…"
I laughed. "I'm not sure you need to take it that drastically, Jake. I have no intentions of breaking up with you."
"Really? Good." He placed his hand on the table and I placed mine on top of it. "We'll work this out."
We finished our meal in satisfied silence and then he drove me back to my car at the studios. He opened the car door for me and waited as I climbed into my convertible. He said goodnight and started to leave. I reached for his hand as he closed my car door and he looked at me, waiting hopefully. I smiled up at him and said simply: "Kiss please!" He grinned and leaned down over the side of the car, kissing me briefly before leaving.
While I drove home I thought about how glad I was that Jake and I were able to work out our problems. He was amazing and I hated being uncomfortable with him. I knew that because of our conversation the next couple weeks would only help our relationship become stronger.The End