My dear readers,
Your request to not take so long with my next Installment did not go unheeded. However, I really am so frightfully busy, that... well, I'm going to give you the "short and sweet" version instead. That is, if you can get through the whole thing, without any pictures. ;)
So, picking up more or less where I left off...
Our friendship, at least for me, accelerated at an alarming pace. He was a true kindred spirit-- a quality I had never before discovered in the male species, outside of those in my own family. He was kind, gentlemanly, had a sense of humor very much like my own, and his tallness was (no pun intended) definitely growing on me. Above all, I was struck by his intelligence. We communicated 3/4 of the time through an online medium, and he actually knew how to write. In fact, he sometimes used words that I had to look up in the dictionary. (If that isn't an attractive quality, I don't know what is.)
Before I quite realized it, he was one of my very closest friends, and I began to care very deeply about his life. More deeply than I was willing to admit to myself. After all, I was not looking for a boyfriend, and a romantic relationship between us seemed very imprudent considering our positions in life at the time. And anyway... surely he wasn't interested in me like that.