Or he’s from 1983, and I am a 1991 baby, to be more exact. Even a year ago, I knew of course this would most likely not work out. My rational brain rightfully told me this. He’s established, and I am not. He wants to settle down in a couple of years, and I have no idea what I’m doing with my life most of the time. He’s an attorney, and I was an intern when I met him. Blah, blah, blah.
But I fell for him, and no matter how much I told myself that it would never work out (it didnt, by the way), I still texted, teased, and chased him back. We were blurred lines. At times, co-workers sharing a cubicle barely saying hello despite sitting 3 feet away from each other. Other times, most definitely stepping out of work boundaries staying out until midnight, sharing too many drinks at happy hour and letting some kind of tension that bound us slowly build. He stared at me. Got closer. I remember the streetlights outside shone in the summer night. I was sure something would happen then.
But then nothing.
“You’re like the little sister I never I had”
I got on the bus, and he sat on a bench outside as the bus pulled away.
The next day I’d pretend nothing happened. Pretended I was not agonizing and over-analyzing his gestures, his body language, and pathetically re-reading previous texts, hoping for some sign. “What do you want from me?” “Why are you jerking me around”, I’d want to say.But I was afraid to ask, I was afraid this meant nothing to him, and he was bored. July slowly faded, and we continued the dance– teasing texts. jokes in the office, going out for lunch.
But inevitably, the tension broke and we found ourselves in the back of a taxi cab to my place one night. Our work happy-hour group forgotten. It felt wonderful to have him in my life.. He continued to tease me, but it was different now. Everything was different. Sometimes we’d make food together, or he would cook dinner and we’d eat on the rooftop of his apartment. He shared his fears and I shared mine We watched movies. Went for gelato on 14th and P street. Sat on park benches. Saw a couple getting engaged on the street.
But summer was ending, and the time was an impending doom to me. We hugged at the Metro on Mcpherson in late August, and he told me we’d keep in touch, and that he’d always be there if I ever needed him but I was scared to lose him,. I remember riding the Metro back to my house that night, somehow knowing that we’d had defintely parted ways, despite words of reassurance. It was a void feeling, but one I knew I had to at some point, feel. He was not for me.
I finally came to grips to that reality, three months later when I stopped by his apartment this December. Somehow It seems like we delayed saying good-bye until now.
I can’t be your friend, it hurts too much, I told him.
“I’ll always be here for you, and you know where I live,” he said.
He hugged me again, I put on my winter coat, and walked out of his house. That night, I wished I said more, and I think we always want to say more in situations like this. Expressed more how we felt, maybe tell that person what exactly we think, how we (or they) could have acted differently. Slow down time. I wish I’d kissed him or given him a tight hug, wish I wore a different shade of lipgloss, or asked him if we could go see a movie on E street one last time. I knew he’d like the ones that were playing that weekend. I wish I told him I’d miss him.
But I didn’t, and I can’t agonize over the little things now. He wasn’t for me. So I said good-bye.