I could have loved him.. He loved her.
This was something that shook me so much I didn’t recognize myself. Jealousy. The green eyed monster that restlessly roams looking for a warm heart to rest. For somebody with a very low propensity to love, my attraction to him came as a huge surprise.
He was enigmatic. The evening we shook hands in acquaintance was particularly memorable.. We talked.. Drunk some gin and played prepubescent games around a huge fire with about 20 other familiar faces. On the other side of the fire he sat, to her right, legs folded like Budha , with her boyfriend two bodies on her left.
He said very little. And only spoke when spoken to. A quality I later found I admired in him. To his friend, the girl that had led him to the chirpy bunch, he exchanged a few glances and whimpers and sounds only they understood. I paid him no attention then. I barely noticed him. He was just another boy and it was just another bonfire night in July.
That wasn’t the last I would be seeing of him, despite the fact that my memory was void of him the next time our hands shook. He was pleasant. As much as a stranger could be with a bubbly “high-on-life” 20 year old.
His presence went un noticed yet again as the evening passed, and the more cocktails I swung back the less likely I was to remember his name… And so many more nights went by before I realized he had a sense of humor. The best kind. Dry humor.
In our second year of group interactions, something happened that made him a constant feature in my mind. Something that even I surprised myself by reacting to.
In a heated argument on who’s books have more legal verbose and technicality, his counted words rested on my side and we managed to convince an entire group of people that John Grisham should lessen his legal mumble jumble. we won the fight. And he won my attention. A boy who reads and a boy who agrees that The Broker was a law textbook is definitely entitled to my attention any day.
The human brain is a marvelous. I went from indifferent to infatuated without giving myself a chance to realize what was going on. I started to notice the gentle way the edges of his mouth curled up when he spoke.. And the look he gave when he was teased about something. And the fact that none of his words were wasted… None of his inconspicuous jokes were lost on me. It was amazing I had had knowledge of him bordering on 2 years but I had never really seen him. I pinched myself a lot for crushing on him. The biggest reason being that it was against my social and psycho emotional rules never to fall for a friend. (Were we friends?) For somebody In my social circle. Any of my circles.
I let myself go. I fell into his rare smile and went with his flow.. Replied his flirtations with confidence and desire. Had him respond to my flirtatious self with with kindness and grace.
A month later he hosted a party.
And until then, we had never held a proper adult conversation. All I knew was I was interested in him and It was a possibility. For the evening i chose a little black dress that exaggerated all my curves and left little to the imagination. Along with a pair of wedged sandals I showed up. The crimson lips were just the cherry on top.
Naturally I was happy to be in the company of people. The same people I was with every other Friday night. We danced and made merry and the world was dead to us. We were under our very own dome. Except I wanted to talk to him all night. And made every excuse to. I discovered he loved being a journalist. He was one of the lucky ones. Whose passions paid their bills.. And I loved that he was passionate.
I learnt that he loved music. And the fact that we both despised music with minimal lyrical content created yet another bond. A bond I hung onto like a drowning man does a straw.
He wasn’t dramatically worked over by alcohol like the rest of them. He didn’t make assumptions about me and wasn’t quick to make any physical contact. All qualities that didn’t go unnoticed. By the end of the party, I was positive my black number had yet again worked its magic.
I thought about us on the ride home. About how great a team we could make. About how happy I could make him. And how satisfactory being with him would be.
But my dress had not in fact worked any magic. Neither had our mutual love for music and perplexity about law lecture like novels. He loved some one else. Somebody prettier. Somebody who had more to give. Someone who will not make him as happy as I could. He chose her. And now he looks for every excuse to speak to her. He hangs onto the little they have in common like a straw. He puts his best foot forward for her.
The attraction waned but my pride suffers still. My best intentions and my trusty black dress were not good enough.