There she stood; graciously in her ‘v’ cut black gown.
He met her through a mutual friend at some wedding, months ago. He remembered how they clinked their glasses of champagne, vowing that that night would be for good times sake. No one night stands, unwanted kisses and slurred ‘I love yous’.
They bet $501 that none of that would happen (the extra $1, it was decided, was a sympathy prize for the poor loser). But they didn’t lose, so they split the cash.
Tipsy, they chatted late into the night about their quirks: eating raw green beans, wearing different coloured socks, not knowing how to use chopsticks, sleepwalking to the neighbour’s yard at 3am and travelling to 20 countries between them.
He remembered all the details of their conversation.
But there was something she said, what was it again? Something along the lines of,
“You’ve made tonight one of the best nights I’ve ever had”.
She lit up when she mouthed those words. It must’ve been true. Or was it just the alcohol kicking in?
He never got to ask her.
Yet there she was, in this room. And there he was realising he liked her all along.
He turned to his friend, handed him a drink and posed him a question.
Should he talk to her?
From a distance she glanced to face the bar, shifting her figure in her floor length black gown. She recognised that laugh—cheery and light, like his personality.
He was chatting to his male friend and sipping on champagne, probably some fancy vintage one. He said he was picky about his wines.
She remembered meeting him at her friend’s wedding.
They were really tipsy. But his drunken company was unforgettable. They flirted and bet that nothing would happen between them.
They danced freely to 90s pop tunes and told each other their weird list of ‘101 things to do’ before they died.
She almost fell for him when he said he hadn’t met anyone like her.
But that was one of those good one off nights months ago.
She just wasn’t interested in him.
But there was someone else. It was her uni friend she hadn’t seen in years.
They always sat together in Business Law lectures and had D & Ms over copious amounts of coffee when they should’ve been studying.
She still remembered the first thing he said to her when he plonked himself next to her at the back of the class.
“You look like a smart sort of person. Could you help me pass this damn subject?”
She smiled at the thought.
After graduation he was off to bask in Europe’s glorious summer for six months.
He vowed they’d be friends for life. But for a long time she wanted to be more than friends.
And yet there he stood in the same room as her.
He looked great in his well fit suit, styled hair and his teethy smile.
But did he feel the same about her?
So he stuttered his confession, and she blushed at his compliments about her black ‘v’ cut gown. Compassionately she apologised that she just wasn’t into him.
She too did the same, accidentally spilling her champagne on her uni friend’s finely ironed suit, realising that his arm was wrapped around his girlfriend’s waist.
For now they’d find out the hard way that being infatuated with someone could have its consequences; that you don’t always get what you want.
These things happen.
And the feeling called ‘rejection’, the realisation called the ‘truth’ sucks even more.
The pain called ‘shit’ takes its natural course, sometimes for too long.
They’d do any number of things to ‘get it over it’.
But if they watched carefully and had a finer eye around the room, they would’ve noticed beyond their broken egos, the music, the suits and dresses that there was someone keener in the room waiting for them. They just didn’t know it yet.
That there is someone waiting for all of us, if we just take a step back.