From accross the Room

My first night out in weeks. My breakup wash harsh. It was tough. Probably a bit damaging.

2 years of your life is no joke. You don’t spend that amount of time with someone and expect to walk out of it undamaged.

So this was my first night out after weeks of contemplation and self-ruining.

My friend of 7 years had urged – basically forced – me to join her for the apparent much needed fun night out.

I dreaded it. Every single part of my being tried to fight it. What aggravated my dread was the fact that it would be a gay club. Who went here? Couples who wanted to have a good time. What was worse? The fact that they were only gay and lesbian couples who needed a club that they could feel comfortable in.

Great. Just what I needed. People showing me what I had and lost.

I arrived at a good time; completely and helplessly sober. I needed a drink.

I stare around the room. There were so many people. I had forgotten how many people this tiny room could hold. The luminous lights shot past my head. Have they always had that? The smoke machine suddenly released a jet of smoke that made my vision hazy. I definitely don’t remember that being there before.

My friend shoved a glass into my hand. Just what I wanted.

I hesitantly made my way to the dancefloor. There were too many people. Claustrophobic. I moved around a little pretending to dance but I can’t fake a good time.

I don’t know how – in the haze of all the smoke and flashing lights – but I saw her. Who was this woman?

I stared for a moment and dropped my gaze. Let’s not be eerie.

But I couldn’t keep my gaze away too long. I looked up again and in that moment she threw her head back in laughter at something her friend must have said.

My – heart – sank.

In the last two years, I had genuinely not noticed anybody other than my girlfriend. I assumed it was the fact that she was my first real love and I was just so infatuated with her that I had failed to notice anything other than her.

Stupid little girl.

Now, I watched this woman in a crowd of people, completely intoxicated with her presence. I hadn’t even noticed the crowd that had now joined my friend and me in our dancing attempt.

“Who are you looking at?” my friend finally asked.

“Uhhh. The dark head. The one with the short hair.” I brushed that off quickly. Those were definitely not the words to describe her. The tall dark head girl. Her hair cut short enough just to be able to brush my fingers through while we kiss. That one. The one with that big smile. That captivating smile. I thought.

“Oh I know her!” my friend said, drawing me out of my fanatical thoughts. “She has the same name as me! And that blond girl with her also has the same name!”

I wanted to smack the trivial facts that my friend was mentioning, right out of her. I wanted her to tell me something useful. I wanted her to be useful!

It took her a moment, but she realized why I was looking at this girl in the first place. “Oh…” was all she managed to blurt out. In a millisecond she disappeared into the crowd and out of sight.

In a second, without warning, my friend turned me around to look at her. A lump, the size of a golf ball, sat right in the middle of my throat. She had brought that beautiful girl right to me.

“Hi.” She smiled putting out her hand. The closer she stood, the clearer it was that she was absolutely flawless. The lights and the mist made it difficult to see her from the other side of the room. But now, standing only an arm’s reach from me, I could see her every feature perfectly.

I put my trembling hand in hers and returned the smile. “Hi.” I said. She pulled into me and put her lips right by my ear. This was the norm. Because of the blaring music you had to speak right into each other’s ear. Any other conversation would be impossible.

But this made me want to melt into a small puddle in the middle of the pulsating wooden floor.

“Your friend mentioned that you wanted to say hi. She said you were really beautiful and worth coming to meet. So here I am.”

Her warm breath brushed my cheek with every word. Her scent was sweet, but not overwhelming. It was almost teasing.

I could see what she was doing. She was playing games. She wanted me to respond appropriately. Although I had never done this before, I felt confident in my natural skill.

She had not let go of my hand since I placed it there; but that suited me just find. She looked at me smiling and so I pulled her closer this time. Firmly.

“Well? Was my friend right? Were your expectations met?” I asked confidently – although my heart was playing racing games with me.

I pulled away to look at her once more. She smirked. I knew I had struck a chord.

She pulled closer. “Well I’m still standing here, am I not?”

Our conversation was short and frivolous. We were both obviously just testing the water.

“Can I take you for coffee sometime?” She asked and smiled, lingering just the tip of her tongue on her top lip. At this point my heart wanted to tear through my ribcage, but I wasn’t going to let it show.

“But how am I going to arrange something like that? Unless …. You give me your number.”

She pulled away and threw her head back once more. She was clearly impressed. “How about you send a messenger dove to find me.”

“If I have to, I’ll probably end up sending ten. But let’s make it easier and just exchange numbers.”

Her smile still had me captivated. She pulled her phone from her pocket and finally let go of my hand.

No. put it back.

The excitement took over. I bit down as I tried to force away my smile. Just before she unlocked her phone she pulled her eyebrows together and looked at me.

“How old are you?”

Oh no! Not now already!

I knew she was older than me. I could see it in the tiny lines that rested in the corner of her eyes. I could see it in the lines that pulled next to her mouth when she smiled. All these lines I knew I wouldn’t develop for years to come.

Be cool.

My voice was even; nonchalant. “I’m still in school. I finish this year.”

She raised her eyebrows. I swallowed hard trying to distinguish whether her surprise was of a good or bad nature. I couldn’t say the number. I couldn’t say out loud that I was only 18. I knew by giving her the actual number, her brain would immediately draw up the age difference. I knew to her, I would merely be a child.

I didn’t mind an age gap though. It was intriguing. The idea of someone older. Someone mature and experienced. Someone emotionally stable.

She unlocked her phone and I pressed my eyes shut with relief. This was it. As I called out the first few numbers, her friend with the same name interrupted us and pulled her away from me.

No. right now? Just let me give you the rest! Stupid name rhyming friend.

I turned away and reunited with my unacquainted crowd. I didn’t want to stand there like a fool waiting on her. If she was truly interested or at all intrigued, she would return.

But she didn’t. I watched her throughout the night as she socialized with her crowd. Her eyes fell on me a few times, but she made no attempt to approach me again.

Disappointment had never tasted this bitter. Was this what rejection felt like? What a sick feeling.

All I wanted was a pretty girl… a pretty distraction. It didn’t need to a heartfelt, serious long term relationship. I just needed an escape and she would have been perfect.

I guess not.

I grabbed hold of my friend’s arm and politely made my way towards the exit of the building. I had enough for one night. I ensured that I would casually stroll past her on my way out, just to ensure her attention one last time.

I sighed and opened my car door. Overthinking. Contemplating. I was in my own head too often. I clearly did not have enough liquor.

“Wait.” I hear. I spin around and stare right at her. Her brown eyes didn’t blink for a long time and she bit her lip.

Keep cool.

“Is that coffee date still up for grabs?” The words surged like honey from her mouth. Sweet. Satisfactory.

I smiled and took the phone from her hand. My hands – trembling once more – typed in the 10 digit number. I read it to myself four times to ensure I had it right.

She took the phone and took a step closer.

She needn’t be so close; the music was far behind us. But her face was inches from mine. She spoke again with her breath brushing my face.

“Can I kiss you at least?” She whispered. I felt unsteady as her scent hit me. I watched her mouth as she edged forward.

The shape of her mouth made it near impossible for me to resist. But I had to. It was all part of the game. I needed her to stay intrigued. As her mouth brushed mine I turned away. A chuckle escaped my mouth.

“Next time.” I said and turned around. I watched her for a second. “I promise.”

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