Blog readers: I want to share a story with you, before I talk about what’s been eating away at me this week:
He stared intensely at me with his big green eyes. It amazed me, how quickly I could believe all his lies with those eyes, despite knowing the truth. He ran his fingers through my hair and kissed me; I could always taste his deceit; it was bitter and distant but something about it kept me there, paralyzed. I was confused about my feelings for him. He was supposed to be my rebound after having my heart ripped out my chest and stomped on by my ex-boyfriend. Matthew had been my everything. Not Andrew. Yet, when Andrew texted me, no matter how late in the night, I would always come running. I did everything wrong; I gave him too much.
We met at the first baseball game of the season. It sounds pretty cliché when I think back on it. I had my heart set on a hotdog. Hotdogs and baseball…they just go together, right? I stood in line, patiently waiting, when I noticed the batter hit a foul ball; I followed its path, but eventually lost it in the sun. I knew it was coming dangerously close to me, so I covered myself with my arms. It was a poor attempt at protecting myself, but it was all I had. Then it happened. Someone saved me. Someone with beautiful green eyes stepped in and caught the foul ball, bare-handed.
Despite what you may think, it didn’t happen in that moment. I thanked him and we parted. It wasn’t until a couple weeks later, while I was out with some friends downtown, that I saw him again. He recognized me instantly and embraced me like an old friend. There was something about him that I trusted so instantly, even though I knew better. He seemed so innocent, almost as if anyone was going to get hurt, it would be him. I should have run.
There are things that you realize when you’re looking back on them; the most valuable lessons you learn are when you’re able to completely take yourself out of a situation and truly judge it. It’s so difficult though, so most the time we walk around with all these wounds that don’t ever fully heal, scolding ourselves for not being able to see things more clearly.
We connected on baseball, a Cardinals fan. I should have known better. He understood the game the way I understood it…that it’s about 90% mental; he got that it’s all about strategy. Besides baseball, we shared nothing in common. I thought having someone so opposite would help me open up to new possibility. I was so wrong. There was a glimpse of someone opening up to me and then he disappeared. I spent half my summer chasing after that person I thought he was, even though he didn’t exist.
And then it happened. Him with her; her with him. He was holding her hand, something he had refused to do with me. It was something that seemed so small, but it would have meant so much. He laced his fingers into hers; he whispered something in her ear and she responded by giggling. What had she done that I hadn’t?
He texted me around nine, wanting to get drinks downtown. I knew the drill; I knew that I couldn’t seem too eager. You see, I’ve become somewhat of an expert at the “game.” Some people don’t get it, but trust me, men are driven wild when they can’t have what they want. So, I didn’t text back. I had a book I was dying to finish; it was on the psychology of dating. Ever since I had my heart broken last year, I’ve been obsessed with finding out what I did wrong. Being beautiful and interesting seems to be important, but how do you keep them? I’ve discovered that being distant and aloof helps maintain the mystery, which makes them stick around. It seems like such a harsh reality, especially when all I really want is someone I can be myself around. Unfortunately, you have to protect your heart and play it safe. That’s my new strategy and it seems to be working.
He called an hour later, asking if he had gotten my text. I didn’t directly respond to the question, which I know he hates. I promised that I would go out for drinks the following night with him, lying to him by telling him that I had plans with someone already. Pandora doesn’t count, but I couldn’t tell him that.
“So tomorrow…dinner around seven, then we can go downtown?” He asked.
“No dinner, but definitely drinks. We’ll talk tomorrow.” I hung up before he could say anything.
The next night he texted around his usual time, asking if I was still up to hang out. I texted back immediately, because sometimes you have to do that, in order for them to know that you’re interested, even if it is just a little bit.
We met at Charlie B’s…mainly because that boy loves all the pictures on the wall. He always says something about “the stories they would tell if they were here” and trails off when he realizes that I’m not actively paying attention. Let me be clear; I’m not a bitch, but I’m acting like a bitch. You know what though, it’s working. I’ve been stringing Andrew along for months and he loves it. He’s like a puppy, constantly seeking attention; the more I don’t give him that gratification, the more he wants to be around me the try to get it. Boys are so strange.
At the bar, he bought me my usual rum and soda. We stood by the pool table, half-heartedly waiting for it to open up. Andrew had two obsessions: pool and baseball, but I didn’t know much about either. As we drank more, he started touching me more and eventually took my hand in his, intertwining our fingers; he let go every so often to run his fingers along the inside of my palm, like he was trying to figure me out or something. His green eyes almost pleaded with mine; he looked so innocent, but I knew his story. I knew what he was capable of.
He whispered in my ear. “Be my girlfriend,” he said.
I giggled. “We’ll talk about this later.” It wasn’t meant to be a question, but I think it ended up sounding like one.
He gave a half smile. “Okay.”
I came up with this story because I’ve been considered the two girls’ situations and methods a lot lately. I realize that you can’t act too desperate, but at the same time, the second girl seemed a little extreme to me. Isn’t a relationship about being with someone who gets you and is comfortable with you, despite knowing about your flaws? This is the pre-dating scenario, but shouldn’t the search be about finding someone who might be capable of that? Should we be putting our hearts on ours sleeves at the risk of getting hurt or should we play it safe at the risk of getting into a relationship that’s not entirely suitable to our personalities and needs?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.