There’s a girl who frequents the coffee shop I loiter in evenings. I was stricken the first time I saw her.
It was a sunny Saturday. I was in my corner “wallflower” table, quietly doodling in my sketchbook when she walked in. Short blonde hair, grey bike shorts. She walked in and peeked over my shoulder at the cartoon turtle I was watercoloring. Our eyes met and she gave me a warm smile…
The only reason I still believe in god is because, with me at least, he is so unsubtle. Screw that “mysterious ways” crap, when he wants to get a message across to me he uses a devine sledgehammer. This is one of those instances.
…Anyway, our eyes met and she gave me a warm smile. Wordless, but no clearer an invitation was ever offered.
I knew exactly what to do. That very moment I mustered all my courage, threw back my shoulders and promptly made a noise that wasn’t quite the “Hello” or “My name’s Adam” I had intended to say. No, it came out more like “Hiuurm…”. I think I even managed to throw a lopsided smile into the mix to perfectly convey that “I ride the little bus to school” vibe.
She proceeded to get her drink, and despite my brain spasm, gave me another smile on her way out (and not even a “poor thing” one either). She sat outside in the sun, next to her bike.
I should have gone right out there and said “Did I just blow it by not asking you out?”, but no. I stayed in, mortified, and hid behind my hair.
Here’s where God shows himself as a second-rate sitcom writer.
As she opened the door the radio started playing “bizzare love triangle” and a bird flew in through the window, circled the room in a panic, and hid in the plastic plant next to me. I diddn’t quite know what to do. I just peered at it dumbly for a second. Then I got up and knelt in front the plant.
“Is it in there?”
My heart nearly jumped out of my throat. She was standing over me.
“Er, yeah. Try to keep it distracted and I’ll try to hold it.”
I tried to make a slow, unthreatening approach. But inches away from it, it bolted in her direction. She shrieked, tripped over a stool and ended up in my lap. The whole coffee shop erupted in laughter, so did we.
Everbody in the joint spent the afternoon steering the little bird back out the window. I must have had a dozen chances to ask her out that day, so many perfect openings, but I never regained my confidence.
I now waste many evenings at the coffee shop hoping she’ll show up again, but I think I blew that one perfect chance.
I spent a lot of time thinking about her and that afternoon and a lot of time beating myself up.
Now I worry that I’m obsessing over her and that even if I do manage to meet her she’ll be nothing like the person I’ve spent so much time thinking about. I can’t win.
That’s about the closest I can manage to a “crush” anymore.
Incidently, the things I was drawing in my sketchbook at the time were turtles. The last one on the page was a turtle hiding so deep in the recesses of its own shell that only the whites of it’s cartoon eyes showed. Took me months to figure the significance of that one out.