I can not sleep tonight.
In my insomnia, I thought up another FICTION piece. Sadly, it is also romantic in nature. Worse, it's also long winded.
They had first met each other at the Engagement Party. He had worked with the groom-to-be for going on six years, while she was a neighbor and childhood friend of the bride-to-be.
Most of the party was family, or those close enough to the couple to be actively involved in the wedding. They finally started talking a few hours into the party, when the game he was concentrating on ended and she had a well timed beverage refill.
She had noticed him because of his detachment. Sure, she also noticed his physical appeal, but it was how he had an aura of indifference. There was a slight twinge of envy, she was becoming exhausted by feigning interest at wedding details and nearby pregnancies. She kept an eye on him, nobody in her current talking circle realized when she left. Thankfully, nobody gave her an order. She wasn't planning on returning to that conversation.
They found sanctuary from the love circus of a background in each other's company. He wanted to ask for her number. She wanted him to ask for her number too, but neither wanted to back down off their current countenance of shared nuptial annoyance.
Three months later, at the wedding, he looked for her. She was not there.
The coworker table was positioned closest to the bar, and at the back of the reception hall. It was perfect for his coworkers, who didn't know the groom as well, but capitalized on the potential of an open bar. His coworkers were quite gregarious, quite entertaining, quite-
He noticed her as she turned away from the bar holding a bright drink in conical glass. He lost his train of thought and now began looking over to her vicinity every two to four minutes. Neither knew the similarity inherit in him now waiting for her to go back to the bar to reconnect.
In the middle of her country line dance, she only briefly considered if it was rude to leave him back at the bar as she ran to be one of the first dancers. Quickly, she rationalized her decision because she was there to dance and have fun. Besides, the hard to get angle always works and she wanted to make sure he watched her out on the floor. Having him hold her drink guaranteed that much.
Neither the wedding party, all the coworkers, or anybody left in attendance under 35 wanted to stop drinking merely because it was now midnight. The groom proudly announced they picked this location for the bar across the parking lot. A parking lot that also shared a hotel that many of the aforementioned attendees had rooms booked.
Less than an hour into the new venue, their conversation stalled. They probably won't see each other again. Unless they meet again at a first birthday party of the new couple (but both secretly believed the holy union wouldn't last long enough for that)?
He was becoming overwhelmed by his crush. He had thought about her for nearly three months, wanting this moment - but he was lost in her green eyes.
She wanted to kiss him, but not there - she believed in meaningful first kisses. Standing that close, using the music volume as the excuse, was a great compromise. The silence made her notice things she wasn't before - that her favorite heels were exactly one inch less than their height difference and that his palm fit her shoulder perfectly. It also strengthened her first impressions - that he looked at her eyes and that every word he said felt heavy.
"What now?" is something she meant to just say to herself, but had zero doubt or regret that it was said out loud.
He replied, "I don't know... but... You have a beautiful soul..."
She was speechless, he did not seem like someone to her that would use a line like that.
He continued, "I've been wanting to say something for months now, to you, I didn't know what... I want to know more about you. I couldn't explain your beauty - and my feelings about you to myself, but I'm sure people that know you understand-"
Out of the corner of his eye he realized multiple pairs of eyes from the coworker group had noticed this. Thankfully they couldn't hear, but that could also mean much worse. This sudden fear of Monday morning gossip had jarred him his tunnel vision.
She did not appreciate the distraction. Now feeling stronger about him, but conflicted, she dragged him out of the bar - to the adjacent hotel.
He was glad that his coworkers were still in the bar when he returned. He was welcomed with a chorus of cheers and many probing questions. He was not in the mood for any discussion.
What he said was all true. They talked. He got her phone number. He regrets that he should've done more. A few coworkers didn't respond well to the story, borderline upset that he didn't "hit that." Some coworkers were more sensitive, and after a few atta-boys continued back on their path.
It was in the cab ride home, that he took out the card in his pocket that had her phone number. He kept thinking about one of the last things he said to her. "If we do this now, this will be it... I don't want this to be it... I want more."
The most depressing thing for him: this is what he wanted... This is what he planned. A no risk win-win situation in which he appears romantic, coworkers have an improved but respectable opinion about him, and that he can live with himself that he seized an opportunity with someone who he has been thinking about for a long time.
She was beautiful, He was in her hotel room, they were both on the bed and he walked away. "How do you walk back to that?" he thought. The questions continued well past the tipping of the cab driver and settling under the covers. Questions of rejection and pessimism that was the romantic paralysis that has come to define his later young adult life.
A life seemingly opposite one of his favorite quotes by John Lennon, who said, "Life is what happens when you're making plans."
No, sadly, he was making plans instead of living life.