In the Clouds

I wish there weren’t so many rules. Don’t call first. Don’t text, either — texting counts. (Don’t text, and definitely don’t text twice in a row!) Don’t be too obvious. Don’t be too eager.

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Let a little time lapse. Let him wonder.

I’m not aggressive by nature. I hate to say it, but by nature, I sort of operate under this assumption: if he were interested, nothing in the world would stop him from trying to get to know me better.

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This is what I do, when I meet someone. Someone I could very definitely like, with a little encouragement.

Back up: there’s this little prickle of awareness, first. (On my part, anyway.) There’s just the faintest stir of something, sort of sleepy-stretching, way down deep, in my lower belly. That movement generally takes a minute or two to register. I often need an additional 15-20 seconds to realize it’s not just lunch, moving around in there.

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When I do finally manage to get my head completely out of the clouds, my response is always the same: I panic. With a jolt, I just PANIC.

I blush. I stammer. I wish I’d worn something cuter. (My blue top? Right — the top currently crumpled beneath this morning’s muddy running tights.) I kick myself for being lazy, for sticking my hair on top of my head. I hope it isn’t slicked back too tight. I fiddle with my earrings. Glad I wore Mom’s. I hope he initiates. And then I’m crushed, when he doesn’t. Just crushed.

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(We have Tomato Basil Soup, in a mood, when this happens.)

I don’t have much experience with putting myself out there. Really and truly. (This space doesn’t count.) I’ve given a guy my number a total of two times. Over Facebook. In hiding!

I’m much, much more likely to sit in a coffee shop, on the other side of the country, and write about a boy I wish I’d had the time to get to know. Isn’t that pathetic? Embarrassing, really.

I know it’s silly: I could be wildly off base. I could not even like him very much at all. I don’t even really know him. You probably think I’m nuts, for feeling like I miss someone I’m not even sure I know.

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Do you want the real truth? This boy…he didn’t pursue me, when he had the chance. And nothing made him pause, because he never really started.

This whole thing really is stupid.

This is what I wish for, though — if not with him, then with someone else, someday. When the timing’s right: I wish for another unexpected hello. A smile. A nudge. A move I’d never be able to mistake.

And when that happens: I’ll wish for courage. Courage, and maybe cute clothing and cooperative curly hair (if that’s not too much to ask). But a chance, more than anything else. I’ll wish for a real chance.

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