As Betty and I sat in the fumes of my poorly ventilated car, I looked at her, and I couldn’t feel a thing. My feelings for her seemed to have vanished; gone forever as if I never liked her at all; as if she never existed. She turned to me and said,
Betty: Well, I have to get some stuff in my car and then maybe I’ll lay down. Are you staying here?
Me: Yea, I’m just gonna relax till class starts.
Betty: Oh okay. Well thanks for lunch! I’ll see you in 20 minutes!
Me: See ya
2 Days Earlier—————————————–
It was Tuesday morning and I was getting ready to go to class when Betty texted me asking if I wanted to study. Of course I didn’t want to, but I went anyways seeing as how I had nothing better to do. We met near the computer lab on a patch of quiet grass and cracked open our books. She didn’t understand most of the material but once again, I taught her. Then, an Asian guy walked by slurping away at his pearl drink.
Betty: Oh my god! I’ve been craving one of those for the longest time! Isn’t there one near school?
Me: Yea, there’s a Quickly across the street.
Betty: Do you wanna go?
At this point, I was totally confused. Betty had been giving me mixed signals so for her to ask ME out, was definitely a step in the right direction. As we walked to her car, we talked about life, school, future plans, and our past lives. There was a nice chemistry. It was pleasant, and sweet.
The next morning she texted me again, asking if I would like to meet her at Quickly for round 2 of studying. I hopped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and drove real fast. We laughed, had fun, did work, shared drinks, and enjoyed each others company. I knew we weren’t together but somehow it felt incredibly right. I felt so comfortable with her, like we could just hang out for days on end. I felt my interest in her grow ten fold.
Me: Hey! You never responded to my text about breakfast!
Betty: Oh! I thought I told you my answer already?
Me: Nope, not yet. So?… Are you down?
Betty: Of course! I’m free Thursday, do you wanna-
This morning I woke up extra early, with a jump to my step, and a tingle in my stomach (the one you get when you’re getting ready for a date). I brushed, washed, shaved, and spent 30 minutes on my hair, making sure not a strand was out of place. I wanted to be perfect – for her. A spritz of cologne, a gargle of mouthwash, and I was off to meet this beautiful woman.
I mean, I wasn’t nervous or anything, not for the date- GOD NO! I’ve been on a ton of dates and I’ve pretty much built an armor for any nervous feelings. Confidence is my middle…umm… well I’m just confident. But I actually was nervous; which was due to the fact that this would be our first (and most important) date. To me, the first date is always the most important. It’s the day you size up your date, lay down your stats, show off what cha got, and see if you two will mix.
I love first dates! There’s this electricity in the air that seems to be suspended on a golden thread. One wrong move, whether its your lack of manners, or your failure to have winterfresh breath, can transform your first date into a vortex of hell on earth where Justin Biebers are running all over the place, singing “BABY BABY BABY, OH!” Yes, it could be that bad.
Me: Okay, so I picked two places: One is a French place in Palo Alto called Douce France, where they specialize in small sandwiches. The other is a Korean owned French bakery called Paris Baguette. Douce France would be ideal if you’re hungry, while Paris Baguette has smaller items to eat. Which would you like to go to?
Betty: Ooh! Let’s go to the first one
Me: Alright! Let’s go
The road to Douce France took about 20 minutes, and during those 20 minutes, Betty was talking on the phone with her friend the entire time. Now okay, I don’t mean to be an old timer but seriously? Do you HAVE to talk on the phone with your friend RIGHT NOW? I tried not to let it bother me and I merely accepted it as “Hey, who am I to judge? Maybe her friend is very important and their conversation is equally important? Don’t worry about it!”
But no… her conversation actually wasn’t that important. All she did was talk about how they both went out last night, went out dancing, and the fact that her friend was hung over. It was only when I got to the restaurant that she hung up. Jeez, thanks.
During lunch our conversations progressed into: life goals, Astrology, Chinese zodiacs, who we see ourselves with in the future, and what we value in life. Here’s the breakdown of me vs her:
- To bike for very long distances (40 miles)
- Hiking up extremely tall mountains
- Going to the beach
- The idea of being single forever
- Smoking pot
- Writing about my (not so exciting) dating life
- Fashion, photographing fashion, and food
- Going to the city
- The idea of getting married
- Not smoking pot
But no, despite our major differences, I tried really really hard not to let it get to me. Biker? Sure! No problem! If we get together, I can learn how to bike…uh…40 miles. I’ll do it! YEA! Weed? FUCK IT! Light it up baby! See?! I’m TOTALLY open minded! List after list, our differences became more apparent, and more important. These weren’t mere “your favorite color is blue, mine is red” but rather “I like to stay at home and relax, and you like to go outside and surf”. This was major, yet I still hung on.
I swear to god, I wanted her SO bad. I wanted her to be mine. I wanted her for myself, flaws and all, biker or not. I could change. I could adapt. If I wasn’t interested in what she liked, then I could learn to be. All I wanted was to be able to see her at the end of the day and know that this girl would be safe with me.
I knew I was wrong and I knew that things weren’t going to work out, but that’s just how I am. I believe that love isn’t smooth, and the best love is one that you fight for. A love that you work hard to create and make perfect. A love that you keep in your pocket as you constantly try to smooth out any rough edges.
Me: So where do you see yourself at the peak of your life? Where do you live? Kids? Married?
Betty: If I’m not with this one person then I think I’ll probably just be single for the rest of my life.
Me: What do you mean?
Betty: My ex-boyfriend. I see myself marrying him, and if not him, then I’ll just be single forever.
And with that…
…I knew it was over…
What could I do? Obviously she still has feelings for him and if this is the life she sees as perfect, then there’s nothing I can do to change that. I looked out the window; my head numb, fingers frozen, trying to search the sky for some answers. But nothing came. I was faced with the reality that I had once again hyped up a girl. I created these wild expectations in my mind that were never meant to be. I was completely…and utterly….numb.
I wanted her so bad. I always had this vision in my head of us having lunch, and just as our conversation intensity increased, I would say:
Me: Can I ask you a personal question?
Betty: Sure, what is it?
My hand slowly crossing the table as I take her hand in mine, I run my fingers across the glossy self inflicted scars that lace her arms.
Me: …what happened?
She would then proceed to empty her story onto me, pouring her feelings before my eyes. And as she reaches the brink of tears, I let her know that I see her for who she is. I know that she is beautiful. She’s strong on the outside and I see the potential that resides within her. I see a person with an inner beauty that can only be understood by oceans and stars. I know who she is. But none of this ever happened.
Instead, she packed her things and walked out of my car. I saw her well poised body in the rear view mirror as it slowly…slowly…disappeared. Just then, I began to think of sand: Some women are like sand. They can completely engulf you, carrying your weight in their soft hands, making you feel at ease. But if you try to grab a fist full of sand, you’ll soon realize that you can’t; the grains will start to fall through the cracks, leaving you exactly where you started.
I sat in the car for a few moments to think about things. I thought about my love life, and the day that I finally get to meet “the” girl. Just then, a white car pulled up beside me, a cute Latina girl rolled down her window, we glanced at each other, and smiled.