"... it feels nice being asked out..."Liv, the Look Back Girl
Her name had been changed to defend her anonymity. So, Liv she shall be for this entire post.
'Defend' sounds way more chivalrous than 'protect'.
Three days ago on a Wednesday afternoon1, I skulked behind a notice board outside of the International Centre of Health Sciences and studied the various bits of announcements and bulletins populously occupying its plastic surface with apparent great interest, though none of them concerned me the very least.
The keyword here is 'apparent'. I'm the sort of person that don't read notice boards even if they are posting the next winning lottery ticket numbers on them. I have a secretary who reads them for me. I call him 'Shaki'.
Three days ago on a Wednesday afternoon, I was waiting for someone (whose name I still could not spell) at the spot where I last met her the week before at the very same time. I didn't have anything planned for Saturday, and after a couple of 'maybe I should', a handful of 'sounds like an idea', and a generous sprinkling of 'why not?', I decided that this is an excellent week to be stupid. I am at liberty to invite whoever I want to to celebrate my 21st birthday with me, am I not? Righto.
For the longest time, 14th of July was a night of casual dining, of delightful conversations and most of all, of the company of just one other person sitting across the table. My ex filled that 'company of just one person' part - it's like a sort of personal tradition. This year, my birthday loomed overhead like a hangman's noose with 'OMGALONE' stamped all over the rope in firetruck red.
As if cued, just when I was swimming in all these unpleasant thoughts, my ex and her smashing, top-o'-the-line, improved-formula, spanking new boyfriend walked past me. Awesome timing. Wow.
That's a bad coincidence.
You know what a good coincidence would be? A good coincidence would be that Liv shares the same birthday as me, and that she didn't tell anyone about it either. Then I can confidently tell her with a roguish smile, birthday boy to birthday girl, that "truly tis' fated" and Providence intended us to celebrate together et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...
But this sort of thing almost never happens.
I thought of asking someone from my class actually, but the threat of a gossip meltdown seemed far too much for me to safely stomach. And asking a guy sounded gay no matter how I looked at it. A stranger is good. The best conversations I ever had was with strangers from halfway around the globe.
Through the transparent bulletin board, I saw Liv heading my way from 12 o'clock. Panic gripped my liver and twisted it like a pretzel - it's been awhile since I've last talked face to face with a girl I do not know, and had never once asked one out in such sudden manner. I mean, when was the last time any of you girl readers went out with a bloke you do not know? Oh my god, what was I thinking! Okay, okay, we rehearsed this before right? RIGHT?! Step one: walk up to her. Step two: ask her out. Step three: pat self on back for a job well done. Just calm down and countdown - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 -
Wait for it... wait for it... Go!
I walked down the steps to 'bump' into her. I raised one hand and waved weakly at her with a smile - which she returned - and I proceeded to walk right past her. A whiny movie director with a megaphone was shouting "Cut! Cut! Retake! Retake!" in my brain but I just kept strolling stiffly away. I was on the Please-Don't-Make-an-Arse-of-Yourself Autopilot of Good Sense.
Then something else took charge. It's called the Fuck-It Manual Override.
I made a sharp U-turn right before I almost unwittingly walked into the flowerbed, and found that Liv had totally wandered out of frame. I sprinted in the direction she was heading, nearly running over a certain famously rotund lecturer before finding her again by the Greens. With the slightest hesitance, I shouted her name (which I couldn't pronounce properly either). She turned, looking strangely calm and unperturbed considering a stranger just hollered her name in public. Victorian composure, that - good breeding tells.
"I'm just wondering whether you're free this Saturday," I blurted, or at least I imagined as much.
She replied in the negative. It's a busy week for her ahead.
The conversation then turned to lectures, school life and a lot of other generalities which I shall not bother you with here.
But I did manage to get her number, by the way.
End of Part 1 of 2
21 years old,
k0k s3n w4i
1 Yes, this was how I began my post last Saturday. The symmetry appeals to me.