Perception

I was just seeking my own catharsis. Met a girl in college I liked, continued liking her, what could I do? I looked at the seven messages I’d sent her on Facebook. No replies, just that damned little bubble saying Seen this Seen that, so and so at this time! But hey, I had a right to prove what I was made of. Right? When the world doesn’t respond, just keep at it.

I stared at my computer screen and the latest message I’d derived. This was in-genius I thought, this would get her. I began typing, “since you’re reading my messages, I’d be happy to send you more.” But of course I would need a follow up message, so I didn’t send it immediately. It just struck me as odd that this was what I was doing at midnight. Sitting in my underwear, trying to message a girl. No, trying to think of messages for a girl.

I combed through my hair, my mind wandered. I imagined the what if’s of the past. What if she hadn’t had a boyfriend when we’d kissed? What if I hadn’t told her that she should tell her boyfriend? What if I was just not me? And this was so wrong.

I felt on some level it was normal enough, but then I think most people would have stopped messaging by now. It’s not like I’m being an absolute creep, although some would say if I had to say that that it was true. Well, she was messaging me. It just happened to stop.

I looked at the message I was going to send, it was ready. The glare of the computer screen hit me, and I felt giddy. I clicked enter impulsively and my heart set out in tiny beats in expectation of the consequences. My mind raced and I clamored out a few more messages on my keyboard, “In fact, I’ll send you some ‘stream of consciousness’ threads… you know like just my honest thoughts.” I clicked enter. What else could I type to keep this conversation going?

“You’ll like the thoughts, I’ll make them real philosophical for you,” there we go. I leaned back in my chair. And I truly felt like today’s battle was fought and won. Small steps. Small steps. I didn’t know what I was stepping towards, but I knew I would be typing more tomorrow…

Some of my friends ask me why I’m still messaging her. Do I even know? But all I can think about are the contours of her body, that zesty look of innocence combined with the sharp feel of depth. It was a feeling of peace mixed with romance. A flightiness that caught me as paradoxical. An ocean waiting to be discovered.

“Dude, she doesn’t like you, forget it,” one of my pals would say. And so? Do you expect everything in your life to come easily?

I stare at the computer screen. She’s online Facebook, so I open Messenger reflexively. Sometimes urges just take control and you listen. And boy, I was not disappointed. My eyes light up. I see her typing with those bubbles bubbling dots dotting, will she send a message? I couldn’t believe it. And in that moment of time, it was like my reality froze and I was given a window into my soul. A moment at which reality pierces through and the gestalt of what is needed is perceived.

She messages me, “Will, I have a boyfriend, and if you still like me, I have nothing to say. That’s why I haven’t been responding.” Had I assumed that she would have broken up with her boyfriend by now? And tell me then, what does that say about me?

I tried to salvage the already broken pieces of the situation. I typed out a message quickly, a hail-mary attempt, “Is it too late to be friends? Do you want to be my friend?” Enter.

Waiting. Those damn bubbles.

Her reply, “We can be friends. My boyfriend just feels like when you do this, you’re not respecting our boundaries. It puts me in a bad position,” and she was genuine. Right?

I would be a fool to argue, so I followed the script. What else could I say but, “You’re right, you’re right,” and add another hail-mary in for good measure, “That means all three of us can go get ice cream then right? HEH. I appreciate it, pal.”

And then I would wait, in my underwear, at midnight. Had I made a mistake? I just felt that this time, she wouldn’t reply. This time, I wouldn’t even get Facebook’s confirmation that she’d seen it.

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