Just because there's a goalie doesn't mean you can't score
One of my friends once told me that "every man believes he's the right guy for the girl." I sat across from him, dumbstruck at how right he was, yet unwilling to admit it. Here I was, just a few moments ago, rambling on about a couple I disapproved of and completely proving my friend's point. Funny thing is, it only reinforced my belief that I was the best one for her. So, as I entered Starbucks to "study" with her, that was the motto I had in my mind. I knew what to do: pay for her caramel macchiato, grab two secluded seats, and open a word document to make it look like I was doing work. I was ready to prove myself the superior alpha male and she had better come prepared to accept it.
As she pulled out her wallet to pay for the drink, I quickly ushered it back into her bag, gesturing to the Starbucks app on my phone. She smiled, gave me a weird look, and without a word obliged. Fantastic, I thought. This was working.
I glanced towards the other side of the room to the two seats by the corner, away from the crowd. At this time, there was no way those seats would be empty, but I already knew that. That's what friends are for. I motioned to my two friends who had been saving the seats for around an hour, waiting for me to show up with her. They looked up and got the message. It was showtime.
The drinks didn't take too long to come, and when they finally came, I took the two cups and guided her to my reserved seat. I gently placed the cups on the table and pulled out a chair for her. She laughed but sat anyways, almost as if she expected this.
For a second, I froze. Everything seemed too easy and she didn't seem surprised at all. I'm pretty sure I just held a neon sign on top my head saying "hey, I like you, date me," but she was completely unfazed. She was unalarmed and took everything in stride. I quickly shook those thoughts aside and instead attributed it to my ingenious plan. There was no way this could fail.
We sat across from each other. It was eerily familiar to when I sat with my friend, though this time I had a cup of coffee in my hand instead of a buffalo wing. This was the next step: make conversation and take control of what was going to be said. I needed to be comfortable with the things we were going to talk about and she'll have no choice but to accept it.
"It's been such a crazy day and it's freezing outside" I said. "This is the worst weather to be driving in and I had to take my roommate to the airport. I wouldn't be surprised if his flight's going to get cancelled. He'll be calling second now."
She giggled and replied "well, if that's the case, then I guess we'll have to cut this short." She began digging into her bag, taking out a laptop and tablet. She turned her computer on and typed in her password without saying another word. Did she really want to study?
I was stumped. She wasn't supposed to respond like this but it's okay. All is fair in love and war and what's the matter if I had to use a little bit of improvisation. I followed her suit, taking out my laptop and wall charger. I started it up and started checking my email. I had to look important.
"What are you doing" she suddenly said, catching me off-guard. She peered over to my screen at the right time: I was checking an interview request I had just gotten from Goldman Sachs.
"Nothing much, just replying to a few emails. I might have to go to New York City next weekend. I think I just landed a full-time position for my post-grad career." That sounded good and reassuring. It showed my ability to provide for her in the future. What more could she want.
"Wow, that's pretty impressive" she said, then paused. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do after I graduate. I live so far away from everyone, seeing as I'm from Georgia."
I knew talking about where she lived was bound to pop-up eventually. Of course, I was prepared, ready to shift topics elsewhere because distance was not something I could fight right now. Besides, it's not as if her current boyfriend was about to move to Georgia as well.
"Yeah, I had a childhood friend who moved there a while ago but we lost contact. We used to always play basketball together. Do you play any sports?"
"Well, I try to play some volleyball here and there but I'm not too good" she murmured embarrassingly. Looks like I know what intramural sport to play this semester.
"Aw, that's fine, it's all about the effort anyways. Maybe we can play together sometime. I play a bit too and I actually think we might be going to the gym tomorrow." Now there was no way she could avoid me.
She nodded and fixated her eyes back on the screen. Her phone suddenly buzzed in front of me, and through the corner of my eyes, I saw the name Tovid. The phone wouldn't stop ringing and she seemed hesitant to pick it up but it didn't matter. The door behind us burst open and in he came. A part of me wished he actually looked as intimidating as he should've.
In one hand he carried a bubble milk tea and in another his phone. He started pacing towards our table, and when he got here, said in a obnoxious tone "you didn't see my call? I got this for you. Let's go, we have a show to catch in an hour."
I stared at him then back at her. She began packing her bags without another word. Tovid looked at me, nodded, and went to stand by the door. She smiled, grabbed the last of her stuff, and bolted out of the store. She didn't even take her caramel macchiato.
So her favorite drink is bubble milk tea huh? I'll be sure to have one waiting for her after the gym tomorrow.