Why can't you be my first girlfriend?
My heart calmed, as typical as it may seem, at the sound of her voice, smooth as silk and as elegant as the sound of a harp. The nagging feeling on my left shoulder lifted, a little sore from the pain, but nevertheless healing. It was never supposed to be like this. I remember telling myself I couldn't let this happen, not last year and certainly not this. But isn't that how life works? It comes around, punches you in the gut, and waits for you to get back up before deciding whether a knife would do better this time. Maybe that's why. Attractive people aren't pessimistic and surely don't think like this. They have something about them, the describable thing that she told me she felt with him. As far as I was concerned, I had absolutely nothing. My friends claimed I was good at listening but what good does that do when I can't ever speak? Nobody really likes the melancholic writer until he's dead. I tried everything I thought attractive: learning the piano, dressing a little better, and even learning how to cook. There's just always that one thing someone else knows how to do, but by the time I would learn, nobody would care anymore.
For now, though, I wanted to take advantage of the appetite I hadn't felt for days. Things seemed okay in the moment and even five minutes in this neutral peace would be soothing. It was a guilty feeling though, that I didn't really care about anything else until I had that glimmer of hope reignited. That's all it took to lift heaviness from my heart.
"I'm going to pour milk inside your chili." My ears instantly perked up, trying to discern who it was, though I honestly already knew. "Imagine how it'll taste" a male voice said. I could imagine the smirk he had on his face.
"You wouldn't!" I heard her reply in a high-pitched tone. In my head came her face, smiling a half pouty, half love dazed smile she would only give him. "If you do, we can't be friends anymore. I'll kill you."
I tried resisting the crushing wave of darkness trying to overcome what little sanity I had left. It was funny, how stupid of a conversation that was, yet how much it meant in value of a friendship. People only say dumb things to each other when they're close. The food on my tray suddenly unappetizing again and I knew it was happening once more. Everything happening in this Shakespearean play was something I knew about but all I could do was sit and watch; I could shout to the stage but that would've gotten me nothing but disapproving looks.
The corner of my eye envisioned the worst but when I turned around, the two headed towards different tables. A little bit of the heaviness disappeared again. How sad was it that my entire disposition was being affected by people sitting in different tables? I took my food and walked over to where she was sitting.
"Shut up" she suddenly said to me. This time, her face was blanketed in disappointment, a straight face so forced I couldn't help but laugh. She burst into laughter as well, saying "What? Did I not seem serious enough to you? I'm so serious right now."
"That was so mean" I replied. "I'm going to sit somewhere else now." I already knew what she was going to say.
"NO" she said in that high-pitched tone of hers. "Sit here and eat with me." My heart melted.
I put my tray down on the table and took a seat next to her. She kept nodding as I acted like I was reluctantly sitting. There was no leaving now, despite the hundreds of excuses I could have made up in my mind. This was the way I handled everything, with a tiny ounce of hope from the hints I laid across. How did love take away all my experience and knowledge? I felt like a freshman again.
"Now that you're sitting next to me, everything's all better and you're happy!" she joked but with the most ironic amount of truth.
"Ehh.. I'm not so sure about that. I only sat down because I felt bad fro you, no friends and all." I pointed to the empty seats surrounding us. I gave away a small smile, hoping it wasn't too awkward.
"Okay bye." She got up from her seat and started walking away, though I knew she was going to come back. She walked ten steps, stopped, looked back at me and started laughing. There wasn't much to do but laugh along. It wasn't funny but laughing together made me happy. Maybe that was funny in its own way, how fickle and strange the heart is.
She sat back down and started eating. I sat, stared at her for a quick second, and picked up my fork. The chili was a little cold by the time we took our first bite but it warmed my body regardless. Or maybe that was because she was inches away from me. I looked across the room and saw him joking with a few of his friends. It wasn't going to happen.
I thought to myself "why can't you be my first girlfriend?" The devil on one ear whispered because I wasn't good enough. I'm too nice for my own good. You see him? That's what a man should look like. You? You're worthless. I was being unreasonable, a person filled with knowledge and wisdom to make the right decision but making all the wrong ones. I wanted to point to the married couple across the room and shout to her "You see them? Maybe we can be like them one day. I love you." Stupid isn't it?
If love stories were made like this, there would be no Hollywood. It was too easy - her fantastic personality, beautiful face, and incredibly intuition. I figured that reality didn't match dreams. A part of me cowered at a future with her, until I realized I wasn't even close to a present with her.
This wasn't Hollywood. It was just a cafeteria.