It's 7:28 and I'm ready, on time as usual. My hair is curled like a 50s pin up girl and I'm wearing a tight fitting red knee-length cocktail dress. My makeup is flawless and my shoes are a piece of art. I grab my peacoat and I head downstairs to wait for his arrival.
It's cold outside my house and I can feel the wind as it hits my bare face. I'm freezing. Less than 10 minutes pass before I go back upstairs, pissed. Why is he late? He knows I can't stand waiting on people. We haven't been dating long but I always make that pet peeve clear upfront.
I want to call and yell at him but I can't . My phone is dead. I had broken the charger output on Thursday and wouldn't be getting a new phone until Monday. He had no way of calling me to explain why he was late.
Before my phone died today, we scheduled a time for him to pick me up. I gave him the option of going to his house or picking me up. I told him I didn't care either way. "I'll pick you up at 7:30," he said.
As I pace back and forth in the cold air, it dawns on me. Earlier in the day when we scheduled our pick up time, I also told him to email me if he was gonna be running late. I turn towards my front gate and rushed into my apartment to check my email.
I get to my desk and their is no tower. "Why is this happening, why now," I stand there at my empty desk and think to myself. Then it hits me. My sister took the computer to be fixed. Darn. I go back outside to wait. I glance at the clock before I leave. 7:50. Ok, he should be here by now right?
Red knows my phone is broken and he is too much of a gentleman to have me wait in the cold. Five minutes pass. Still no sign of Red. I go upstairs, defeated and upset. Had I been stood up? It would serve me right for my behavior this week.
While Red was trying his best to get to know me I never let my guard down. For some reason everything he attempted to do, annoyed me. I just wasn't interested. I couldn't see him as more than a friend. He would call, I wouldn't answer. He would aim me and I had one word responses. I knew I was no longer interested and so did everyone around me. I just hadn't gotten around to telling him yet. But all the signs were there. So did I still have to say it?
I walk into my neighbors apartment (we don't knock when we visit each other) and say hello. I find him studying this lovely Saturday as usual. Naidi tells me he has his Chemistry finals this week and then he'll be free. I ask Naidi can I use his computer and he looks at me crazy for even asking. "Of course, go ahead." As I am standing there thanking him he looks me up and down and says, " Damn where you going. You looking good in my favorite color." I told him I was going to a holiday party with a friend and head to his computer. I log into my email account and it's there. Red sent me a message at 2:29pm, shortly after we scheduled our time saying he had to go to a baby shower and that he wouldn't be here until 8:30. Oops. I knew there was an explanation. I chill with my neighbor for the next 20 mins and head downstairs. He must be there now, right?
I walk out of my building and find Red coming around to open my door. 8:30 on the dot and he was here, like he said. Red greets me, "you look nice." "You do too," I say. Red did look nice, but I wasn't attracted to him. What was wrong with me? As I approach the car I notice a man is in the front seat. I expected him to get out, introduce himself and then move to the back. That didn't happen. Red opened the door to the back seat and introduced to his co worker, Cane. Cane looked short sitting in my seat, wore designer frames and had a close fade. He was hilarious the entire ride to the party. Cane's humor was a bit vulgar but it was funny. He and Red argued like a married couple so I was entertained. Since I was in the back seat I didn't feel the need to join in the conversation too much. Plus since this was just Red I also didn't feel the need to impress his friend with my vibrant personality. Cane didn't know it but he wouldn't be seeing too much of me in the future. This thing with Red would be coming to an end shortly.
We arrive at the party at 930. His company chose the same place I had my high school prom for their event. The Long Beach Aquarium was a gorgeous venue, but even I knew it was too small for the over 600 people invited to the event. Red, Cane and I looked at each other in disgust of the cramped party. Tables were everywhere, the food was gone (I was highly upset but luckily I had already eaten) and there was a 35 minute wait for a drink.
All the exhibits were amazing and the most unexpected exhibit are the ones where you can touch the various creatures like starfish, pet baby sharks and sting ray. After we took a tour of the different , we ran for the doors. Red was hungry and ready to go, so we did. Cane wanted to go to his friends holiday party right away and I told them I didn't mind after they invited me. Cane said there would be karaoke and food, neither of which really excited me but the night was still young and I didn't have any other plans. We stopped at Chili's before heading to the party.
When we arrived at the house I found myself exhausted. I hadn't done much the entire day but this night wasn't keeping my attention. I tried not to show it on my face, but I knew they could tell I was ready to leave. After an hour of listening to drunk people sing at the top of their voice, completely off key, Red took me home. Cane wasn't done partying so he stayed behind.
Red opened his front door for me this time and we headed to my house. I started think now is the time to say it. "I think we should just be friends," I repeated to myself over and over in between short bouts of mindless banter. No time seemed like the right time. And according to my friends, right now is not the right time. Red has his fraternity party the following day and no one thought I should send him there unhappy. So I obliged. I kept my mouth shut.
Halfway through the ride home, Red pulled out some gum and offered me a piece. I know I needed it since I did nibble on a few things that night, but there was no need to have fresh breath. It's not like we were going to be kissing anytime tonight. "Oh shit," I yelled in my head. Does he think he is getting a kiss from me? NO! NO! NO!
Although I didn't verbalize how I felt; I feel I gave plenty of signs. At no time during the night did I look Red in the eye longer than a short second. I didn't laugh at his jokes if they weren't funny (which was often). I didn't even let him walk me to my door at the end of the night. As we pulled up to my apartment I let him know he didn't have to walk me. This definitely caught him off guard. "There is a parking spot right there," he said as he pointed to a spot in front of my building. "I'm going straight upstairs," I replied. Red still looked confused, "are you sure." "Yeah," I replied. I gave him a quick hug and I could feel him trying to hold me for a second and I hopped out of the car as swiftly as humanly possible. I quickly trotted to my front entrance and disappeared behind the front door as I waived goodbye.
Usually Red sends me a sweet goodnight message, but this time he didn't. I guess he read all the signs.
At least I hope he did.