I lay awake during those last few precious moments before I had to rush into the workday. WG was sound asleep beside me, and, unbidden, thoughts of how I acted around my crushes when I was in college rose in my mind. I thought about whether or not I was different around WG when we first got together.
With several years of maturity on my side, I had certainly learned how to control my romantic sensibilities by the time I started dating WG. It's also true, however, that WG liked me in return, so I never felt that sense of desperate attraction fill my body (though I certainly had other emotional issues to deal with).
Trying to keep myself from dozing back to sleep (I'd already turned off the alarm), I let thoughts one particular crush fill my mind. I hadn't thought of him in years - my freshman year crush. But, think of him, I did. I thought of how I felt so strongly about him and clasped on to every bit of anything he did that encouraged me to believe he felt the same. By the end of the first semester, I had gotten it into my head that I needed to make a move. So, I invited him to a holiday party at the sorority house. I thought this was my big chance to move from friend to girlfriend.
I didn't live-in at the sorority yet and had dressed in my sparkley (yes, sparkley) teal dress in my dorm and hiked up to the house in my high-heels. By the time I reached the house, my curls had turned to loose waves, and the dress had started to droop just a little.
The Crush arrived soon after I did, and we awkwardly talked. I gave him a tour of the quiet upstairs of the house. Music pumped through the intercom line, and I stood in silence when the song switched to "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer. Oh, how I wanted him to kiss me in that moment, standing alone on the third floor, far from the crowd of sorority girls and their dates. How afraid I was that he would, that he wouldn't.
Though I think he must have known that I wanted him to just lean over and kiss me, even if just on the cheek.
Ten years later, it finally came to me. Do you know why he didn't kiss me? Because he didn't like me. Two years after reading He's Just Not That Into You, I am finally ready to retroactively apply it. He came to this party, because he was my friend. I stood in front of him in my limp (but still pretty) dress, my hair starting to reject the hairspray and begin its usual fly-away routine, and was not liked by him.
As I turned my attention back to the matter at hand, to pulling myself out of bed and heading to work, I had one last thought, "What must The Crush have thought?" How did he feel standing there with his friend in her withering finery, looking helplessly up at him, asking him for far more than he could ever give?
Ten years later, I can see things from his perspective.
Nothing was the same after that night. No more casual phone calls to go to a movie when class got canceled. No more promise of Giants games. No more walks and talks around Berkeley. For the first time, this morning, I regretted that I'd had such a crush on him and had lost his friendship as a result.
I don't know if we would have spent so much time together if I hadn't had that crush on him, seeing as I craved that closeness, but I do know that we no longer had any time together after I stood silently in the hall, willing him to kiss me.
I gently shook WG and told him I was leaving. He reached up with his arms, pulled me into his embrace, kissed me and said, "I love you." I let the past pass away, told WG I loved him right back and went on to my current life.