You waited the entire day to see her. But mainly to tell her.
You tapped your pen nervously at your desk. The desk was inside a classroom you would soon forget. Names you would never remember. Lessons which you would barely be able to recall even a week from now. She was the one who mattered to you. She was the one you wanted. You had barely spoken to her, though. Your paths never seemed to cross. You watched her from across the room. You laughed when she laughed. You listened when she spoke. She was perfection in your eyes.
Your contact had been minimal. Only occasionally exchanging pleasantries.
Hey, how are you?
Your conversations never seemed to go much further. There was so much you wanted to tell her. But you couldn’t. There was never any time.
You moved from the tapping of your pen to the rhythmic bopping of your feet. You were scared. You didn’t know what to expect. Would she say yes? Would she even know who you were? She probably wouldn’t, you concluded. She barely seemed to acknowledge your existence.
You barely spoke in class. You were not the talkative type. You didn’t like to attract too much attention to yourself. Most of the time, you just wanted to be left alone. You didn’t have many friends. Not that you didn’t want friends. You just didn’t need them. You liked people. Sometimes it even seemed as though people liked you. But you didn’t really care either way.
This time was different. This time you cared about her. You wanted her.
You had girlfriends in the past. You were moderately attractive, so sex had come easy for you. Girls liked you. But deep down, you had never really liked them. Most of them were too shallow to notice your disinterest. They were too consumed with themselves- how they looked, what they felt, and what they wanted- to ever really notice you. They were drawn to your aloof nature. They found you mysterious. You found them boring.
But she was different.
You doodled aimlessly on your paper only looking up to make obligatory eye contact with the teacher and the clock. Your next class was when you would see her. The few times a week you got to see her were the few times you actually felt you had a pulse. It’s not that you wanted to have sex with her. You did, but you wanted more than that from her. You wanted her. Everything about her. The way she walked. The way she used her finger to move her soft strands of dark hair delicately behind her ear. The way she smelled. The way she smiled. She didn’t speak as often as you would have liked. But when she did, she said the most eloquent, articulate things. You would be equals.
Today was the day you decided to tell her. You would do it after class.
You envisioned how it would all play out:
I like you. I’ve wanted to tell you for the longest time. I’m sure you have someone. I wouldn’t want to come between the two of you, you would lie. But I think you’re cool. Wanna get something to eat? You’d ask. You would put on your most sincere face and walk away. She would stop you: I feel the same way, she would say. You’d kiss. Her lips would be so soft. You’d hold hands and walk away on cloud 29.
You knew that would never happen. You’d just be satisfied if she remembered your name. You knew she probably wouldn’t.
You’d ask her about the paper due next Friday, then maybe if she was free for lunch. You knew you wouldn’t really be able to tell her how you felt. You wanted to tell her. You needed to tell her. But could you?
By the time your page had filled with doodles, class was over. You jumped out of your seat, threw on your coat and rushed out the door. You wanted to make sure that you were early to your next class. You wanted to see her.
As you made your way outside the building, a familiarly unpleasant figure stopped you in your path.
“HEY, I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Where have you been?” She began, with genuine concern in her voice. You thought that it was over between the two of you.
“Why don’t you answer my calls? What’s going on?” She continued.
You didn’t respond. You couldn’t muster up the energy to care.
“What the fuck is your problem? Are we in a fucking relationship or not?”
You stared blankly at her. You were getting impatient. You wanted to push her out of the way.
“Seriously? you’re the fucking worst! This shit is over!” Her eyes began to well up with anger. You stared at her, confused by her attachment to you.
“You know, at first I thought you were interesting. I figured you had a heart underneath all that nothing. Boy was I fucking wrong! I’m surprised you even have a pulse. You’re the most passionless, piece of shit I’ve ever met. I can’t believe I wasted my time on you.”
She was right, you thought. You were all those things.
But you weren’t going to be that way anymore.
“Don’t you have any fucking thing to say to me?” She looked at you with complete contempt. Her eyes filled with tears.
“I’m going to be late for class.” You muttered.
She rolled her eyes in disgust and walked away from you.
You practically ran across campus and into the building where you would see her. That ranting had cost you precious moments with her. You made your way into your next class and there she was. She sat near the front of the room. No one was seated next to her, so you moved across the class to sit next to her. You’d be close enough to touch her.
She glanced over at you as you sat down. You flashed a polite smile, then placed your books on your desk. The pace of your heart quickened with each passing moment. You were closer to her than you had been in a long time. You could feel her. Your desire paralyzed you. You couldn’t tap your feet. You couldn’t doodle. You couldn’t move. Instead, you stared at nothing in particular. Sweat beads made their way down your forehead. You were anxious, worried, and uncertain. You wondered if she could notice. Hopefully, she didn’t think you were weird.
You fixed your eyes on the clock and watched as the minute hand moved. You didn’t dare look over at her. You didn’t want her to think you purposely sat there, although that’s exactly what you had done. Time went by at an excruciatingly slow pace. You couldn’t hear anything your professor said. All you heard was your heart, and how loudly it beat inside your chest. You wondered if it would explode. You could see her from the corner of your eye. She stared intently at the professor. She was actively engaged in what the teacher was saying. You loved that about her. You could tell she was a good listener. The closer it was until class ended, the sweatier your palms became, the faster your heart beat and the more your mind raced with possibility.
When it ended, you packed your books into your bag slowly. You watched from the corner of your eye as she organized her things and made her way out of the room alone; you wanted to make sure that she left before you did. She dropped a few papers behind her.
You had your chance.
You picked them up ran out and followed her outside. She turned when you called her name.
“You dropped this.” You said.
“Oh thanks.” She replied.
She smiled at you with a hint of embarrassment. The shared smile was followed by a moment of awkward silence. You looked as though you had something to say. She waited for you to say it.
“Alright, see you around,” she finally interjected.
“Alright.” You finished.
You both smiled again and she walked away. You watched her as she walked through the doors leading outside. You never said much to her after that day. You never really even looked her way again. Though your desire never subsided. You weren’t sure what to say.
You were certain of one thing. She didn’t deserve you. You knew deep inside that someone like her deserved much better. You knew that this time wouldn’t be different.
You wouldn’t be enough.
Or at least that’s what you told yourself anyway.