Finally, I had a date with my crush.
Well, not my crush now. My former crush. He was the first boy that caught my eyes as I arrived at university. Cute baby face, tall figure, brightening smile — my usual crushing type. One day, with all my courage and thick skin, I decided to drop him a message on Facebook and we started talking. I was crazily excited, but not so much as soon as I realized I had no idea how to keep the conversation going, especially when he wasn’t exactly responsive.
Back then, I was still this carried away, impulsive, immature girl who desperately wanted something to happen. So, I lied to him. I told him that we had met before in a club. I even went as far as saying we had done something he probably did not remember. Not unexpectedly, it gauged his interest. I took the chance to flirt with him, innocently enough but obviously it did not come across to him as anything remotely close to innocent. He thought it was an invitation to a steamy hook-up. Evidently, one night, he asked me to come over and I agreed to.
Why? I thought that was the most I could get, that was what I deserved. Now, I know, I was dead wrong.
If only at that point in time I knew it too. But I was still the girl who did not know what she wanted, what to do to get what she truly wanted and know how to carry herself. I had good intentions and a good heart but what I had done never got me anywhere. It only brought me some instant gratifications, not what I deserved or needed, or what I was genuinely looking for in my heart.
That night, I went to this place past 10 P.M. We drank and we kissed. We never had sex but we weren’t exactly talking either. I felt cheated because I had naively thought this could be the opening to a date, a relationship but it was too late by then.
It was gradually made known to me that he wasn’t seeing me as friend, let alone someone to date. He saw me as exactly the girl I made it out to be unknowingly — the flirty, thirsty girl that came to him at midnight. He talked to me when he was drunk, when he wanted some actions. He left my texts unanswered when he wasn’t in the mood. Basically, he had no respects for me.
It was also the period I started to grow up and change as I met more people, made more mistakes and I eventually came to realize all this… after half a year. I stopped what I was doing with him. I said no. I drew my boundaries. I carried myself with care and respect.
Around summer, I began to notice that he had changed how he talked to me, treated me. He was more responsive, more respectful, more like a friend. Notably, he apologized to me more than once for the way he had spoken to me, and that he’d been objectifying me. I’m not sure if it was simply his decision, or it was because now I would not allow him, or anyone, to treat me any less.
For another half a year, till the present day, we would occasionally catch up on Whatsapp on friendly, we-don’t-really-mind-each-other terms. I’m no longer feeling anything about him, yet he was still something to me for the whole period I was fixated on him.
After a hundred times of casually throwing in the conversation that we should meet up soon, he finally asked me out on a lunch date. It wasn’t a date date but it would be the first time we had properly seen each other… outside the club, outside his bedroom.
He arrived, with not so much enthusiasm. For the most part of the date, he was glued to his phone and left me awkwardly looking around the coffee shop. It turned out that unlike the magical happy ending I had fantasized when I was still chasing this boy, we did not really have much to say to each other as we were inherently two different people. He was also not that cute as I could remember. It felt off.
He even told me about a girl he was seeing. He showed me a picture of a model-looking girl and described her as beautiful and smart while stressing that he loved talking to a smart girl. Guess how that made me feel.
It sounds ridiculous but for a brief moment, I had felt hurtfully… not smart, followed by this feeling of being unloved, unimportant, insignificant as I compared myself to that girl and recalled how he had treated me and what I had wanted to happen between us. It was like I’m not good enough, that I will never be that girl.
Then I realized that I had no reason to be feeling that way. This boy here, or everything I thought was special about him, was simply a fantasy I’d created, a fantasy that was made believable only because I knew nothing about him. Because of that fantasy, for no legitimate reason, I’d tried to get his attention, to prove myself to him without even once asking myself what I really wanted from this person, whether I had even liked him at all, or why I had to do all that.
As we sat opposite each other as two equals, real as it was, it dawned on me that he was just a normal boy like any other boy. There was nothing personal between us. I did not even care what he thought of me anymore. Thinking back, it was fair that I was feeling not smart. How smart could I be if I thought I had to measure myself up to this boy or any girl? No. I was and am always good enough as the person I am.
We finished the meal and quickly enough, I told him, “Should we leave now?” It marked the first time I had ever been the first one to end an encounter between us. We parted way after a friendly hug. As I headed home, I was left with this satisfying feeling in my stomach as I had the perfect closure I surely had never expected to be so perfect.