Love is a fickle thing. You never know when it’s going to sneak up on you and force you to fantasize about kissing in the rain and having sex on the beach (both things that are way more fun in the movies). If you’re lucky, the object of your affection will be available, and will share your feelings. But if you’re like the rest of us, he probably has a girlfriend (or some other debilitating reason you can’t have him). Of course, that’s not to say he won’t always share your feelings. It’s just saying that things are about to get a whole lot more complicated for you. Wrong place, wrong time always does.
But love loves wrong place, wrong time.
You’ll first meet him when your friend starts dating his friend. Naturally, her relationship is going to get serious really fast. Like hang-out-every-weekend fast. You’ll notice him right away from across the bar and he’ll already be staring at you. You’ll smile to yourself, sensing the piqued interest of this beautiful stranger. When he finally introduces himself, you’ll fall fast. You’ll check off every item on the checklist you always meant to make, but never did. He’ll hold doors, pay for your drinks, look you in the eyes, and say your name in a way that silently screams “soul mate.” At the end of that first night, you’ll ask your friend about him. “I think he might have a girlfriend,” she’ll say. Funny, you’ll think, he never mentioned her. Cue the cyber-stalking. Luckily, his privacy settings allow you to scroll through his profile pictures and you’ll learn they met in college, and she just moved five hours away. You’ll smile at this relationship kiss of death, but not too wide, because it’s bad karma to wish ill will on other people’s relationships.
The next weekend, you’ll walk into the bar, and his eye will immediately catch yours. He’ll make a beeline for you and ask you how you’ve been. You’ll find that as much as you want to respect his relationship, you can’t help talking to him. It’s just so easy. And it’s not like you’re trying to sleep with him, so it can’t be that wrong, can it? It’s just harmless chatter. But you find yourself wanting to know everything about him — what music he listens to, what he wears to bed, what his mom’s name is. His friends will ask him to go to another bar, and he’ll ask you to join. Before either of you realize it, you’re walking a half a mile ahead of everybody else talking about who knows what, but enjoying each other’s company nonetheless. In the back of your mind, you wish he would grab your hand. But if he did, you’d be disappointed because after all, if he’d cheat with you, he’d cheat on you.
He asks what you want to drink, and at first you order a vodka soda, but in an attempt to be like one of the boys (read: not like his current girlfriend), you quickly change it to a PBR. He hands you a beer, your fingers briefly touch, and you know you have to do something drastic to keep down the feelings and the Fireball shots. So, you drunkenly make out with his roommate in front of him. It doesn’t work. The bar closes, and he invites you back to the house for an after-party. You go because your friends will be there. And food will be there. And he will be there. You know you’d never disrespect another woman by being the other woman, but your drunken mind wonders how evil fantasizing about it really is. In an instant, you and he are in a cab together, with not a clue where your friends are.
You make a fast food stop, and he convinces you to order a sundae. You never order sundaes when you’re drunk, but after the first bite, you can no longer fathom why. He tells you that you shouldn’t hook up with his roommate, because he isn’t a good guy, which is difficult to believe considering the stories you’ve heard about him saving the lives of stray kittens.
You’ll get back to the house at around 3AM, and his roommates will offer you one of two empty beds. He’ll lead you upstairs, and before you know it, you’re in his bedroom. It’s just like you thought it would be – paintings of the ocean, and a generic-but-manly navy blue comforter. He closes the door, and sits down on the bed. You know how badly you want to wrap your arms around him and pull him towards you, but you both know it can’t happen. His roommate, the one you made out with, will keep coming in to drunkenly offer up his own bed. He’ll calmly push him out and lock the door for added protection. He’ll tell you that you can stay in his bed, and he’ll sleep on a blow up mattress next to you. You can’t help but hope he’s acting this way because he has the same feelings as you. After all, the empty rooms have locks on their doors, too. Regardless, you’re thrilled at the idea of sleeping next to him, even if it is in two different beds. He’ll ask you if you need anything, and you’ll ask him for water. While he’s gone, you’ll notice the decorated picture frames on his dresser with the same girl you saw on the Internet. When he comes back, you’ll ask him about her, and he’ll tell you — but only just enough to satisfy your curiosity. You’ll ask him if he’s going to marry her, and he’ll avoid the question.
Eventually, you’ll both fall asleep and you’ll wake up wrapped in his blankets, which is the closest thing you can get to his arms. You’ll try to capture his smell in your mind before you thank him for his hospitality and leave. But you can’t help hoping that the scent of your perfume lingers on his sheets. And that it’s strong enough to make him consider putting those picture frames in his dresser drawer.