I met Mike on a Friday night, in an unusual place. I went to a club in the part of the city I don’t usually go. I walked in, and while I was wearing what other might consider a dress that is too short, no one stared at me. No one even shot a glance.
My two friends who were waiting for me were at the bar, smiling. “You look good,” they said. “Thank you,” I replied.
I ordered a glass of my favorite drink. The place is dark, but that’s normal. The club was filled with men, but that’s normal. Wait. It is mostly men, in fact, I can count the ladies in the club. “What is this place?” I asked one of my friends, and he just smiled.
We continued drinking, and I realized, only men are coming in. And when they walked in the club, the other men stared at them.
My friends and I danced like no one was watching that night. Well, no one is. After a couple more drinks and dancing, I sat down, and a guy came up to me to talk. His friend wanted to ask about my friend’s name.
“Why don’t you ask yourself?” I told him, hoping he’d stop talking to me.
He introduced himself. “I’m Mike, what’s your name?”
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“Some of my friends like going here, to meet men,” he told me as if I caught him doing something wrong.
“I didn’t have anything to do, neither did Frank, so we decided to join,” pointing to the friend who wanted to get to know my friend, as he explained. “I’m sorry if you only have five girls to try your luck on tonight,” I said.
We talked for hours about work and life in the city after that. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. His friends spoke to other men, as he said. Frank sulked in the corner of the room.
It was getting late, so I said goodbye. We exchanged numbers. He gave me a call an hour later. They’re leaving the club, and he wanted to know what I was up to. “I’m going to bed,” I said. He asked if I can join him for dinner the next day. “Ask me again tomorrow, tomorrow is tomorrow,” I told him.
The next day, Mike called to ask me out for dinner. This guy is trying to get into my pants, by asking me out to dinner first, I thought to myself. I guess there’s no harm in going out for dinner, I assured myself. We had dinner, and it was pleasant. We started communicating more after that. We went out to dinners. We hung out a lot. He was nice. It was nice.
One weekend, Mike asked me to come over, he just moved to a new apartment. He’s painting his walls. “Who paints his walls?” I thought. “Would you like to help me out?” he asked.
I wasn’t doing anything, plus painting walls is cool, so I said yes.
We painted his wall, and it wasn’t easy. The wine helped. Mike gave me a blank piece of canvas and told me to paint whatever I want on it. When I finished, he hangs it in the middle of his wall. He took out his guitar and started singing. “Who the fuck is this guy?” I thought to myself.
We talked all night about our lives and our dreams. He was nice. It was nice.
At three am he asked if I wanted to walk along the shore, he lives next to the marina. I said, “Sure, why not?”
When the sun started to rise, I told him I needed to go home to sleep. I told him how happy I was. He said the same. He watched me pack my things and got me a cab home.
I reached home, and I messaged him, “Thank you, Mike, for another memorable night.”
He said, “No, thank you.”
That was our last conversation.
I am sitting in a cafe, near the place where Mike lives, that’s why I remembered him. That’s why I remembered that night.
I am waiting for someone in the cafe.
It wasn’t easy to let go of that night. It was perfect.
It ended so quickly, though, you realize, it’s just meant to be a memory. Sometimes it still bothers me, like it is bothering me now.
If something so good, something you were not expecting all, can easily be taken away from you like that, you wonder, what does it take to keep someone?
The person I was waiting for, arrived.
How do I keep this someone?