I matched with her on Tinder. She was gorgeous. IS gorgeous. Probably. We never met.
She had the best ass I’ve ever seen. In that moment I would’ve loved nothing more than to grab her hips and thrust my [rest of sentence omitted].
She’d no doubt heard every chat up line in the book so I decided to go a different way. I’d read an “article” about a guy who used unique ways to get attention on Tinder. One of the ways was asking to play Connect 4.
She giggled (via emojis) and we were off.
“That’s not how you play,” she wrote.
Not even a smiley faced emoji after it. I’d put my blue emoji on top of her red one (not a euphemism). Apparently you’re not allowed to do that.
I have no idea about Connect 4 rules though. I could be wrong.
We flirted over text. I didn’t want to write or read because I wanted to keep talking to her.
That’s a lie. I wanted to write and read but I hadn’t hesitated to put her needs above mine already. So I sacrificed my happiness.
She told me to call her. I don’t love speaking on the phone but I wanted her to like me. Love me, maybe. I called her.
She had a cute voice and a sweet laugh. It made me want to cuddle with her. And if we cuddle then maybe we’ll have sex and a marriage and kids and a house. Maybe.
She told me she liked that I kept the conversation flowing. I’m a curious guy. I was trying to be funny. She laughed at my stupid jokes. My ego flexed.
“So when are we going on this date then?” she said.
My heart melted. She was a model. She was stunning. Why did she want to go out with me? I didn’t get it.
Was it a joke? Was I the joke?
She sent me screenshots of my articles and told me she liked the bit where I said “bla bla bla.” I can’t remember what she said because I was thinking about spooning her naked.
I was intoxicated. I wasn’t sure I deserved the attention she was giving me. She didn’t even know I had a huge penis (I don’t. I’m in proportion).
Bits of me felt like I wasn’t good enough for her. But I played the part. And I played it well. I laughed. I joked. I teased. I prodded. I provoked. I dictated.
We were going to meet on a Tuesday. We were going to go into London and drink alcohol. Or maybe eat a whole bunch of caramels. That’s just as arbitrary, right? Shout out to Will Hunting.
“I like you for who you are,” she wrote.
I smiled and nothing else mattered.
I’ve cancelled a lot of dates and I’ve had a lot cancelled on me. There’s always a bullshit reason.
I’d planned to leave work early for this girl and was actually going to leave work early so I knew I really wanted to go.
I was nervous. What if she thought I was ugly? What if she didn’t like me? What if she was there with her friends pointing and laughing because obviously I could never get her and I was an idiot for trying?
What if. Those two little words can strangle me.
“Houston we have a problem,” she wrote. Without a comma after Houston.
Why did I know this was going to happen? Or did I just think I knew and now this confirmed it?
Way to avoid follow up questions. Why am I being so cruel?
“Grandma’s in hospital.”
My first reaction was to think “is she?” Say that in a sarcastic tone and then we’re equals.
I doubted her because of how convenient the timing was. Or maybe I doubted her because I’m a horrible person.
We weren’t going to meet. I was pissed off because my dreams had come true.
I went to the cinema instead. I like going to the cinema on my own. I saw Foxcatcher. It was good. Eerie.
I had messages from her when I came out. They all said the same thing: you haven’t been there for me. I felt guilty. Why hadn’t I been? I groveled.
I’ve done this before. And by “this” I mean I’ve ignored my gut because I wanted the other person to like me. I know how to do it. “We” were fine by the next morning.
I lied to her. I couldn’t be bothered to text her back or ring her (which I’d done for the last 4 or 5 evenings) so I didn’t. She didn’t like that. Eventually I text her back saying that I was having problems with my friends.
I wasn’t. I was tempting fate. But I’m not sure I believe in fate so maybe that’s why I didn’t care.
“Oh yeah I’m sure having friendship issues is more important then one of my family members dying yeah?”
I checked what she meant. Her grandma was dead.
I didn’t believe her. I had no evidence suggesting I shouldn’t believe her. What I did have was my gut, screaming at this point, telling me it was bullshit.
I stopped ignoring my gut and I started ignoring her. I stopped being there for her and started being there for me. That might sound selfish to you. Maybe it is.
“What have I done?”
“Please just reply ☹ ☹ ☹”
The night she told me her Grandma had died, I checked her Twitter. She’d posted a couple of pictures where she was posing. Provocatively. Or not. Maybe that’s how she always looks. I don’t know her. I also don’t know whether that’s the kind of thing people do on the night their Grandma dies. The night my Grandma (“Nanny”) died I just slept. Not as peacefully as her though.
But… who am I to judge?
If I hadn’t been judging myself I would’ve stopped talking to her after she’d said “that’s not how you play.”
I KNEW. Even then. She wasn’t for me. I knew.
What stopped me from having the courage to trust myself?
Well, I had a chance to fuck her. She was stunning. It would’ve been idiotic to ignore that.
I wasted time trying to get her to like me. Time I could’ve spent writing. Time I could’ve spent laughing.
I never considered whether or not I liked her.
Until I did. I let my gut tell me what I’d been hiding from: I needed to cut her off. I did. I felt free. I felt me.
Every time I ignore myself I douse my fire.
Every time I listen to myself I throw wood on that fire and feel it burn white hot.
Every time I act on listening to myself I step into the phone box and emerge a superhero.
And then I save a life.