I got so much feedback from readers asking what happened after the first article that I wrote a follow-up story. To catch you up, here is the first installment. To help clarify some confusion for this one, I’ve added (fake) names to help you tell the girls apart. Jane is girl I was talking to; Maria is the friend.
The day after I posted the article, Jane texted me. “I’m with your woman, her pony tail is looking real nice.” I had told her through our own conversations that I love it when a girl wears her hair in a ponytail, so I didn’t automatically assume she was referring to the article.
Part of my job as a sports reporter is to cover the local independent baseball team. Our company was hosting a night there in a couple of weeks, so we were able to reserve tickets, if we wanted. I figured that I would be covering the game, but I requested the max amount (4) anyway. I offered them to Jane and the girls. They were baseball fans, it’s local, the drinks and food are affordable and the tickets are free; I figured it was a good fit. “Hmmm, could be a possibility!” She told me she was going to the game that Friday, and I mentioned that I was covering the game and that we should meet up.
That Friday, she texted me: “(At the) game with big nose!”
Now I knew for certain that she had read it. I assumed she showed the friend. I had told her that I like girls with large noses, but I don’t think I ever mentioned it about Maria, which led me to believe she had read it in the article. I played it off like I had no idea. It had now been about two weeks since the article ran, and I hadn’t mentioned Maria since that night. I was still talking to Jane and I was becoming increasingly more interested in her. I never tried to get Maria’s number or even inquire about her again. I made the move to ask Jane out.
“Ummmm… Hmmm not sure lol. I feel stupid, not gonna lie!” she said. An honest response, and one I expected. She added that she didn’t want me to ask her out because I felt bad. That wasn’t the case. I did feel bad, but that wasn’t the reason I was asking her out. I was asking her out because I wanted to take her out. If I felt bad, I’d buy her an “I’m sorry” card and leave it at that.
She didn’t understand why I wanted to see her. I told her it was because I enjoyed talking to her and that I wanted to spend time with her. Then she turned the tables: “I think you got the wrong impression of me,” she said. “I think you thought that I had feelings towards you, when really I was only trying to be friendly.”
Initially, my reaction was, “Oh crap, she’s totally right. Maybe I just over-thought this whole thing.” Then I told myself that if she didn’t have any feelings towards me, she wouldn’t have been so upset or embarrassed about the whole ordeal with Maria. If someone likes my friend and they think I like them, but I don’t, I’m not going to be upset about them revealing they have interest in my friend. I’d be happy for them; if anything, I’d play matchmaker.
I tried making plans with her a second time. I asked if she wanted to meet up after work; she said that my “woman” is away and that she wouldn’t be there. Another dig. I told her, bluntly, “I’ll live.” I knew what she was trying to do, but I ignored it. We didn’t hang out that night.
The next day, I asked her what her schedule looked like for the week. We were both off the following day, so I asked her out, for a third time. “Idc. What would we do?” she asked. “Breakfast, lunch, dinner, walk and talk around the mall; I really have no preference, I’d just want to see you.”
She said that she had errands to run with her mom, so I proposed we do something after. She said that the weather was supposed to be terrible, so she wasn’t sure what we would do. I told her that I could handle a little water if she could, plus, I’d make sure we were safe and warm — meaning, indoors.
“I was about to say,” she said. “Don’t worry about it, because I have a very dirty mouth unfortunately… and mind.” I wasn’t sure what to make of this. Was she trying to make the turn from friends to more than friends? Was she just teasing me? I left it alone.
“I just wanted to see your reaction,” she said. “No offense to you, but I would be too much for someone like you.” If it was flirty talk she wanted, I figured I’d play into it a little. Then she brought her friend up out of nowhere. “(She’s) your woman! Not little old (me)!” Another dig. It was obvious that the Maria thing still bothered her, but again, I tried to not let it affect me.
In any case, we planned to shoot for 7:30 or 8 p.m., since she had to cook for her family. I asked if she wanted me to pick her up or if she wanted to meet, since it was brought to my attention that some girls nowadays prefer to meet up with a guy on a first date — or hang out, or whatever this was.
At 6:42 p.m., she sent the, “So you might hate me, but idk if I can meet up tonight” text. I already knew what that meant, but I asked anyway. “My neighbor thinks she’s going into early labor and asked me if I could run over there to watch her daughter.” I was upset, mostly because I was looking forward to spending time with her. Then again, the neighbor going into labor isn’t exactly something either of us could control. She said that if her mother could watch the little one, we could hang out. Sure enough, her mother couldn’t watch her.
We made plans for the following day, a fourth attempt. I was covering the baseball game at 11 a.m. and had to bowl at 7:30 p.m. She was scheduled to get off of work around the same time I was. It worked. She also wanted to double check, “If I am understanding correctly, we are hanging out as friends… right?” She wanted to “be correct” on what I was feeling. I told her very simply, “If you want to hang out as friends, we can hang out as friends; if you want it to be a date, it can be a date.”
“I was asking you…” she said.
I told her that I didn’t have a preference, that it was her choice. She wanted me to answer the question, so I did. “I want it to be a date. Do you?” She replies, “I’m not sure honestly.” So I said that we could go as friends. Plans were set, again.
The next day, she was booked later than expected at work. I knew we wouldn’t have time to hang out during the day, so I invited her out to karaoke for my friend’s birthday later that night. I figured: (a) We can finally hang out; (b) She can meet some of my friends, and vice versa; and (c) It can make up for the original botched karaoke plans.
She didn’t want to go because she was afraid my friends wouldn’t like her. I assured her that they would, but she said she wanted to see me before being introduced to my friends. Understandable. I figured that since I had already met three of her friends, I owed her at least three of my own.
Again, she brought up Maria, saying that maybe we could all go out when she was back in town. I found it really, really odd. Why would I want to hang out with the both them, knowing how obviously awkward it would be for Jane, and, likely, myself? I didn’t answer. I was too confused to say anything.
Jane and I were texting during my bowling league because, well, I could use something to kill time in between frames. Plus, I still enjoyed talking to her, overall. She brought up that she was confused as to why I wanted to see her so bad. “I don’t get why all of a sudden you want to meet up when in the first place you were not even attracted to me.” I didn’t appreciate her questioning my motives, yet again, nor did I appreciate her putting words in my mouth. So I called her out on it.
“I never said that I wasn’t attracted to you,” which was true. “As we’ve talked, I think that we have a lot in common and have similar personalities. I just want to get to know you better, 3-dimensionally.” Trying to be playful, she responded, “Whatever you say!” Frustrated, I responded, “Honestly, I don’t know what you want me to say.”
“Lol it’s fine. Just trying to understand you,” she said. “I can be pretty like Maria sometimes lol.” I had absolutely no idea where this was coming from. Yet another dig being thrown out of nowhere for no apparent reason. “Who ever said you weren’t pretty? Maria has nothing to do with this.”
“She does a little cuz you wanted to date her. Now you want me all of a sudden,” she said. This was now affecting my bowling, which was only aggravating me further. “I’ll give you that, but I’ve also been talking to you, not her; wanting to hang out with you, not her.” I didn’t know what else she wanted me to say.
I had little contact with Jane the next couple of days because I needed to the stench of that night to wear off. She hit me up while I was covering a baseball game at night on a Friday. She wanted to make plans.
“Sooo… movie night at (your place)?” She knew I lived alone, but I wanted to confirm that she meant the two of us, and no other… spectators. We made tentative plans for Monday after I got off work at like 9:30-10 p.m. I thought she was off Tuesday, so I figured the time didn’t matter much to me if she was OK with it.
After realizing that she was off Mondays and Thursdays, not Tuesdays and Thursdays, I asked if she wanted to do Wednesday instead. I was working an 11 a.m. game and figured we could meet up whenever she was off work. We locked in plans for Wednesday — attempt No. 5.
I wanted the night to go perfectly, even if just for a movie night. I picked up a six-pack of Blue Moon, her favorite beer; I picked up a six-pack of Twisted Tea, the only real alcoholic drink I can have in multiples; I picked up popcorn, Swedish Fish and Raisinets — her favorite candies. I tidied the place up real nice and made sure everything was set. We never solidified a time, because I figured she’d just let me know whenever she was off.
Around 7:30 p.m., I shot her a text to see what was up. Ten minutes later, I heard the ‘Ping!’ from my phone. “I’m the worst! You’re allowed to hate me!” Again, I already knew what that meant, but I asked anyway. “I can’t meet up tonight. I’m sorry. You can hate me, I would understand.”
I was trying to surprise her with everything, but I had told her the day before that I picked up her favorite goodies. She knew I planned — and was looking forward to — the night, and now she was bailing last minute. If I hadn’t texted her, would she have just not said anything? I didn’t answer her. I was now past the point of upset and into pissed off territory. She bailed, again; she bailed last minute, again; I turned down other plans because of this and now had nothing to do.
I called my friend Kim, who is like the female version of me in almost every way, and asked her for her opinion. Kim was becoming my go-to girl for lady drama or inquiries. She was no-nonsense, and I loved that about her. She gave it to me straight, whether she agreed with me or not, and I loved that about her. She told me to text, “Is everything OK?” This way, you make sure she’s OK, plus you also ask about what’s going on without being confrontational. I sent the message, about an hour and a half after her last text.
“I’ll explain later,” Jane wrote back. I put my phone away.
An hour later, she writes, “Sorry. I’m in the hospital tonight. Had a bad allergic reaction to something today, getting testing done.” Now I felt like an asshole. I thought about it for a moment, maybe a matter of a few minutes, when I came up with the idea of surprising her at the hospital. I figured that I could bring my laptop, some DVD’s and the candy and bring the movie night to her. Plus, it would show her I cared that she was OK and that I really, really wanted to see her.
She told me that her parents were there with her. I hesitated, slightly, then decided to go anyway. Even though I had never met her parents — and I had only met her once — I thought that meeting them under these conditions and saying, “Hi, I’m Mike, I’m friends with your daughter; I heard she was in the hospital and I wanted to make sure she was OK,” wouldn’t be an awful introduction.
I went to the hospital I was sure she was at and asked to see her. They said they had nobody under that name listed. I asked Jane which hospital she was at, not telling her which one I was at, obviously. She said it was the other local hospital. Now past midnight, I drove to the other hospital.
Again, they had no record of her being there. I called her. No answer. I left, laughing in shock at the night’s events, unable to fully comprehend it all. I was beyond angry, but I couldn’t process what had just happened. I drove home, slept it off and went about my business the next day.
My phone never buzzed or rang with her name on it.
I went about my business the following day. In the evening, while at work, I got a text from Jane: “Sorry about the craziness the other night.” I didn’t answer her. Three hours later she wrote, “You’re seriously not going to answer! Why you gotta be so rude…” knowing that I liked the song. I still didn’t answer her. I wanted to sleep it off before saying anything rash and filled with emotion.
The next morning, I went on a road trip with some of my friends to celebrate the birthday of Allie, another one of my closest female friends. I filled her in on the situation since I wanted a female’s perspective on things and she’s another one — like Kim — who will give me a no-nonsense to response to things. She sided with me, and we crafted a detailed message to send to her.
“You need to know what happened on my side the other night,” it began. “I went to the hospital to surprise you and bring the movie night we were supposed to have together to you, along with some Swedish Fish.
“I did all of this because I liked you. I like talking to you and wanted to get to know you better and spend time with you, finally. I did all of this only to find out there was ‘no record of (you)’ at (the first hospital), then (the second hospital). Listen, I could be wrong to assume that you made it up, but I don’t see any other explanation. If I am wrong, I’m sure you can see why I’d assume it. All I want is an explanation. That seems like a lot of work for something I would be able to handle hearing honestly.”
Detailed? Yes. Informative? Yes. Harsh? Yeah, at parts. But it got across the one point I was trying to make: If she wasn’t making this up, it was easy to see why I would think that. I felt terrible for accusing her of something so awful, but all the evidence pointed to that verdict.
Over an hour later, she responded: “If you honestly think I’m lying, you’re a joke.”
It was the reaction I was kind of expecting, although the “you’re a joke” part kind of irked me. I figured that if she were telling the truth, she could just send a picture of her hospital bracelet with the message, “Go f-ck yourself.” Her getting so worked up only made me believe further that she was lying. I didn’t respond.
Four hours later, another text: “Sorry, but you doubting that whole situation is literally insane. I’m just going to delete you’re number so we don’t have to talk anymore. Have a good life, kid.”
First off, it’s not “literally insane” to doubt the situation; it was perfectly reasonable to at least doubt it. Secondly, still not providing proof of any kind only helps solidify my belief that everything was a lie. Finally, “kid,” really?
For one, she’s three years younger than me. Maybe she’s just upset that she was caught in a really elaborate lie and now was embarrassed about it. Who knows? Maybe she really was telling the truth and I really am the biggest asshole in the county.
Whatever the reason(s) may be behind all of this, I know it is an undisputed fact that I made more than enough of an effort on multiple occasions to not only see her, but put the whole thing with her friend behind us; she didn’t.