You meet him at a party, introduced by your friend. You would have missed him completely had you not been coincidentally on your way to refill your cup, where he was already expertly filling his, tilting the cup just so to avoid having too much foam.
They’re probably a craft beer snob, you think, holding back a sigh as your friend says hi and he extends his hand.
You exchange names and go through the motions of mingling at a stuffy apartment party of the friend of a friend of a friend, engaging in small talk about small subjects with small laughs every here and there.
You won’t deny that you find him attractive, cute even. He says funny things sometimes and seems genuinely interested in what you have to say. And what he has to say isn’t half bad either.
But he’s not your type.
You know the person you always go for and it’s not someone like him. After all, he has brown eyes instead of blue and has no idea who Junot Diaz even is. He thinks Coors is an abomination (you were right about the beer snob thing) and somehow loves country music. He’s in law school and wears ugly sweaters unironically.
But you like him alright and could see the two of you becoming friends, or at least someone to grab coffee with every now and then. You exchange numbers, but don’t really think much about him until he texts you on a Saturday morning asking if you were free for lunch that day. You pause before you respond, hoping it’s not a date. But you figure it’s only lunch and you were interested in friendship. You think, Why the hell not? You agree to meet at 1 p.m.
When you show up, he’s wearing another ugly sweater, but the conversation flows. He is funnier than you remember and he said he looked up Junot Diaz and read your favorite short story of his, “The Cheater’s Guide To Love.” He loved it and you’re just surprised he even remembered you had mentioned it.
You never thought you would date someone like him, let alone fall in love with him. But after that lunch outing, you start to text. Then call. You start seeing movies together and exchange book recommendations. He makes you listen to Luke Bryan when you’re driving sometimes, which you only tolerate, but it doesn’t bug you like it did before.
Soon you start seeing him everywhere. Every time you see an ugly sweater you think of him. When you hear a particularly twangy country song you’re comforted because it reminds you of him. You even develop a taste for IPAs. He becomes the first person you think of when you wake up and the last person on your mind before you drift to sleep. He’s your +1 to family events and your first call when something good or bad happens.
And the weird thing is that this person you’re suddenly wrapped up in is someone you never saw coming.
You had dismissed the idea of “us” in regards to you and him. You had decided he was going to be your friend and nothing more. And since, to you, there was no chance of heartbreak because there was no chance of love, you allowed your walls fall. You introduced him to the pieces of yourself that you were absolutely convinced would push someone away, push love away.
But your plans backfired because all of your efforts only let love in, a deep, all-encompassing, head over heels kind of love.
And it’s with someone you never even planned on loving at all.