One of these days, you will ask her to be your girlfriend.
You’ll figure that, finally, there’s this girl who gets it – who gets you. A girl who talks to your mom until it’s time for dinner and, although she knows nothing about garden work or crocheting, she chuckles and nods at all the right moments, and even compliments your mother’s cooking.
A girl who lets you go drinking with your friends on a weekday, doesn’t scold you for playing too much of that phone app you have gotten addicted to, and doesn’t nag on your lifestyle choices. A girl who doesn’t mind getting a play-by-play of your day and, yet, she doesn’t flood you with messages of hers.
A girl who cracks the lamest jokes and laughs at all of yours.
A girl who shares your favorite sport, is into blood-and-gore action movies, and has a profound talent for shooting games. A girl who cusses like a pirate, and that’s what’s strangely comforting about her. A girl who doesn’t mind repeating what she wears and doesn’t complain about vanity. A girl who presents herself as she is and not who she wants you to see her.
And so tomorrow, or on the next day, or this weekend, or one day in the vast future, you will ask her to be your girl… because she is the girl. She will say no.
You won’t ask for an explanation and she will thank you for that. She has an answer, but she doesn’t know how to say it with words that won’t hurt and, simply, she doesn’t want you to hear it.
You like her because she’s rough and unsweetened. You don’t like girls who make a fuss about the usual girly stuff, like getting their hair soaked in the rain or accidentally spilling a drink on their mesh espadrilles or the corner store not having low-fat dairy.
She, meanwhile, eats more than you do, thinks that Vaseline lip balm is all the makeup she needs, and snorts and punches shoulders when she laughs. You like her because, despite the burliness and alleged lack of female hormones, she is affectionate and caring.
She likes touching hands and arms and hair when she talks, and she absently picks lint from your clothes and wipes crumbs off your face. On long days, she calls to remind you to eat and would even order you take-out. On even longer days, she reminds you to smile.
And you feel special. And, to her, you are special. All of her friends are special to her, and she’s affectionate and caring to all of them. You know she chose her best friend over her last relationship – you were there when it happened. And that, my dear, is why you shouldn’t have fallen for her.
You found out that she likes horror movies and, so, you bought tickets to see one. You didn’t plan on holding her hand or draping an arm around her shoulders in the cold, dark theater (because God knows you don’t have those intentions) but it’s a horror movie, so maybe she’d need a little reassurance.
Twenty minutes into the movie, you have already sunk to the edge of your seat. You took a glance at her and there she was, eating popcorn by the handful, not even flinching. You became amazed by how impenetrable she looked and you realized that you’ve never seen her scared or troubled in all the years you’ve known her. She has always fended for herself, oftentimes doesn’t take no for an answer, and dislikes being a liability.
You want to be someone she needs and trusts and holds on to when the tides are furious, but you can never tell when she needs help. She has stopped asking for it a long time ago. And that, my dear, is why you shouldn’t have fallen for her.
You have never had a girlfriend before. The girls you have met online doesn’t count because you were among their plenty virtual romances. She, on the other hand, has already had a few boyfriends behind her. You don’t hear her call them “relationships” because, as she says, those require commitment and she can’t offer any of that.
You hope to change her mind. After some years, she tells you why she can’t have relationships. She wasn’t tipsy and it wasn’t a particularly depressing night, but she still tells you how her father cheated and how unwilling her mother is to forgive. You didn’t know what to say. You’re not good at comforting people. She doesn’t need comforting – especially not from a man. And that, my dear, is why she can never fall for you.
All of her past boyfriends were wrecks. She likes fixing people. She likes them damaged, disturbed, and in a dark place. They’re her projects – wilting flowers she handpicks from the bush and nurses back to life until they’re vibrant and alive and well-appreciated. And, then, she moves on.
She doesn’t have any use to them when they’re not broken. She fixes them so they learn to fix somebody else. You are already a good guy (you won’t admit it yourself, of course, but everybody else attests to it anyway) and, one day, people would consider building shrines for you.
But you are not broken. And that, my dear, is why she can never fall for you.
One of these days, you will drive up to her workplace with a bouquet of flowers (an assortment she is not allergic to) and pick her up for a date. Her clothes will be wrinkled, her hair swept in a hand-combed ponytail, and she won’t have a clue that it’s a date.
Her brows will crease when she sees the flowers, but will recover quickly with a teasing ‘thank you’ and a crude joke about feminism. You will bring her to a nice restaurant and, at the end of the meal, she will beat you to the check. You will stroll around (it will be a cool evening), beverages in hand; a bottle of water for you and an ice-cold Guinness for her. You will guess what she’s thinking about, and it will make you more nervous. You can never guess what’s going on in her mind.
She will look at you for the longest time, brave enough to make eye contact. She thinks that you are different. She knows that your pure, sweet, sinless soul is the perfect complement to her hazardous existence. You make her calm. You will make her happy. She likes the thought of that. She desperately wants to love you.
At the end of the trail, you will ask her to be your girlfriend.
She will say no.
And that, my dear, is why you shouldn’t have fallen for her.