Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Why Didn't I Do It?

For some reason or another I found myself thinking back to the summer of a few years ago. It was the summer after my junior year of college and I was busy with my internship at Kingland Systems, my current employer, and doing improv comedy as part of Strike Team Improv. It was a good summer for me. I had a job that was paying well, especially considering it was an internship, which usually means no pay at all. I was surrounded by good friends and lived with one for a few days a week instead of making the 35 mile trip home at night. I even had a couple of girls who seemed to be interested in me, and being single at the time, that was just fine by me.

One night after an improv show I decided to forego having dinner with the troupe like I usually would and instead went out with a couple of friends to hang out since we hadn't had much time to spend together that summer. So it was me and two girls out for the night. One of them was a pretty good friend of mine and had been for a few years. The other was an acquaintance of mine, but good friends with the other girl I was with. Since there's not a lot to do out in the country, we decided to just hang out an watch a movie.

We went to the house of my acquaintance to watch since I didn't want to go home to my house and the other girl didn't feel like going to her house either (I couldn't blame her since her parents had been having some pretty intense marriage troubles). Since neither of the girls had seen Office Space and since they had asked me earlier what my job was like, I suggested we watch that. They had no problem with it, so we settled in to watch the movie, one girl sitting on each side of me.

As the movie progressed, the girl who I was acquaintances with slowly snuggled up closer and closer to me. I usually have an extremely hard time picking up on any innuendos or flirting from a girl, but I was reassured this time when I made a quick glance over at my friend. She gave me a wink and a nod and I knew I wasn't simply imagining things. Deciding to be brave, I put my arm around my acquaintance and let her snuggle up close.

After the movie was over, we sat and talked for a little while before my friend decided to head out because "it was getting late". I knew by the way she said it that what she was really doing was allowing my acquaintance and me to have some time alone. As my friend left I eased into conversation with my acquaintance, who was now resting herself in my arms. We talked and talked for hours upon hours about every topic under the sun. Our conversation flowed unbelievably naturally, and it was filled with many laughs, shared sentiments, and commonalities.

While we talked, she had went from simply being nuzzled up under my right arm snuggling with me, to lying her head in my lap as we talked. At the time, I hadn't felt an attraction to any of the girls that I knew in quite a while. My last relationship had ended in a terrible mess and I didn't want to get hurt again. In fact, this was the first night that I had actually been able to be alone with a girl and not feel at least a little bit of resentment towards the opposite sex. Up until then, I had had such a bad taste in my mouth from my last relationship that I couldn't be around a girl and believe that she wasn't going to hurt me somehow.

The night went on and daylight started to approach. I knew I had to get going. I don't remember why, but I had to be at home on the Saturday following our show. It tore me up inside to know that I had to leave. I had finally connected with a girl after the crashing and burning of my last relationship, and feeling her there snuggled up with me was something I had desperately been craving for a long time.

Not wanting to leave, but knowing I had to, I let her walk me up to the door. Before I left we shared a wonderful hug, one of those hugs where you feel completely wrapped up in the other person. As we were still held close to each other our eyes met. I could tell by the way they were sparkling at me and by the look on her face that she wanted me to kiss her. She wasn't going to make the first move, but her gaze told me she was begging for me to press my lips to hers. The look was quite intoxicating, and I had not seen anything like it in a very long time now.

But I didn't kiss her. I told her goodbye and that I'd see her again soon. There was something that held me back from going in for just a simple kiss and to this day I've always wondered why. I have always been very picky about girls (I can count all of the girls I've kissed, in my entire life, on both of my hands and still have a couple of fingers left over) so I've always tried to figure out what it was that wouldn't let me do what I so much wanted to do at that moment. My heart must have known that things just weren't right, even though they felt so much like they were.

The rest of the summer I only saw her a couple of other times. When I did see her next I could tell that she felt rejected and that she had given up on anything ever happening between us. Even though everything felt right that night, there was something that held me back. On that night, however, I did learn one important thing. I learned to trust my heart even if I don't always understand why it feels the way it feels.

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