I remember the first time I saw you out of the corner of my eye. You were slumped in your chair. Your friend was talking to my friends over at the bar. I tried not to pay attention, but I eventually found myself looking at your messy hair, half-closed eyes, and scruffy beard. You looked so tired it was kind of adorable.
I don’t know how it happened, but at some point you scooted over to where we were sitting. You introduced yourself to the three of us and started making self-deprecating jokes. And that was it. By the end of the night, when we said goodbye and added each other on social media, I had a whole host of ideas about who you were.
And that was my mistake.
We started sending each other funny texts. You asked me out for a drink. From then on, I started to think that perhaps this was more than what it was. And maybe it was, or it could’ve been. But the fact that I started imagining all these possibilities and had all these expectations about you was probably the reason why it all came crashing down. We went out a couple of times and texted back and forth for a couple of weeks. But then, you stopped answering. You just disappeared.
I know it’s wrong to only blame myself for this, since you could’ve at least told me you weren’t feeling it. I just can’t help but wonder if I could’ve foreseen this. Had I paced myself rather than idealizing and turning our casual encounters into episodes on a TV show, maybe it wouldn’t have hurt so much to be discarded as I was.
While it’s true that we were both wrong, I wonder if I scared you away with my enthusiasm. Then again, I think about the times I’ve been called cold and indifferent for allowing my reluctance to get the best of me. Perhaps, the problem was that I wanted you to be someone else. I wanted the protagonist of a film rather than someone to share a moment in my life with. I was so worried about how it’d all work out in the end, that I never thought about enjoying the little things.
I didn’t see you again until months later. It was weird realizing that you weren’t how I’d been picturing you. I was hoping that you’d help me with all the confusing parts of my life. That maybe you’d be able to find and match all the pieces I couldn’t put together. I know now that I placed all my worries and insecurities on you. So whatever might’ve or could’ve been was lost before it even started. I wanted you to be someone you were never meant to be.
If anything, I’ve learned one thing: nobody can fix anyone. While we might share instances in each other’s path and journey, we can only be responsible for our own. I’m sorry. I ruined the possibility of us by making one mistake: expecting you to be perfect.