When an April day suggests summer is coming, the aroma of expectation is often sweeter than the warmth at the season's height. I took advantage of the promising and beautiful day by staring at a database with Julie from accounts, unironically saying things like that's the 7k we need to isolate. Julie would nod like a prick. So I left.
There's no better place to escape the city than the square in the centre that badly masks the grey with a patch of green. And there she was, the centrepiece to this love story, sitting on the wall like a lonely flower. I sat down at a distance too close to her for a stranger, but too far from her for a friend.
“I was in love with you, you know.” She continued to stare at the ground, as I nervously ran my fingers in between each other, not knowing where they should settle at a time like this. It had been around two years since I had last seen her, so I was nervous. I started uneloquently blurting out sentences like a donkey with stage fright.
“I've seen you. I've seen how sad you are on twitter. I always thought we could have been sad together. Or we could have been happy like you are on Instagram. Have you noticed that I like your pictures sometimes?”
I met her at university, she was on my course.
“You usually sat alone in lectures and I could see we were alike. You too had a disdain towards the gregariousness of others and kept your distance from it. I remember that an hour was too long to focus on discourse, so I'd spend it imagining the front of your head; I could usually only see the back. I knew you were unhappy, and so was I. That's why I fell in love.”
The tourists and pigeons that were everywhere weren't constrained by a lunch break. They ambled around, avoiding each other, aimlessly searching for food.
“I remember you smiling at me. I was acting the fool in front of the class because getting a laugh was more important than presenting some bullshit. You didn't usually smile. It was why I liked you. When I saw you beam for me, I hoped I had made an impression, that you knew my name”
I placed so much meaning in that one smile. It would be freakish if she had thought about that moment even half as much as I had. I desperately needed to know what was going through her head.
“I had no idea how to start talking to you, so I found your twitter instead. It was brutally honest. My instincts were right; you weren't happy, and we shared a music taste to boot. I noticed when the tweets about the boyfriend stopped and, a couple of months later, when the tweets about tinder began.
I couldn't believe it when we matched. It was everything I had dreamed about, but I had to play it cool. I remember opening with something about being on the same course, and how lame it was we needed tinder to start talking. You'll remember it was phrased cleaner than that.”
We talked on tinder for 2 or 3 weeks. It was slow conversation. Sparks didn't fly.
“A few weeks after we stopped talking you retweeted something to the effect of I'm so rude and blunt with boys then I get sad when they stop replying. I don't know how much you thought of me, but I was glad to entertain the sentiment that you took some blame for our sparkless chat. Because I blamed myself. I didn't have the gusto or confidence that is expected of a man in romantic situations. We were chatting online but shared nothing more than a smile in lectures. Cute, yes, but also incredibly embarrassing compared to the lead I should have taken.
And to think years later I'd be regurgitating all this.”
I looked up, to hear what she had to say about all this madness. But she wasn't there. Because she never was. And neither was I. Because I was on the way back to my desk.
Read my love story and weep, you inconsiderate bastards.