The following tale is based on actual events which occurred several years ago…
I’ve read a lot of things written by women in which they complain about how confusing men can be. To be fair, women can be equally confusing. Case in point…
I was having a pretty good weekend. I had a lot of changes coming up at that point in my life and I had gotten a lot accomplished in preparing for those changes. My apartment was mostly packed for my upcoming move back to Virginia. So I decided to treat myself to an evening out. Nothing crazy, just a trip into downtown Raleigh to have some dinner.Yes, I was alone, but I was okay with that. I decided to go to the restaurant that the Spider-Girl had mentioned in one of our conversations at the bank. This was something that I normally wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t typically work up the nerve to show up at a place where I knew a girl I liked would be. But, at this point, I figured, what did I have to lose?
I arrived at the pizza place and was seated outside. The hostess said that Spider-Girl would be with me in just a minute. That’s right, I had been seated in Spider-Girl’s section, and I hadn’t even asked for it. I decided to embrace the opportunity. Why question fate?
I began perusing the menu, trying to decide if I was really hungry enough to eat a pizza by myself. And then she walked up. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw her. Spider-Girl’s long hair was pulled back and her eyes sparkled behind those glasses that she just seemed to wear so well. She returned the smile and my heart might have skipped a beat.
“What are you doing?” she asked lightly as she set down the complimentary glass of ice water.
“I’m getting some water,” I said, being as literal as possible. “What about you?”
“Working…” she said, “like always.” She went into the waitress routine, asking if I was ready to order, but I still needed some time to look over my options. And so she walked away to give me a minute.
In the meantime, the skies turned dark. A wicked storm cloud rolled in quickly, threatening to dump some rain on our hero. Other diners decided to pack up and move inside. When Spider-Girl returned to take my order, I had the outside seating area to myself. “I feel like I should have brought a book,” I said to the Spider-Girl, trying to mock my own situation of being alone and now having no one even at the tables around me.
“I think I’ve got a book in my bag you can borrow,” she offered. A moment later she returned with three books and a newspaper. She thought I should have options. Spider-Girl sat down at the table across from me while I looked over her books. “So, how’s your car doing?” she asked, knowing that I had recently gotten a new car. “You got a Prius? No, a Yaris,” she said, correcting herself.
“Yeah, a Yaris,” I said, “and it’s great.”
“So what about that second job? Are you gonna replace it?”
“Actually, no,” I said, hesitantly. I knew that if I explained my reasoning for not seeking another part-time job, I would have to reveal that I would be moving away soon. While this was information I knew I couldn’t hide, I also didn’t want to risk closing off the lines of communication with this woman with whom I seemed to be connecting so easily. But I continued, “I got a promotion with the bank. So I won’t need the second job anymore.”
“Oh, so you won’t be at the drive through anymore?” she asked. I thought I detected a note of disappointment. “Will you have your own office now?”
“No, I’ll be working at one of the in-store branches. But it’s in Virginia.”
The moments following were a blur for me. I thought that by telling Spider-Girl that I was moving to another state, I had shattered any opportunity I would ever have had to ask her out. She left to check on my order and I began reading the book that she had brought me.
She returned a few minutes later and the sky was even darker and the wind had really begun to pick up. “I should probably move inside. Even if it doesn’t rain, I don’t want to be the only reason you have to keep coming out here,” I said, genuinely expressing more concern for her than for myself.
So I was moved to a small table inside where I continued reading Spider-Girl’s book and began eating the pizza that she had just brought me. She sat down at my table again and we talked for a short while. “When are you moving?” she asked.
“Next Sunday,” I said, “So I’ve got another week.”
“What part of Virginia are you going to?”
“No way!” she looked at me in slight shock. “That’s where I was born!”
I smiled at the incredible coincidence. “Me too!” We both laughed a little before I continued, “Yeah, I was there pretty much my whole life up until about four years ago.”
“I was only there ’til I was two,” she said, “But, wow, that’s crazy.” With that she got a signal from another customer that she was needed. So she left me to, once again, eat and read alone.
Soon after, a friend of mine, a fellow bank survivor who we’ll call Alexis, showed up at the restaurant to join me for dinner. Of course, this meant that he now had someone to talk to and didn’t have to sit alone reading an feeling self-conscious.
After a while, Spider-Girl returned and, without so much as a word, she picked up her book and walked off with it, seeing that I wasn’t reading anymore and was enjoying conversation with a real person. “I wasn’t done with that!” I half shouted as she walked away. She turned back and smiled at me.
Once Alexis and I had both had our fill, we asked Spider-Girl for the ticket. I emphasized that we needed separate checks, wanting to stress the fact that this was not a date and that we were not “together” in a together kind of sense. Not that there’s anything wrong with Alexis. It’s just that I went to that restaurant with the clear intention of somehow putting myself on Spider-Girl’s radar.
Alexis conveniently and thoughtfully excused herself for a few minutes, wanting to give me a chance to have one last conversation with Spider-Girl before I left. She picked up the cash and said she’d be back with the change. When she returned for the last time, I thanked her for everything but caught her as she was walking away.
“Hey,” I said, trying to hid my nervousness, “would you like to have coffee with me sometime?”She looked me in the eyes and replied, “I would love to have coffee with you sometime.” Before I could open my mouth to ask for her number, she told me to Facebook her. She wrote down her name on a piece of paper and I promised to talk to her soon.
I left Spider-Girl’s restaurant with a grin that didn’t seem to want to go away. I couldn’t remember a time in recent memory when I smiled so much. Here was this girl that I happened to think was pretty swell, and I actually had the courage to ask her out. And when she responded, she sounded like that would be a pretty good idea.
And so, I returned home and jumped on my computer. I searched for Spider-Girl and found her on Facebook. I sent her a friend request and I waited. The next day, I hadn’t been accepted, so in the evening I decided just to send her a short message asking her if she was free for dinner after work on Monday. And still I waited. And then I started to get confused.
Spider-Girl seemed to give off the impression that she wanted to join me for coffee at some point. But there had been no return in communication from her since that initial positive response. I wasn’t sure what to do next. I didn’t want to come across as impatient, yet I only had so many days before I left for Roanoke. I had less than a week to sweep this girl off her feet. Had I imagined the whole thing?
No. I had proof that she had written down her full name. I had a witness that saw her writing it. I was missing $20 from my wallet, so I know I bought that pizza.
Could she have been having second thoughts about this whole coffee thing? Sure, it was only coffee, but what if we were to hit it off? Would it hurt her more to have a good time and then lose me in a move than it would never to share that time at all?
Maybe it was presumptuous for me to think Spider-Girl was ever really that into me. But I did know that I was into her. And I
did do have a tendency to over think things sometimes most of the time. And in doing so, I allowed my heart to break just a little bit when I didn’t hear from this girl that I kind of had a thing for.
And so, I waited…