And then his cab pulled up and I saw him and he looked at me with those old blue eyes and smiled, the electricity from the look pulsed between the us and I was hooked.
Blue Eyed Hipster walked towards me and my bestie and we wandered into the club (passing the vomiting girl being wheeled into the ambulance). That doesn’t feature in most romance novels does it?
Apparently, the kebab, two shots and another gin and tonic had done nothing for my ability to be able converse with BEH. I was grateful for the thumping R&B that drowned out my awkward silences. I watched in awe as my friend sat relaxed, telling stories of our lives so easily and confidently whilst I wished for the world to engulf me, as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. Booze will fix this. He offered to grab me a drink – double please (ordering a triple seemed uncouth).
I sipped quickly and ungainly. In front of me loomed a figure, an old school friend who came to say Hello. I am distracted, catching up under a fog of gin and tequila. I look back over my shoulder and see him laughing with my friend and I berate myself again for being awkward and unapproachable. I sit back next to him and we begin to talk and this sends my head into bigger spin than before. Does he like me? Does he like her? Do I need to confess I fancy him to my friend and decide which one of us bows out now? Rock, paper, scissors it?
The night pushes on, and suddenly all four of us are at his house, drinking in his lounge, my body next to his. He brings up the story of how he had messaged me before and we scroll his phone searching for it.
“Nice Legs x”
Really? That’s what you sent me? No wonder I didn’t reply. It becomes my friend and I against him, tanked up on booze and ready to destroy any fuck boys that pass us by. And then there is a shift, and I find my voice and we are flirting and I am effectively pulling on his pig tails and there is that spark again. I don’t think I am imagining it now. Five minutes later he declares he’s tired and rests his head on my lap and I am playing with his hair and the warmth from his body encompasses me, his fingers trailing around the shape of me. He asks me to stay, and now the gin is talking and my friend is pulling me into a taxi.
My vagina and head don’t always align. My vaj is like a teenager on her first girls holiday, wearing her best penis deeply poppers, covered in glitter, and doing a pole dance before noon. My head is present occasionally, she’s sat in the library whispering silently that Vagina should put some clothes on, before becoming increasingly awkward and running back to her reading corner. The two just fail to connect often. Everyone needs a gal pal who engages brain before vagina and whips you into an Uber pronto. As I close my eyes I see an instagram and instant message pop up from him on my phone.
The following week is a blur of visits to see him, laughing, connecting and learning about one another. I feel comfortable in his company, and that electricity flows between us, we just click. I meet his friends and we take the mick out of him together, and we drink beer and order in takeout and watch a lot more of the World Cup than I was preparing too this year. He texts me every day wishing me good mornings and good nights and that excited bubble of dating newbies surrounds us.
We told others the tale of our chance meeting, a missed message on a dating app, a random meeting at an event. It was our ‘Sliding Doors’ moment, our opportunity that was missed and then found, and it was difficult not to get wrapped up in the ‘meant to be’ element of it all.
One night whilst laying on the sofa watching more football and talking about our lives we tip toe onto the shaky ground of past relationships. He looks up at me and notes,
“Did I tell you I have been married?”
No, Babes, you seem to have conveniently failed to mention this in the 2 weeks we’ve been dating. Of course, it isn’t a deal breaker, in my 30’s I have become accustomed to thought of becoming the evil step mother and imagine myself in a decades time wearing a lot of faux fur and smoking cigarettes in holders, whilst sneering at the brats for interrupting my Caribbean cruise. We all come with baggage. Mine is having the internal voice of an emotionally deviant toddler, you have to learn to accept some ‘stuff’. He explains that, ‘technically’ he is still married, which is code for he is still married and he hasn’t even begun to get divorced. But they have been separated a year, and whilst the first 6 months were rocky he has come out the other side. Fear not, there is still hope, readers. I take a sigh of relief and I continue to pretend I give a shit about the football whilst stroking his hair manically.
The following week, we went for dinner, and whilst debating about the appropriate usage of chopsticks he dropped a ‘truth bomb’.
“I’m not looking for a relationship”
I stopped shovelling Katsu curry into my mouth for a second. Wanting to turn the chopstick and plunge it into my eye.
“It’s great what we have, just being friends and none of that dating stuff”
I turned the chopstick again and imagined leaning across the table and plunging it into his hand. How had I got it so wrong? In my little bubble of new relationship I had been bobbing along whilst he was strolling down Singleton Avenue with a pin and giant hammer to smash it. My mind whirled whilst he sat smiling at me. I blinked a few times and then resumed scooping up rice into my mouth pretending my violent imaging wasn’t still flashing across my eyes.
Over the next week I replayed that same conversation over in my head, comparing those words to the times we had spent together. Had I misread this connection? Was the feelings I had as one-sided as he said? Was it less electricity and more a power cut in a desert of ‘thanks but no thanks, love.’
I tried to dampen how I felt, and attempted to be the aloof sophisticated girl about town I dreamt of being. But the more time I spent with him the more conflicted I felt. I read into everything he said to me, hoping that if I hung around long enough he’d realise what an absolute catch I was. But you can’t make someone catch feelings (no matter how many blow jobs you give them).
And so I sent the text, the ‘I can’t be around you when you don’t want more’ diatribe. I waited hungrily for his response, only to be served the tiny morsel of:
I cried that night. Not for the loss of him, I liked him sure but I wasn’t in love with him, in reality I barely knew him. I cried for me, for the hurt of ‘not being enough,’ for being alone and for allowing myself to think this could have been my ‘this is it’ moment. I cried for the having to ‘start again’ feelings, the dating apps I had to download, the time wasted.
We have spoken since, I have sent him these posts and we have argued, laughed and debated the memories of these events. What we both agree on is that the night itself was hilarious and the couple of months after were pretty fun too.
So that ends my foray into speed dating. A bit of a damb squib right? There is no happy ending to this fairytale, no ever after, just an ending. But do I regret taking the chance, having a scream with my pal and meeting someone who I would never have replied to on a dating app? Not a chance.
Have you ever tried speed dating? Do my accounts make you want to try it out or never leave your house again? Let me know in the comments or head over to my socials to let me know your thoughts.