Sunday, 12 April 2015

This changes everything

We actually met quite unremarkably in the college food court. I was frantically working on an essay that was due that same day and he sat down next to me. He was a knowledgeable senior, I was a wide-eyed freshman with questions. Conversation ensued. 

I did not succeed in submitting my paper in time that day, but I did make a friend. 

His face was very agreeable, his beard was trimmed in sophisticated Abe Lincoln fashion, his jet black curls juxtaposed with stormy grey eyes. He seemed like one of those artsy types as was evident by the scarf he wore despite the weather and the messenger bag that he took with him everywhere. And sure enough when he found out I happened to have One Direction on my playlist, he shook his head in mock disdain and said, "Well, this changes everything."

He was funny and kind and smart. He loved animals, dogs in particular, and volunteered at the International Animal Rescue. He was highly opinionated when it came to politics and religion, without shoving his beliefs down everyone's throats. He made colours brighter. Lines sharper. And he blurred out everything else. 

He was easily the most interesting person I had ever met, and yet, he wanted to know what the highlight of my day was. 

I waited for those coinciding free lectures, during which we waxed poetic about everything, from the horrors of being an English major to the redundancy of nipples on mannequins to that professor who had a nervous breakdown after he was left at the altar. He joked about me being his future wife. He and I were both fluent in Internet jargon and made vague pop-culture references like they were supplying Oxygen. And if that isn't a great foundation for a fake potential future marriage, I don't know what is. 

It was these stolen moments and hurried conversations between classes, that made me, well, grow accustomed to his face.

We don't talk anymore. But I sure am glad that he stumbled into my life, when he did, with that smile hanging off his lips and the universe in his eyes.

Overthinking it

Recounting tales, especially of boys with The Bestfriend (clearly, I fail the Bechdel test), usually begins and ends with her saying, "Anna, don't read too much into this."

But being an over-zealous Psychology Major, I think I get a hall pass when it comes to overthinking it. And when I say overthink, I mean, being borderline obsessed. Overthinking 99% of the time isn't a bad thing. Trying to read the signs and analyzing every outcome is in our nature. As social beings, we are predisposed, to try to make sense of our surroundings. Out of the information we gather, we're inclined to make positive assessments; assessments that are usually in our favour.

But when your assessment is wrong. When you realize a boy can bring you coffee everyday for two months or beseech you to accompany him to a party, or flirt incessantly, without the ulterior motive that he likes you. When the question you keep asking yourself —so was it all in my head— becomes rhetorical. That is the 1% of the time when overthinking can suck some serious ass.

Segue, I think there's a reason why we like to consider men as elusive xy-chromosome carrying enigmas of the mystical. It's because if we don't, they'd just be simple one-dimensional cardboard characters. There'd be no mystery behind their every action, nothing to rant mindlessly about with The Bestfriend— nothing to overthink.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Her Story

This wasn't her story. She realized —albeit a little too late— the idea she had of him and her riding off into the sunset on a motorbike, was never going to happen. 

He was the love interest in someone else's story. And she was the sidekick. She was unsolicited advice and bursts of stock-whimsy personified into one role. Complete with over-grown bangs and an annoying penchant of putting aside her own agenda, to service someone else's. 

She wanted him to be her love interest. But she had just been too arrogant, too scared to admit it. And then someone else did. All the things she wished she was allowed to say, things that the unwritten bye laws of being a sidekick forbid her to, played in loops in her head— I liked him first. 

Poor choices and lost moments. 

She is now a grudging spectator of the love story enfolding before her; a story that isn't hers. Maybe it's her own damn fault for encouraging someone else to "go for it" instead of going for it herself. She plasters on a smile, as those two puzzle pieces join together; and all she can think is how she would be a better fit— 

Wait.

She wasn't playing her role with perfection, like she promised she would. She wasn't being the friend she promised to be. Perhaps, she was cast wrong. So she left. 

This wasn't her story. Her story awaits her. And she will be counting mississippis until then.