*Three months earlier*
He was in a green t-shirt and the usual creased jeans, the ends too long so they curled underneath his white Under Armour socks. I stopped by his house to say hello and had been there for a little under half an hour. It was now I realized that sometimes it was inescapably awkward with him, as if we had absolutely nothing else to say.
“Do you want to play a game of pool?” He asked while we stood silently in the kitchen. I hastily nodded my head to agree and followed him out of the kitchen to go up to the pool room.
You had to take off your shoes to go up the stairs, because they were covered in carpet. It squished dryly around my toes as we ascended to where his roommates slept. Going there seemed foreign and forbidden. The pool table sat quietly in a dark, open room. He flipped on the light and plugged in a Coors Light sign then smiled to himself, impressed with his decor. This room too was walled with various mounted deer heads; random electronics sat uselessly on top of unused furniture. Nervously, I accepted the pool table stick he handed me and watched him rack the balls.
I’m not good at pool and never plan to be. To me, being skilled at pool signified frequent visits to bars and strip clubs, places I would never optionally visit, unless had I not been seeking money. I hoped I didn’t have a professional billiards player on my hands as I watched him break the balls. With a clack the white ball sent them everywhere. None went in.
“Oh shoot, obviously I need to warm up.” He explained quickly with a chuckle. I guess he was hoping for an impressive make-all shot. I giggled quietly at his joke to support his ego, and took my turn. We played and he started conversation.
“How was school today?”
“Good,” I replied with a grin, “I’m really happy with my math class, I have such a good professor. I have never had an A in math before. I actually feel like I could fare well in a Calculus class. This whole time all I needed was the right teacher.”
“Good!” He said genuinely and took another shot.
More silence. I took my turn, tortured by the small talk.
“How was work the other night?” He asked.
To this I thought rapidly to myself. Suddenly uncomfortable with the entire situation I struggled to keep my eyes from widening in panic. I was trapped playing an obligatory game of pool and he was asking me how work was. He immediately picked up my vibe.
“You know you can talk to me about dancing.” He surveyed me apprehensively, “It would be hypocritical of me to judge you.”
I could hear my heart thud up into my throat. He shook his head with two quick jerks.
“It’s not my place, I understand that it’s a means to get by, doing whatever you can to pay the bills. I don’t pay your bills for you.”
I squinted and remained stony-faced.
“You can discuss it with me whenever you want, don’t think I look down on you for it.”
I muddled over his words.
“Yeah… Well… thank you… But, uh,” I broke eye contact, “It’s just something I don’t care to talk about.” I swallowed and he eyed me for a second, as if deciding whether or not he should contest, then nodded his head quickly.
I responded with an obviously forced closed-mouth smile, hoping he didn’t recognize my phony expression.
I went to work that night.
(Present Time. Post Dinner-Date.)
He just allowed me to become attached to him because it felt good. It felt good to feel that connection; to essentially flow through the motions of falling for someone… He sat there at dinner and exchanged the terms for our relationship. I agreed to stop dancing. He understood I would rather stop dating than be with a man who was wasting my time. He told me he was on my team, and I agreed to not be defensive. We left the restaurant discussing a moose and holding hands.
Then two days passed and I empirically realized that he was not going to commit to me. He feels bad but he doesn’t truly want it.
I don’t know how else to say it. What he said to me this evening… That look on his face said it all. Those eyes… 👁👁👁 👁👁👁 They were like that of a timid boy getting caught sneaking food or something. The innocence. The unawareness that he himself spoke the truth to me, and the surprise of it.
It’s always disappointment that makes you feel the worst… The realization that your feelings were for naught. The acceptance that some people don’t have the courage like you possess. That’s what hurts the worst. I was walking down a dark pathway hand in hand, only to realize when I stepped into the light it was my own I was holding. There was no one there by my side. What an illusion. His plans were for only himself. The ideas in his head were only one character. What a lonely life. I would think it be lonely. 🙁🙁🙁🙁
I put myself out there, expecting a bite. I couldn’t tell you if I had made the right decision by telling him that he wasn’t the 🐗Big🌵Bear🌟 for me. His head hung ever so low when I told him. All I know is it didn’t feel right, though reflecting now, it is a shameful waste. How quickly this crumbled into nothing… 😔
So I suppose the cleanest cut is the best. You don’t want a man who does not see the value in fighting for you. It is supposed to be 100%-100%. You asked him to communicate with you… And he had nothing to say. Just a surprised blank face. Remember that. ☝🏽️
He was surprised to realize I meant nothing to him at all… because I’m a stripper. I’m a joke. It wouldn’t matter how many great qualities I had… because at the end of the day that’s all people care about. What the general people think. It’s reputation I suppose.
I give up. I just…
Something is just telling me… Something in my gut. 😔😔 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄 😐😐 It was really, really nice while it lasted…