I had a date last night, with a guy that kind of looked like you. He was taller though, and without thinning hair.
I know it will hurt, but I’m telling you this because I want you to understand something about our friendship.
He took me to one of those bars downtown that financial types, he works in fruit futures, like to go to when they want to order overpriced drinks and pretend that they’re just a little bit better than the rest of humanity.
I’ll give you that you are funnier. We would have spent the night betting on which bar patron was most likely to serve time for poisoning a small town’s drinking water in the future.
He wasn’t very well-informed either. He said his family were staunch Republicans, but he didn’t know if he could vote for Romney because of all of his affairs.
I even saw him eyeing our waitress, and think he might have had her refresh his gin just to see her bend over the table.
You would have been right to say he wasn’t my type, or that I was probably his second or third date of the night.
That’s my point, right there, that my date was far from perfect, but he was just that, my date.
I remember, about a year ago, when a girl you were seeing called things off, and you were inconsolable.
I took you out for drinks, to cheer you up, and you made a declaration.
You said she didn’t have the right because you had treated her so well, had always been a perfect gentleman.
You slapped the bar and said you were going to find a girl who deserved, and would respect, someone as nice as you.
Then, you told me you loved me, I think, because we had been friends since the fourth grade when I was the only one who would still talk to you after you released the class bunny back into the wild. We even went to senior prom together when my date cancelled, and you hadn’t even planned on going.
The guy from my date, I went home with him.
I’m telling you this because I want you to understand something about me.
When you told me you loved me, you expected me to return those feelings solely for reasons like prom.
The girl who dumped you, if you hadn’t been so irrational, might have told you that the end of your relationship wasn’t a reflection on your character, but that certain feelings just hadn’t developed.
No matter how nice of a guy you are, it doesn’t entitle you to a feeling like love. It doesn’t have to be so absolute.
My date told me I was beautiful, and maybe because he was that much more attractive, I chose to believe him. Sometimes that’s all it takes for one night.
Elme Sheuh is currently living in Santiago, Chile where he is working as a journalist. He has published over 125 pieces, mostly breaking news. He has a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College.