Timothy Vollmer

Aborting Love

Aborting Love

 

By Timothy Vollmer

 

They were studying in a café in the hippie district, she for her masters, him for his GRE.

 

He turned to her and said, “I’ve got a big fucking problem…I’m crazy about you.”

“What?”  It didn’t even register.

“I’m crazy about you.”

A smirk or a smile, he couldn’t tell which, curled her face for a moment.  A smirk because she thought he was gay, and that this was funny. A smile because they had just talked about similar events a few nights prior and how she would react, hypothetically, in the same situation.  A smile because she was touched.

 

She mumbled something about not knowing and paused long enough for him to see an opportunity he didn’t even expect.  All the times he played out the scenario in his head, he got rejected instantly, walked directly out the door, hit a sad song on his iPod and drove away and started dealing with losing her completely because he wasn’t going to go back to being fucking friends.  Fuck friends, he thought.  Being friends was the pressure cooker for the sexual and emotional frustration he had felt since curly dark hairs began to hijack his body.  She had been talking about another guy recently.

 

Instead of going right for it, he asked, like an asshole echoing some movie somewhere in his head, “Can I try something?”  Thank God that kept her frozen.

 

He went in for the kiss, did the best he could, but she didn’t make much of an effort back.  He couldn’t remember what happened at that point, knowing only that he went back in and could’ve sworn he made the exact same moves- definitely at the end when he pressed his forehead against hers.  He never did that before, he knew he meant it, but it felt scripted and empty because it was obvious she wasn’t into it. 

 

He got rejected with some more mumbling and stammering, picked up his books, walked out the door, hit “The Wings” by Gustavo Santaolalla on his iPod, and drove away. 

 

Before he got to the ending, he saw in his periphery her running to the door of the café.  He looked ahead, waiting for her to say, “John.”

 

He turned, briefly but doubtingly hoping for a dramatic hug and a kiss and everything turning from the inevitable shit he had planned to a beautiful, passionate ending in her bed. She started yammering about not wanting to risk their friendship, something he had said to her after he asked her on a date the previous summer, also with no confidence. 

 

At that time, she said yes when he asked her out to dinner, but the reply was so nervous and insincere that he had to call her the next day and clarify, with painfully audible nerves strangling his voice, that he was asking her out but that if “she wasn’t cool with that that he didn’t want to risk their friendship.”  She said she thought of him as a really good friend. 

 

After he answered her yammering with “I absolutely had to,” she asked, “Are we cool?”

 

He didn’t say anything as she opened her arms for a hug, but he did go for the cheek, realizing that it looked awkward even if he wasn’t going for the real thing again. They never saw each other again.

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Timothy Vollmer.
Published on e-Stories.org on 26.02.2009.

 

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