An ambulance drove by, and I waited for the noise to pass. My first instinct was to cross right behind it since the other cars around were still. But then I realized it was a green light, and they’d all be following suit, crossing the intersection in the wake of the siren.
Retreating back onto the sidewalk, I saw you step forward but quickly back again… the same exact instinct as me 2 seconds ago. You noticed me notice you and laughed:
“A little too excited there.”
“Haha yeah, trying to follow the ambulance?”
Then the thing happened. The thing where you looked at me and realized you wanted more words to happen between us. Slipping into step beside me, you asked where I was coming from, where I was headed, etc. Turns out we’re both Account Managers. You work at a tech company, and you’re super familiar with the content marketing and ad agency world.
You were cute. Interesting. Confident. You went to Indiana University, and you were a business major with a focus on finance and marketing. You smoke occasionally. You just got a new roommate off craigslist who is “chill” and “fratty.” Nothing about you screamed soulmate, but you handled yourself well when I gave you a hard time about business majors and people who care more about money than people. Maybe it was just the confidence & the competitiveness, but you didn’t back down.
You walked me to my door which was happily on your way home. As I reached for my keys, you waited to catch and hold my gaze,
“Can I have your number?”
“What’s with the hesitation?”
You pulled out your phone and groaned as the little screen refused to turn on. I took the pen out of my purse and wrote on your hand instead.
“Are you sure you don’t want to have a drink tonight instead?”
Did I? No, I resolutely could not gather the sureness in myself to do that. The hesitation earlier hadn’t been me playing hard to get. It had been me genuinely hard to emotionally get – aka a mess. I declined but left you with my writing on your hand. You haven’t texted yet, and maybe you never will. Maybe you’ll misread it and text the wrong number, maybe it’ll wash off, maybe you’ll realize it’s not worth the effort.
Or maybe, just maybe, our story is just beginning.
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