Perhaps, I am exaggerating; He didn't switch women every day, but damn....D.?
I had a crush on him, since I was 14 years old, my infatuation ended 4 years later. I met him at a BBQ; he had little black curls, a smooth brown complexion & a charming smile. He introduced himself, I nearly choked on my BBQ chicken & promised myself, that someday we were going to be a couple. The obstacle (at the time & all the way throughout) was that he had a gf & I had a bf. As well, the 3 years between us bothered him. He deemed me too 'young'.
I started attending the same church. He would play drums during the gospel bit & I would always look forward to seeing him & speaking to him. When I turned 16, I started letting out my hair, wearing an Afro & donning the occasional dress. He noticed & so did most of the boys in the congregation. At the time, he was still with the same girl. There were always some other girls, hanging around him, batting their eyes & flirting.
I think it was his smile, the way he looked into your eyes when he spoke to you, undaunted, cool as ice. D. was charming & he was good looking...
Since I met him at 14, attended the same church, our parents were friends, he classified me in the 'little sister' file. Sometimes, he'd joke about us getting married one day & I would smile, roll my eyes, pretend I didn't want to, whilst my heart raced & fireworks exploded in my head.
When I was 19, he attended the University next to my house.
Some nights, he would park his car in the side street, call me & I would slide into the passenger seat & we would talk. I remember a time when he was immensely stressed; problems at home, with the girlfriend, financial burdens & a dumb mistake (he got a car for a friend, under his name) that was crippling his credit.
I sat listening, trying to comfort him. He rested his head back in the seat, closed his eyes. I was rubbing his forehead. When someone feels stress around me, I'm like a sponge. Their problem becomes mine & my thoughts are rushing as I try to figure out a resolution.
That night in his car, could have went in a different direction. After all, I wasn't a little girl anymore, the age gap slowly closes as you advance in life. I was finishing college, I was working, I've had my share of men by that time. Here was D. & me, in this small space, he was telling me his problems, getting comforted by my attempts at 'solving' the issues.
I wasn't 14 anymore & I had a realistic view of what being with D. could mean. Yes, he was gorgeous, funny, smart. He knew what to do, what to say. I was attracted to him & I knew this was reciprocated. But... I had somebody & so did he.
It was funny, I remember him (or me?) making a comment about that: 'When you're single, I'm taken, & when you're taken, I'm single.'
This time, we both had that 'special someone'.
I left the car, that night. We hung out on some occasions afterwards, But our lives haven't crossed much these past two years. I saw him in the metro, a couple months ago, I was sick as a dog. He was coming up the electric stairs, I was going down. Turned out that he moved into the neighborhood, we were 'neighbours'. A couple weeks ago, my father came home 'D. gave me a ride home, he told me to say hello to you.'
Just like that.
Yesterday, when I found out D. was getting married, after the shock, came the imminent realization; 'We're getting old, aren't we? Life is adult now, we have shed the cloaks of childhood.'
I called our friend, J-E. Our conversation went something like this:
ME: D. is getting married? Is this a joke? Come on, J.E, this isn't serious, right?
J-E: Yeah, he's getting married.
ME: How can he do this to me?! I was supposed to be the first one?! I cant believe it! How can he do this?
J-E: You wanted to marry him?
ME: (silence) NOOOOO!!! I just wanted to be the first one to get married!
J-E: Well, do you expect him to wait around, until you decide to marry? What if you get married at 25? Is he supposed to just, wait?
ME: What is a few years wait, if you have the rest of your life ahead of you? Is she pregnant?
J-E: Why is everyone asking the same questions?!
ME: It's D.! I thought he was going to the be the last one to get married, damn. Who is she?
J-E: She's mixed. You know, she looks just like you. She's your age too.
ME: She looks like me? Ok, whatever.
After I stopped scheming on how I can still be the first one to get married (the marriage is July 18th), I calmed down & realized that I didn't even want to get hitched at this time, & I won't anytime soon. Honestly, I am not sure if I ever will. In my opinion, my love towards someone doesn't require our signatures on a legally binding document.
What really bothered me was that D. would be officially out of the market. This is where our story ended & there would be no run-ins at parties, where we would flirt, his hand on the small of my back. The lingering 'possibility' would be erased & my teenage crush would only re-ignite in memory lane. Perhaps, at the back of my head, I always imagined that D. & me would marry; there's something so safe about falling in love with someone you've 'grown' up with.
D. is getting married. It is what it is...
And here is the rest of it.