Hey, how was your weekend? I typed, in what I hoped was the perfect, casual, friendly-but-not-too-eager text message. After a flurry of back-and-forth text messages of the get-to-know-you variety four days earlier, I hadn't heard a word from Kevin since, and I was starting to get nervous.
("He's probably just waiting for the weekend to ask you out," my friend Pete had assured me. "Knows he has a better chance of getting laid.")
It still couldn't hurt to at least touch base mid-week, I figured, and so I waited anxiously for a response, which came almost immediately.
His weekend was good, he said, and mine? Also good, I said, and mentioned I had just returned from Philly. And how is your week looking? I said, inching closer to my real reason for texting. He was busy, he said, and felt buried under work at the moment. Sensing that this conversation was going nowhere fast, I decided to take the bull by the horns, and typed, Well if you ever have some free time, we should hang out.
I will definitely make time, he replied, and added a smiley face after. And that was it.
My heart sank. I've been playing this game long enough to recognize rejection when I see it, even when it is cloaked in feigned enthusiasm. If he had actually planned on seeing me, he would have said something like, I will definitely make time. How about Saturday? Or, I was thinking Friday, but I'll have to let you know. Though to the untrained eye it might appear otherwise, I knew that by not including any kind of time frame in his response, what he actually meant was I will definitely never make time to see you, the smiley face alleviating any vestiges of guilt he might have momentarily felt. A peace offering made of a colon and a parenthesis and a non-rejection rejection, and then--a clean slate. Absolved.
No, you say? But he said he was buried under work, you say? He said 'definitely;' surely he will call, just give it time, you say? And oh, my poor, dear, naive reader, I do hate to be the bearer of bad news, but grab the bull by the horns enough times and you learn to spot some bull shit. Anyway, that conversation took place eleven days ago, now. With two weekends in between.
And Luke? I haven't heard anything from him since his last message suggesting dinner or drinks "later this week," twelve days ago.
Now, Internet, you know I have experienced some rejection, in my day. (Which is kind of like saying that Bill Gates has some money.) I am queen of the Charlie Brown-style flying leap, forever chasing that football, and like Charlie, always landing flat on my back with the wind knocked out of me. But it used to be that a girl had to actually put herself out there before she got rejected. Used to be she had to actually date a guy before she could be dumped, but no more. Now they can reject you before they even go out with you.
I took myself out of the game months ago because I just couldn't take it anymore. Took myself offline, laid low, told myself I would finish up the semester and get out of this town. Done. I go to school, I go to work, and I go home and curl up in a boring, comfortable little ball. You can't hurt what you can't see, after all. But the universe, with its twisted sense of humor, said ha, we'll see about that, and now guys are coming into my place of business, just to reject me.
Next guy who so much as smiles at me is getting his head ripped off.
I'm done. You hear me, Universe? Done.