Two weeks had passed, and I still hadn’t run into the Mr. Reflex again. That’s the alias I gave him since I didn’t know his name. If and when I find out his name, he’ll still be referred to as such. Aliases w always used until said person becomes of major importance. No real names allowed. (I know it sounds objectifying, and I’d be pissed to find out a man gave me an alias like Ms. Independent, but it’s what I do. Sorry.)
Anyway, in the meantime, I’d been passing time going out on meaningless dates with Marcus, affectionately known as Mr. Snooze. Any guesses why he has that name? Yes, he bores me to tears. Sometimes, I’d rather car watch on a country dirt road than to listen to stories about his accounting job or his adventures in fishing. But he’s much more attentive than I am, complimentary and loves to take me out. So, I go. I guess you can’t have it all.
I’d decided weeks ago that I was going to put an end to our dating stint. He deserves to be with a woman who actually enjoys his company. After months of dating and careful speculation, I realize that I’m not that woman. We’re much better as friends, associates even.
Boredom is foreign to me, or atleast it used to be. Lately it seems like I’m surrounded by it in every area of my life. At one time, it was nothing to drop everything I was doing to go late night dancing or book a last-minute weekend trip to the beach. Those were the kinds of things I did with Daniel aka The Ex. It was an exciting, yet turbulent time. It took me two whole years to figure out that our relationship was going absolutely nowhere, while everyone around me knew from Day One. Go figure. Reality hit me the day I asked him for the final time about marriage. He answered like he was revealing new findings from a major study. “I don’t think I’m the marrying type.”
I swear, I saw stars and birds flying around my head like they do on old cartoons. I shook my head, as if to rattle my brain back in its place. “Since when? You’ve never said that–EVER.”
“I know, but honestly, I don’t know if it’s in me.” He looked down at his files he’d brought home from work, instead of in my eyes. He knows how I feel about eye contact. “Who says two people in love have to get married? The whole idea is unrealistic, and I think I–we’re smart enough not to fall into that trap.”
From across the great room, I stared him down with my most evil eye. “So when did you figure that out? And when were you going to tell me?!”
He leaned back, looked away the way he did when he was ashamed or wanted to avoid something.
So that was it. Mr. Suit and Tie from a two-parent middle class home. Educated, yet street smart. Loved by all, including my always disapproving parents. Church-going, tithing. Who I was supposed to build a family with. That is what he ultimately had to offer. Nothing.
I made a Big Girl move, and moved on, rather trying to make something be that never even existed in the first place.
Many months later after the mourning of my relationship with Daniel, I jumped back into dating, only to discover that I have a habit of dating the same type of man. Which is how I ended up seeing Mr. Snooze.
Last night, after he walked me to my door, and gave me the infamous “church hug,” I immediately called my best friend, Ava.
Before she could say hello, I blurted into the phone, “I can’t do it anymore.”
“Do what?” She laughed as if she was expecting a punchline to a joke.
“But you’re not doing him. I thought that was the problem.”
“Very funny. I mean, I can’t continue to do this with him, or this terrible thing called my dating life. It just has to be better than this.” I fell on bed.
Ava is the most logical, no-nonsense woman I know. I come to her when I want realistic advice. Not that fairytale crap my other friends dish out. Even if she resorts to calling me a self-centered, psycho bitch to knock some sense into me, she’ll do it. It usually works.
She paused for a moment. Cleared her throat. I was expecting her to tell me to grow the hell up and be grateful Marcus was even pitting with me, what with my flaky attitude and uninterested demeanor. Honestly, I thought that was working for me, but clearly, men don’t catch hints very well–if at all.
I braced myself for her tongue-lashing.
Instead, she said nonchalantly, “You want me to hook you up?”
“What? I’m serious, Ava!”
“I’m serious, too! There’s a new guy who works in the blood lab in the new wing of the hospital. Everyone’s had their eye on him. I had no idea he was friends with Erica, and she speaks highly of him.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Erica, huh?” I was already hesitant. Erica was the type of woman who had tons of male friends–because she’d slept with them all, and it just didn’t work out. If she referred to a man as her “family” or “brother ” that meant she’d probably slept with him atleast three weeks prior. I don’t think there’s a man in the city she hasn’t laid, but she’s cool nonetheless.
“I know what you’re thinking, and no, they haven’t been together. He’s a friend of her brother’s from college. He just moved here after being in the military for a while. He went back to school since he worked in the medical field overseas. I’m telling you, he’s definitely your type. And don’t make me go into appearance specifics. Just know he’s your type. You trust me, don’t you?”
“I don’t know, Ava…You know how I feel about hook-ups. Name one that has resulted in anything other than me dodging emails and phone calls.”
“Aww shit! You make me tired, Bianca.” She blew a ton of air out into the phone to prove her point. “I guess you’re hoping to run into…er, what’s his name–Mr. Reflex–again?”
“No, I’ve given up on that.” I was lying through my teeth. Not a day went past without me scoping out the parking garage. I even drove around slowly, making sure I didn’t miss him. No luck.
“Yeah, well, approval or not, I’m telling Erica to pass your email and phone number on to him.”
What did I have to lose? Not a thing. “Okay, you win. Let me know what he says,” I said. “Nevermind that we don’t even know if he’s interested in dating someone.”
“Like, seriously, B,” Ava said. I could imagine her waving her hands in the air. “He’s a man in a new city. They’re always interested in dating.”
“Wait!!! What’s his name? I think I need to atleast know that before I send my phone number.”
I ended the call, and tried to move on to the next item on my mental list to think about. I could have plotted out the conversation I’m going to have with Marcus to end our less than exciting courtship, or maybe what this Jeremiah guy looked like. How Ava would be right about him being my type, whatever that is. How for once, a hook-up would actually work out for me like those couples featured in Sunday’s romance column. Instead, I fell back on to my bed and imagined running into Mr. Reflex in the elevator again.
To be continued…