That day marked a significant shift in our relations.
Exactly a week later, things seemed like they were no different. I continued not to speak to her. I worked on problems independently. She worked with my ultimate Chinese wingman-turned-cock block. He figured everything out for her in thirty minutes and left her by herself.
I couldn’t concentrate while she sat there, looking at her phone. Probably reading profound Facebook messages from her hot German boyfriend, that she probably had. He had a strong jawline and vascular forearms, in my imagination. Shouldn’t have convinced myself that guy from her picture was her brother. Fuck.
I finished ten minutes before the end. I noticed her begin to put her things away. She had her coat on and remained beside her desk waiting as I eventually rose to my feet. She looked at me and I gazed back and tried not to look away.
She was waiting for me.
We had another conversation as we walked together. She didn’t go the wrong way but probably would have if she hadn’t before. I could tell by how she looked at me. Like I wasn’t going to attack her. Or like she didn’t think I was only making conversation with her so I could manipulate her into a position where I could take advantage of her. The best way a woman can look at a man.
We talked about our cultural differences, which neither of us gave a shit about, as we tried to get close enough to discuss something meaningful. She and I stood in front of that building for nearly an hour.
I didn’t avoid her anymore. For an hour a week we would watch each other be intellectually stimulated in an almost erotic cycle of blank facial expressions followed by eureka moments. Explaining things to her that she didn’t understand was the closest I’ll ever get to being a provider.
As the weeks quickly passed I grew conscious of the fact that I only had a few hours left with her. I wanted to extend our interactions beyond that single hour every Thursday. Despite my fears, she did too.
(The Chinese wingman guy asked her out first (which was a weird twist) and she said no.)
She wanted to go to a pub. She said it was because she was German. I didn’t get it but I was attracted to her so I didn’t question anything. I liked that she wanted to go somewhere that we could talk.
I told her before we got there that I wouldn’t be drinking anything. She laughed and told me I was crazy. The way the skin folded under her eyes kept me from being angry about it.
I offered to buy her a drink but she wouldn’t let me. We sat for two hours sipping on carbonated soft drinks.
“I want to remember everything, and I don’t want you to feel like you’re taking advantage of me.”
Holy shit, I thought.
We went dancing. She put my hands on her hips and wrapped her arms around my neck. We grew more comfortable with touching each other.
She moved her face close to my ear to do the closest thing as possible to a whisper in a room where Hey Ya by Outkast is louder than any person’s voice.
“I’ll miss you”.
My insides felt like they were melting. My head felt like all my blood was quickly passing through it. With those words she left me completely exposed.
I kissed her, of course. Thinking the whole time about how few opportunities I’d ever get to do it again.
And that’s where my heart was both at its strongest and most vulnerable.