Confessions: Part 2

A series of love letters. The first, here.

It was not a date.

That’s what I’m trying to tell you. It was not a date.

Nevermind that you got my number from your friend, who is also my friend, who is one of the best people I know, who insisted that you were one of the best people she knew, and because she loved me and she loved you, she said that we would have plenty in common. She told you how fantastic I was, and she told me how fantastic you were, and then finally, you asked her for my number and asked me for coffee, and I said yes, though we could only meet weeks later because we were both busy.

It was not a date.

You brought me to a book store, and talked to me about Dostoyevsky and an amazing crime scene at the end of Crime and Punishment and I told you that I could only handle him in bits and pieces because there was too much of him to swallow in one sitting (I didn’t quite say it that way, because I didn’t want you to run, but it was how I would have said it if I could, if you must know). I marveled at a picture book about love, and tuned you out for a bit, but I vaguely registered that you had a lovely voice, and that you looked better than I thought you would. You held the door open for me, and I walked out soon after.

It was not a date.

You brought me to a cafe, and asked me what I wanted, and I looked at you for a while, and said, next time, when we meet, I will pay, and you seemed a little taken aback that I hadn’t fought you for it, like an Asian would have, only because I had known better, that  it was good manners to accept these things, and also because it gave me an excuse to see you again. I ordered a cappuccino that evening.

It was not a date.

The next few hours passed and we talked about so many things, in quick succession, interspersed with laughter and giggles, and so many interesting stories, and anecdotes, and all the while, I watched you and tried to understand what it was about you that made me want to sit and listen more – was it the kindness in your eyes, or perhaps the keenness which you listened to me, properly listened, making me the centre of my story, which I had not had in a while, or perhaps the way you gesticulated wildly, and you had nice hands, and hands, I always appreciated. I watched you and we talked, and sometimes you watched me too, and we laughed, and sometimes I tripped over my words, and my hair was probably standing straight, and my eyes grew too big when I became excited. I was excited, and my face was flushed. My eyes were probably too big for my face.

It was not a date.

It was time to go, and you said you would walk with me to the metro station, because that was where you needed to be anyway. We talked about something or other, and you interrupted yourself, and asked if I was wearing heels: “the road is uneven, so be careful”, and I stopped for a second, because really, when was the last time (if ever) had anyone cared about the type of shoes I had worn so I wouldn’t trip and hurt myself. I stopped, and you thought I wanted to walk elsewhere, so you started walking on the smoother roadside, but you kept looking back every few seconds “be careful, there is a car coming” to make sure I was safe.

It was not a date.

We were in the train, and it was time for me to leave, and you interrupted yourself again (you had a habit of doing this) and you told me you didn’t want to embark on the newest topic we were talking about because I had to leave, and I told you we could always text, because that’s what phones were for, and you seemed surprised, and then you laughed, and went, yes, send me random texts, I like receiving them, and I laughed and I said, yes, yes, and I walked out of the train doors, and didn’t look back.

It was not a date.

It was not a date.

Oh dear lord, it was not a date.

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