The ask-out

I was poised and ready, like a lion lying in wait.


OK. No. Weird analogy. I was just ready to END THE MADNESS that had been my infatuation with THE CRUSH. I was ready to, for the first time in my life, ask a man out.


This stupidly, seemingly-wonderful guy had derailed my rationality long enough. Frankly, I prefer RATIONALLY liking someone to the INSANITY of crushes. They’re just the worst. This girl votes NO.


So rationally, I knew the gentleman was likely not my KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR that would lead me to HAPPINESS FOREVERMORE. I felt compelled, though, to see it through. I had made decisions based on my fear of rejection for TOO DANG LONG. This time, my feelings wouldn’t merely be repressed into submission. I would CONQUER my anxiety. I would ASK HIM OUT (insert gasp). If nothing else, I had mused to myself for weeks, this would END THE CRAZY.


I got advice (loads and LOADS of advice) on how to do so before realizing I was neither smooth enough nor not-blunt enough to use any of those techniques. I would have to handle my ASK OUT the only way I could: with glorious bluntness and a touch of endearing awkwardness.


Sure, I almost chickened out. When I first saw him that day, I nearly fled to the other side of the world. But then this stubborn will rose up inside of me, an inner voice screaming, “I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED.” And so instead of once more repressing my feelings into submission, I backed the fellow into a corner (not literally, of course, he had plenty of space to run) as I walked with him.


In my head was a script of what I would say. That script got thrown out before I even uttered the first word. I mean, he was STARING at me. My knees were knocking (well, probably just mentally). There he was, STUPID CRUSH, waiting for me to say something. So say something I did.


I told him that I would say this only once and then NEVER SPEAK OF IT AGAIN. Then I told him he should ask me out. (So in hindsight, I guess it was a backward way to ask someone out? That’s me, all right, smooth to a fault.)


Deers in headlights look less terrified than he did at that moment. OK. Maybe not terrified. DUMBFOUNDED, perhaps. ASTONISHED, definitely. (Geez, am I really that bad of a flirt that he hadn’t figured out I was interested? I should work on that.)


Either way, the words were out and into the abyss of space. I couldn’t take them back. I was just getting ready to FLEE FOR MY LIFE when I saw him struggling to put a sentence together. With what could only be described as a Herculean effort, I turned and waited for his words.


“… I have a girlfriend.”


SILENCE ENSUES THAT SEEMS LIKE HOURS BUT IS REALLY MERE SECONDS.


“Ohhhh. I didn’t know that,” I muttered (later self: umm, DUH. OF COURSE I DIDN’T KNOW THAT).


Then I turned and did what my fleet feet had been wanting to do for what seemed like FOREVER: I FLED THE SCENE.


At least now, I thought amid peals of laughter as I ran, I could put THE CRUSH to rest. And I had conquered my fear with exceptional awkward grace, if that’s such a thing (the author votes yes; it is a thing).


Rejected? Sure. Still worth it? Definitely. Ain’t no guy that can scare me now. Well, probably not. I think my unflinchingly blunt self can handle whatever the romantic realm throws at me. DANG STRAIGHT.


Disclaimer: It should be noted that the guy in this story is without fault, and that I am clearly VERY VERY terrible at reading guys. And at flirting.

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