There’s that moment. When she holds your hand and glances into your eyes with a smile that lights up not just her mouth but her eyes too. It pours out from her mouth and spills into the air and crackles on the dry leaves that drop from their trees, leaves that you crunch beneath your feet and infect you with her happiness and mystery. You smile back, and something in your mind clicks into place; an unmistakable lock that you never knew you had. However, instead of bringing order to the chaos, it creates even more chaos; and your head begins to turn, your stomach-knots churn and the head that bobs in your trouser starts growing. All of a sudden you have a new problem. You have to keep it cool. You have to show that you’re the man, and that this is nothing new to you. In fact, you’re on top of your game; you’re on top of her game. But the strain on your zipper does not want to play this game. The sweat on your forehead does not realize that you are the referee. Your legs just do not want to go where you need them to. What is going on?
You know what’s going on. But does she? You hope not. She leans in and kisses you, and your instincts kick into action. You have lips. She wants them. She’s made the first move so she definitely wants them. You sorry excuse of a man, why didn’t you do it first? Now she’s in control. She has your balls in a grip in her hands. Oh no. Unfreeze. Kiss her back you fool, otherwise this will turn into a whole new mess. Okay, good, the lips are working, now move your hands; touch her neck, touch her hair. Close your eyes; if she finds you staring she’ll know that you’re the freak everyone else thinks you are. She has given you a chance. I said close those eyes! Do not forget again. You would rather be robbed in this moment with your eyes closed than she finds them open and asks you why they were open.
You are doing well. She’s really into it! Well done! Thank God for Sensodyne, never Colgate again. Do not knock her teeth; do not eat her like she is a pancake. God, you do love pancakes, but focus, this is not the time. Retract your tongue a bit, remember to breathe, this is not the time to succumb to asphyxiation. Do not move it around too much, that spreads too much saliva and you do not want her to think that you’re a sloppy bastard. Pull back. Let her look for you. Let her assure you that you’ve done a good job even if you think you’re a self-assured man. This is a game for two; and you need to get feedback, no pun intended.
“Bye.” She says and waves to you. She keeps on walking. You cannot just stand there and watch her go. You have to go too. Too bad you cannot send her a questionnaire; there are some social norms you would be breaking by sending her a questionnaire or a performance review about your kiss. The sun becomes hotter and the steps become heavier as you go away. You pull out your Samsung and just like the man dog you are raise it up and position the large screen such that you can see what is happening behind you, just so that she does not think you care too much either. You see her silhouette walking but not looking back. It worries you: why isn’t she looking back?
It’s tomorrow, today. You sit in the classroom, waiting for that damn lecturer to walk in and start wasting this portion of your life. You say a few superficial ‘hellos’ and laugh at some “drill” joke that really was not that funny. You sit next to the guy who always has headphones on, listening to some Classical music. You think he’s a cool guy, but you don’t know him like that. She walks into class and you feel a steady excitement. This is the reason why you left an extra seat next to you. Maybe she would want to sit next to you. You really do not want to act like the rest of the fuckboys in your class. You want to show that you are giving a chance to get to know her beyond the communion of your lips and the seduction of your eyes. Everything in the room becomes hot and her movements come in slow motion as she goes about high-five-ing her friends and twirling her braids. Your leg starts shaking a bit when the class flirt drags her by the elbow into a hug. Calm down bro. She walks right past you without even looking at you or considering the chair you had so diligently passive-aggressively waved people against occupying. You feel a bit embarrassed and you remind yourself that you’re a guy: these things mean more of nothing to you than to her. She’s probably the one thinking about it and then overreacting by deciding to ignore you- you convince yourself.
Maybe you should text her, maybe there’s something wrong with her and she’s just being fake with everyone. Maybe because you shared that special, brief moment with her, then she expects you to know these things or at least ask. You can see her texting from under the desk and giggling to herself and her desk-mate, that big-mouth Susan. Maybe texting her is not a good idea. Then again maybe you should maintain contact in case you want this again. So you unlock your screen and text her. “Hi. I hope you’re okay.” You hit send, carefully patting yourself on the back for not mentioning yesterday so that you don’t seem too eager. Well done you scoundrel. You have almost won this hook-up. You do not look in her direction again, but you know she’s read your text because throughout the duration of the class she has not put her phone down and she does not seem to want to start doing so now.
Five minutes turn into half an hour as you discreetly check your phone every two minutes. No reply. There’s a burning in your chest as you search your internal dictionary cursing yourself for a lack of restraint. You really should not have texted. She is the girl; she’s the one with a vagina. Not you. You should have let her make the first move as she did yesterday, you worthless man-you bash yourself mentally. Now she knows you’re just so eager and now she knows she owns you. She has you wrapped around her finger like that worn-out braid she was twirling before class. You are that braid now. Useless man. A disgrace to men everywhere is what you think you are. To be fair, I agree.
The class is over three hours later and there is still no reply. You have calmed down a bit but you walk out of class in a hurry. You do not want that awkward moment where you bump into her on the corridor and have nothing to say that is not shameful. You start wondering why you even got attracted to a selfish witch like her. You start contemplating several ways in which you would kiss her again then pull away and walk away like a boss, leaving her with more to want but nothing to get. You would have owned her; and now she’s just that whore who left you alone and did not appreciate your care. You question: how many other guys has she been with? But it does not even matter to you because as a guy at least you can tell stories of when you tapped that. Just let her go.
As you walk towards the gate, it hits you that there’s a chance it could all be your fault. Maybe you have a distinct terrible dental odor that just put her off. Maybe you were too sloppy? Maybe you got too touchy? Maybe she could feel your erection; God no! That’s it. It really is your fault. She thought you were too clingy and so she wants nothing more to do with a small boy who cannot entertain a harmless campus fling. She really does not want anything serious. You realize that you are so stupid for expecting so much from her, and that these things happen. It does not mean that now she wants you to be her boyfriend or her friend-with-benefits or her boytoy. It was actually just a kiss. You realize that you are not obligated to ask her out now or to expect any special treatment. She just wanted a kiss. Maybe it was a mistake on her part? Maybe she did not mean for it to happen, maybe you actually even imagined it. Did you even kiss her? Do you think you deserve to be a king now that you believe something happened between the two of you? You walked back to your hostel, and nothing had changed, if anything, everything looked uglier and smaller, not as beautiful as the kiss you shared with Jocelyn. The sun was back to its usual unimpressive warmth and the wind did not blow through your hair as you thought it had yesterday. The rice was just as bland as usual if not even more so, and the mattress on your bed was as hard as cardboard. Nothing new there. You know all this. Everything was back to normal. Then she texted.