By Roger A Wilbanks
It happened in a bar, that closet where they hang their desires like costumes and put them on as the opportunity arises. I was tired. The day had treated badly, leaving me reckless and distracted. I sat down on the stool that was always open and ordered my usual dark beer.
She sat beside me and was attempting to engage the bartender in idle chatter. He wasn’t helping. She tired of this and looked around, finally settling on me as the target for her attention.
I sipped my beer and lit a cigarette. I didn’t answer.
“I said ‘Hello’. Aren’t you going to say something”
“I’m not the one.” I said.
“What? What on Earth are you talking about?”
I looked deep into her eyes and repeated myself.
“I’m not the one.”
“You’re not the one what?”
“I’m not the one you’re looking for.” I answered.
She laughed. “How would YOU know what I’m looking for?”
“It’s simple, really. You’re looking for someone. I’m not that someone you’re looking for.”
“And how would YOU know THAT?”
“You’re out at a bar for Happy Hour. Yet you’re dressed like it’s Nighttime. You obviously didn’t wear that to work unless you work in a brothel. That tells me you are out looking for a man. While I’m not against hooking up for a one-night stand every once in a while, that isn’t what you're after. You have a lot of jewelry on, more than a normal person would feel comfortable with. This tells me you want people to know you like nice things. This also tells me you’re not into one-night stands. You’re looking to hook up, yes. But on your terms and for a long stretch.”
She just stared at me, slack-jawed.
“What are you…”? I waved her silent.
“Suppose I do take you home. Suppose we make love all night long. What happens next? We exchange phone numbers. We set up a date the next day. Possibly for lunch or an early dinner. That turns into a long dinner and another night together. Pretty soon we’re going to movies and meeting each other’s friends. But eventually, I will start getting busy. I won’t call you every day. You’ll begin to get suspicious. You’ll think I’m avoiding you. You will start to nag and snipe at me. Eventually I stop calling altogether and you get the picture. You stop calling me, but only after leaving a few nasty voice mails on my cell phone. One night, you will see me out with another girl and you will become enraged. You will call me every name in the book. You will call me an asshole.”
This left her speechless.
“Well, sweetheart, I’m telling you this, as plain as I’m able. I AM that asshole. I’m not the guy you think I am. I’m not the one.”
She sat there in stunned silence for a solid five minutes before mustering the ability to speak again.
“Marry me.” She whispered.
“Go away now.” I replied.
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