“Hey!” Bruce said to me as I walked up to the cross walk. I wasn’t supposed to like him. Maybe that’s what the main attraction was to him. But boy was he cute.
I wasn’t supposed to like him because of the reason I had met him. A few months ago, Mac introduced me to him. She had been crushing on him for a while and needed her best friend’s opinion. I of course stepped up to the challenge. I met her at the restaurant where she casually asked him to join us for dinner. When I walked through the door I found him standing next to Mac in a black long sleeved shirt and blue jeans (to this day, my favorite thing to see him in). She gave me a look like ‘This is the one! Isn’t he great!! ?’ I smiled, shook his hand and said “Hey, my name’s Jaq.” Mac blurted out his name and asked me how my day had gone. The waiter came and took us to our seats before I could answer and the rest of the night was filled with getting to know random bits about Bruce and smartphone app Light saber fights.
Another reason I wasn’t supposed to like Bruce, well…is because I had a long distance relationship with someone I had been gushing over long before he reluctantly agreed to make it official. Mark liked me, I definitely liked him, and I thought we were great together. He just didn’t like the distance. Frankly, neither did I, but he was a drummer in a punk band. He rode a motorcycle, owned his own house, was good with computers, and could draw with amazing talent. I had to have him. But then his band broke up, and everything spiraled from there and two months after meeting Bruce, Mark broke up with me in one of the worst ways and there I was walking home from class.
“Hey, stranger.” I said to Bruce while pressing the crosswalk button and took out the head phones out of my ears. I figured Bruce or some of the other students waiting to cross probably pressed the button already. But I really liked the sound it made. The cross walk was sort of high tech in that it talked to you and made loud beeps. It was for the classes learning about the blind. Every now and then you’d see a group of students with dark glasses and walking sticks, obviously not actually blind.
“How you been?” Bruce asks me, genuinely happy to see me it seemed. We had only hung out a few times with Mac and I hadn’t seen him in a while. In fact, this was our first time seeing each other without her around. Her excitement for him had faded; she was on to her next crush. Someone who seemed way more into her than Bruce did when I first met him. Sure he was nice… but it was a friendly nice, not a flirty nice.
“I’ve been pretty good. Totally ready for the semester to be done next month.” I said.
“Me too. What are you going for?”
“Just an English degree, pretty boring.”
“Ah, I’m math.”
“What are you going to do with that?”
“Teach. So how long do you have.”
“Oh wow, I bet you’re happy.” He stepped out onto the street a split second before we hear ‘Main Street. Walk is on at Main Street 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…’
“Very.” We stepped onto the curb across the street.
“So you headed for lunch with Mac, like always?” He knew Thursday’s were our lunchtime hangouts. This was surprising that he knew that much about me.
“Nah. I have a big essay that I need to work on that is due tomorrow.”
“I can’t write essays.”
“Yeah, well I can’t do math very well.”
“Hahaha, I get that a lot.”
“Well, I’ve gotta go this way.” I point towards my dorm.
“And I’m that way. Well it was good seeing you again.” He gestures towards the tall towers in the opposite direction from my dorm.
“And you. Have a good day.” I walk towards my dorm with a smile on my face, and put my headphones back in. He thought it was good to see me. That’s cute. I was single now. Albeit still a little upset… but it could be a start? Though after Mark and I broke up I needed some space from the whole dating scene. Bruce didn’t actually indicate he liked me, he was just friendly nice like he was with Mac. And that’s when I decided I was thinking about it too much and stepped into my cafeteria for some lunch. I didn’t think about it for weeks.
During the summer I was working my seasonal job, I was hanging out with old friends, and I was being as free as I wanted to be. One night I was relaxing at home stumbling through random websites just minding my own business when I get a bloop on my Facebook.
“Hey” It was Bruce. Oh my goodness…this is random.
“Hi” I say.
“Sorry for being so random. I’m just bored”
“No worries. Lol”
“So how’ve you been?”
“Pretty good, yourself?” The conversation went on. I told him about my home town, and he told me about his. We talked a little bit about school. We talked about having a bake-off to see who could make a better cake. We talked about our jobs. We talked for hours. Maybe I was thinking about it too much, but I was pretty sure I liked this guy. He was really nice. This definitely felt like flirty nice. I didn’t want to feel this way. I thought maybe it was too soon after Mark… and he was my best friend’s former crush. Wouldn’t that look weird? I didn’t want to think about it too much anymore. Both of us decided to go to bed.
The next day I saw him online again. I waited a few minutes to not seem crazy. I liked talking to him; there was nothing crazy about gaining a new friend right? But the flirting was more amped up that day. And not just from my side.
“I wondered if you were going to talk to me tonight.”
“Of course, our conversation yesterday was interesting.”
“Well if you didn’t I would have anyway.” He seemed interested in me. We talked for hours again. My internet began to screw up and so that is when I decided to give him my phone number. We texted until I fell asleep with my phone in my hand.
After two weeks of constant talking we decided it would be best to meet up. Get to know each other on a more personal level, though we both decided that we liked the other already. I met him in the park next to the University. I stood up as he pulls into the parking lot. I stand there, not sure what to do with myself. I knew he liked me and he knew I liked him but I hadn’t seen him in almost two months now. The last I had seen him was at the crosswalk when he was just some guy I thought looked cute.
“No, you get a hug. Come here.” He said putting his arms around me. I was surprised. It was a real hug. Not just one arm over the shoulder friend hug. But a real hug, and damn did it feel nice to be held.
“Well hello there. Ha ha. So where would you like to go?”
“I figure we could just walk around the park? Then go from there.”
“Sounds good to me.” I said as we start walking towards the lake in the middle of all the trees. Two hours we walked around the park, exhausting every trail I knew, and learning more and more about him. We then walked onto campus through the buildings. It was such a beautiful campus, one of the reasons I had chosen that school.
“Want to do something crazy?” He said.
“Uh oh… like what?”
“Well there’s this building I know…”
“You can get on to the roof.”
“Oh. Ha ha, I guess we could try it.” We walk towards the building and I notice the fire escape. Oh god. He means to really go on the roof of this building. “Uh, hey Bruce… I have to warn you. I am terribly afraid of heights.”
“Don’t worry. I’ve got you. Hold my hand.” We start up the steps. I do fine up until the last platform and freeze. There is a ledge we have to climb over and I am not letting go of the railing. He climbs up onto it and looks at me encouragingly to let go of the railing.
“I don’t think I can do this…” I say with a shaky voice. He holds his hand down towards mine.
“Do you trust me?” He says like he is in the Disney movie Aladdin. It was unbelievably cute, I have to let go. So I put my hand in his and he pulls me up on the ledge. Our faces close, we stare at each other for a moment and he leans in for a kiss.