I dreamt of you the other night.
You took me into your arms and held me close. I hid my face in the darkness of your chest.
I haven't seen you in years.
From the very first moment my eyes met yours, you made me feel nervous. In that conference room, where I would see you once a week for half a year, you seemed so serious. I was shy back then and I barely ever spoke.
I would glance over at you, or look at you when you were speaking to the group and I would take it all in, your face, your intelligent eyes and warm voice.
The first time I spoke to you was perfect. We only exchanged one sentence each but it was perfect and it felt like the beginning to a great relationship. I kept my wits, looked you dead in the eye and threatened to kill you if you stole the pen I let you borrow. Me, so innocent looking back then, quiet and shy, had the guts to say those words to you and you gave me an approving nod and even a smile.
We had a handful of interactions like this, each guarded safely in my memory.
You were moving away, and inevitably your last night came. I saw you at the club that night and I was there with a friend we had in common, Violet. You told her you would miss her.
I knew you and Violet were close, and I could never share my feelings for you with her. They were too deep, too precious. You took a receipt and a pen from the bar and started writing a message to her. In your terrible handwriting, you told her to never change and thanked her for the time working together and for being such a good friend to you.
Then you turned to me and asked if I wanted one. I smirked and said of course. There was no room for insecurities, only a flirty mask of confidence and my heart was beating fast as you held my gaze for a few moments. My anxiety doubled as you put that pen to a new receipt. Did you remember that time I had been drunk and I spotted you standing in a corner, probably silently judging me? Or were you going to comment on the fact that I hadn't dared speak a word in a meeting yet, because as soon as you were around my IQ dropped and I forgot even the most basic of human functions?
Even though you're so silent all the time… I have always loved your deep blue eyes
Then the receipt broke and there was room for no more. You signed your name and handed it over. I was stunned. Was it true? Suddenly it felt like we were the only people in the entire club. Where had Violet gone? You took a step forward and told me you had been in love with me all year.
Was that true? Had you?
You got close to me, so very, very close, but she came back and the moment was gone. You leaned in and told me you wanted to kiss me but you wouldn't do it while she was there. You wanted me alone. First I told you to find a way to get rid of her, then that I didn't care if she was around.
The rest of the night is more blurry. I know you tried to buy me a shot but the bar stopped serving them an hour before closing. You bought me a beer. Your friends were all around you, wanting to celebrate and say goodbye. I was never your friend. I had been too scared to even start a conversation with you. I gave you space to be with your friends but hoped you would approach me again before the night was over.
When they were starting to close you said you wanted me to go with you on the last bus out to your neighbourhood.
You hadn't found an opportunity to kiss me yet. I hesitated. I said it felt like a little bit of a cliché, to take me home on your last night. The truth is, you lived far away and if I wanted to escape there was no bus to take me home and it was too far to walk.
Why couldn't you have asked me any other time?
You insisted. You said you just wanted to talk. I didn't want to.
I found Violet and we walked home together. You walked in front of us towards your bus stop but didn't turn around when we called your name. Did you not hear us?
The next day you were on a plane out.
We chatted online now and then over the next coming years. Whenever your name would show up my fingers started to shake just a little bit. Even when I was in a relationship, my nervous feelings for you cut through and I wanted nothing more than to impress you. You were so hard to impress. I would have left him for you in an instant.
Neither of us liked small talk and I bent over backwards to find topics you would find interesting. I only had the guts to write you every so often. Sometimes you didn't reply. Sometimes it took you an hour. Me, never more than two minutes, even when I tried really hard and put my phone away to seem just as casual as you.
One time, the greatest regret of my life, when I had just been dumped from the previously mentioned relationship, I called you. I spoke with you candidly and I asked if whatever was going on between us was all real or not. If you were just playing with me. You were kind to me that time and said it was real. Maybe because i surprised you and put you on the spot. Never before or after have you answered a question so directly to me and all I want to do is forget it, forget my moment of weakness, why you of all people were the one I wanted to hear from. Not the person who had just broken my heart, but you. How pathetic I must have seemed to you.
I have several excuses ready for you, if you ever ask me about it. Several ways of brushing it off, of saying oh, right, I called everyone that day, how embarrassing, I'm sorry you were one of them. I was so sad and drunk that day. I didn't know what I was saying. That'll make me seem less pathetic. If you ever ask.
We haven't had any contact now in years. I saw you visited my profile on LinkedIn a few weeks back. You didn't send a contact request. We work in the same company, in the same city, but different offices. I want to tell you I didn't move here because of you, I didn't apply for this job because of you.
Would I leave my husband for you, if you had shown me just a moment of interest?
I dreamt of you the other night and since then, I haven't been able to get you out of my mind.
We had electricity. The tension between us was real. But you were never in love with me. Why else would you make it so hard for me? Did you just want to sleep with me that night?
Why couldn't you tell me before?
I didn't just want to be a quick hookup, the closest willing person you could find five minutes before closing time.
And why did you make it so hard for me to get to know you? I did everything I could to keep your attention because I thought if I can just get you interested enough, if I can just get close enough, you would see.
But you never saw.
I have never cried over you. But I have never been able to shake you off. Why wasn't I ever good enough for you? I blamed myself for not being able to give you what you wanted. I never stopped thinking about you, even when we stopped speaking. First, you only contacted me to wish me a happy birthday, and then three months later I wished you a happy birthday.
The next year you didn't wish me a happy birthday, so I didn’t either.
When I dreamt of you the other day, I was lying in bed with my husband. I could hear his calm breathing uninterrupted by me starting awake. You had felt so real.
I had kept the memory of you along with my feelings hidden deep within, waiting to bring it out when the time was right. I was ready to try again to impress you if we ever crossed paths again. Maybe you would see me on the street somewhere, or our eyes would meet across the room during a company event. Maybe then, you would want to invite me out for a drink and everything would fall into place.
You probably didn’t even realise the immense impact you had on my life. How much and often I longed for you. There were only stolen glances in a meeting room, a handful of interactions and that one night when I turned you down. I spent so long thinking I would’ve been able to keep your interest, had I just said yes instead and come home with you. At least then I would have had a memory to hold onto, of your body close to mine. The warmth of your skin on mine, your lips on mine.
I thought I waited for a time when you would see me, when you would finally let me in and let me give you what you wanted.
I realised that while waiting, life moved on and I had let you go.
I always thought you didn’t want me because I could never give you what you wanted. I tried so hard to be a person you could accept.
I didn’t see until now, that it was never I who wasn’t enough for you. In refusing to let me in, you denied me what I needed. It wasn't me who was never good enough for you. You aren't good enough for me.
So why do I still dream about you?