“I don’t want to make out with you, Justin.”
Yeah, I think I can accommodate that request. “Uh, okay,” is probably all I managed to say, but I was a little confused. Because seriously, it’s as though she had just told me that she intended never to levitate. She was cute, smart, fun, interesting, and everything you could want in a person to make out with. Even so, I pretty much decided I would not kiss this girl ever since the uncomfortable, awkward maybe-date we had gone on to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding a year before, when I showed up with shaving cream still behind one ear. Plus, I still don’t think she thought it was a date. It definitely wasn’t a date.
But that was in, like, 2002. By the fall of 2003, we had been good friends for a long time. She lent me books, and I helped move her out of her dorm room while I was still high on a whole six-pack of cherry coke, after pulling an all-nighter to finish a take-home exam. We were medium-close.
But it was the fall of 2003 when she, suddenly, out of nowhere, decided to set boundaries. Up until that moment, you could say that I expected to not make out with my friend every time I had ever seen her, and that I had never been disappointed.
At least, I hadn’t yet. Not until the very next night.
In retrospect, I should have figured out what was happening. But, generally, when people tell me not to make out with them, I follow orders.
So I expected nothing out of the ordinary the next evening when she made a few odd comments while we were drinking with friends, and I didn’t really notice her nearness when we were standing, later, and talking, holding more drinks. I didn’t even think it was that odd that she tipsily invited me to her room to watch a movie, even though that had never happened before, because we always watched movies downstairs.
Here’s what should have given it away: the wrestling, on her bed, with her bedroom door closed and the forgotten flicker of some instantly-ignored movie lighting our faces with a blue kind of glow. Which, I swear to you, wasn’t my idea. If you think I could have pulled that off on my own, well, the archives are right over there on the right hand side-bar of the webpage. I was fuzzily thinking at the time: gee, she sure is cute, and this wrestling sure is fun. Too bad she told me she didn’t want to make out with me. Oh well.
It didn’t really click into place until she paused, blearily, and, breathing heavily, smelling of alcohol, face inches from mine, said, “You have no idea that I want you to kiss me, do you. That’s why you lose.”
Well, listen, I thought, clearly up until now I wasn’t fully on board with this ultra-subtle reverse-psychology Jane Austen ninja-romance shit, but now that we are all firmly on the same page, we can begin to head in an extremely positive direction.
So I kissed her. For about two milliseconds. And after those two milliseconds, we were just friends again, right after she whispered, reluctantly, six of the last words you want to hear right after you kiss someone for the first time.
“I’m going to go throw up.”