This wasn’t something I ever wanted to talk about just because I was afraid that the guy I’m about to discuss would see this and know it was me. But then I realized that with ten followers and a tiny little blog, how could this possibly get back to him? See, now that I’ve said that, it’ll get back to him.
For the sake of privacy and making it much harder for this to find its way back to him, we won’t be mentioning any names.
As I’ve said before, I’m 22 years old. And in those 22 years, I’ve never had a boyfriend, never kissed a guy, never even held hands with one. The last time I ever knew about a guy liking me was back in the third grade. If a guy has liked me since then, I had no clue. So, how would I know what being in love feels like? I always thought you had to be in a relationship to actually fall in love. And maybe that’s how it goes for some people but that’s just not how it went down for me. Looking back on it, I truly believe I was in love with this man.
This was almost two years ago. I was still deep in mourning over the loss of one of my best friends, Jennifer who I have mentioned many times before in this blog. I had been laid off as well so I wasn’t in a great place. Then my dad’s friend got me a job at a store he worked at. It was seasonal but if they liked me, they would keep me permanently. So, while everyone else was stuck working up at the registers as a “bagger” so to speak (this store had items too big for regular bags so it was more of organizing things into boxes) I was placed in maintenance. Cleaning bathrooms, taking out the trash (especially by sample tables. Is it becoming more obvious where I worked?) sweeping, basically all the fun cleaning tasks no one would wanna do. Believe me, I’ve got horror stories of cleaning those bathrooms that would make you wanna die.
Anyways, it felt good to keep busy despite the grossness I encountered. I had a place to go every day, although I never had a chance to make friends there. No one really talked to me, although with my social anxiety, being approachable isn’t easy. I only knew my dad’s friend and he’s as quiet as I am. I grew up with the guy and barely speak to him.
But the first few days, I kept to myself. Cleaned the bathrooms and swept the store every half an hour, took out the trash, cleaned off the trash can lids because people don’t know how to throw things away neatly…sorry, gotta move on before I start ranting. Not the time, not the time.
So, everyone had a radio so we could all communicate. The managers called me over the radio to do a clean up in one of the aisles. I had to hurry and get my mop and paper towels because whoever discovered the spill had to stand there and wait for me to get there. So, after battling with the mop bucket (anyone ever tried to steer a mop bucket? Am I the only one who struggles to keep that thing going straight?)
And that’s when I met him. I definitely noticed he was attractive but I don’t remember thinking too much of him at that time. But most of the time, when I came to clean the spill, the person who was waiting for me would just leave and continue with their own job. But he didn’t do that. He actually took my paper towels from me and started wiping up the spill and he was joking around. It was very sweet of him to help me like that, especially when he was kinda the only one who did in the three months I worked there.
After that brief exchange, he actually started acknowledging me, mostly making jokes with me and making me laugh. And I saw him constantly because I had to take the trash to the trash compactor which was in the back where he worked most of the time. After a few weeks, I started realizing that I was developing a crush on him, which I definitely did not want because the last time I crushed on a coworker…let’s just say that didn’t end well. That’s a story I probably won’t ever tell.
But anyways, I didn’t realize it was growing into more right away. But he was just so sweet. One day, when a customer said I looked like Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction (basically Uma Thurman with short, dark brown hair with bangs. I had bangs at the time and I was wearing dark lipstick that day.) and when I told him, he said she was cute so that was a compliment. In my stupid little head, all I could think was, “Did he just indirectly say I’m cute?”
And in the break room, there were about six tables, maybe seven. Two of them were full and no one really talked to me so I just sat by myself in one of them empty tables. Him and I started our shifts at the same time so we had breaks around similar times. He could’ve sat in any of the other empty tables. But he stops right in front of my table and asks if he can sit with me. Granted, most people wouldn’t find that too interesting and trust me, I didn’t look into it. It was just nice that with two tables full of people he knew and several other empty tables, he wanted to sit with me.
He treated me so differently than most guys I knew. While I enjoy joking around with my guy friends, they tend to be…a little harsh sometimes. And I’m equally harsh. But with him, he didn’t make jokes at my expense. He was easy to have fun with. There was something special about him. One of the first things I notice about people is their smile. That’s my favorite thing about people is their smile. And he just had the kind of smile that reached his eyes, like there was happiness in his eyes. He smiled like he was happy to see you. I could’ve gotten lost in those eyes. I looked forward to seeing that smile every day.
But then things changed. One day, we were talking and he mentioned his age and under the assumption that he was in his late twenties, I asked him how old he was. He was thirty-five. Now, that just made me like him even more. I tend to gravitate towards older guys so he suddenly became the perfect package. Then he asked me how old I was and I told him I was twenty. And the moment I told him that, the way he interacted with me changed. He was never mean, he didn’t ignore me, it just seemed like he had distanced himself a little.
And shortly after that, the seasonal period was over and I wasn’t asked to stay permanently. I went a good six months without seeing him after that but I could not get him out of my head. When I told my current coworker and friend all about him, she just kinda laughed and asked me if I was in love with him. I told her I wasn’t sure but she seemed pretty damn sure herself that I was.
I’ve seen him occasionally since then and he still recognizes me and says hi to me with that smile I fell for every single time. When my mom finally saw him for the first time, he was moving cases of water from a cart to their display. She told me when he saw me, he slowed down. She said his body language changed. I wasn’t gonna look too much into it because it would be just too good to be true that someone I liked actually liked me back.
The last time I spoke to him was maybe a month ago and that’s when I realized that I think what I felt for him was love. I could be wrong but I think I had been in love with him. The last time we spoke, it was so awkward and uncomfortable for the both of us. And when I left, I knew that whatever I felt for him was never going to become anything. And I was so heartbroken. And I wasn’t sad because he didn’t like me or anything like that. I felt like I’d missed out on something that could’ve been great because I was too afraid to put myself out there and find out. I felt like I’d been given every chance to make something happen and I didn’t do it and it was too late. I was heartbroken because I think I actually was in love with him.
This isn’t gonna be one of those things where I say to tell someone how you feel because you never know. Because it’s just not that simple. In my case, maybe he did feel the same way but the age difference made him hesitate. Maybe he was shy like me. Maybe we were both waiting for the other person to make a move and neither of us will. But it had taken me a year to realize I was in love. I thought you had to be dating someone to develop those kinds of feelings. But you don’t. Your heart has more control than you realize. I think a lot of it was just denial. I wasn’t in the greatest place at the time and I thought it was possible that I was just caught up in the happiness he made me feel after feeling like shit for months. But sometimes it takes a while to figure out what’s going on in your heart.
How do you know you’re in love? I don’t think there’s one set answer to that question. I think it’s just different for everyone. It really is one of those things you just…know. My suggestion? Don’t live in denial about it. It’s a lot easier to just accept it. I have to live with my mistakes and try to move on. Not that I’ve got a line of guys waiting to date me but I still should let go and move on despite how hard it is. This just shows how sad I am, doesn’t it? Hahahah didn’t even date him but it’s so hard for me to move past him. Sad, sad little girl.
I had hoped that my first love would be someone I dated. I would hope that the first time I was in love, it would be with someone who loved me back. But I had such an idea of what my life would be like and so far, I’ve been wrong every single time. But even if the first person we fall in love with isn’t “the one” they do have a special place. Always. You never forget the people you loved. My parents divorced back in 1999 when I was just four, but I know they will always have love for each other. That’s just the way love works, it stays there forever. It just changes.
I will always be grateful to that man. He was the only one who really reached out to me at that place, the one who made me feel comfortable there. Hell, if he was gonna be my first love, he definitely made it worth the sadness I feel now thinking of him. Even if it didn’t happen the way I thought it would, he brings many pleasant memories. He was one of the good guys, one of the rare guys. Whoever does snatch him up, damn are they lucky.
This post seemed all over the place I realized. But those little moments were ones that just made my feelings fall into place. The ones that made the happiest. I had a point to this story but it kinda got lost in my own lovesick bullshit. Watch, he’ll find this and then I’m screwed because I come off like an obsessed little teenager. I’m too young, what the fuck do I know about love, right?