Last night, I had a plan. I was to meet Pele at "the bar" to watch the UNC-Duke women play. Even if Kansas (the man in question) was not there, we'd still enjoy watching the game.
I walked to the bar from work and got a message from Pele saying she was running a little late. Fine.
I got to the bar, walked in, spotted Kansas, turned around and walked out.
I stood outside the bar, in the freezing cold, and called Pele. She answered, "Oh, hey, did you get my message? I'm running late but I thought it would be better if you got there first anyway..."
"Yeah. I did get there. I saw him and I left."
"You...what? You left?"
"Yep." I said.
"That's uh, that's...I thought it would be better if you were there alone."
"I know, it's pretty funny." We both laughed. "I don't know what's wrong with me."
Pele said, "I'll be there as soon as a I can."
"I'm going back in. I have to go back in. I didn't think he'd actually be there."
"You can wait if you want..."
"No, I'll be inside. See you soon." I'd walked away from the bar and I turned and walked back. One of the guys I'd met on Saturday was out front, smoking. He saw me and said, "Hey, J! How are you? Remember me?" We chatted while he finished his cigarette and stood there talking after he was done.
I said, "Hey, can we go inside now? I'm cold!" He held the door for me and we went to the corner of the bar where he and his buddies congregate. He motioned to Kansas and said, "You remember my buddy, Kansas, right?" Sure, I remember him.
When Kansas saw me, he smiled and said, "What'll you have?" I told him and he ordered me a beer. I asked him, "Do they have ESPN2 here?" He asked why, and even though he made fun of me, he got the bartender to put on the station, "Only for you!" No one else complained.
Pele showed up and I introduced her around. She could tell which one was Kansas before I introduced them.
If I hadn't known any better, I would have thought I was on a date with Kansas or, at the very least, that we'd planned to meet that night. It was mighty strange.
The clearest sign, beyond buying me a beer (and a diet coke later on), was that he wouldn't leave while I was still there. Pele and I clearly planned to stay until the end of the game. Kansas said, "How much longer is this game going on?"
I said, "Um, there's ten minutes on the clock...so something longer than that."
"Ok. It seems like it's taking forever. I'm going next door...but I'll wait until it's over."
I didn't know what to make of that. He wanted to go but he couldn't...because I was there? Huh? Did I miss something? Did he ask me to come out and fear abandoning me? I don't think so. I wondered, am I supposed to go with him, next door, when he leaves? He didn't invite me, but I felt I could have joined him if I wanted to.
When game ended (we lost), Pele said, "I'm driving--and I'm taking her with me if she's ready."
No one said anything, but I had my coat on and went to stand by Pele. I waved goodbye to Kansas and that was the night.
I can't explain what the hell happened. When I like someone and I can tell it's reciprocated, I don't sit around at a bar all night hoping he shows up. Especially not when I have his number. But maybe that's just me.
However, Pele had some insight, "He clearly likes you. Clearly. But he has 'unavailable' written all over him. I say you can go back to see the game on Saturday, flirt with him, but then don't go to the bar again for at least a couple of weeks."
I have no expectation that he'll ever call. I don't feel bad about it, just puzzled and a little flattered.
And I have a plan for Saturday. Go Heels!
Grateful for: harmless flirtation.
Drop me a line.