WWW #26 – Postponing – Text #2

Transient Affections

by Hailie Andersen

He did not know what he wanted. He did not know what to do with his life. He felt like he was constantly watching time flutter and dwindle by, unable to grasp the flow of emotions repeatedly taking over, leaving his heart stranded on the shore. He would feel rinsed a few days after having reached climax and crumbled all the way down from there. He was watching others take action. Gripping their lives by the collar, making something out of them. Moving on to the next base. He could not. He lacked those strong convictions they all held on to.

His will was not strong enough to handle the constant ebb and flow of people walking in and out. His curiosity was strong. His sense of attraction, wildly hyperactive. His heart butterflied its way from one woman to the next – feeling strongly, over and over again, that each new flower he met could be the one. Until he caught a glimpse of something in them, something he did not find so fitting after all. Then he would hit reset and look out for the next. Showing his fleeting flings the way out of this life, as readily as he had welcomed them in.

Cold shoulder after cold shoulder, he had managed to cross out half the women in his neighborhood as potential mates. He wanted to evolve. He yearned to deeply link his heart to that of another. He would promptly justify the undeniable fact that his life felt like a shipwreck. To him, it was all because he had not met his soul mate yet. Though he could not quite accept that there was nothing he could do about it. He was not one to sit back and relax. He was an action man. So he pondered. He took some time to reflect about his life.

This time though, it felt like he could not fix it. He could not see an error in his ways. He was certain of wearing his heart on his sleeve at all times. He was certain he was not the guarded type. He was certain he was honest with them and with himself at all times. He felt like all he was doing was giving them all a chance to capture his heart. He was aware he had set his bar of acceptance very high, maybe a little too high even, though he could not let just anyone in fully. The one person that would make it all the way in, would have to be pretty special. There was something lacking in all the women that had crossed his path.

All this while there was something that did not feel right. He could not quite pinpoint it. To him, the solution was lying somewhere outside of his jurisdiction. He was sure he was going the only way about it.

That was until he met her, and he realized he was not as open as he had believed. He was not as honest as he had thought. Meeting her had awakened something in him that had been dormant all this time. Perspective. A new set of eyes. Another approach to his heart. He did not want her to be more than she was. He wanted to do more for her. He wanted to be more for her. He wanted to share more with her than he had, ever before.

He did not notice her entering his life right away. But once she was in, once he got to know her, he could not see his life without her in it. He was certain it would never be bright enough, blissful enough, worthwhile even, without her in it. That is how he knew she was special. That is how he knew she was the one who would make his world brighter just by being in it.

For once in his life, he wanted to be there for someone. He wanted to be there for her. He wished he could just tell her all of that, but that one time, when he thought needed it the most, he could not get a hold of his renowned eloquence. When he was around her, he was dumfounded. Speechless. He could not muster any thoughts much less utter any words.

He felt that she could feel the attraction too, but she had heard of all his conquests before. She did not want to be the next feature on that list. This made his task even harder to tackle. He would see how special she was. How perfect she was in his eyes. Powerless. That is how he felt.

He felt time was on his side. With time, patience and consistency, he felt the perfect opportunity would present itself naturally. In his restless quest for perfection, he kept postponing, delaying the moment when he would confess to her the extent of his affection.

He settled in a friendly routine. He was always there in the background. A smile. A wave. One word. One sentence at a time. Present, but really quite never there. Every Friday, they would casually meet in the line of the cafeteria, he would crack a joke and she would laugh heartily and share a friendly lunch together. Some casual chatter banter.

Then one day, he did not meet her in the line at the usual time. Before he could look around he heard her laugh resonate a few seconds early a few people up the line. She was chatting to a new guy. A handsome fellow. Grounded. Self-assured. A bit younger than him. The guy reminded him of his old-self. He watch them chatting and joined them. When he saw the glimmer of joy in her eyes, he felt a prick of jealousy spike at his heart. There were sparks there. Sparks he had not been able to show her he felt.

That day, he came up with an excuse to leave lunch early. Feeling inadequate. Out of place. Foreign to the scheme developing around him.

He spent the next year watching their romance bloom, scarring his own heart with the weigh of the unsaid. She was always clumsy around him now, and so was he. Step by step they stopped talking to each other. She had moved outside of his circle and into someone else’s.

She seemed perfectly happy.

He felt irrevocably broken.

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