What Was His Name Again?
It wasn’t that long ago. Maybe a couple of months. I was a little bit tipsy, which means I was feeling a little sexy. So, I texted him. Just to say hi and flirt. I knew it would be safe because I knew he wouldn’t try to get in my pants — mostly because his house is way out in the woods. And even if his phone did pick up the signal he wasn’t going to come all the way to town. Even if he thought he might get laid.
I don’t know what I said to him, but his answer was pretty brash: I have a girlfriend.
Well, okay. Good luck with that. And I deleted his number out of my phone.
It’s not like I’d seen him for months anyway. The last time I saw him he was on a date with another girl…at the restaurant where I work. And I had to keep walking past his table, trying not to make eye contact. Thank God I wasn’t his server.
He caught my eye a couple of times and smiled. Grinned at me in that knowing way that made my cheeks catch on fire and gave me the intense urge to look down just to be sure that I was still clothed.
Isn’t it funny that being around someone who knows what you look like naked makes you feel like everyone suddenly knows what you look like naked?
And even though he was never my boyfriend — just a tryst gone a little wrong — he’s seen so much more than me naked. He held me the day of my uncle’s funeral. Watched me cry. Saw the laughter behind my eyes that one only gets a glimpse of when I feel comfortable enough to feel like no one is looking. Heard me singing to myself. Felt my breath on his neck while we whispered in the dark to one another.
And when I told him that I wasn’t happy just being a tryst — that I wanted a significant other, not just a lover — he behaved so bizarrely. Even when I told him he had a good chance at being my man, if he wanted it. He just disappeared.
An extra measure of pain in the vulnerability.
Then having him smile at me while I worked… yeah.
So, his number is gone and I didn’t think I would ever see him again.
Over, right? No biggie.
And then I went to the theatre. And I saw him — of all things — trailing behind a friend of mine in that way that a boyfriend trails his girlfriend when he’s been persuaded to go to the theatre but doesn’t really want to be there.
So she’s the girlfriend.
And I feel naked again. But no one saw him look at me. My friend didn’t. No one else in the room can see that I remember what he smells like when he’s been sweating. Or that he likes to mumble a bit so that a person has to lean closer to hear him.
And he avoided looking at me again.
“Well, I hope they’re happy.”
But, of course, I can’t leave it at that. I was curious. I asked some of our mutual friends how long she had been seeing him. (I wondered if she really was the girlfriend he mentioned or if she’s a newer incarnation of that position.) I got a very odd responses. Both of the people I asked were a bit confused. Confused because I had his name wrong. His name wasn’t Evan. His name is Eddie.
“Huh? I swear that’s him. Evan Romano, right?”
“Nope, Eddie Ramirez.”
Did something small just explode? And was it someplace in my head?
I saw both of them again a week later, Evan…er, Eddie and my friend, and I am just baffled at what I could or should possibly do next. I mean what are the options? Tell my friend? Confront him about it? I can’t call or text him, cause I deleted his number.
Maybe when I saw the two of them I should have introduced myself and seen what he did. Maybe it isn’t him. Maybe I should ask if he has a big surgical scar on his thigh and see how guilty he reacts.
That makes me laugh to think about. Like an awkward scene in a movie.
In a movie — right? Not in real life. It’s unreal.
Maybe I imagined it all. What was his name again?