Beers & Cigarettes — TAKE 2 (A Letter to My Crush, Part 27)

Note: This is a follow-up to a post of an unrequited crush I wrote about a month ago. This post will include some extra takes I’d forgotten to add in last time. Hope you enjoy!

Dreaming big was your strong suit. I saw the spark in your eyes whenever you hit your goals, or whenever one of us did. You were competitive, and it wasn’t a surprise considering you were an athlete in your high school years. There was always a sense of drive in you, a sense of urgency to keep pushing, keep going despite the losing battle.

I’ve always admired that about you. How despite the impossible odds stacked against your favor, you kept going. For years, you worked and worked to make your dreams a reality, only to have them slip away right in front of your vision. Years of this have worn you down — you became broken, and I also saw that dullness in your eyes whenever things don’t turn out as you’d envisioned. Slowly, your work has eaten away at your body and mind until you became nothing but an empty shell of yourself. Just like a robot running through the motions at work every day.

You were conflicted, a complicated enigma. You hid your true self from others, including me. You’ve seen the bad in people, and you’ve lost trust long ago. Trust me — I get it. Hitting low points are the worst, and it can be too easy to be jaded and pissed off at the world. But in spite of what it appears to be bad, heartless individuals, there are still good people in the world who care about you and want you to succeed. It’s having that perspective which makes living worthwhile.

Meeting you for the first time was, honestly, not the best impression. You didn’t even acknowledge me, thinking that I wasn’t going to last long enough to care to get to know you. But as each day went by, you saw that I was going to stay, and you opened up. Maybe you saw a bit of yourself in me: the ambition, the hard work and drive that you’d started out with when you were younger. What had started out as indifference with each other turned out to be something just a bit warmer.

On my second day in, we were hanging out with the others in the loft. We were having beers and you were on your third or fourth. A guy co-worker was sitting next to you, and you two knew each other fairly well, enough to get drunkenly playful. You pounced on him, and he deflected by getting you into a headlock. Soon enough, you wanted out and desperately tried to loosen from his powerful grip. Energy wasted, you slumped and gave up, and he let you go. You were drunk and in a stupor, out of breath and I was concerned.

“Are you okay?” I asked. You nodded, still out of breath. It was a bit strange that our other co-workers, while having noticed the scene, did nothing to stop it when it gone too far. Perhaps they didn’t care, but I found it unsettling, especially when you could’ve gotten potentially hurt. Even if I’d only said three words to you, I think you appreciated the concern, since no one else did.

Fast-forward a few days later, and we were at work. I was new, and I needed to learn some stuff for the company. You were there as I was writing stuff on the board, only for me to blank out on certain terms. Partly because I really just forgot the information, and partly because I was so nervous presenting in front of you. Heat rushed to my face, and I had to keep my back to you so that you wouldn’t see me blushing furiously. The one instance I decided to turn around, I saw you staring off blankly, with a dreamy expression that you sometimes have. Not sure how to read into that, but at least you didn’t notice my obvious nervousness around you (I hope).

Last instance was actually on my last day of work. I was preparing to leave the company without notice, and I think you could sense it in my body language. We were at a group dinner, and you were saying things to get me to stay. Which I knew, but deflected politely. You saw me put hot sauce on my dish, and you proceeded to do the same. I didn’t know you liked spicy food, which I’d asked you about, and I jokingly said, “the hotter, the better.” I didn’t intend for it to be a double entendre, but if you caught that, more power to that.

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve fallen for people who are supposed to be “bad news.” You’re one of them. I’m not supposed to have feelings for you, or even like you in a platonic sense. But by some twisted sort of faith, I caught them. Shortly after I moved on, I think you’ve moved on as well. I think you realized your worth, and it appears you’re doing better nowadays. Remember that there are people who care about you, and I wish you the best in your future goals. Keep on dreaming, my love.

 

— The Finicky Cynic

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