Nearly two years. I have liked him for nearly two years. And if you happen to ask me how or why I started liking him, you wouldn’t even believe it. Why? Because it all started when he opened the door for me and until now I don’t even know why I liked him then. No seriously, he literally opened the door for me.
I was a newbie then and still didn’t have access to the office’s front door so I had to ring the doorbell to have someone open the door for me. No one was at the front desk yet since it was a little after seven in the morning (business starts at nine). I waited for a mere five seconds when I noticed the door for one of the rooms swing open.
Remember how in the movies they try to define some of the winning moments by putting in an apropos background music and playing everything in slow motion? It was kind of like that, only without the background music. For a moment it felt as if time was slowly trying to stop but it couldn’t and we were stuck in that slow motion scene until the door finally opened for me after the lock recognized his fingerprint.
I was dumbstruck when I saw him. I had just gotten out of an emotionally draining relationship and have been bumming at home for about four months and here comes this guy and I forget everything. Instant attraction. And like I usually am with guys like him, I didn’t know how to act or react so I simply tried “playing it cool” even though I know I probably wasn’t even near being cool.
Thinking about it now, it is strange how I have always heard of him but back when I was in the same shift as him, I didn’t see even just a shadow of him. I couldn’t care less about him then but here I was and all I could utter to him was, “Thanks”, and, “Yes.” I was maimed by my own awkwardness around attractive people.
He was just about to leave before he opened the door and when he finally packed his things up, he said goodbye and went out the door. That’s where it all started. That Wednesday.
Days and months passed and all I could do was leave short messages on chat whenever I catch him online. Sometimes I get even shorter replies, some other times there aren’t any responses at all. I figured it was because of the introverted personality he seems to exude to everyone.
There were times when it seemed he was interested and then there were times when he did not. There were times when I felt there’s a chance he might like me back and then there were times when I kept thinking, “No, he’s probably just being too nice and friendly.” He’s very hard to read, that guy.
I felt like me liking him wasn’t a secret anymore. Everyone else knew but neither of us admitted to each other what we already knew. I knew for a fact that I liked him ever since he opened the door for me. And somehow I felt that he knew that I have liked him all this time. I just didn’t have the courage to open it up nor tell him I like him.
But we all get to that point where the glass is already full and we can’t keep all the water anymore, right?
It was in January. Our company had just organized one of those post-New Year parties where you try and “kick-off” another year. Everyone has had a drink or two and was watching the parlor game that was taking place -- newspaper dance.
The mechanics was that there were five groups of four and that for each round, each team loses a member. The team that lasts long enough to fit on the folded newspaper wins.
I’m not sure if it was pre-determined by everyone else but for some reason the two of us were grouped together. What started out as a game for five groups of four now came down to three groups of three until it all came down to two pairs.
I was clinging on to him, trying not to fall off the folded newspaper that we were standing on. Tiptoe. Even now I remember how my knees felt like they were about to break because of the position I was in. I couldn’t even mind the other group. All I could think of was keeping myself on that position so we wouldn’t lose.
But I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt a bead of sweat slide off the tip of my nose and I knew I was about to fall off the newspaper as it slid down when I felt his grip on me tighten and the next thing I know he was carrying me.
How foolishly competitive, I thought.
Our faces were just a few centimeters away from each other and my eyes were wide and transfixed on him. I couldn’t move. I was frozen. I knew all the other people in the room where screaming and teasing and cheering us on but I couldn’t hear them anymore. All I could hear was this muffled void and it’s deafening me. I could feel my own heartbeat throbbing inside my head.
Then, an idea struck me. I couldn’t keep this as a “secret” anymore. I wanted to let it all go just like I did moments before he pulled me closer and carried me. I had to tell him.
Our eyes met and my eyes were transfixed on him even more. I tried to find the right words.
“Two years,” I began.
I noticed his eyebrows meet out of confusion. I tried to continue what I was trying to say.
“Two years. I have liked you for nearly two years. If you don’t like me back, then that’s fine. At least I have finally said it to you, face to face.” And then I let go of him, just as I had let go of the feelings I had kept bottled up for nearly two years
My feet landed just a little bit outside of the folded newspaper and I was able to finally hear the catcalls of everyone watching us. I started to walk away, overwhelmed by my sudden confession, while he was left there, probably dumbstruck the way I was dumbstruck when I first saw him nearly two years ago on a Wednesday.