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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Most Likely To... Play With Fire (Part 5)

This is part 5 of a series of posts titled Most Likely To....  They are my life stories.  You can read the complete story here:
  • Most Likely To... (part 1) here,
  • Most Likely To... Marry a Rich Guy (part 2) here,
  • Most Likely To... Have Friends in High Places (part 3) here.  
  • Most Likely To... Fall Head Over Heels (Part 4) here .

The rest of that summer passed by slowly.  Between trying to avoid meeting Ash and nursing a broken heart, I couldn't wait for school to start in September.  I still hang out with Leigh a lot, but mostly at her house, trying not to be too obvious about my sudden aversion to Ash.

Things started to look up a bit when she decided to no longer have a crush on Ash's brother.  You see, with Leigh, she could switch guys and transfer her affections like an on/off button.  I wished I could do the same--it certainly would make life so much easier.  But I did enjoy living vicariously through Leigh, me just sitting on the sidelines while watching her flirt with different guys.  I admitted it could get really awkward at times, what with Leigh making me tagged along like a third wheel when she's on different dates.  Poor blokes.  You should see the 'surprised, tinged with disappointment' look they all had the moment they realized there would be three of us instead of just the two of them.  Sorry boys, you're not gettin' any tonight, that's for sure.

It did have its perks though.  I got to observe different types of guys from where I was sitting on the sidelines.  You do have to kiss a LOT of frogs before you find your prince--at least that's what happened in Leigh's case.   Most were just plain pathetic; those ones we would men-bash and laughed at as soon as they dropped us on Leigh's doorstep at the end of the night.  Some we would disagree on; mostly me begging Leigh not to break the guy's heart.  We did meet some weirdo ones too, like that guy who thought it was a good idea to tell Leigh that there were girls guys bring home to introduce to their mamas (that being Leigh), and then there were girls guys just wanted to f*ck and be done with (for some reason he used me as an example).  I didn't have to be Einstein to figure out I wasn't going to ever see him again after that.

Living in a town where everybody most likely knew everybody else, we would frequently run into my older cousins, all of whom knew Leigh as well.  I remembered one particular night, when Leigh and I met one of my cousins in a bar.  The same bar where I was with Ash that last time.  Naturally I wasn't in the best mood, still being a sour grape and half resenting Leigh for dragging me there.  My cousin introduced me to a friend of hers, maybe out of pity because at the time he was looking kinda bored, being one of the first in his group to arrive.

His name was Leathan.  I remembered the name clearly because it was an unusual name.  And also because when I shook his hand, Leathan didn't even look at me.  His eyes were somewhere else, as if searching for something or someone who wasn't there.  He also had this scowl on his face.  What a pompous ass, I thought to myself.  And just when I thought the night couldn't possibly get any worse!

By the time school started in September, I was actually looking forward to be back at the boarding house, away from home and everything that reminded me of Ash that summer.  I thought I could trick my mind into believing he never existed once I was back in school.  Different town, different crowd.  But I found myself comparing every boy in and out of school to him, finding them lacking this and that, but basically just because they weren't him.  My mind oscillated between hating him and missing him so much.

I just got back from the shower one Saturday morning when the phone rang.  Annoyed that I hadn't had a chance to dry my hair yet, with water still dripping from my wet hair, I half-yelled my hello into the receiver.  There was a pause on the other end, and then the person said, "Hi."

The moment I heard that voice, I knew.  It was Ash.

I remembered the awkwardness at the beginning.  I wasn't exactly friendly, suddenly remembering again what happened the last time we met.   And yet the joy of hearing his voice again, when I had given up hope of ever hearing from him, was too much for me to contain.

It was a conversation that lasted for over two-and-a-half hours.  We took turns asking questions, joking and laughing in between, subtly letting the other know how we each felt without saying the actual words.  Almost as if there were no tomorrow, we were desperately trying to know about each other as much as possible.

He didn’t mention anything about his girlfriend, and I didn’t ask.

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