He Hasn’t Met You
Some time ago, an older friend of mine and I were standing at the bus stop together, sipping frappes from McDonald’s, when he decided to open up about his personal life and his (somewhat unwelcome) feelings about me.
“I told my therapist about you,” he said that day. He started laughing nervously, like he knew it was an awkward topic but he still felt the need to tell me.
“Uh oh,” I told him reluctantly. “And what did he say?”
On the sidewalk, people walked by, eyeing us curiously. We were quite the strange pair. In the heat, I stood wearing a short dress and my school bag, and he stood towering over me in his work uniform. He tugged at the collar of his shirt and glanced around at everyone but me.
“He told me I should leave you alone, that you’re too young for me and I shouldn’t distract you because you seem like a nice girl.” He said this very slowly, as if testing the weight of the words and running them through his mind, listening himself for some kind of logic.
“Maybe he’s right,” I said carefully. I knew he had feelings for me, but I didn’t have any feelings to match those in return. I also didn’t want to hurt him any longer. “Maybe that’s what’s best.”
“But he hasn’t met you,” he snapped suddenly. He looked at me directly for a moment, a hint of frustration in his eyes. “He hasn’t met you, and if he did, he wouldn’t leave you alone, either.”