I knew The Boy would be at B.’s party Saturday. We’d randomly spoken a couple times after he stopped calling me last winter and although I want to claim that I have no feelings toward him either way, there is a tiny bit of me that wants him to want me. To see what he missed out on. The last time I saw him I was dating J. and I thought that was “in your face” enough. Then he sent me a message on my birthday. “Let me know if maybe you want to grab a drink soon.” Huh? I replied ambiguously. I guess we could be friends?
Saturday night he showed up at the party and I said hello but made no valiant effort at talking to him. If anything, I put my energies into avoiding him. But later on at the bar he found me. We talked football. (When did I become the girl guys can only talk to about football?) He announced he was going to get another drink. He looked down at my empty glass, then back at me, at my glass. And never offered to get me one.
I danced with my friends, I had another drink, and then I went home. I noticed he was grinding with some girl in a tiny skirt when I left and I found myself disgusted. In the cab I noticed a text from an hour before. The Boy: Save me a dance for later? I ignored it. I felt strange and disconnected. What the hell was going on here? A dance for later? Was that metaphoric? Was I supposed to be the girl in the tiny skirt? I deleted it and sank back in the cab. Another text. The Boy: Did you leave? I will be slightly disappointed if you left without saying goodbye. Or saving me that dance.
That night I got home and cried. It wasn’t because The Boy was lame and ambiguous and confusing and attracted to me but not really. It wasn’t because I haven’t heard from the LDC in three days, and before then only about football. It wasn’t because I’ve been single for a really long time. It was because I felt second best. I felt good but not good enough. And even though The Boy was only important in my life for a short amount of time and remains some distant pin prick in my night sky of old flames, he managed to make me feel second best for the second time.