This time though, it's far from love. It's just an infatuation that has gotten the better of me for the last month or so.
I met a man who's so funny and quick-witted and easy to talk to. He's one of those people who make it seem so easy to talk to them. It is as if everything you say is never taken against you but instead turned into this private understanding - something that will forever be shared just between you and him (me and him). What he lacks in physical attributes, he makes it up for a huge sense of humor and charisma. How could someone not fall for that kind of person? The kind that blinds the eye on physical attributes but captures the mind and the heart on charisma and humor. It is so easy being with him; so comfortable.
Then as each day progresses and each busy schedule is broken by text messages, meet-ups, professional-client interaction, I liked him more and more. And I wanted him to like me too. I think that's normal although I really hated it. It feels like I'm a teenager all over again. I've been okay for the last many years since that first love left and now here comes another person who comes in on the small opening in my wall and creates chaos in my mind. I didn't like the feeling but I welcomed it anyway. The way I welcome a little shower of rain on an awesomely bright sunny day. There was hesitation. Everyone says that hesitation is okay but I should not close my doors. Try to exert a little effort, they said. What if he's the man you've been waiting for for ages? Make a little move but don't give too much of yourself. Send him messages, ask certain things, make him miss you a little more.
I tried but there was hesitation. It was not me. I do not like making the first move. But I did try, anyway. If only they know how every message, every conversation that I started feels like a huge painful hole is being drilled into my defenses of pride and dignity. But I tried. I tried, anyway.
I eventually got the first invitation to dinner (more like a dare) but it did not materialize. And they said I shouldn't let it be forgotten just like that. And so I reminded him. The second time it was set, there was a definite date along with a string of funny conversations. It did not materialize either and we never talked again, nor met each other again. Suddenly, even the working relationship has disappeared and I was left wondering if I did too much. My pride and dignity and self-worth were left on the floor, with multiple painful holes. That part of myself that I left without a wall suddenly blamed me and demanded that a wall be put around it so that no one can ever enter again.
I guess it should not matter because it was not love. It was a momentary infatuation. But it doesn't make it hurt any less. Because at this moment, it's not my heart that is broken; it is my pride and my notion of self-worth. For this man, for this momentary infatuation, I have let my defenses slip and have ventured beyond my comfort zone. It did not make me feel good. It made me feel as if I am desperately begging for a man's attention when I have promised myself that I will never have any man bring me to my knees unless I did something wrong and I am asking for forgiveness. It is not a good feeling. I think it's worse when it is your pride and self-worth as a woman that is broken. No amount of sappy songs or uplifting quotations can patch up the wounded holes.
I think it's unfair though. For he will never know how much courage one text message required. He will never know how much control it took to keep my sanity each time we meet and each time he shows that undeniable charisma. He will never know how many hopes are shattered each time one measly dinner invitation is forgotten and cancelled. He will never know how much effort it took to step out my comfort zone and squeeze myself on the tiny hall in my supposed-to-be stronger wall.
But I guess that's how it is in every aspect of this game of love (or infatuation). It is a constant battlefield and when your wall is too weak and your defenses lacking, you lose. I used to be a person who wears my heart on my sleeves but I have learned better now. I will build stronger walls and gather better defenses.
Because one measly dinner invitation will never ever cure a wounded pride. I am keeping my dignity for now, thank you very much.