An Open Letter to the Boy Who Was Never Really Yours

As featured on PuckerMob.

Is it strange that I think of you sometimes? Miss what we had, though we didn’t really have anything, did we?

I remember your apartment, the beige walls, the pile of dirty clothes at the foot of your bed that you pushed aside and covered with a blanket as if that would somehow make it disappear. Your cheeks flushed this bright red and you stuttered when I made a joke about your stinky jersey. It was cute.

There were a lot of things about you that were cute. The way you messed with your keys the entire walk to dinner. The way I could visibly tell you were scared to talk to me. Like I was this foreign creature. I tried to make you laugh. I liked when you laughed at my jokes. We ate dinner, slowly. Probably the slowest I’ve ever eaten. I tried to match you bite for bite. We talked about school and sports. We talked about friends, maybe. In all honesty I don’t remember what we talked about. But I remember your grey and red baseball cap, those baggy great sweatpants, the way your friends teased you from the table to our left. They knew you were nervous, too.

We stayed up late that night, watching shows on Netflix I didn’t really care about, pretending to busy ourselves with homework. Like it was possible to do those two things simultaneously. I kept waiting for your touch, something simple, like you brushing a hair from my face. Something the boys do in the movies. I was already picturing us in your truck, our hands intertwined and resting in that center cup holder. I could see us, twenty dates from now, your arms around my shoulders.

The room was filled with electric tension. Or maybe that was all in my head. Our hands grazed when I reached for my pencil and I swear I thought my heart was just going to burst right out of my ribcage. I was so nervous. I read the same two pages of Beowulf over and over. I had to pee for forty-five minutes before I finally mustered up the courage to ask you were to go.

Now you’re at some school I don’t know about. Now you’re probably missing some other girl. Loving some other girl.

The two of us, we were never really anything. Text messages exchanged for a few weeks. Nights of Screwdrivers and Bud Lights. Awkward smiles in the hallways. Netflix marathons and a shared plate of Mexican food.

I like to think you were mine, even for a second. We broke things off, whatever the ‘thing’ was to begin with. I was angry. But I couldn’t be. We never had a title. I was sad. But I lost something that was never really mine.

I think of you sometimes, wonder if you ever think of me. Wonder if you’re happy. Wonder if you still get nervous talking to girls. If your face still turns that tomato color. If you take a girl in that truck of yours, drive and hold her hand, rest it intertwined in that center cup holder.

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