We met at a bar named to remind us of the various nationalities living in the city. But we looked like we could be siblings, in a way that I never quite liked. Nonetheless, I found our conversation stimulating enough to give you my number when you surprised me by asking for it.
My roommate burst into tears as the two of us got into a taxi to go home that night. “You walked in and he didn’t even notice me,” she sobbed. I didn’t know how to handle that reaction, considering I put zero effort into attracting anyone at that point in life. I hadn’t even noticed that she was interested in you and I felt like she was being obnoxiously irrational. I was so cold and uninterested in sympathy those days. And so, I failed to put hoes before bros.
When you failed to kiss me at the end of our first date, I was sure that was the end of it. Or that you were gay and just wanted a new friend. Either way, I was already steeling myself to forget you. But after another date and some pizza, we walked through the early snow to your tiny room and I slept peacefully against your abnormally warm body.
The first time you came to my apartment, my roommate made you a grilled cheese. I don’t know if she burst into tears later in the night, but we avoided staying at my place all the same. Instead we would pool our collective minimum wages to get a cheap bottle of wine and hole up in your alternately overheated, freezing room. Or we’d go to the cheapest bar we knew, to drink its $5 beer/shot combos. You would discuss music with my best guy friend; I would talk about you to my girl friends.
After a few months, we drifted. We were both so similar. In our depressions and our coldness. It was fitting that our relationship faded with the cold of winter. I found it natural to drift away and you didn’t try to pull me back. My best guy friend had loved your addition to our group and was wildly upset that I never reached out, but I just shrugged and drifted on.
Perhaps you were upset about it though. When you wanted to reconnect over drinks in that hidden, upscale bar a few months later, I thought we were just being friendly. I had already found someone who didn’t look like me or keep distance like me. Regardless, I wouldn’t have known what to do with your elevated body temperature in the spring.