Say it. Mean it. Don’t run from it.

I was nervous. I must have changed my outfit a good 5 or 6 times. I don’t know why my friends had decided to pick this party of all the usual turn ups that we’d normally go to. Crop top and skirt. No it doesn’t match. Crop top and shorts – I’m trying too hard. Crop top and jeans, why am I wearing a crop top at all? I ended up getting so frustrated and just put on what I’d been wearing the whole day. Just before I left, I grabbed his ring which sat on my dresser. Obviously it was to return it, but there was no harm in wearing it tonight.

I didn’t want to think about seeing him there. I didn’t want to think about why I cared what I looked like. I distracted myself on the drive to the party with wonderfully misogynistic hip hop which spoke to my soul about bad bitches and twerking. Arriving at the party, I was immediately put at ease when I saw that he and our mutual friend hadn’t arrived yet. The atmosphere was incredible and I ran into so many old friends, colleagues and of course my closest mates. I then realised however, that as it got later into the afternoon, I was bound to run into him. There was only one answer – tequilla.

Back in forth I went, with a new friend each time grabbing a shot. It didn’t mean anything – I just wanted to have a good time. Beer. Tequilla. Beer. Tequilla. Oh this was fun. There were plenty of cute boys eyeing me – it was easy to paste on a friendly smile, but before anyone of them could get to comfortable, I found a reason to excuse myself. Just as the sun was sitting, my friend had arrived. I immediately started looking for Bugz, standing on my tip toes and searching for that trade mark bun. I spotted her and hurried over, she was standing by the bar and jumped on her giving her the hugest hugs. We were gushing over each other and giggling and hugging, and as I pulled away I realised he was standing there.

He looked so good – I was thrown by that. Why wasn’t he a mess? Why didn’t he look as miserable or as nervous as I felt? I felt time slow down as I was trying to process this. There was definitely an uneasy feeling between us, as I leaned in for an awkward hug. I could smell his woody scent, I could feel he had been working out. I thought I’d feel nothing after these 3 weeks, but everything was sensed at that moment. I wanted him. And I had thrown it all away.

This wasn’t going to work – I couldn’t be in his presence. I wasn’t ready. Due to my level of intoxication there were only a few ways that could go… I act crazy and embarrass myself, throw myself at him and look like a fool or do what I usually do and run. I tried to find my friends, but they were all busy with their respective hook ups.  I found myself returning to Bugz and him, the sun was setting and I was barely listening to Bugz as our eyes kept catching each other’s attention and starting. There were no smiles. Just stares.

We decided to dance, however that misogynistic hip hop I was listening to earlier had no appeal. I couldn’t dance ratchet when less than a metre away stood  a guy I shared Ella Fitzgerald and Common and Flight Facilities with. I ended up uncomfortably shifting my weight from side to side and watching him out of the corner of my eye.

He was drinking a lot- and he wasn’t a big drinker. What was that, his 6th or 7th beer? His 5th smoke? I didn’t like it, but who was I to like it or not? It was about this time that he and I were vying for Bugz attention, using her like spy to recon on eachother. What did he say? How is he? Poor girl, caught up in all of this.

It was time to check in with my other group of friends, and I left but they had disappeared somewhere so I was forced to return to Bugz and him again. However he was talking to a girl – she was beautiful, about my height but all smiles and flawless skin. He looked happy, his arms were on her shoulders and they were laughing. I walked away. This was not good – I didn’t want to see him happy, especially with someone else. My friends were teasing me earlier in the day about how I could look so miserable when I was the one who had put an end to things, how could I be so emotional over someone who I had only been with for 2 months. These were the questions I wasn’t supposed to be thinking about, I was supposed to be having fun – clearly he was.

No, I had to go back. We were all going to have shots, but I really shouldn’t drink anymore. I suggested a selfie instead. One of my friends grabbed my phone and aimed the screen at our group.

My heart stopped.

I watched as my reflection watched stunned at the left of the screen where he was kissing that smiling girl on the cheek. That smiling girl wasn’t me. But everything about that pose and that kiss was mine, well it was supposed to be mine. We used to take pics like that all the time, with his head resting on my shoulder, and me (well her now) beaming with so much excitement. I locked eyes with him through the screen – I saw his surprise. I knew that he hadn’t realised I was there. Selfie moment over I grabbed my phone and knew I had to get away. There was just so much pain and confusion over how I was feeling. Why was I feeling this way?

He reached out to grab me but I pulled away angrily. Bugz tried to call me back but I had yelled something about needing to get out of here right now. But to where? This party was in the middle of no where, I didn’t know where my friends were. Drinking again seemed like the only option. I took the long way round back to the bar, and stood in the queue. He appeared suddenly next to me, and I turned my head to the side, foolishly hoping he wouldn’t see me. We were close to each other, I couldn’t exactly hide.

“So you’re not going to talk to me?” … I can’t remember my reply, all I remember is wanting to hurl accusations, shout at him, hit at his chest, ignore him, hug him, kiss him, hold him. Say I’m sorry. I ordered us two tequillas and then lead him to a quiet dark place to sit and talk.

He said a lot, he said so much and he said all the right things. Things that scared me, things that made me run in the first place.  I had a decision to make, flight or fight. In all that confusion, I started crying – which I hated myself for. Because I wasn’t crying in a moment of weakness but because I had achieved a moment of clarity. That I wanted, this that I wanted him. He was enough and worth the risk to make me stay.

Somewhere between the tears and the hugs and the kisses I said it, but he didn’t hear me. That was okay, I was saying it more for myself more than anything. But was we left, I said it again for us now.

And after that night, I knew I would never run again.

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