Balancing a 40-hour work week and school four days a week at the same time is hard. I don't see my friends often and rarely ever get to have a night of fun. So imagine my glee when my week is finally over, and the day we planned so long ago in advance was finally here.
I bragged to all of my friends and coworkers about this night with a beaming smile on my face. I don't date and I don't interact with boys often. So tonight, I was nervous. I was ready an hour early and I couldn't keep still, so I drove to a local coffee shop as an excuse to leave my house early. I got to our meet up place 10 minutes early, even after taking multiple backroads just to kill more time. It's interesting how time works...how 10 minutes can feel like 10 hours.
It's also interesting how "He's probably running late" turns into 20 minutes, then 30, and soon a whole hour passes by and I'm still in denial of the truth. Every text I sent was left unopened; every call missed. "He's driving, he can't look at his phone," I tell myself.
I waited for almost an hour, watching happy people pass by. I followed every car that passed through the entrance with my eyes thinking, "Is that his car? Is he here?" My hopes rose and fell every time it wasn't him. My thoughts started to turn to the absolute worst case scenario. "He got into a really bad car accident, and he's being rushed to a hospital right now," I thought.
I forced myself to finally leave when my bladder couldn't handle sitting in a car any longer. I drove to the nearest place that I knew had a public restroom. It felt as though every glance that landed upon me knew what I was still trying to deny.
I couldn't just go home - I wouldn't know what to say. I wasn't out for very long. Instead, I drove to a local diner for some comfort food. A sad aura followed me, as pretty as I looked that night. The booth I sat in was just as sunken as I felt. Cheerful laughs came from a few tables around me - a group of teenage girls reveling on about their days' events. Them alone made me feel even worse.
I could've been laughing that night, too. The coffee was hot and my food was good - at least that's what I told my waitress when she asked, I couldn't really taste it. Everything felt and tasted like nothing. Even though I was stood up, I prided myself on not crying, until my waitress came back again and asked me if I was OK. I knew that she was asking in regard to my food, but when I looked up at her, the corners of her lips were turned down, and that's when I felt a gentle liquid roll down my face and the faint sound of a teardrop being caught in my coffee. From then on I couldn't stop crying. There was no shield between my sobs and the rest of the world. I ended up tipping my waitress 100% of the bill just because I knew she had seen me cry.
The drive home was rough. My eyes were wet and so was the road. I drove slow, not because of the weather, but because I had to get my story straight. I stopped at a gas station to replace the gas he made me waste. When I pulled back into my driveway, I had to recollect myself and act as though I wasn't disappointed by a boy. "It was so much fun!" a voice that sounded a lot like me said when my mom asked how my night went. I felt my lips curve into a smile and my chest tighten from such a stone cold lie. I kissed her on the cheek and scurried up to my room to retire to the darkness that consumed me.
To the jerk who stood me up, thank you. Thank you for being a piece of sh*t. Thank you for showing me the selfishness in human beings. Thank you for showing how little you cared for me. It was better for you to show your true colors now, instead of having me suffer later on. Thank you for letting me realize that an "I'm sorry'" text means absolutely nothing to the feelings I still endured the next morning, or that next week, or the random times I think back to that night.
Thank you for finally allowing me to find the BLOCK CALLER button on my phone. And finally, thank you for allowing me to figure out what I will and will not stand from other people in my life, which is the utter disrespect to my time and energy wasted and the absolute disregard to me as the caring human being that I am.