June Renew: Day Twenty-Four
One of the summers in my high school fencing years, I cannot remember which, I went to a two-week long fencing clinic in North Jersey. I was there with at least a few of my teammates, so I wasn’t all alone. I never really cared for sports camps, but my fencing club insisted I attend this one. And it was actually kind of fun. I can’t remember who ran it, but it was a good group of campers. There was this one guy there who was a year younger than me, let’s call him *Luca. I liked talking to him in between fencing bouts. One day, everyone began telling me how much of a crush he had on me. His best friend at the camp IMed me one night to say Luca was really into me, and even my friend on the team noticed how much he seemed to be into me. Apparently it was obvious to everyone but me.
I think I was too scared of any kind of feelings that may or may not have been there. Nonetheless, I accepted his invitation over to his house, me bringing my friend and he bringing his. We played Super Smash Brothers as his Italian mother brought dish after dish of Italian finger food. It was a nice day, I had a good time. The next day I heard it from the horse’s mouth. He emailed me to profess his love for me, telling me how much he was in love with me, how hilarious I am, how cool I am, and that he’d take a bullet for me. I remember feeling flattered but unreciprocal. I just didn’t feel the same way and I had no idea how to tell him. And by the way, how in the hell could someone even feel that way about me?
After much consultation with my friend and my mom, I was able to write him back where I said thank you but I’m just not interested (but didn’t question how in the world could anyone be interested in me?) and that became the end of it. Turns out there were no hard feelings, and we remained friends on Facebook for years. We’d chat here and there as well, but nothing else ever came from it.
Then, in the summer going into senior year of college, I found myself at a North Jersey house party (I can’t remember who invited me) on the same night I found out my ex-boyfriend, who I was still madly in love with, had a new girlfriend. They, like, totally became Facebook official. I was so sad all night and the cheap beer wasn’t helping. I texted him just once and waited all night for a response that wasn’t coming. I had gone to an upstairs part of the house where some people were and heard my name. And there was Luca, standing by the beer pong table. I had no idea he’d even be there, or who he knew at the party, but he was a welcome sight to see. We chatted and played some rounds, and he wasn’t in love with me anymore. We never saw each other again in person, and that was alright too.
It’s still baffling to know someone even had those kinds of feelings for me. I used to feel like such an asshole all the time. A loud, brash, obnoxious, selfish asshole. It felt a wonder for anyone to even want to be my friend. What is it about me that would drive such an emotion? I never felt worthy enough to receive it. Just because I always personally liked myself doesn’t mean I can’t understand why anyone else does. Especially when that person declares me to be loveable. I have such a hard time believing that. It feels easier to reject the notion and keep it away instead of letting myself feel like something could come out of it.
That night of the party, I remember feeling like I had missed out on something with Luca. His smile was as bright as ever, and he still wanted to be my friend. There was a “what if” moment for me, like what if there was a way for us to try again? Would it ever be possible for me to reciprocate what he once had? But it simply could not be. It was over then. It’s over now. I haven’t spoken to him or thought about him in a while now. The last thing I remember before deleting Facebook was seeing him with a girlfriend he seemed pretty happy about. She was someone he could at least declare his love for to the world. That’s always a nice thing to have. I can’t be sorry that it wasn’t me.
Still there’s nothing in me that’s desperate to feel that right now. There’s much greater things at play. What’s meant to find me will, and maybe for once I won’t question my loveability in the process. We all have our insecurities. I just blast mine here rather than Facebook.