She caught his attention as she walked in, her slim frame was the first thing he noticed. That always seemed to do the trick for him. She was bubbly and happy, her laughter was from deep within and it was infectious. They were attending a conference, so he stayed professional until they went dancing over the weekend. She could move and she filled the place with the way she danced, one could not help but notice her. He found that he got more and more drawn in, all he hoped for was that she would give him a chance.
He spent time trying to help her settle in as she would be around for a month. He constantly proposed activities, and started by picking her up for breakfast the next weekend, then showing her around town. She was a curious one so it worked out well as she had so many questions, some he could not even answer. At some point, they had to resort to google to satisfy her curiousity. They spent a pleasant day together and he found himself laughing much more than he had in a long time. Since he called it quits nearly two years ago, he had not been attracted to any woman and had started to question whether he was still normal. The hurt from those years ran deep.
They stayed in touch after she left, although he was unsure what to make of it, as she had a way of staying neutral. He played along in the friend game for as long as he could until his mind started to torment him. They shared a common love for music, so he would share songs that always served as conversation starters. Soon enough he started to share songs that mirrored his feelings. On a certain day, he decided to shoot his shot; he shared Joe boy's 'beginning to fall in love'. On the other end, she knew exactly what was happening but she chose not to respond. The wait for him felt like eternity!
A few days passed and he found himself checking his phone quite often to see if she had replied. Afraid to call, imagining he had burnt the branch of friendship extended to him, he was starting to wallow in rejection. After a long day, he picked up his phone one last time and there her reply was! She was asking why he shared that song, then it all came out... She knew the whole time that he fancied her, but he had been easier to manage before he started to make his confessions. She was unsure how to tread with him. They lived in different places, she had never been in a long distance relationship and did not know a thing about making it work. She enjoyed talking to and chatting with him but there was an unsettling feeling deep within that she could not shake off. Work would take her to where he was regularly so she was willing to hold on with starting anything. Something in her wanted to see him some more before deciding.
On her next visit, she was out with such a lively group which he was part of; they all went dancing. He was an entertainer on the dance floor. He could dance but he also had a way of hyping himself that made it all so comical. She found that she enjoyed his company and this time he was pushy. She figured she was ready to test the waters, but had got away with feigning ignorance until a certain evening. They had just had dinner and he was acting quite needy which threw her off a little. They chatted away, amidst laughter, he drew close to her and reached for her face. Her first reaction was to pull back but that didn't deter him. He tried again and this time, she let him. Well, he turned out be a good kisser.
She left knowing there was a possibility that something had started. That feeling of something being amiss came back, but she was ready to ignore it. She had nothing to lose anyway. There were times he would be good with keeping in touch, while there were other times he would be silent. She realised that he was not good with words, music really spoke for him. She thought she could let that be until a month passed with no word from him. Worried, she reached out but got scanty replies. She reached out to one of his colleagues to reassure herself that he was fine. It turned out that he was under a lot of pressure.
She wanted to be there for him, but he would not let her, so she let him be. Then the silence stretched out longer till she started to forget him. He resurfaced out of the blues with a certain urgency that got her worried. He asked if she wanted to be with him and was waiting for a reply. She found it funny how he was silent for months then wanted an urgent reply. She could not give him one as she had met someone else she was considering. She was honest about things, but he used that against her, which she did not appreciate. They went back and forth in a rather tense conversation, then she asked questions she would normally ask. She asked about his last relationship, unknown to her, she was opening a can of worms he had conveniently tucked away.
With her frequent work trips, they were reunited again and as she probed, he was elusive. Eventually it came out that he was divorced and a father of one. He seemed like a hands on dad and she found that admirable. On one of the days while hanging out with some ladies, there was a lot of banter, and one of them mentioned that she had noticed how he was interested in her and was putting in a word for him. However, one thing this woman said left her perplexed...
At lunch the next day, she mentioned that she was going to ask a question and would only like the truth from him. Looking right into his eyes, "how many children do you have?" she asked. "Four", he replied. There was a moment of silence that felt like a whole hour. This was confirmation of what she heard last night. "Was anything you ever told me true?" He had also recently moved houses and claimed his housemate was just a colleague. Rumour had it that they were an item. That, he debunked. As she stared at him asking for truth, he seemed incapable of giving that. She got the sense that he gave nothing but lies. She felt deep disappointment and a sense of loss she could not explain. After that conversation, he avoided her. She assumed he needed time to sort his feelings out.
She had the weekend left in his town and made a few plans with different friends and colleagues. Just before close of business on Friday, they bumped into each other, he could not even look her in the face. "I'll see you later" he said. Later never came, making her choice rather easy.