I struggled, because I'm not nor have ever been a crafty girl. I don't "make things" and I got all up in my head. So I thought about what it was that I do create and the closest thing I could come up with was words. So I wrote this for John, it's not intensely private or anything, please feel free to read it, it's not too terribly long:
She had faith it would happen. Someday. She figured it would be a friend; someone she had known for a long time but never really noticed. They would get drunk one night, kiss a little and she would realize that this was the man who loved her, who had always loved her. She was right about the storyline, but had gotten the characters wrong.
She had recently gone on a date; it wasn't anything. He was a child and had no sense of humor, he was cute though, for now that was enough. He was from Indiana, he wasn't used to seeing actual art. She thought he might want to see something outside his comfort zone so they went to a theater she had recently started hanging out in.
It was crowded, they had to stand in the back. She was still kind of new hanging out around this place; she wasn't sure where to stand or what to do. She settled in a spot, in front of a few people. Overly aware of her surroundings - never wanting to be the asshole that's ruining the show for everyone - she looked around at the guy behind her and said "I'm sorry." He flashed her a smile "It's okay, I'm tall." And she thought, yes you are - yes you are.
The man's smile flashed through her head as she grabbed Indiana's hand and led him across to the bar. Everyone hung out at the bar after shows. Surely he would be there. Indiana would do as cover while she found out more about him.
He walked into the bar; he knew a lot of the same people she did. He was one of her people, her kind. How lucky.
She asked a respected friend who he was, she said he was one of the greatest men she'd ever known. How lucky.
He came in with a girl of makeup and heels. Is that the type of women he liked? She was confused. She wasn't a heels kind of girl. This might be harder than she thought. And they were definitely dating. How unlucky.
Incidentally she never saw Indiana again. Sometimes people figure it out pretty quick. Sometimes they don't.
She thought about him a lot in the next few weeks. She started to hang out more at the theater; she was making friends and the promise of maybe seeing him again definitely encouraged more nights out at the bar.
One night at the bar she might have had too much to drink. He was alone though, Heels wasn't there. She remembered her mother's saying: "if there's no ring then he's single" and it seemed like sage advice to her. She batted her best eyelashes and heaved her best cleavage. She might have rubbed up against him and asked for a ride home. She can't remember. What she can remember is sitting in his car, feeling what it was like to sit in the seat right next to him. She watched him put on his glasses and her stomach tumbled, she liked sitting in the seat right next to him.
Whatever she talked about, it must have been inane. All she could do was smile a ridiculous smile and stare at him. They stopped in front of her house. She's not sure what hit her, need she guessed. She needed to kiss him, there was really no question about it. Yes, it was definitely need. She leaned over and kissed him. Once, just the one time in front of her apartment. The kiss was nice, she wanted more of the kiss. He held back though. She didn't know why, didn't realize he actually lived by a moral code. She had forgotten that some men actually do that. She had done a fine job of finding men who had a moral code, but could bend it whenever they wanted.
She got out of the car, he drove away and she had that same sinking feeling in her stomach that she always did, "oh well, I just fucked that up."
The next few times she saw him he couldn't really look at her. It killed her to think he was embarrassed or ashamed by her. That was the opposite of what she wanted to make him feel. Plus, he had a girlfriend. That's what her friends kept telling her anyway. But the more she paid attention, the more it seemed like he didn't really like his girlfriend all that much. He deserved a lot better than that. She could tell.
She made friends with his friends. These were the nice guys, the good guys, the funny guys, the guys she had been trying to hang out with her whole life. The more she liked them the more she liked him. She would go to the bar after a show and place herself in situations so she could stand by him; maybe talk to him. One day maybe he'd talk to her back.
She talked about him all the time to her friends. They understood but it couldn't have been easy, listening to her go on and on about a guy she didn't know. Hell, he practically ran away from her. There was an inherent knowledge of what this man was like that kept her attention. She knew absolutely and powerfully that he would love her if he gave himself the chance. All she had to do was wait until he became aware of this absolute truth.
Because he was a kind and nice person, he eventually started to talk with her a bit. She hung back still, she didn't want to scare him. But slowly, he started to see her again. She would stand by him while he was playing games, or laughing, or kissing Heels. She heard hints the bloom might be fading. She went to a party hoping he'd be there, only to find out he had left in a huff. She went to a show and Heels sat behind her, telling another friend of hers all about a fight they had in the car. She caught Heels storming up and down stairs, sighing in exasperated huffs. She watched his face fall every time Heels came into a room.
Heels didn't know what she had; couldn't see the whole picture.
Finally it ended. Soon it would be time. But she knew she still had to hang back;make no sudden moves. It had been almost a year she had she had been waiting, she could wait a little longer. She wasn't interested in being the rebound; she was interested in being home.
He went on same dates. It was quite painful really, to watch him bring a cute girl into the bar. She was sad and uncomfortable but couldn't turn away. She couldn't leave him there and not see what happened. She started to push it a little; asked him for favors, got his cell phone number, went to his Christmas party, allowed herself to imagine for just a minute what it would be like to be with him.
She tried to get him to go to the movies, she tried to get him to go to karaoke. He was having none of it, but invited her over for chowder; she thought she didn't like chowder. She hung out in his loft - open and airy and cool and warm. He was a fine mixture of cool and humble. He could be moody, she saw it now. But she had never had any false ideas of what kind of man he was, She had been learning all year what kind of man he was. He made her hot food on cold days, he made her smile and he made her a little sad. He seemed to like her just fine, but he didn't seem to be enamored. If he wasn't feeling it yet, he probably wasn't going to. This scared her.
She could go on forever waiting, working. But she didn't want to. If he was ever going to love her the way she wanted to love him, he would have felt it by now. She believed that.
There was someone else, someone nice, someone funny who wanted to take her on a date. She should go. That's what she should do. She should go. He doesn't feel it and he's not going to feel it. She should go.
She went, it was fine.
She went to the bar to drown her sorrows, she had to let go. He was there and that was fine. She was still confused. She thought she had gotten it right this time. She thought since she had put in so much time and effort that somehow all that hard work would be rewarded. She thought she deserved it, she thought he deserved it. But it didn't matter, because he didn't feel the same way and he wasn't going to. She had to remind herself of that.
She hung out with him a little that night; practicing not caring. She practiced what it would be like to not have him in her life anymore. He laughed and joked, never aware of the chaos in her head he caused. He smiled at her, maybe a little drunk. His brown eyes were light, his lips curled up in a devilish grin - a smile he reserves for only the greatest of ideas...
"Do you want to get out of here?" He asked.
She looked at him, a face she was sure she was going to be seeing for the rest of her life and asked him to repeat the question.
"Do you want to get out of here?"
And for the first time in a long time, she wasn't confused anymore.
"Yes," she turned to him, "yeah, let's get out of here."