We messaged back and forth for a few days, and I told her I had Thursday and Friday nights free the following week. “See you Friday”, she said. Cool. I told her to meet me at 7:30 at one of the local bars, and she agreed.
On Friday morning, I messaged her lightheartedly, ending “See you tonight :)”. I didn’t hear back. As it turns out, my shift ran over by about 3 hours to about 7pm, and I got home feeling really tired. I thought ‘Well, I haven’t heard from this girl, so I think I’ll just have a quiet night in, watching Family Guy’. It got to about 7:30, and for some reason I thought to myself ‘You know- I’ll just call her, just to be sure…’
[Me] Um…. hi!
[Her] I’m at the bar. Where are you?
[Me] Errr… I…. er… well… my, um.. shift ran over- I’ll be right there!
I then had the fastest shower of my life and raced to the bar- I think it took 7 minutes in total. I told her I wasn’t sure we were still meeting anymore, as I hadn’t heard from her that day. She said she knew, but she didn’t cancel, either. We both laughed.
In any case, we had a drink and went to a tapas restaurant, then to another bar. We had a great time and I really enjoyed her company. It’s not often you meet such an attractive girl who’s warm, smart and fun to be with. I walked her to a taxi and we made loose plans for me to make her dinner.
We kept in contact, but she told me she had exams approaching, and that it wouldn’t be a good idea for her to start anything at the present time. I told her that I completely understood- when I have exams, I don’t want to see anyone or do anything other than study. She said she appreciated that.
The following weekend, I was lining up outside a bar with some friends, when a familiar figure walked past. It was her. She turned to me with a huge, beaming smile. I smiled back. I really think we both had fun that night.
I messaged her the following day asking if she’d be interested in catching up after her exams. She said we could work something out.
I started singing in bars about a month later, and one of them was a bar she works at on Mondays: the 4Pines. The open mic night was Tuesdays, so I never saw her there. I’d send her a message occasionally, and often she’d respond. She lives not far from me, and I’d sometimes see her around, but I only really spoke to her once.
4 months ago, they changed the open mic night to Mondays, and she was still working there. I’d been doing lots of practise, and I honestly don’t think I’d ever sung as well as I did that night. Everyone in the bar was staring at me in amazement. I couldn’t believe it was me, either. Everyone was watching.
Except for her.
It was clear she just didn’t want to acknowledge me.
I said hello to her at the end of the night. She said she liked it, but it was a shame it was a relatively quiet night. I told her that my song ‘Be This Way’ was about Nikki, who broke my heart, not about her- she was a much nicer person than her. She laughed and was clearly flattered.
After my next show at that venue, she was singing along to Fleetwood Mac. I went to say hello to her. We chatted briefly, and I asked her what her favourite Fleetwood Mac song was. She said it was ‘Landslide’.
I ordered a copy of their greatest hits CD from England, being sure it had ‘Landslide’ on it. I gave it to her the following week, telling her that I thought she was really cool, fun, smart and pretty. She said thanks, but not much more.
When I tried to arrange another show at that venue, the music coordinator became really difficult to get ahold of. Unless I’m singing there, I don’t go to that particular bar very frequently. I popped in once just after New Year for a study break. She happened to be on that night. I stood at the bar and smiled at her, hoping to order a drink. She looked at me like she wanted me to die. I ordered my drink from someone else.
Arranging another performance was proving to be impossible- the music coodinator ordinarily confirms me to sing very quickly, but I just couldn’t get hold of him. 2 months ago, he eventually messaged me:
‘Hi Victor. Apologies for the late reply. I’m very sorry but the 4Pines have asked that I don’t have you back to play at the venue. It’s not a reflection of your performance but that staff member was made to feel uncomfortable during your last performance. Thanks for the times you have played here.’
I figured it must have been something like that. There was no point arguing with it. I remember her staring daggers at me in a manner that was beyond negotiation. At that moment, however, I did think to myself ‘What have I got to do to make you notice me…?’ It fit quite well with A minor7, F and G. I hummed it into my phone. I got home and started writing. More accurately, ‘it’ started writing itself. I just happened to be there.
One thing I hate about myself is that when I meet someone I think is really special, I can often push too hard, and hold onto something so tightly that I lose it. I’m not mad at her at all. I hate myself for pushing her away from me, and also not daring to ask her out again when we were still talking, instead of buying her gifts when she hadn’t responded to any of my messages for months. Something seems to happen most times I meet someone who’s just uncomplicated and nice, and has everything that I look for, compelling me either to say and do the wrong thing, or just fail to see what to others would be glaringly obvious.
I recorded the song on Garageband about a week later, and thought it was OK, but I’ve just spent the weekend in a recording studio, and to my surprise, of my five completed songs, this was the one that brought the studio to a standstill.
We all just stared at each other.
“That’s my favourite. That’s special” The producer said.
The professional recording is now on Soundcloud and iTunes. I still have the laptop prototype. It’s a strange situation to be in: I wish she didn’t dislike me, but it’s that dislike that has given me my most moving song to date. A part of me wants to thank her, but I’m not sure how that would be received.
I sent it to her with an apology, saying it was never my intention to make her feel uncomfortable. I haven’t heard back from her, but then, I wasn’t expecting to.
The professional version.