Back when we were inexperienced boys, we watched too many romantic comedies where the guy always get the girl in the end, no matter how much the girl hated him in the beginning. We were naive enough to believe that persistence always works, and it felt good to believe in it because we hoped the next girl will be different.
I was 18 and in my second year of uni. When I first met her, the crush hit me hard. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and fantasising about being her boyfriend. It bordered on the obsessive and I was too eager to know that when she was being nice to me, she was really just being nice to me and there was nothing more to it.
To her credit, when she knew from my actions and from what she’s heard from our friends that I did have a crush on her, she wasn’t mean to me or tried to brush me off. She remained friendly to me and did not avoid me. Alas, to the fool that I was I thought that that was a positive, and there was still a chance for me yet.
So for a full two semesters of uni, I persisted. I would ask her out, she’d say no and make up excuses. But sometimes, she’d relent and we would end up having coffee. It was only ever coffee though and it was always at uni. I didn’t get to drive her anywhere, which was pretty good of her in hindsight – I could’ve wasted a lot of money.
During all this, I still see her for group outings and nights out. And when I see her flirt with other guys, pangs of jealousy would course through me and it hurt real bad. I don’t remember crying over her, but I do remember feeling rage. Though luckily for me, I never got violent with anyone.
After a whole year of yo-yo-ing between feeling elated when I’d see her and get to spend time with her, and feeling dejected and like a loser when I see her paying more attention to other guys, I suddenly woke up one day and thought that this can’t continue.
When I was together with her in a computer lab that day, chatting with other people and to each other, I looked at her and then typed,
Is it awkward whenever I ask you out?
Yeah it does.
I wrote back,
Ok I’ll stop.
And then I felt the weight on me being lifted away. As we left together, we smiled and that was that. 16 years later we remained good friends even though we never brought it up again. Thanks Tina, for teaching me valuable lessons about women and relationships which I still hold on to till this day. And, for being the classiest girl to have rejected me.
Although, after you I did rush into having my first girlfriend because after having my ego bruised, it felt good to have someone showed an interest in me. But that, as you now know, is another story.
Photos from my final year Engineering yearbook. L to R: me circa 1992, me circa 1996. Ah, memories.