The Surprise Christmas Reunion

13 Jan

by Rhea H.Boyden

I am standing very close to my fantasy dream man and we are looking at each other. ‘It would be all warm and wet’ he says with a cheeky grin. ‘Yes it would’ I respond with a coy smile. My imagination is running wild and he looks even better in real life than he looks in his online photos. I can hardly believe that we are here together in the real w…orld and no longer in our online chat world that I built into such a fantasy. The real reason for everything being warm and wet, however, is not some kind of sexual dream we would find ourselves in, but rather a commentary on the possible temperature and composition of the puke that the drunk guy may hurl onto us as he is being escorted past us with great difficulty and out the door of the bar. It is pretty remarkable that we find ourselves practically pinned up against each other within two minutes of my entering the bar. I would love to have his strong arms around me, but this is a dream that will sadly never be fulfilled. Just being in the same space as him and carrying on this conversation is a fantasy I have harboured for months upon months after our extensive online correspondence, so I am quite fixated on him despite the fact that he has already rejected me online after I admitted my feelings for him. The tension between us now leaves me with utter disbelief that my feelings could not be reciprocated. Oh there are worse horrors in the world than unrequited love, but I am currently unable to recall such horrors. When I went out the pub with my brother and some friends that evening, I had a secret hope that I would run into Mister Fantasy Online man now that I was home in our mutual hometown for Christmas, but I did not think that the second I walked into the bar our eyes would lock in surprise and shock and I would be drawn right towards him nervously and, my voice shaking slightly as he and I try to compose ourselves to greet each other. ‘Hi lads, how are you doing?’ I manage to stammer. Thankfully his drinking buddy for the evening was another of my old classmates who I also got on well with back in the day. ‘I saw your article in the magazine’ my fantasy man informs me. ‘Oh, did you see that?’ I respond. ‘I was very happy it made cover story’. I am of course very happy too that he went to the trouble to get a copy of the magazine and read it and I take this as a compliment too. ‘I am writing for a Berlin magazine now’ I happily inform him. ‘Oh really, how long have you been doing that?’he asks. ‘About six weeks’ I smile ecstatically at him that he is taking an interest in my writing. ‘How is the running going?’ I quiz him on an aspect of his life that I highly admire and find an inspiration. ‘Really well, I ran the Dublin marathon recently’ he tells me. ‘Wow, you did that, amazing? He is fit too, it is a hard fact to overlook. At this point I then turn my attention to his friend-my old classmate- who does seem to be wondering how we seem to know so much about each other after such a long time not seeing each other. Is it obvious to outsiders who observe such a tension filled conversation that they have had an online correspondence that ended weirdly? I do wonder. He tells me about his life and then he asks me ‘So, what about you, Rhea, are you married with kids?’ ‘Um, no I am not’ I respond with a slight laugh, aware that the man who has rejected me is observing this conversation. ‘I am writing Sex and the City style articles, I would hardly be married’, I say dismissively with a wave trying to act blasé and laugh it off in my obvious tense state. ‘Well, I will leave you gentlemen to your pint.’ I announce , not wanting to leave at all, but trying to play it cool. ‘I am insulted that you want to leave us already, you just arrived!’ my Fantasy man’s friend announces. ‘Tell me more about your writing and work’ he says. ‘Um, ok, here is my card if you are interested, my blog is on it’. I hand it to him and then say ‘Oh, it’s my last one’. This happens to be a stroke of luck because I don’t want to give one to my Fantasy dream man anyway because a) he has rejected me and b) he is in many of the stories and poems that I wrote over the past months in any case being my principal muse and I would rather not go out of my way to give him access to my blog. He already knows that he was the muse of one of my most inspired poems that I am very proud of because I wrote it for him and sent it to him and told him which was likely all too much for him and the reason I scared him off and he rejected me in the first place. Eventually I make my excuses and make a point of leaving the bar before him so I can take my pride with me in tact. ‘We are now heading down to that other old bar the one that never changes over the decades.’ I tell him. ‘It has been renovated a bit’, he tells me. ‘Oh, really, you mean the owner has actually allowed the place to be dusted?’ I enquire. ‘Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say he allowed that’ he says. ‘Well, I guess I will go down and wipe off a layer of dust’ I tell him with a seductive smile that I can hardly suppress. The dust had settled on this issue between me and him and I had gotten over it and now the dust that was the cloud of an online correspondence has been wiped away and the months I had of getting over him have been polished clear and I am left bare and shining and fully alert to what I always intuited; that I really did have a serious crush on this guy despite that fact that I had not seen him in 18 years. ‘Have a nice Christmas’ he says, as I exit the bar. ‘ You too’ I respond, as I hasten to leave against my will and my heart but my pride demanding it.

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