(I probably shouldn’t tell this story, because I don’t think the girl in question knows all of the details… but… well, let’s go for it — it’s about time she knew all of the details anyway! If after reading this you know who it’s about, please keep it to yourself.)

It all begun at Irish Dave’s house. My brother in geeky, flaccid arms. My technical crutch throughout university. And perhaps most importantly, my TV-watching ‘simulcasting’ buddy (remind me to explain it another day). That was an incredibly geeky sentence, sorry. The basic gist of it: Dave’s my friend, and that’s where this story starts: In his kitchen, with some fresh coffee brewing. I’m in my student coat (much like a flasher’s coat) and I’m greasy, and dirty. We’re there to work on a university project,  so you can imagine my surprise when a beautiful, elfin girl waltzes into the kitchen.

‘Hi.’ The first thing I notice, as she greets me and Dave, is her lips. She has amazing cheekbones, too. I’m a sucker for cheekbones and little, pointed noises. She has blue eyes, and freckles — but she’s a brunette, not blonde or ginger. Put simply: she was, and is, beautiful. We chatted, and drank coffee. We met a few more times at Dave’s, and around campus but we were never anything more than acquaintances.

Weeks and months passed until we finally met again.

‘Hi, Sebby.’ She gave me that little, ever-so-slightly-shy pixie-like smile and my heart melted.

In the intervening months, I’d had a chance to reflect on just how much I liked her. My self-esteem at the time was still very low, and I’d completely missed the give-away signs that she liked me. We’d been sitting in that kitchen, and she’d been giggling, and grinning and scooting closer to me… but I’d been oblivious; completely, goddamn blind. I’d been hoping for weeks to bump into her, so I could talk about my feelings for her. I sorely wanted to broach the subject of going out somewhere together.

And that’s when I wrote this journal post:

(no subject) — June, 2003

Okay, so I had a beautiful blog entry written, and then IE decided to die.

It was about dreams, and their significance, and what last night’s dream meant about me, [The Bagel Girl] (the girl I’m currently rather attracted to), and Becky (the girl I’m sharing a house with next year — but we’re only good friends).

Other than that, not much has happened in the last few days.

I also spoke to [The Bagel Girl] three times yesterday. Which was ver’ cool. Seems she might be coming to Alton Towers on the 18th, too! (And staying at the B&B with us… *giggle*)

God, it’s been AGES since I last fancied someone. It’s quite a nice feeling :-)

Firstly, check out that ghetto smiley! How old-school was I? Secondly, Internet Explorer? Pre-Firefox days… ew. We actually held a Firefox launch party at university — that’s how cool we were. Seriously, seriously geeky… but cool! The entry doesn’t make much sense on its own, and I wish I’d spoken more frankly and openly in that journal so that you’d be able to make more out of it. It’s enough to trigger my memories though, so I’ll continue the story:

This is where the tale takes a sad, unexpected turn. She didn’t swoon right there and then, and ask me to take her back to my cave. She’s not in my bed behind me, nagging me to finish this entry. We didn’t live happily ever after.

She didn’t even come with us to Alton Towers. The fact of the matter is, she had found another boyfriend. But I didn’t give up, oh no.

The next year of  my life was spent working my way further and further into the ‘friend zone’. I cooked for her, and took her to the cinema. I invited her around to watch her favourite TV shows, and massaged parts of her that friends really shouldn’t see, let alone touch. But at the end of the day, we were only friends. We spent hours in my bedroom, on my bed, watching X-Files, curled up under a duvet. Close friends, but not close enough. Not once did I get a single damn stolen kiss.

I finally went for the sucker punch. I made tiramisu — the God of all cakes — hoping it would seal the deal and maker her mine. But no, she remained loyal to her boyfriend.

But the most painful thing is — the bit that repeats and resonates throughout my life — she liked me. For a month, after we first met in Dave’s kitchen, she liked me. She wanted to go out with me and kiss me and do despicable, unmentionable things with me. When we next met, that raw, bright flame had been extinguished, never to be be rekindled, no matter how hard I tried.

We were just sitting there, a year later, in my kitchen and enjoying each other’s company. She put another piece of bagel between those lips and chewed in silence, thoughtfully.  After a while, she originated quietly:

‘You know, Sebby, I liked you. When we first met, I liked you a lot. I wish you’d done something about it.’

She finished chewing, put her plate in the sink and went back upstairs to my room. I was dumbfounded.

That’s enough for now. I’m actually mentally exhausted from recalling and reliving that period of my life. I apologise if the story doesn’t make as much sense as it should. It’s odd: the story is so incredibly vivid, in my mind; but I can’t seem to get it right, on paper. I want to write more on the subject, because I have a lot of fun stories to tell about me and The Bagel Girl, but they’ll have to wait for another day, when I don’t feel quite so morose and I feel I can do them justice!

I still wonder what life would’ve been like, if I’d had the balls and self-esteem to ask her out, back in Dave’s kitchen. If only I’d noticed she had the hots for me. We got on so well..

Hm… now I’m a sad Sebby…

Next week, on Time-Travel Thursday… something more positive and happy!

Musical Theatre Monday: jukebox musicals and film-to-stage adaptations
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I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.