It was a friend’s surprise birthday party and he was wearing a red sweater. Two weeks prior I received a 2am drunk text from my most recent ex apologizing for his part in our relationship’s demise. It was everything I had wanted to hear for so long, but it was not enough and it was only a text. I’m such a monster that I don’t even deserve a phone call, was what had been going through my mind for weeks. And the sad part is- wait. I’m realizing in this moment that I sound a lot like Carrie Bradshaw and I love that bitch but please know that is not my angle with these stories. I just write what’s on my mind, and sometimes there’s nothing there. But I have had several friends get married and/or engaged this summer and it seems as if coupling and relationships is all anyone can talk about these days. I blame it on the July heat. But here I go hopping on the band wagon and honestly this band really sucks.
Back to my story. I was sad and I was alone and I was actually super depressed. I had just gone sober because I was in the business of making babies for other people so I couldn’t even drown my sorrows in a nice glass of cab. I put on a deep red lipstick this night and I remember feeling very pretty. I don’t remember his name and I don’t even remember what he looks like. All I remember is that red sweater.
I was sitting in a chair in the corner of the room while he was playing beer pong. I couldn’t drink so I found the leftover christmas cookies and claimed them as my long lost children. I cherished each one so dearly before I stuffed them in my mouth. He came up to me and made eye contact and then he took a cookie from my plate. I was insulted and intrigued. Some friends were dancing to what could only be described as tribal music in the next room. A girlfriend walked up to me and asked what I was doing. Well our only two options are watching these randos play beer pong while eating cookies or participating in a tribal dance, I told her. Red sweater guy overheard me and began laughing. He thought I was hilarious. He looked at me and winked. WINKED.
Interesting. Maybe this would end up being interesting. Until, of course, he found out that I was having a baby. But we continued to watch the randos play beer pong, obviously.
Red sweater guy was standing in front of my chair. He threw a ball and sunk it into a cup and his teammates cheered. He was obviously very athletic while also being very intellectual and he probably could quote Proust while cooking me a nice french meal and he probably had a great job and a nice condo with a rooftop patio where we would drink white wine spritzers in the spring and he would throw a frisbee and his perfect little dog would catch it in his mouth and then his baby nephew would wimper from his playpen and red sweater guy, being the loving uncle that he is, would pick up the baby and rock him back to sleep. Anyways, so this is where it gets good- he backed up a couple of feet and reached his hand behind him while still facing forward. His hand made contact with my thigh and then he squeezed it. HE SQUEEZED MY THIGH. This sounds weird upon retelling it, but in the moment it felt as if he had wanted to share his joy with me. It was comforting and cute and a little sexual and I was into ALL OF THAT. My face immediately went into the surprised as fuck emoji face and I made eye contact with my friend. She gasped as she saw his hand still lingering on my thigh (while I am still balancing a plate of christmas cookies on my lap, mouth full with a macaroon).
He let go of my thigh and continued with his game. Eventually I got bored and joined the tribal dance party. After a couple hours the night was winding down and me and my unborn child needed sleep. I began to make the rounds- saying goodbye to all of my friends in the hopes that red sweater guy would still be in this house somewhere. Maybe he would see that I was leaving and ask where I was going? Maybe he would ask to come with me? Maybe he would confess his undying red sweater love for me and my thigh and we would make beautiful children together?
I found him in the kitchen. I walked up to him, not knowing his name, and announced that I was leaving. He looked at me in shock and said, “After all we’ve been through?!” I laughed and said yes even after all we’ve been through. He hugged me goodbye and I never saw him again.