I often wondered what I've done in my past life to be so lucky. I must have helped Lincoln come to his decision in 1776, or planted the liberating ideas into J.F.K's head, or wrote songs for Lennon and speeches for M.L.K. Whatever I did, it was paying off beautifully. In the early summer of 2011, I had already managed to graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, least a galleria with money I saved by selling some paintings, and most importantly, I had just gotten engaged to the most beautiful woman alive. The sky was my limit. Little did I know, my sky was not as far as the average sky?
I met her through mutual friends at a birthday party on January 15th of this year, 2011. It was a small gathering held in a local café near Brown University. I'm usually a sports bar kind of guy so I didn't plan to stay there long. I arrived alone and made a beeline to the birthday girl just to hand her a gift of perfume wrapped horribly in a silk scarf. Ana and I were friends since we were little so I knew she wouldn't be disappointed in my decision to leave her party so early. To no surprise, Ana excused my casual rudeness and allowed me to leave with a clear conscience.
The place was already crowded and full of Ivy League brats with silver spoons, million dollar looks, and condescending attitudes. Not a place for a starving artist with a plastic spoon. I hated the music being played in the background. Classical music should not be allowed on ipods or any technological devices made after the 90s. As I was walking towards the exit of the café's door, I instinctively glanced to my right and saw her. My entire body froze and I had to meet this beautiful human. She was sitting in the corner all alone like a wallflower. Her eyes were off in a distance yet it still sparkled. A blonde with hair at neck's length and sapphire blue eyes had just grabbed my attention in a way no one ever has.
"Hi, I really want to tell you my name," I remember telling her before she introduced herself as Mari Collinsgworth. I was always a cocky son of a bitch. My confidence came from my parents and their constant build up of their future Pablo Picasso. I'm also an only child so I do not know how not to be the center of attention. Although, I never consider myself as a narcissist, my friends often diagnose me with the mental disease of being one. All in all, my arrogant approached towards Mari managed to win me her phone number.
I called her number as soon as I returned to my empty and half painted studio apartment. Walking into my place a conjoined living room and kitchen with a mini fridge and a two seated sofa as its only accessories greeted you at the door. My bedroom had only a mattress and closet full of canvases, paint, shoes, clothing, and broken laptops. I kept most of my sell worthy paintings in a storage. It was small yet cozy, just about the only place I've ever felt comfortable living. Looking back, I realized that calling Mari so soon was cheesy and the opposite of game playing. I was never one to play around. This girl was the one. She was leaving the party when I called and we ended up setting our first date in motion. Because I was a stranger to her, she insisted that we meet somewhere nice and in the open. I suggested that she and I attend an art show downtown, a show that I was already invited to days ago. "That sounds a little boring but ok, I guess it'll be fun…" I remember her agreeing in a stolen laughter.
The first few dates with Mari would consume my heart and I began falling in love incredibly fast. She was everything I ever wanted in a woman. She laughed at my ridiculously lame jokes and even made jokes within them. Every time I called her she came running. Mari had this grace about her presence that almost appeared angelic. I've never known a calmer person. It was as if she were on relaxation pills every time we interacted. Mari was quiet when we went in and shy when we went out, I loved that about her. I loved a lot about Mari Collingsworth. I loved her beautifully hidden smile, her soft and lavender scented hair, her passion for my art, and so much more. She was a pre-med major and worked her tail off to maintain an acceptable G.P.A at Brown. She taught me so much about the human anatomy. I taught her about art. She even redecorated my apartment by painting my walls "in color", she chose a dark purple and I went overboard by painting our faces on the wall. We took that on as a project that lasted an entire Saturday. That day in particular, was one of the most memorial moments in our relationship. Relationship...
I remembering calling Mari and I a "relationship" but Mari only referred to us as a "friendship". It wouldn't bother me until after out 7th date. Technically, it wasn't our 7th date because she was at my apartment almost every night. We would watch movies, play the wii, eat dinner, and I would even help her study. I confronted Mari on the "friendship" theory by taking her to my place and planting a kiss on her lips. That was the moment everything changed. I didn't realize how regrettable that action would be at that point. Looking back…
"So is it me or did I overhear you tell someone that you and I have a rare friendship", I tease Mari while grabbing her hands gently. "It's true, Brennan, I really think that we have something rare. Lately I've been drowning myself in my studies and I had no time for life but you came and changed that. Altogether. I cannot tell yiou what these past few weeks have been for me," she confesses. For the following seconds after she admits this to me, I only stare at Mari, confusingly. I search her eyes for hope that she will say something remotely closer to love instead of friendship but to no avail. I bring her closer towards me by pulling her hands to my waist. I feel her shake terribly but I don't notice how bad until after I stick my tongue down her throat.
"No you can't do this", I hear her scream as she pushes shockingly away. I look at her frame to see that it's violently shaken. What did I do? Tears swell her red eyes and she stares at me like I'm some monster. I try to think of something to reassure her but she's in a state of shock. Lost in the moment…She wasn't seeing me and she was becoming unrecognizable. We were now strangers to each other because of one stupidly unrequited kiss. "I'm sorry", it was the only right thing to say, "I scared you, and I didn't mean to, I'm sorry Mari." My words were true and as I poured them out sincerely. I could feel the tears form in my eyes as I desperately stared into her beautiful face. My pleas were somehow heard as Mari blinks her eyes back into the moment.
"It's, it's late, I have to leave," she reveals before running off into the night, leaving me stricken with worry and extreme curiosity.