Act While You Can

It’s over. Prince Scientist is gone.

On Thursday, two of my friends who know I have a crush on him performed a bizarre dance of lunacy in the break room and managed to snap an unsuspecting stalker-style picture of him. In that same strange break room encounter they overheard him saying that he was going to happy hour with some of his scientist friends on Friday. We eventually found out why…to celebrate his last day.

My other “friend”, who knows I have a crush on Prince Scientist, the one who was convinced that he liked her, the one without gaydar, the one who said he is just a scientist and doesn’t make enough for her (yet who stalks him in the halls) managed to catch him on Friday. He told her that he’s leaving and that he’s going to start his own business. Prince Scientist specifically told her to tell us over here. He only talks to me and one other person — the woman with whom I was doing the training and who saw all the longing, lingering glances he and I were throwing at each other.

Yet, she didn’t tell me. She has yet to say anything to me about it (but will surely tell me this week when it’s too late). She must see me as quite the threat for that type of behavior. Bitchy mean girl to the last, she told two people he doesn’t talk to, has maybe only ever said hello to. Luckily, one of them is part of the lunatic duo who had sneaked a picture of him to me only the day before. She told me and I got up and went to the hall. Frantically texting my friend (and my poor ex, who happened to text me while I was out there, and who surely didn’t want to hear about my crush), I caught Prince Scientist coming back from lunch.

I talked to him. Nervous to the very end, I wasn’t the essential me — I wasn’t funny and I wasn’t smart. I was awkward, but I did it. I told him that I heard that he was leaving. He confirmed it and told me that he was starting his own business. We chatted, but I don’t remember about what. You would think that I would remember the conversation verbatim, and I would have, nerves aside, had he not done one thing.

He shook my hand.

He put his hand out for mine and I grabbed it. His grip was soft and his hand was cool. There was no squeezing like in most guy handshakes. Nothing firm and hard, but nothing limp. He just squeezed it the slightest bit, almost affectionate. Almost like a caress. He held my hand for a few beats longer than was necessary, and our hands trailed apart. I touched his palm for the briefest of seconds, and he kept his hand there, not returning it to his side until I had drawn away.

He said it had been great, looking me right in the eyes and not looking away once. We stayed there for a moment or two, and I’m sure my face showed that I wasn’t happy. I told him good luck, he said thank you, and we parted ways. It wasn’t until I got back to my desk that I realized, in some weird sort of synchronicity, that I was wearing the same outfit I had when we first really met that day in his team meeting. Hellos and goodbyes.

It didn’t feel like enough, so I sent him an e-mail. It was more articulate and humorous than I was able to be with him in person. I congratulated him again, gave him well wishes from a friend (the person in the meeting with me), and (at the insistent urging of a friend) gave him my number in case he wanted to stay in touch for any reason. As of yet, I have not heard from him.

This morning when I came in, he had already been removed from the system. He is no longer in our e-mail system and he is gone from our IM database. Somehow that seemed like the saddest thing. It’s like he never was. He’s a memory now. With all of this wrapped up, I can’t say that I did my best. Alas, no. But I did what I could. There were opportunities where I could have talked to him more, shown him more of my personality, but was too shy, too overwhelmed by him. It’s a lesson to learn.

I probably lost my chance, and the situation wasn’t conducive to forming much more than what we did. In an environment where he may not be out, all interactions were necessarily subtle and subdued. We were both constantly surrounded by our friends. Until the end, I didn’t show enough interest to spur him on, probably leaving him confused. I could have done better. I kept thinking that there was another day and another after that, and I didn’t act as though each day was important. I needed to make each moment count, to act while I could.

I don’t consider this a total failure, despite the outcome, because I learned a lot. And because he may still contact me. And if he doesn’t? Well, I attracted one beautiful, intelligent, nice, ambitious Prince Scientist. Who’s to say there isn’t another on the horizon?

~ by Darren Endymion on May 18, 2015.

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