The Older Man- Part 1 (The Minefield Chronicles)

I wrote this a while ago but it seems like the right time to post it now. There’s a part 2 and 3 to this but there was a 3 month hiatus between this story and the next part.

Part 1- May, 2010

We technically met through a mutual friend. We were basically handed each other’s numbers and then were set loose, however weird and unromantic it sounds. He was to be a date for our team’s end of the year formal. I was strongly against the idea because I didn’t want to be stuck to a person that no one knew and have to spend all my time introducing him to everyone instead of enjoying myself. A week before the event however, a friend of mine showed up to my house with a picture and a smile. My goose was cooked.

Let’s call him T. I was only told his first name and that he was a gentleman.

The first time we talked on the phone, it was awkward to say the least. I was pacing around my room in my pajamas, trying not to make up an excuse to get off the phone. The conversation was punctuated with awkward laughs and “You’ve never done anything like this, have you?” I found out he was 25- older, considerably older then me (I was 18 at that time), but it didn’t matter. I wasn’t trying to date him; he was just a date to our event.

Now, if this was a year or two ago, I would of never agreed to this arrangement. I would have never even picked up the phone. I would have made up some excuse to never talk to him. But I couldn’t. I was an adult, or at least that’s what I was pretending to be these days. So I sat on the phone and endured the awkwardness.

But I couldn’t lie, he was sexy. Or at least there was something sexy about him that I just couldn’t deny. Or maybe I was just testosterone deprived. He told me to call him later that week so we could discuss plans on what to wear and the ticket sale.

A couple days later, I was doing my last bit of hardcore studying in the library with friends before school ended and so I decided to call him before I went into the depths of hell. He picked up- he was just hanging out at home doing his last bit of free time before he had to start working. Forty minutes later, we were still talking and I was getting no studying done. It definitely wasn’t as awkward as before; in fact, there almost wasn’t any awkwardness. I finally was comfortable enough to sit and relax into the conversation.

I wasn’t worried about the fact that he could be a crazy stalker or murderer. I wasn’t worried about the age difference or the fact that I made a decision to have him as my date based off of a single picture of him. He made me think and I made him laugh. I learned that not only we were both single (obviously), but it was by choice. Awesome. We both agreed that we should meet up before our event so we could at least see each other face to face before we got all formal looking.

Towards the end of the week, we finally met face to face at our resident Farmers Market. It was perfect; there was bound to be loads of people there and we would be able to bring as many people we wanted in order to feel comfortable.

And of course I took a mid-afternoon nap and was consequently late. Oops. I drove over there with a few friends and texted him that I showed up.

I broke away from my friends and met him in front of Woodranch. He had gotten hungry while waiting and was there with a friend. I texted him that I’d wait outside for him. I settled in front and waited patiently. Well, as patiently as I could given the circumstances.

He said he was paying and he’d be out soon with his friend. I tried to keep both my mind and my face calm as my brain tried to decipher who this mysterious “friend” was. It was small, but my brain couldn’t stop fabricating pictures of some pretty girl that he must be talking to and having a late lunch/early dinner with.

He finally came out; followed by a man. My mind relaxed again and I was able to crack a smile. Or four. He gave me a really good hug and introduced me to his friend, C. His friend was cute; not as cute as T, but he could get it. We walked off to find my friends again. I didn’t even get my mouth open before I started getting knowing looks and elbow rubs from my friends. A girl passed by with her friends and set a longing look in his direction. Either he didn’t notice or he didn’t care.

Introductions were made and we settled into the crowd for some heavy duty conversation. I won’t say that it was only the two of us, because it would be a lie. I won’t say that the whole world disappeared and it felt like we were the only two in the market, because that would be a lie too. But the conversation was good. He eased my fears about me having to babysit him throughout the night.

If I fell in love with anything that night, it was his eyes. They weren’t green, or hazel, or gray, or any other fancy color; but a dark, piercing brown. His eyes were small and slightly slanted in the corners giving them an Asian appearance. He had the natural light and “glitter” in them, you could tell when he was laughing genuinely, or when he was getting tired. I could read his emotions so easily just by looking at him.

He left later that night because he had work in the morning and he had to take his friend home. We parted with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Sitting in the car on the way home, I was bombarded with questions and comments about him.

“How’d you meet him?”

“He’s so cute!”

“Get it Asian lover!”

“Are you two dating?”

I didn’t answer any of them. I just laughed and changed the subject. Everyone got the picture and didn’t push it.

Long story short, our formal was amazing. Drinks were flowing, the music was good, the award ceremony was beautiful and we danced all night. Much to everyone’s surprise (including and especially my own), we didn’t hook up that night. Not even a good night kiss.

 I found myself strangely disappointed. I’m not sure if it was because I expected him to try something, but I didn’t expect him to not try something. It was strange.
I sent him a text later to make sure he got home safely. I “indirectly” brought up the absence of the good night kiss and he chalked it up to “just meeting me”. He apologized for being old fashioned, but I was cool with it. We bid each other a good night.
I went back home to NYC the next day.

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