“It’s not too late to stand him up, Katrina” Conor said
“He didn’t care when he stood you up, so why should you?” my good friend Rebecca added.
These two have been in love with each other since 2010. They cuddled together against a column in Grand Central Station. Becca was still holding the cup of hot chocolate from Bryant Park in her hand.
“He sounds like a real jerk. I wouldn’t give him another chance if I were you,” Conor said.
Rebecca looked at me sympathetically and nodded her head.
“He’s at the 42nd Street subway station. He came. I have to go.”
They both looked at me with their same old ‘Oh, Katrina’ looks they’ve been tossing my way since we were in college. They know all of the boy drama I’ve subjected myself to during the four years we’ve known each other.
I took my time meeting up with him. I waited until I got a missed call from him before I started my way over. I wanted to make him wait just like he had done to me.
Becca and Conor walked me up to the doors, we hugged and said our goodbyes. Then I walked out on the street to go meet up with the guy who made me feel like a fool.
Seventh Ave, Seventh Ave. I muttered under my breath as I searched the street signs.
Step, step, step.
Walk slower. Don’t be in a rush.
I swiftly avoided a woman who had just bent down to fix her shoe right in the middle of the sidewalk. Swish.
Katrina, what are you doing? Why are you meeting up with this guy, giving him your time? This is a mistake. This is a mistake. Everyone’s right. What am I doing?!?
I saw the bright, flashing lights of Times Square come into view. I was getting closer.
I crossed over the avenue and looked across the street.
There he was. Standing on the corner of 42nd and Seventh Ave. looking completely aloof. He was holding onto something, staring off in the opposite direction with a red ear bud stuck in his ear.
Don’t look at me … don’t see me coming. I self-consciously thought to myself as I neared closer.
“Oh hey. You see that light over there? It’s out.” the freelance lighting technician explained to me.
“Huh, interesting,” I replied as I stared at the blacked out screen. “I hate Times Square.”
An Asian woman wearing a brown coat and a tan turban on her head walked up to him and tried to hand off some business card shaped like a candle.
“No.” he said to her firmly.
Jeez. He’s not afraid to say fuck off. I would have been a little nicer. Guess that’s how city people are …
He bent down to give me a hug. I used one arm and gave him an awkward Duggar-family-style side hug.
I crossed my arms against my chest. My guard was up.
We chatted. I made mental notes every time he said something questionable.
“You seem like you come to the city a lot, why didn’t we hang out when I first moved here last year?”
“Uhm … I had a boyfriieennddd?”
“So? I hang out with girls who have boyfriends.I would have behaved myself.”
No, you wouldn’t have. “Yeah, my ex would have been just thrilled with that.”
He pulled out his cell phone. He seemed to be looking for something.
“What are we doing?”
“We’re going to see The Hobbit.”
“You’re really serious about that …”
“Yep, unless you want to go back to my apartment.”
I mustered a really dirty look. “Fuck no.”
I think he laughed.
We reached the AMC theatre and walked inside. I was blasted by hot air.
“It’s as hot as hell in here,” I said as I unwrapped my scarf.
“Let’s get tickets.”
“I really don’t feel like sitting through a three-hour movie right now …” I widened my eyes, hoping the cute look would work on him.
“Okay, well I want to see it.”
Too soon to get away with the cute look shit.
I felt flustered, we did an awkward stare down for five seconds, “FINE!” I yelled. “I have to catch a train around 8.”
We got our 3D glasses and made our way up the escalator. I put them on top of my head and we chatted about stuff.
I saw the movie poster for Interstellar pointed at it and said, “Did you see that?”
“No?” He turned and pointed to a poster of Annie, “Did you see that?”
I laughed. “No. Not my style.”
I hate to admit it but I found myself enjoying his company.
We had about thirty minutes before the movie started so we went next door for a drink.
“I’ll have a water,” I told the bartender.
“With a shot of tequila!” the jerk replied. He laughed.
Later, I sat through two hours and twenty-five minutes of a violent fantasy movie. So violent. So many characters dying. War and scary monster looking guys. Really lovely.
I turned to him during it and said, “Wow, you picked a really nice movie to take me to see. Look at all those dead bodies.” I said as the camera panned all the dead people lying on the ground, “Really wonderful. Great pick.”
“It’s romantic,” he laughed.
“Yeah, okay. In your mind it is.” Sick fuck.
After the movie ended we walked out of the theatre laughing with each other.
It was near 9 p.m. I had more than an hour to commute home on that Sunday night.
“I’m catching the 9:25 train home.”
“I thought we were gonna hang out until like 1 a.m.”
“You’re trippin’ I have work tomorrow …”
“Yeah, so do I. Just don’t sleep. You’re a grown up.”
We stood in Penn Station, still talking with each other.
“I attract psychos,” he told me.
“So do I,” I replied.
My train reached the track. It was time for me to go.
“If you wanted to hang out with me for longer you shouldn’t have taken me to a three-hour movie …”
“Next time we do something you wanna do and you can pay.”
“Kiss my ass. That will never happen,” I yelled back as I walked away from him towards home.