All The Pretty Girls
by Noise Pollution
She showed up at my house that night. Not unannounced or anything; she was accompanying the family friends who we invited over. She was a guest in our home.
I failed to make eye contact with her. In fact, my first look at her was from another room, hoping that maybe she wouldn’t notice me. Maybe everyone else would forget I was there, too. She was surprisingly pretty. My mother had been talking this meeting up, so of course I assumed she wouldn’t be my type. Not that I think I have a “type”, exactly, I just knew that thanks to my complete lack of social activity lately, my mother was willing to talk up just about any interaction with a girl. She really wants me to come out of my shell; what she doesn’t realize is that I’ve grown into it at this point. There’s no escaping it.
I had agreed to participate in this get-together/social-gathering/thing prior to our guests’ arrival, so eventually I came out from the side room into the main area where everyone was. My mother awkwardly introduced us. I think that may be an understatement, though—In her haste to get the two of us acquainted, she also introduced me to our other guests; people whom I had obviously known for years. I brought my hand up and said hello, and I think she did the same, though I don’t remember exactly. I wasn’t, you know, keeping exhaustive notes in regards to every social nicety that occurred that night. I may be depressed and awkward, but I’m not weird. Well. Maybe I’m weird. I’m probably weird. But not in a creepy way, I hope.
As the night went on, I continued to avoid making eye contact with her, and generally didn’t speak unless directly spoken to. The second part of that statement was relatively normal behavior for me; the first part was obviously me being, well, weird. I think it was super obvious too; I was trying a little too hard not to look in her direction. Normally in a situation involving a pretty girl, I try to steal glances at her and make awkward conversation. Not here. After our initial hellos I don’t think I looked at her once unless she was speaking directly to me. I was really doing a number on myself. I wasn’t even actually freaked out about the situation; I just didn’t like the situation and didn’t want to be in it.
My mother claimed this girl was shy and going through a difficult time like I was, and while that may have been the case, my issues were so obviously overshadowing hers that those facets of her personality were almost unnoticeable. Thanks to my near-incomprehensible level of awkwardness, she appeared to be downright social. But I didn’t want to interact, for a number of reasons. I mean, I guess I completely failed to give you this context earlier, but this night was also supposed to be her last night in town. She was heading back to her place on the other side of the country the next morning. I had zero desire to fall for or become attached to her in any way—I wasn’t going to set myself up for failure like that. Going into the situation with that in mind made things easier for me, though. Normally I’d actually be freaking out and self-conscious around someone like her, but because I had resigned myself to keeping my interactions here to a minimum, I was relatively calm in my awkwardness. That night was not filled with social anxiety, but instead a complete lack of social anything.
Eventually they all had to leave. Obviously. We had a maybe two-minute conversation about… something, probably small talk, and then said goodbye and they were gone. And she was gone for good. In retrospect, that’s kind of a bummer. She was quite kind and very pretty and there were things about the way she spoke and the topics she spoke about that made me feel as though she might understand me alright had I actually put any of myself out there. I was actually very, very attracted to her, and not just in a physical sense. It’s not the end of the world or anything, but I kind of wish I hadn’t had this interaction at all. It just sort of makes me sad.