Disclaimer: This is one of many stories of how I met my wife, substituting real names for fictional ones from the Fire Emblem series. If you happen to know who I’m talking about, I ask that you respect these stories and keep any comments or names to yourself. Thanks!
As much as I interacted with Clair, it really wasn’t much more than a group hangout or group meal here and there. We exchanged a few texts, but the conversations didn’t go anywhere in my favor. She was elusive because she was so busy taking 18-20 units a quarter, among other things.
So, when an opportunity arose to see her more often in the form of an intramural coed basketball team, I took it. If you know me, you know that basketball is definitely not my thing. Thankfully, it’s a sport where if you throw enough shots at the basket, you’re bound to make one or two. My days in football helped me stick to a man (until they eventually passed the ball anyway). Other than that, I was pretty useless on the court. For what it’s worth, I did score a basket to bring us into overtime in the last game of the season. I would have happily warmed the bench the whole time, but we were an inclusive team and everyone was encouraged to play. I was hoping to do as little as possible and chalk it up to teamwork.
Though I didn’t contribute much, I was able to get the face-to-face time I wanted. In addition to the games together, I had the privilege of walking to and from the courts with her. At the conclusion of the season, we had a team dinner to celebrate our 1-win season. Afterwards, Clair and I were driven back to our dorm where the perfect moment presented itself. By “perfect”, I mean that if it didn’t go well then there would be finals and spring break for us to forget this ever happened.
As I walked her to her dorm room door, I got her attention before she walked in. I was about to ask her out on a date, but then I froze. Bear in mind that up to this moment, I only had three semi-experiences of asking someone one out on a date.
- Asking Lissa out on a date as a dare from Caleb, via instant messenger
- Expressing my affection for Lyn in the form of a poem posted on social media, followed up by a conversation via instant messenger
- Asking my ex-girlfriend, Lyn, on a date on a rooftop
So, as much I rehearsed this in my head a dozen time, my nerves were getting the better of me. I managed to push out the words of “I’m interested in you, do want to grab lunch or a drink sometime?” Clair responded with an awkward smile and said that she wasn’t looking to date anyone as a sophomore. With that, we agreed we wouldn’t be weird about it and parted ways.
As I walked back to my dorm, I was sad that I got a “no”, but I was happy that I did it, since now I had no regrets and that door could be closed. But sometimes, I still cringe at how poorly executed that was.
Before the school year ended though, it would be discovered that Clair would start dating a guy we’ll call Wally. I was disheartened to find that I might have been straight up lied to and the rejection was greater, but Wally is a good guy and a great find. And he managed to win her over enough for her to break her self-imposed rule to not date that school year. Almost as a weird turncoat switch, I began rooting for Wally as I realized what a fine specimen he is.