I said “No”

I like coming here, even though it’s gloomy, grey and cold, the clouds heavy with showers of rain. I can think here. Be alone here. Away from prying eyes and nosy ears.

Looking at the vastness of the ocean reminds me of my insignificance. My thoughts float away, like letters in a bottle sent out to sea for a stranger to find. I like to come here especially at this time of the year when others retreat back indoors to their warm houses and hide under blankets.

Tell you the truth I dislike the cold, but this is the only place I can breathe properly and process my thoughts right now without feeling guilty.

I said “No.” To the man I had been dating when he asked if I would marry him. Deep down I think he knew it was coming but he did it in front of our family anyway. Maybe he thought them being there would make me say yes. Or maybe he was naive enough to think I was ready.

“Hi! I’m James” he said. I didn’t know him nor was I interested in getting to know him no matter how good looking he was, right now I wasn’t about that, so I turned, looked at him for a second thought “Ahhh heck no!” to myself then kept it moving with haste. I thought doing that would let him know that I wasn’t interested but he chased after me, sigh!

“Heeyy!” I heard as he caught up to me. I kept my head forward and my walk brisk. “That was cold! Way to make a first impression on someone.” he said, to which I gave no response. “I know you’re not deaf so why won’t you talk to me?” he continued jokingly, in a conversation by himself because I was not going to be a willing participant. He finally got the message “Okay kl, see you around then.” he stated in closing, to my relief but not before Dionne saw him.

“Who was that? He’s cute.” She asked me out her car window, she always manages to see everything, much to my annoyance sometimes. “Don’t know. Don’t care. Let’s go.” I replied walking around to the passenger side of the car. I saw him in the mirror watching as we drove away. I’d seen him around recently, his face was hard to miss if you had two good eyes, heck even if you had one. As we drove to dance rehearsal, I did feel a little flattered that he was trying to approach me.

I saw him a few times after that and ignored him those times too, hoping he would get the message. I think he finally did because he stopped approaching me even when he did see me after that, it made me a little sad but relieved at the same time. I had my dreams to accomplish and being in a relationship wasn’t on my list at the moment.

I hadn’t seen him for about a month then I was walking out of the corner store when we bumped into each other again. We both said “Sorry!” then I saw that it was him, as I made my way around him and down the sidewalk back to the studio without another word. He followed after me, “I’m sorry about that” he said trying to make conversation with me again; “I should have been paying more attention.” He said with a smile. “That’s ok, we were both at fault. No hard feelings.” I replied as I crossed the street. I only responded because in truth I felt a bit bad for being so rude all the other times, my parents taught me better. He better not push his luck though.

I just needed him to get the message that I wasn’t interested like that, right now and I know that’s where he’s going with this. “That’s the first time you’ve said a word to me.” He stated. “Don’t get used to it.” I retorted keeping my head straight as he tried to catch up to me. “Could I please take you out to get a coffee sometime? You know to make up for before.” I wasn’t sure if he meant him semi stalking me with ‘slick talk’ or bumping into me but he asked politely and he even said please so how could I say no to him again. After all it was just coffee not a date and it was only one time.

One coffee date turned into another three months of him pursuing me, which made me see that he wasn’t a creep or a self obsessed airhead with a handsome face. He was smart, funny and a gentleman, therefore I finally said “Yes” to going out with him.

Fast forward three and a half years plus one day to when he asks me to marry him in front of all our friends and family to which I said “No”. You can just imagine what happened after that.

So you see, this is why I am here alone, I’ve run away from all the shocked faces, disappointing looks and prying questions. So that I can be me again, if just for one winter’s afternoon. 


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