I waited for Sebastian patiently at the lobby of the New York Palace hotel. People from everywhere in the world were hanging at the lobby. Literally. UN delegations were staying there, and I had to go through airport like security to get inside under the very annoying rain.
A medium built man, on the short side but undeniable good looking stood in front of me.
“Hello Sebastian,” I said, standing up immediately of my chair. He was as tall as my shoulder.
“You look great!” [mental note: yes, I did look amazing.]
“Thank you! You look good too. The shaven head suits you.”
Er, when you’re half bald, the shaven head is definitely a better look. He was looking younger even though his birthday was last week.
Over dinner at that sushi place he likes, we started catching up with our lives. I ordered a Peach Fuzz; he had green tea. The investment banker and the student.
“Are you happy?” I asked. This is like the million dollar question, right?
“It’s been a tough year but things are now stabilising at work. As I told you, I was seeing this girl… But not anymore.”
Who asked you about your love life? Aha! I knew it! I knew you got tired of her and wanted me back. Guess what? Fuck off!
“Are you seeing someone?” he asked.
“Not at all. Well, there’s this ex emailing me every day but he doesn’t know that I know he’s engaged. And there’s this other guy who went weird since we have been in the same city. I want a husband; I think it’s about time…the older, the more difficult.”
“C’mon! You’re still very young.”
We looked at each other directly in the eyes. He was the one breaking eye contact first.
“I miss you,” he said looking back into my eyes.
I remained silent. [Mental note: Let’s just hear what he’s going to say to ‘win me’.]
“No one compares to you…physically,” he told [mental note: you just had to ruin it Sebastian.] “I still remember that time at The Landmark hotel in Marylebone…”
“A year ago? Wow! You have a damn good memory,” I said.
“That was the last time we were properly together.” He blushed. “It’s like you put a curse on me. I can’t feel the way you made me feel with anyone else, physically.” [Mental note: keep digging yourself in a hole, don’t you?]
“You’re not the first one telling me that recently.” [mental note: are my exes like conspiring? The elusive guy came earlier with a similar ‘sweet talk’ or ‘ear warmer’]
We finished dinner. I got a doggy bag; he got the bill.
We held hands and kissed sweetly.
“Do you want to come to my room? It’s on floor 38 and has an amazing view,” he said.
“I think that’s not a good idea,” I replied. “Look, I know where you’re coming from. And I can’t do it. You’re my boyfriend or you are not, but you can’t be in the middle.”
“Let’s be realistic. You’re here and I’m in London.”
“Well, it’s not like it worked out when we were in the same city. Sebastian, it is not me, it is YOU! Maybe we should be just friends.”
“You’re right.” He reminded me like a dog with its tail between its legs. “Still we could have fun tonight.” Cheeky.
“Geez! You just don’t get it, right? We aren’t having sex tonight. I could do cuddles though. You’re quite good at that.”
“No,” he said. “I don’t do cuddles with my friends, and that’s what you want us to be, friends, and I want more than that. You’d get annoyed cause I’d try to touch you. Then I’d get annoyed cause you wouldn’t let me. I don’t need a teaser.”
“Well, it’s like if we have sex and then you’re gone, and I’m left with this huge psychological damage. I don’t think I can cope. My heart will be broken into tiny pieces,” I said.
“Stop being sarcastic. How do you think I would be able to cope if I have you nearby and can’t do anything to you? You know, I can also get emotional.” We laughed.
Silence. We looked at each other. “And that’s why we don’t work out,” I joked. He smiled. “I think I’d better go.”
And like that, I got on the first cab that passed Madison Ave with 51st street. Alone.