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Three years ago, in the summer of 2014, I was deeply infatuated.  Infatuation is a dangerous affliction as it can lead to some irrational and unadvisable decisions.  The source of my bewitchment was a woman.  Let’s call her Charlotte.  I viewed her for the longest time with only futile idolization.  Like a boy views his female camp counsellor or swim instructor.  It was a “if only I was older” situation.  That was, until she showed reciprocating behaviour.  I heard she was jealous of the girl I was with at the time. I tried my best to use this information to my advantage, but like I said — unadvisable decisions followed.  What I should have done was kept my cool, felt out the situation, and proceeded with caution.  But like a well trained dog, I came running at the slightest whistle, leaving a nice girl in my tracks and dust.  That is what infatuation does.  You do not expect your camp counsellor to return years later and take your hand, but if they do, you drop everything and let them lead the way.  It is not what you should do, but you will.

Believe it or not, this story is not about Charlotte.  This story is about Thomas and myself.  Thomas is the genius mentioned in two stories prior.  You see, at this time, my friend Thomas was extremely unemployed and as a result, extremely desperate for money.

It was a Friday evening I believe.  I was going to a party, and Thomas was going to a party.  They were two separate parties but we were together before hand.  I looked Thomas in the eyes and I told him who was at this party and why I was going.  I said “Thomas, I have work in the morning and I will not get enough sleep tonight.  Charlotte is at the party and I know I will stay too late.”  That is the irrational bit coming through.  But I knew Thomas.  I knew his situation, and his desperation.  “If I text you at midnight, and give the word, can you leave your party early, get some sleep and drive me in the morning?”  Of course he would — for the right price… and because he’s a good friend.  He understood the curse I was under.

So I arrived, and I’d guess it was around 10:00pm.  Thomas was at his party and Charlotte was there at mine.  Gorgeous.  It was my time.  Foolishly obvious in my admiration, I was practically drooling from the get-go.  Charlotte was one of my only contacts at this party and that didn’t make my situation easier.  There was no backup plan, so I talked with her.  When she left I would find someone random to pass enough time until I could speak to her again.  Idiot.  It was midnight and from an outsider’s perspective, it was time to pack my bags and go home.  But from my eyes, it was still Charlotte.  It was the impossible in front of me, so I sent Thomas the word.  I’d pay him to drive me to work in the morning.  Two more amazing hours with Charlotte.  She talked and I stared.  She laughed and I dreamed.  2:00 am came and it was time to go home.  She was still there, but my sleep was less than three hours now.  Few battles are won in a night.

Thomas was at my house asleep.  I slumped in bed for the remaining time until our alarm.  Exhausted,  and with nothing to show for my time, I was stupidly still optimistic.  We awoke at 4:45, and got in my car.  Thomas drove so I could sleep in the passenger seat.  Why was I sleeping on my way to work?  Because the drive was over two hours long, to a small town in the North.  Thomas was a champ.

I worked like a zombie in the air conditioned produce section of the grocery store and checked on him after three hours of being in the parking lot.  There he was, reading and waiting.  It was hot on the tarmac.  At lunch I returned to him naked and sweating as the high sun had heated my van to frying temperatures.  He told me he was going to go swim in the pond across the street.  When I was done my shift, his hair was wet and his underwear was hanging in the back. He said it was great.

In the end, that man waited eight and a half hours for me to work a minimum wage shift in a grocery store.  He drove me home, completing a twelve hour favour, and happily took his $35.  You are a legend, I am a sucker, and we are both fools.

I ended up with Charlotte because of my blind love and dedication?  No.  Despite my pursuit, which holds many other stories, all reciprocation fizzled quickly.  Fixation pushes people away like a fanatic screaming on the street corner.

As always, you’re welcome,

B.F. Greeno, aka,
The Reckless Romantic

About the author

Benny Greeno
By Benny Greeno

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