It felt good - I haven't hung out much with any of my buddies all that much for several months now.
Neil wasn't all lecturing and stuff, but he told me, in no uncertain terms, that he thought it wouldn't be a good idea if I asked Monica out. He cited some of the things I saw posted in comments here. It's funny, because he made that statement, and then we moved on to other things.
It wasn't until just before the movie started, when we were sitting in the darkened theatre, that he turned to me and said. "I always thought that you and Sarah made a pretty decent couple. Do you think there's a chance you guys might patch things up?" I didn't respond because the first trailer had started. A new movie in the Die Hard series with Bruce Willis. It looked good, and instead of thinking about it or responding, I just watched the trailer. I didn't know what to say to that.
About midway through the movie, I got up to go to the snack stand. This was one of those movies that had its funny moments, but I wouldn't be missing anything while I was gone.
I bumped into Monica who was getting popcorn. I asked her about that Costello novel I'd seen her with the other day, and she started raving about it. We chatted about Costello, and Laymon and about how cool Robbie was for introducing us to them. I told her about Costello and Leslie offering "praise blurbs" for each other's work, and she told me she had found an anthology from a Sudbury publisher that includes a story from Costello and one from Leslie. It was called "Bluffs" - I thought it was so cool that she had made a similar connection between the two.
It felt good.
Then I went and blew it all by tossing out this clumsy little question about whether or not she would be interested in going out with me some time.
She paused. Her face went white, and I knew immediately that it had been a mistake. "You're kidding, right?" she said. "I'm, like, Sarah's friend. That would be so, like weird." She didn't say anything else at that point, just walked off, leaving me standing there with a bag of nibs in my hand, feeling like a complete loser. I almost didn't go back into the theatre.
For the first time since Sarah and I broke up, I was having fun just chatting with a beautiful girl. And I blew it. Not only that, I blew it by doing something that Neil and some online friends warned me against.
I'm such an idiot.
I didn't tell Neil about what had happened. I know that he wouldn't have said "I told you so" but just the same, I didn't want him to know how much of a fool I'd been.