Should've Just Bought a New Pair of Shoes
Welcome to our column written by Managing Editor Caitlyn Araña, called Catching Up With Caitlyn. Through letters, she addresses the trials and tribulations that come with learning and growing as a 20-something. Tune in for your weekly dose of drama. Love, work, relationships, health… Nothing is off limits here.
I’m fickle as hell, and I feel too much for people that I don’t know. Hell, I felt so much for you. My first week of work is when we met. I immediately wanted to get to know you, and I later learned that you felt the same about me. So, naturally, when we exchanged numbers, I wanted to be as cautious as possible. I didn’t even save your number. After all, I didn’t want to scare you away… even though I think I did anyways. I know you’re probably confused about all that happened, but I am too. I don’t think any of us got closure, so here it is.
I remember you asking me on a date after a late work meeting. I was so excited to finally sit down and get to know you. I wanted to know what made you excited, what made you pissed, and what made you laugh. Then the day came, and I felt as if my heart was going to come out of my ass. It didn’t. Instead, I put on my big girl pantaloons and met you at our date spot. We ate, and I finally felt like I was getting a sense of who you were and vice versa. Yet, the moment we walked away from each other that night… I felt this dark wave wash over me that told me that I no longer had feelings for you. I no longer was attracted to you. I no longer wanted you.
But then it seemed like you no longer wanted me either. You talked a lot to our mutual coworker, Kat*. You and Kat were basically the same person. You laughed at the same jokes, you found the same things interesting, and you texted just as often as we did, if not more. I remember bringing it up to the both of you discreetly, and both of you found the idea of you two liking each other laughable. Both of you had too similar answers. It rubbed me the wrong way, but why did I care if I no longer wanted you?
Then our second date came. We went ice skating, and I told you all about my dream of volunteering to build schools in Kenya. You told me that you were shocked, and I was not at all who you thought I was. I could feel you wanting me again, but I never wanted to be further from you. I realized that you would be a great friend. That might have been a burn to your ego… if I ever even told you that that’s how I felt. I didn’t want to tell you, though, because I knew that I was going to have to see you every day. I tried to avoid you, but there’s only so much space that can stand between us in a store the size of a studio apartment.
When you called me out on my wishy-washy behavior, I felt and an urge to like you again. You see, I’ve always been the person who, when bored, has the ability to develop an infatuation at the drop of a hat. I think when I got caught in this back-and-forth, I wanted to stay in my comfort zone and still have feelings for you instead of admitting to you that I didn’t want you. So I said to you, “At this moment, in this minute, in this second… I like you. But it could change.”
And you took it. You agreed that we would keep seeing how things went. As the days went on, you were the one that started getting out of touch. The less we talked, the more you talked to Kat. She would bring you up to me. Things were definitely different. The more you slipped away, the more I wanted you back.
When you told me you were quitting, I felt two things: relief and grief. I didn’t want you to leave, but I also was glad that I no longer had to worry about if my feelings were going to go away or not. But then Kat told me that she was quitting too. In fact, you two were quitting at about the same time. Coincidence? I think not. Maybe that’s just me leaving my detective hat on for too long. Or maybe not considering the fact that you two ended up together.
For a long time I felt guilty for not telling you that I didn’t want you. I felt guilty for feeling my emotions so rapidly and for being fickle. I also felt betrayed by you and Kat ending up together. I felt like you wasted my time, but that just may be an ego thing. After all, I wasted your time too, didn’t I? But now that I’ve written this, I understand that I shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling. I shouldn’t have to apologize for not wanting you back because making you feel wanted wasn’t my responsibility. But being honest was.
P.S. Yes, reader, after Declan and Brandon, I’ve finally learned to stop looking for love in the workplace.
*Names have been changed to maintain integrity.