If you are just joining us, let me fill you in on the back story:
- Boy meets girl at work.
- Boy takes girl on terrible date.
- Boy writes column about girl.
- Girl writes article about boy.
- Boy tricks girl into going to couples therapy.
- Girl writes another article about boy.
You’re pretty much up to speed now.
So this past Friday, I was looking forward to going out with my roommate. I only have a couple weeks left in Austin before I have to go back to school, so I’m trying to shove all the fun into these last few weeks as I possibly can. I was walking to my car and texting her to let her know one of the other interns was having a pregame, and I heard a rustling in the bushes. It could have easily just been the wind so I just kept walking. Wes emerged from the bushes, and it scared me so badly I think I peed a little. He apologized profusely and proceeded asked me if I was going to Emily’s pregame. I had already promised her that I was going, but the thought of being anywhere near Wes outside of work made my stomach wretch. He had laid pretty low this week, so it was a little less unsettling to be around him. I told him I was going and his eyes lit up. He said “yo, it’s about to get MONDO lit,” dapped me up, and disappeared.
That night while I was getting ready, I gave my roommate the low down of what was going on. I had already told her most of the story, but I filled her in on the week. He actually was being kind of normal. He sat with me at lunch and asked me about what I was studying in school, he walked me to my car and always held the door for me, he was just all around sweet.
“It sounds like you like him,” she said, giving me a weird side eye.
“Ew, shut the fuck up, never.”
We showed up to the pregame on time, which means we were early, so we had a chance to just chill. Emily, my roommate, and I shot the shit and talked about all the office gossip, so of course Wes came up. Emily sees firsthand the kind of shit that he does, so she also noticed that he’s been a lot more mellow since the couples’ therapy incident. People started showing up, including Wes. He brought beer for Emily as a thanks for having everyone over and put them right in the fridge for her. I introduced him to my roommate and they talked for a while about common interests while I watched with…admiration? I knew I was getting tipsy, but I must have been pretty drunk at that point.
We headed downtown to our favorite part of Austin: Dirty Sixth. If you’ve never been there, it’s like a miniature Bourbon street. The road is blocked off, there are people being carried through the streets, cops on giant fucking horses patrol down the street like a parade of nightmares. The music is loud, the alcohol is cheap, the people are nice, and anything is possible. Wes bought us shots at the first bar (lemon drops, my favorite), and we hopped to the next one that was having an ’80s night. As soon as we stepped in there, “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen came on and Wes lost. His. Mind. He got up on the bar and started scream-singing along with The Boss. He grabbed my hand and pulled me up with him without missing a single lyric. At the next bar, he tied his shirt up, got on the mechanical bull, and ended up getting on the leaderboard for longest ride. He had the whole bar chanting his name, and I started to feel the same warmth in my chest. Like, pride or something. It could have easily been the vodka.
It may be anticlimactic compared to the last couple interactions we have had, but the fact that it wasn’t weird is what makes it weird. Maybe he’s not the social pariah that I thought he was. Just maybe..