My Crush Came Out of the ClosetWritings
The names, times, and places have been changed to protect identities and my now lowered self-esteem.
I remember the first time I saw Smith. I was riding in a car; he was riding in another. I immediately thought he was attractive, but forgot about him just as quickly. I didn’t think about him again until I saw him later that week. I didn’t know his name or who he was that week. I didn’t know for many weeks. I only knew that he was a beautiful tan boy with great hair.
I was a new girl in a new place, and for the first few months at my new internship, I was very shy. Smith and I interned in the same building, but not in the same area.
Every few months, though, a new group of interns would join the old ones. I joined the next month, and Smith and I worked in the same area. Even still, we did not become acquaintances until my second month there.
Smith was so fun to be around. He and I clowned all of the time. I noticed kind of early in our acquaintanceship that Smith wasn’t as “macho” as some other men – whatever “macho” means. His voice was only a tad higher and warmer than some other men at our internship. I paid it no mind. I chalked it up to him being raised by a mother, grandmother, and aunt and having no consistent male presences in his life.
“This is really embarrassing. Oh my days. I think I like Smith,” I told my colleague Johanna on our lunch break.
“Oh my gosh! You two would be so cute together!”
“We would, maybe; but we’re never finding out. I’m not gonna act on it.”
And I didn’t act on it. Smith and I simply continued our acquaintanceship in the workplace – and it never really left the workplace.
We finished our internship after a while. By its end, I wasn’t crushing on Smith anymore. I did, however, want to be his friend. We were still stuck in acquaintanceship. We had many laughs, a few cries, and some deep conversations by the time our internship ended, but I still felt like we were still only workmates.
And I was right. He moved away, and so did I. Conversations became short, few, and far between.
“Happy Birthday, Nia!”
“Smith, how are you?”
“I miss you. Hope you’re well.”
“If we’re ever in the same city, we should go out and catch up.”
We never did. Which was fine. We stayed connected, barely, via likes on Facebook.
Then one day, Smith posted a video of him reciting a story he wrote. In that story, he came out. I hadn’t heard anything so beautifully said and well-crafted in a long time; and the fact that it came from Smith added something to it. I’d never read any of his stories before, not did I know that he even wrote stories. I didn’t know that type of artistry was in him. It was beautiful.
“So that’s why you two never dated,” some people joked later on.
“Yep!” I laughed along.
All and all, none of us who knew Smith were really surprised. A few people suspected a while ago, the rest weren’t necessarily expecting it, but we weren’t shocked when the news hit the fan. Smith got loads of love and support from so many.
In the end, I’m glad Smith was able to gain a sense of liberation and that others were able to gain a deeper sense of who he is. I still think Smith is a wickedly attractive tan man with amazing hair, but hopefully my next crush is equally attractive AND likes girls.
Moral of the story: don’t crush on your colleagues. =p