Sorry – it’s long.
Well, I didn’t technically gatecrash the do. I had been informally invited by Nick, Lara and Ben. I had decided to go as my school wasn’t having one and plus it’d be nice to have a catch up with colleagues I had not seen since I left.
I had text Lara saying I would be heading over once work had finished and I had been home to change. It had been a particular warm summers day. She told me where some of the gang where already. Yes, you’ve guessed it, in a pub. Apparently some had been there since school finished. Not surprising. It was the end of another academic year.
The last text I had from Lara was her informing me which pub they were in. I parked in the usual place and headed to the pub. I walked in but couldn’t see them, so I rang Lara but it went straight to voicemail. I then headed to the original pub of the night, where I did see people I recognised. They were surprised to see me (tthis seems to be a regular occurrence). We had a good catch up before I decided to text Ben. Why I didn’t think to do this before, I don’t know?
He replied to say where they were. My friend Jo and I decided to stay for one more drink before we headed over to where the others were. The pub they were in was literally across the town square (if you want to call it that). We looked inside and couldn’t see them; we were about to go, when we heard a distinct laugh – that could only be Darren. Both Jo and I hadn’t realised that they were in the garden. You would have thought that was important information when letting people know where you are.
Ben was the nearest person to us,a s we made our way to the group, but as I felt Nick and Lara’s eyes on me; I headed straight towards Nick. He gave me a hug, he always did – that was the relationship we had. More of a brother and sister, than anything else. After Nick, I gave Lara (who was showing quite a bit now – she was pregnant, in case you wondering) and Amy a hug. I could feel Ben watching me – don’t get me wrong. I did say hello to him, but I didn’t want to draw any further attention to us.. As I also knew, Nick, Lara and Amy were watching us, to see what would happen. This was the crew that tried to tell me about Ben, the year we all worked together. I caught up with all my old colleagues. We discussed what I was up to now and how the commute didn’t take me up to an hour. Instead, now to get to work, it was a mere fifteen minutes, if that.
If I’m honest, I don’t think Ben and I spoke that much that night. And I don’t even think it was on purpose.
A while later, the ladies at the original pub joined us as well as a few others that turned up a little later. The longer the night wore on, the drunker people got. I still had one more day, they had finished for the year. So I didn’t blame them.
Nick at some point said to me – ‘I want to talk to you!’ unfortunately, not quietly. In fact I think most people stopped what they were doing and looked at me and Nick. Thankfully he then went to get a drink and I carried on talking to Lara about the date I had recently been on. And no it wasn’t with Ben. I knew Ben was listening to my conversation, even though he had his back to me. Once our conversation came to a natural end, I turned my attention to Ben and the new teacher Leo. The topic of conversation was very random and I didn’t dare delve into the why logic?
Eventually, Nick came back and called me over. I knew my time had come and I had feeling I knew what I was going to say. Prior to this conversation – Nick and Lara had been talking about Ben and myself. They had been trying to find out if Ben liked me, without much luck. Ben is most definitely a closed book and keeps everything very closed to his chest. From what I know about him, he would never kiss and tell. Lara had text me to let me know that she and Nick had been discussing our situation. Discussing what, I have no idea. Even I hadn’t reached that conclusion.
As I walked over to the corner where Nick was waiting. I could feel eyes on me but I daren’t turn around to see who it was. Nick starts talking about the situation and asking why I don’t just ask him out. I’d forgotten that Nick didn’t know that I had. So I waited until he finished his spiel before I went onto answer his question. Yes, I had asked Ben out but he said, no not yet. Nick looked at me, so I explained that Ben had things to work through at the moment.
That was when Nick interrupted me and said “He’s scared of commitment, like me.” I looked at him skeptically as I knew Nick was happy with Leah. “Give him time. He’s scared.” I nodded, not sure of what else to do. Nick carried on, telling me that Ben liked me but he couldn’t confirm nor deny it. I mentally added ‘You and me both.’ Nick told me to keep on trying with Ben and that he would try from his side. Not that would be much help. You can’t force someone to like you. Clearly that was not happening in my world.
Nick and I finished our conversation and headed back to the main party. Lara caught me but I couldn’t tell what we had spoken about as there were too many ears listening and eyes watching. I knew it was summer but I still had another day. So when Lara was ready we said our byes and headed home.