RSS

Next Best Thing

02 Oct

It was perpetual summer, richly fragrant with potent mary jane and pungent patchouli.

I was sixteen.

She was two years older – so far out of my league that she should never have even noticed me.  And yet somehow I was there, amazed at my good fortune, hopelessly in love with her, and in complete awe of her friends. They were ultra hip, achingly cool and comfortably rich.

Whereas I owned the Levi’s I stood up in, a couple of faded shirts, a borrowed guitar, and my notebook of spidery poems.

There was a gentle candle-lit dinner party in one of daddy’s spare houses.  The room was beamed and flagged and full of style and music. I was a pretty boy – an amusing novelty to wear like a trinket on her arm.  Although I never realised that at the time.

The conversation turned to views of what a perfect partner might be.  She waxed lyrical about what would excite her.  Intelligence, a sense of humour, a slim, slender physique, a writer, a revolutionary, a mass of golden curls, eyes that could both command and romance.  I swear she was looking at me. I thought she was talking about me.  I was young, proud and special.  I had smoked perhaps a little too much dope.

‘Thank you.’ I said, when she had finished.

There was moment of stunned silence before the table erupted with mocking laughter.  She reached across and patted my hand.

‘Oh, darling boy.  Did you think I meant you?’

I lowered my eyes, blushing fiercely, almost tearful at my own stupidity.

‘Don’t worry,’ she consoled me. ‘you are the next best thing.’  There was more laughter.

It was an instructive and humbling moment that I promised myself I would never forget.

It still lives on, all these years later, in my e-mail address:

nextthing@

.

.

Photograph stolen from matteaton

 
40 Comments

Posted by on October 2, 2012 in Lovers Past, Still Life

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

40 responses to “Next Best Thing

  1. Maggie carpenter

    October 2, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    A foolish young woman. She didn’t realize she was indeed, talking about you. Her inner self recognized you and all you had to offer. It spoke to her and through her, but she was proud and vain and out of touch with herself, and wasn’t able connect the truth her soul was revealing. Today, as she remembers that moment, if she has grown at all, she now mutters – “I wish…”

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      October 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      It is kind of you though in truth it is likely that she barely remembers me at all. We were both young and I was in her life for a short while.

      Like

       
  2. mlbk7

    October 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Ouch. I can only imagine when a little boy experiences heartbreak for the first. To know that you want to cry but can’t. To scream or live out your pain but no one would understand. So you keep in a safe place all these years until you finally let it go. You reveal your heart to me. And really it was so long ago now was it. The heart is a mystery capable of holding many tender secrets. Thank you for sharing your stories. M.

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      October 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      To be honest I have told the story more than once and the pain has long since gone. The lesson was well learnt though. And thank you for your sympathy.

      Like

       
      • mlbk7

        October 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm

        Glad to hear you have recovered. Now I can sleep at night. xo M.

        Like

         
        • Romantic Dominant

          October 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm

          Ah, delicious, forgiving sleep.

          Like

           
  3. Day Today Dating

    October 2, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    You’re a fabulous writer. Thanks for the read.

    – K.

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      October 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you for reading

      Like

       
  4. ktz2

    October 3, 2012 at 12:10 am

    the new follower Loves your writing–yes, you are fabulous & feel
    ing and true & real.

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      October 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      If I blushed I would

      Like

       
      • ktz2

        October 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        It seems all the ladies love you, how could we not–you’re a gem!

        Like

         
        • Romantic Dominant

          October 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm

          Hardly that. But thank you.

          Like

           
  5. surrenderedone

    October 3, 2012 at 12:35 am

    The joke was on her….she had no idea what she was giving up……this reminded me of going skating in 7th grade (OH THE 70’S) and a handsome 14 year old boy came up and asked me during the couple skate, “wanna skate?” I said, yes in this breathless voice. He smirked, pointed to the rink, and said, “well get out there then” before skating away…….:( much more prosaic then your story; I blame the glasses 🙂

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      October 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Laughing. I guess we all have these tales of minor humiliation

      Like

       
  6. Isabella

    October 3, 2012 at 1:20 am

    And that …pulled at my heartstrings. That laughter portion…really pisses me off. Please tell me that at one point she’s wanted you…since this.

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      October 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Oh, I wish I could. But I have no idea what became of her.

      Like

       
      • Isabella

        October 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

        And that…. would be her misfortune.

        Like

         
        • Romantic Dominant

          October 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm

          Sweet girl

          Like

           
          • Isabella

            October 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm

            Smirks…mostly

            Like

             
            • Romantic Dominant

              October 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm

              Smiles

              Like

               
  7. Marian Green

    October 3, 2012 at 2:21 am

    A defining moment, a harsh one. But from those few seconds you learned so much about the cruel, nasty underbelly of some people. And perhaps that knowledge has served to protect you?

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      October 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      It has served to do something – though I am not sure what. Smiles.

      Like

       
  8. realityenchanted

    October 3, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Hehehe! I see we all hacking at the “she” character in the story. I’m a male and I hope you’ll all see my views as unbiased.
    It’s POSSIBLE she wasn’t referring to him. You may know how you just seem to misread signs when you have a crush/an attraction/an infatuation?
    Some tale though. Wow!!! I hope you heal completely, scars or not.

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      October 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks for reading. Perhaps my writing wasn’t clear and I have caused confusion. She was obviously never talking about me. I just assumed, in my stoned state with the arrogance of the young, that she was. I was the stupid one, although perhaps she and her friends were unnecessarily cruel with their laughter.

      Like

       
  9. Darius

    October 7, 2012 at 4:45 am

    You are a great writer, I write about sports and I do my best. Keep up the great work. D

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      October 7, 2012 at 8:14 am

      Thank you.

      Like

       
  10. Evelyn

    October 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    she was talking about you. it was she who was a coward and you who was brave.

    Like

     
  11. Evelyn

    October 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    and oh how I would kick her fucking ass if I met her today. how did she not know the dark gem in front of her, asshole.

    Like

     
  12. geminisub

    October 17, 2012 at 2:24 am

    How such a small moment in time can affect so much! We all have those and they make us who we are today. Your words are touching people across the world..Thank you for sharing..x.

    Like

     
  13. carolinejuliette

    June 30, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    For some reason I blushed with embarrassment for that young boy & my heart fell. The lessons learned in youth seem to stay with us but every lesson teaches us. Molds us to who we are. I cherish these life lessons. Even the painful ones. If she knew you now she would realize her mistake. That would be her lesson learned. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

     
    • Romantic Dominant

      July 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Perhaps she would have. Who knows. I forgive her. She was young and immortal. As we all were

      Like

       
      • pinkshantung

        June 11, 2014 at 1:10 am

        Yes, I agree, you were both young and the young can say cruel and foolish things, without any sense of the pain/ humiliation they can cause. However, I also agree with the writer who said that she either meant to pay you the compliment you deserved and lacked the courage to own up to her recognition of what she found compelling about you in front of her friends ( she had hormones raging too!) or she hadn’t made made the connection between her subconscious choice of a boy possessing the fledgling qualities of her conscious desires for such a man. Does that make sense?!

        Like

         
        • pinkshantung

          June 11, 2014 at 1:25 am

          And… if she didn’t mean you at all, then more the fool her. Although she took you along to the party with her fancy friends, so she must have been proud of your association. A game I love to play is , ” where are they now?” regarding teenagers who were repeatedly unkind to me in the past. Am not one for revenge ( believe in forgiveness), but I don’t even need to know where they are and if they turned out so resplendently as all there glorious connections suggested !! I just think of how despite their ridicule etc ( was odd one out as child) , that they did not stunt my growth but propelled it & taught me the power of kindness and compassion, a lesson I will never forget & the reason why I will always seek.to understand others and to protect their pride and recognise their gifts for everyone is unique and special. Everyone.

          Like

           
          • pinkshantung

            June 11, 2014 at 1:41 am

            Think she probably sadly regrets what she said that night. Most people once grown, do become aware of juvenile insensitivities. Interesting repeating of history, how many of your female readers, want to identify with the women in your writings but while knowing, if only fleeting pain that those words were written to describe another. An unavoidably bittersweet experience of the reader. But one that the reader voluntarily subjects themselves to, time and time again. 🙂

            Like

             
          • Romantic Dominant

            June 11, 2014 at 7:53 am

            That is true indeed. We are all unique and special.

            Like

             
        • Romantic Dominant

          June 11, 2014 at 7:52 am

          It does. Smiles.

          Like

           
  14. lesliemeeks

    June 12, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Laughing.. You’re not the only one that was humiliated.

    My seventh grade boyfriend had to break the news to me that he had gotten my sister and I mixed up. Talk about wanting to go hide under a rock.

    To this day when I see him in public, I just think back and laugh. Yet, back then, it wasn’t so funny.

    Like

     

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: