Remember when I met my neighbor at the resident Christmas party like three weeks ago? Yeah…let’s talk about that.
My neighbor, RC, lives across the hall from me, only his door is a little further down toward the elevator. I’d seen him a few times in the hall prior to the party, but we’d only said hello.
At the party, you might recall, we talked for hours about work, horrible dates, and in general what it’s like to be an out of towner in our small-town-minded city.
It was really cool and I felt good that I had made a friend in the building. Since the party, I hadn’t seen him. That is until the fire alarm went off at 5:15 the morning of New Year’s Eve. Even outside that early, he was well-dressed in jeans and a peacoat.
Once we got the all-clear to go back in the building, we stood in the hallway catching up for an hour. He then confessed that he had knocked on my door earlier that night to see what I was up to. I was at the grocery.
“Well what are you doing tonight?” he asked.
“Oh I’ve got plans to stay in, order food, and watch trashy tv.”
Like most people, he thought this was pathetic and was all, “if I don’t end up going downtown, I’ll knock on your door.”
I told him I didn’t need a pity party, that I’d stayed in for the last 3 years and it worked out quite nicely.
Around 7:15 pm, RC knocked on my door.
“You still down to chill?” he said, drink in hand.
“Sure, I’m gonna go get some food first though.”
RC’s apartment opens up to a huge terrace and we agreed to meet there later.
An hour or so later, I walked onto the roof with a glass of wine and a Scrabble game. We sat outside for at least four hours just shooting the breeze, bitching about work, the apartments, trying to top the crazy people we’ve encountered dating-wise. It wasn’t flirtatious, just friendly, and I was having a good time. However, around 1:30, I said I was ready to go home…all the way across the hall.
“Oh man, it’s early,” he said. “I thought you were going to be cool and stay out here with me.”
“Umm, I have. I’ve been here since 8,” I said, gathering my keys.
We walked slowly inside, so he could let me out the door and off into the hallway. He picked up my Scrabble game and started to stall…talking about how do you keep your wood floors clean? Does your bathroom have this same kind of tile? What’s the layout of your apartment?
It was now after 2 am, 2:30 was quickly approaching.
“You know,” he said. “You live across the hall and you’re single, I live here and I’m single,” he said.
“What’s your point?” I said.
“I think we should hang out,” he said.
“Ok cool,” I said.
“No seriously I think we should hang out”
“Yeah, I said I’m down.”
“No I think you’re going to leave here and never come back,” he said.
“No I just said I would hang out.”
“I mean I am moving at the end of the month, but we could hang out until then,” he said.
This same conversation happened until about 3:15. Then, it switched to…
“I really like to cuddle,” he said. “that’s the one thing I don’t like about being single…going to bed without a cuddle.”
“You should stay and cuddle,” he said.
“No thanks, I’m gonna go,” I said.
“Why? You can’t tell me that sleeping alone in your bed is better than cuddling.”
“Yeah, actually I don’t like cuddling,” I said.
“I think you’re just saying that because it’s been awhile,” he said.
“It has been awhile and that’s one reason why I’m not ready to,” I said.
“Just try it. Live on the edge,” he said. “You’re thinking about it too much. Let’s ring in the new year right. We can cuddle for a little bit and then you can walk across the hall to your apartment.”
This conversation went in circles for an hour, with him saying “live on the edge” and “cuddle” at least 23 more times.
I finally told him guilt trips weren’t in my plan for 2012, unlocked his door and ran to my apartment, unlocking my door as fast as I could. He came into the hall with my game.
“Nope, keep it.”
I was afraid to step toward him in fear he might grab me.
“Are you coming back?” he said.
“NOPE.” I said. Slamming my door and locking it quickly.
I felt like an idiot. Hours and hours of talking to what I thought was a friend, quickly turned into another crazy dating situation. No matter if he meant cuddling or not, I said no, and he was still pressing me for a different answer.
A few times, I took the stairs to avoid crossing his path, but then I realized, why? He’s the one who was wrong, and if I see him, I’ll be honest and say, “you were pretty pushy about doing something I didn’t want to do and that’s not cool with me.”
I’m glad he’s moving out at the end of the month, but I hope I get my Scrabble game back without a fight.