Rose Inn Street

Flirting from the safety of a relationship

Somewhere, long ago —

When I arrived in town I met her, amongst an extended group of people — a woman with a boyfriend.

She flirted with me — big, flashing eyes, brilliant smile, the squeeze of a hand, a touch on my shoulders and lower back, and always those intriguing statements... "I'm bored," she'd say. And, "you have to fight for what you want," in relation to nothing that I'd said.

I fell for it. I was sure that she was going to leave her boyfriend — after all, she was clearly not satisfied. I didn't see much love in the way that they treated each other.

I fought the feeling, as anyone would, and I didn't do anything that I regret, either — which is not to say I have no regrets....

One time, a few years in, I saw her on the town, for three days in a row, by coincidence — and I found her behavior so disturbing that I had to sit and speak with her cousin and a mutual friend of ours.

They treated me like it was only me. "We know you have feelings for her...." I tried to explain to them that she was flirting with me, and that I did not like it. All they could hear was that I wanted her.

It was taboo — and I had to eat it. She was presumed innocent and uninvolved in the way that I was feeling.

It was not until more than eight years after we'd met that one of our mutual friends noticed her treating me the way that I'd been observing since the beginning.

It really appears as if the spirit of the group, (having since [mercifully] dissipated,) had blocked the perception of that which was really quite obvious, to me.

Yep, said my friend — now I can see what you've been talking about.

It was a dubious moral victory — I didn't get back the time that I wasted in hope.

She's still with him.