(I figure that today, I'm far removed from the gentlemen in question. So suck it, unrequited love or something like it).
First Intense Infatuation wasn't a genius wünderkind.
You hardly talked to him during training. He stumbled through a class report, clearly hungover. It's surprising how quickly you fell—the too-cool party animal was never your type. Most of the time his fratboy behavior made that niggling crush go away.
But your cheeks flushed anyway, when he'd rest his shoulders against the wall two inches from your face. You wrote a story that will never see the light of day. And despite yourself, as you saw him glide through the hall four years later, you thought about the warmth of his arms.
In college, you and your friend fell in like with the same guy.
She got to him first, however, and pretty and vivacious (and thin) that she was, you stood no chance of wandering beyond Friend Zone. And so, you spent lunches with him talking of inconsequentially important things, quipping from musicals and reveling in geekery. For the first time in your life, a man actually got you, cresting on the same lonely wavelength.
You could have been the one for him too...if he actually had noticed you.
The man was shorter than you, and to be honest, wasn't quite as good-looking as another colleague. But there was something intrinsically charming about him, a magnetism that relied on wit and earnestness. This was a guy who could conquer mountains with his words and passion. You never let on about your attraction, convinced you were alone in finding him attractive.
Years later, you and he have a chance encounter, and all your girl friends who knew him sigh in admiration.
By now, you thought, you really should have learned your lesson.
Alas, Cupid Lite strikes again, this time in the form of a twinkly-eyed senior attending your sophomore class. Contact is minimal, blushing at the optimum, and your awkward sleuthing leaves much to be desired.
It's a hollow re-realization when you stare at the mirror and take in your appearance.
You've got no game, and the man's a top athlete.
Your interactions with the objects of your almost-affection always follow a pattern, and the latest, brief one was no different.
First comes that sudden awareness, blindsided by the wideness of his grin, the twinkle in his eyes, his general hygiene. Then comes the ludicrous fantasies that you eventually blurt out, as a grievous tactical error, to your friends. Finally, the One Incident that puts all your daydreaming to a screeching halt.