Wednesday, 1 January 2014

A coward's New Year's Eve

For many people the last day of a year is considered as a turning point in life. You leave something behind – events, people, memories – and at the same time you dive into something new. It is not called a New Year's resolution for no reason. Whenever a new period begins, people see it as a chance to improve and be happier than they had been before.

I had a resolution, too. Not for the new year, but for that very night. Well, what should I say? Most resolutions one makes do not work out, but let me start at the beginning.

When I took the train to Cologne to meet up with some friends, I was utterly nervous. This would be the night - the perfect time, the perfect ambiance. It was my second New Year's with my former neighbour and we met up with some of his friends to go out and eat something and celebrate the start of 2014. Tonight, I would tell him. I would tell him, what I have been feeling for the past one and a half years.

Once I reached the sushi restaurant, my heart was already beating hard against my chest. He looked so good in his white shirt, but when he and his friends looked at me, I already felt discouraged. My heartbeat became so slow and quiet, when I sat down next to him to take a look at the menue. Suddenly I was calm, just like every time we meet up.

Before, there is this unexplicable excitement. It makes the tips of your fingers tingle. Butterflies dancing in your belly and just when you think, that you can not bear it anymore, it is over. Like the sudden silence after a heavy storm.

We had a lot of fun that night, eating and chatting with each other (even though I did not say much). Afterwards we went to a bar to grab a few drinks and when it was time to welcome the new year, we went outside. We clinked glasses and he started with his fireworks, because to him, that is the most exciting part about New Year's. The fireworks.
After a while his friends left, to drop one of them off at the train station. I stayed with him, so he would not be alone. Finally, there was just the two of us. He helped me light some smaller fireworks and I could feel my spirits light up immediately, when our hands touched. However, I was not able to say something – or at least not what I was thinking.
That was stupid and my biggest mistake on that evening.

When the rest of the party returned, we went to a club. It was fun. The music was good and it felt nice to let go. I am not interested in impressing other guys. I just do what I want, even if it looks weird. Maybe that is why I do not get in contact with men when I go dancing. All the time I barely had the confidence to look him in the eyes. I was scared that he would see something he does not like. Instead, I looked at his friends, the floor or around the crowded room.
Couples. There were couples everywhere. People holding each other tightly. Kissing. It made me angry. At that moment, I could not be happy for them. Looking at them made me so furious and embittered, because I was unable to go and get what I wanted. I wanted what they had and I wanted it with him.
All the time, there was this image inside my head of me confidently grabbing his hand to dance with him. However, I am not confident. I have never been.

We left the club at about five in the morning to go home. He and I had the same way. We said our goodbyes to the others and left. When we arrived at the already crowded train station, there was an announcement. Apparently, someone had thrown himself under a train. As a consequence the entire route was blocked. So, everyone headed for the tram, which is a lot slower.

Honestly, I was glad. We had to stand very close to each other. I could feel his breath and I just took the opportunity to lean on him. We were both very sleepy, so there was not a lot of talking, but I enjoyed standing there with him. My legs were heavy and my feet hurt very badly, but I did not care.
At one point I could feel his hand on my back. I think he was trying to hold me, so I would not fall, but the tram was so packed there was nowhere to fall anyway. I still enjoyed it. This light pressure on my back felt strangely securing. Sadly enough, this was my favourite moment of the night.
Standing in the tram with his arm around me.

After a few minutes he let go, to take off his backpack, but he did not attempt to hold me again.
The journey home took one and a half hours. Normally, it is one hour. We hugged each other briefly and finally went our ways.

This evening was nothing like I had imagined it. In my head, it was all a wonderful Hollywood production: At midnight people would start cheering. We would hug each other, look into each others eyes and kiss. Nothing major at first. Just a light, shy touch of the lips. Then a nervous, but happy smile.
It was nothing like that, because I did not have the guts.
Before that evening everyone had joked about hooking him up with someone, so he would get his New Year's kiss. I thought about saying something perky to him:

„Hey, since you had no New Year's kiss. What about having it with me? I did not have one either.“

But just as always, I said nothing. There was no kiss at all. Not for us.
Well, this is why I like being a pessimist. I make plans beforehand, but because I always expect the worst, I am not too disappointed. It is normal. It is normal for me to let chances come and go without making a move. That is my nature. It is nothing to be proud of, but I can deal with it.

I do not think, that anyone read this whole mess of self-pity, but in case there really is someone who did:
Let this be a lecture. Be brave, make mistakes, but never give yourself a reason to be angry, because you did not try hard enough.

Happy 2014 everyone.

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