"Are you going to Michelle's party?" asked Blaine, relatively innocently considering Blaine's usual demeanour. Friends though we may have been, I was surprised he was talking to me at all; he usually spent 23 out of his 24 hours per day playing Counter-Strike, the remaining one devoted mostly to sleeping. How he managed to stay enrolled at university, much less get a hot girlfriend, I've no idea. Good genes, or a lot of luck, or something.
I had my soft porn; I'm not complaining (much).
Was I going to Michelle's party? I had been invited, although not officially. But then, this was a party organised by a university student, so it wasn't overly likely to have had any sort of official invite. It was her 21st - she'd probably been inviting everyone.
"I'm not sure," I said, truthfully. I hadn't given it a lot of thought. "I might be away or something, let me check. Are you going?"
"I'm not sure," he replied. "I'll go if you'll go."
"I'm not doing anything," I said. "I'll fortunately be able to go. Will you come along?"
"Hey, ILB. You don't fancy Michelle, do you?"
At which I was more than a little blindsided. Did I fancy Michelle? I'd been sitting next to her in lectures, sure, but only because I knew her a little, and moreso than others. But then, I reasoned, I sat next to Claire, and I fancied her, and to Kat, and I fancied her too. And Caroline, who I also fancied, and occasionally Sarah. Who I fancied. I didn't fancy Lisa, however, which was odd, because everyone else did.
Michelle...? Again, I'd never given it much thought. Michelle was a nice girl. Quiet, but perceptive and very good at her chosen subject. She'd always been nice to me, and I'd been polite and pleasant in turn, discussing history with her and not turning away when she sneezed all over her hands and didn't have a tissue to spare. But I'd never considered the idea of having a crush on her before. I certainly didn't.
Before I opened my mouth, my mind spun an intricate fantasy in which I did fancy Michelle. In an instant, it seemed less like an impossibility, and more like an opportunity.
"Okay! Maybe I do fancy Michelle! And maybe I'll go to her party and I'll pull her, and then I'll finally have my first kiss in years, and a girlfriend afterwards! And maybe this is my chance, and maybe she fancies me too, and this is why she invited me to her party!" I didn't say. It was part of my thought process, perhaps, but it didn't come out of my mouth. I was, however, vaguely aware of the fact that Blaine was still standing there, waiting for an answer.
"I'm not sure," I said, truthfully. "Do I fancy Michelle?" Which was, perhaps, the worst possible thing to say, as I'd just invited Blaine, my friend in a relationship with Sarah, who was friends with Michelle, to pass on the idea that I had a crush on someone who, up until a few seconds ago, I didn't have a crush on. It wouldn't be the first time that Blaine had shared such information.
"Maybe! I guess, perhaps, I don't really know if..."
"Okay, so I'm going to the party!"
I didn't go. Neither, in fact, did Blaine. I went to Canterbury to see 47; he spent his evening playing Counter-Strike.
I got a first in the module, but after that, I never saw Michelle again.