He said no, but I said yes.

The year was 1995.  People were mulling about in the college library, zealous students proofreading papers minutes before they were due, the mix of soda, coffee, and stale sandwiches filling the air.  My stomach was jumping on a trampoline, my mind trying to concentrate on the white paper, but nothing worked. I pushed my chair out, using the wooden table for balance. I sat back down. You can do it, I tell myself. The worst he can say is no. That wouldn’t be so bad, trying to convince my inner ego.

In the library, I walk up to the boy, my friend, making small talk as I sat down. “How’s it going?” I ask. He shifts the newspaper he is reading, a little surprised that I sat down, without an invitation. Then I jump right in since I didn’t want to lose my momentum or my nerve. “Hey, I think we should go out.” My words hang, in mid-air, hoping to land. “Um, I am flattered, but no.”

He said No. And it felt bad, after hearing it out loud, the rejection played in my head over and over again. I get up, of course, and say, “Ok, cool. Just thought I would ask.”

We went to a small university, so I would see this boy from time to time. We would even have conversations, about nothing in particular, when a group of us would get together, in the library or lunch. It was casual, the tension of the rejection, now a tiny mirror in a kaleidoscope.

And then three months later something I thought that would never happened came to life. HE asked me out. He told me he started noticing me after I asked him out and would I consider going out with him?  I could of said no. But I didn’t. I said yes. And you know what?  Fifteen years later, I look over at that boy, now my husband, and realize it is the best yes I’ve ever said.

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