She was standing outside the college’s recital hall waiting to be let in. She was late. I too was late, but there just in time to finally be able to talk to her. I had been secretly not so secretly spying on this girl, asking friends and classmates if they knew who she was.
“She has blonde hair. Well, she had blonde hair last week. Now she has dark red hair,” I said.
“What does she look like?” my friend Nick asked.
“She has big blue eyes and a big smile. I think she may be Russian.”
“Nope, I’ve never seen her.”
The search for this mystery girl coincided with a phase I was going through, one that involved the “hunting of tigers.” Nick and I used the word “tiger” to refer to a woman that we wanted to sleep with. It was the systematic process of selecting, staking out, luring and finally gorging on their sweet lips and bodies. Once this mission was accomplished, we would simply text one another:
“The tiger has been tamed.”
This girl presented herself as the perfect catch. She was beautiful, foreign and right in front of me. The prize was there for the taking. I ran my hands through my hair and began to walk towards her. She was tugging at the door handle, flustered at it not budging.
“Did they close the door on you?” I asked. She turned around and laughed.
“Yeah, they did,” she answered.
“I hate it when they do that.” She laughed again. Her dimples were high on her cheeks, closer to her nose than to the corners of her lips. Her laughter had a soft percussive melody to it, like someone tickling your ears with feathers. “Hi, I’m Jose. What’s your name?”
“Galathea,” she said with a big smile. Galathea, Galathea, Galathea. I kept repeating her name in my head as she continued to talk. Everything was falling in its right place. We were two big jigsaw puzzle pieces getting closer and closer to interlocking with every word uttered. Our instant chemistry gave me such a level of confidence that asking for her number didn’t feel like an act of creepy desperation. We were alone, laughing and in close proximity. Conditions were perfect. Limber tongue. Check. Salivary glands producing just enough moisture. Check. Lips opening. Shit.
“What it is?” Nick came out of nowhere calling to me from afar. His boisterous voice was meant more to alarm than to find out what “it” really was. He raised his hand expecting me to high-five him. I looked up at it and reluctantly succumbed to his request.
“Hey, what’s up?” I replied. What I really meant to say was “Get the fuck out of here. You’re ruining what was up to this point a perfectly executed luring excursion.” I turned his high-five into a handshake and squeezed the shit out of it. I wanted to communicate with my grip what I couldn’t with words.
“What’s wrong?” Nick asked extricating his hand from mine and massaging its mangled surface. My furrowed brow and bulged eyes helped Nick deduce that the redhead in our midst and the one I had been nagging him about were one and the same. “Is that the?”
“Shhh…shut the fuck up,” I yelled as loud as one can in a hushed tone. Galathea was unfazed by our bickering, talking to another person who had also been locked out. “Yes, that’s her,” I said through the side of my mouth. His eyes lit up as he backhanded me hard on the chest.
“I just thought of something,” he said. I was surprised at Nick’s level of intuitiveness. Was he going to leave and give me room to ask Galathea out? What a great fucking friend this guy was.
“What’s the game plan?” I asked with excitement.
“We should have a threesome with her.”
“Fuck. No.” I replied. “This girl is different.” And she was. I had been staking her out for over six months and now that I had her, I wasn’t going to share her with anybody.
“Come on,” he insisted. “You know how we’ve always talked about having a threesome. About how we wanted to become milk brothers.” Nick was obsessed with the idea of us sharing a woman. However, I wanted nothing to do with it. “Whatever, man. You suck,” he said with a pout. Nick begrudgingly embraced the role that he was born to play at that exact moment and began to walk away from us. I turned around and began to talk to both Galathea and the other person that she was talking to. I was looking intently at her and she began to smile at me again.
“We should hang out sometime,” I said.
“Yeah, for sure,” she replied.
“Can I have your number?” As she was giving it to me, I realized that maybe she wasn’t Russian after all.
“Don’t worry about typing in my last name. It’s a weird Hungarian one.” She was Hungarian. “I was born in San Diego, but my family comes from Hungary.” Her soft laughter ended every one of her sentences. “We should kick it sometime.” I smiled.
We went into the recital hall and I took a seat across the hall, away from her. Mainly to seem like a bad boy, but more importantly, to not seem needy or annoying. I couldn’t stop staring at her because I couldn’t believe that I was finally able to talk to her. I immediately texted Nick:
“The tiger hasn’t been tamed yet, but I’m afraid that in the luring phase, she has managed to tame me.” Although he replied with a disapproving sad face emoji, I was happy to know that my tiger hunting days were over.