In An Alternate Universe, I Ended Up Dating Him


There is nothing quite like unrequited love that gets people cheering in the stands. When the nice, stereotypical underdog finally gets the person of their dreams — or in my case when I would finally get to talk to the guy who was nice to me one time at Wendy’s and I irrationally decided he was the love of my life.

I had spoken to him all of three times, one of which was via Facebook messenger which would account for the most embarrassing thing I had ever done in my life, and consequently led me to have yet another existential crisis.

The first time I spoke to him, he gave me a bacon cheeseburger combo. Being a student and lacking both the funds and the time to invest in regular, healthy home cooked meals, I did often eat at the Wendy’s which was only ten minutes from my flat.

I ordered my food at those self-service machines which always manage to let you down, and when he called my number, I really did not notice him at all. There was nothing that extraordinary about him, really. He had a cute smile and the kind of humor that made you roll your eyes because it was so lame.

He was overall just genuinely nice. He told me to have an awesome night and immediately from then I referred to him as my Wendy’s’ boyfriend, an inside joke with my flatmates that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The next time I saw him it was in the Medicine faculty at my university. I had just gotten through and was preparing for the scathing year that was second year. The faculty had set up a sort of mentoring program for the second years and the senior students, and it was the mixer to meet your study savior.

This isn’t a cute origin story of how we got paired and then I got to know him beyond the boy who served me at Wendy’s once. I just managed to see him amongst the crowd and deducted that my Wendy’s boyfriend was also a senior med student. Thus, he became my med boyfriend, for all the intents and purposes of flat banter.

The third time I saw him, I was lining up to purchase my wine-and-cheese social event ticket. Fresh from the stress of second year and the 18-hour cram sessions of exam preparation, I decided to embark on a year where I participated in something — literally anything social.

He happened to be on the med student’s committee and he sold me my ticket. It was nothing special, he was super polite and kept using my name in his sentences which, while I understand is merely a well-mannered way of addressing and speaking to people, made me crush on him a little bit more.

Later that day, as I was eating lunch with my flatmate, he sent me a Facebook message request. Playing it cool, I saw he was just asking for my ticket number for admin stuff, but I just kept reading the line where he wrote ‘it was nice meeting you before.’

So basically, I’m a massive creep with a crush on a person whom really does not care for my existence.

I can appreciate that when I refer to this unlucky guy as my med boyfriend, he is merely a person for whom I have decided I kind of fancy but not to the point where I would actually talk to him.

The night of wine-and-cheese I, unsurprisingly, consumed a lot of wine and not a lot of food. I danced a little too hard, and laughed a little too loud and I avoided this guy at all costs, even when my good friend offered to introduce us.

I do this thing where I run away from my feelings and prefer to imagine the amazing scenarios which would certainly never occur in real life.

In an alternate universe, that different version of me would have mustered up the courage to talk to him. Maybe something would have come up out of it or maybe nothing would have, but I bet she still would have felt pretty sick having finally spoken to him.

Alternate universe me would have had a real non-obligatory conversation with him.

Alternate universe me would have probably made a fool of herself but laughed it off because at least she tried in person.

I have spent so long sitting and wondering all the different paths that the alternate universe me could have gone down. There’s an alternate universe where I got to know him and we hit it off, and there’s an alternate universe where I got to know him and realized that that idealized version of him I had pieced together through those little insignificant encounters fell short of who he really was.

Perhaps, thinking of all the ‘could-have’s’ and ‘should-have’s’ of that night sent me into an emotional turmoil where I had to really re-evaluate who I was and what I was even doing with my life.

Or maybe it’s just because later that night, when I got home exhausted but still very intoxicated, decided to make up for not speaking to him in person.

I opened my Facebook messenger app and tried as hard as I could to think of something witty to get his attention. Not in a late-night romp kind of way, but a casually confess my feelings for a complete stranger cringe kind of a way.

Deciding it was a good idea, because honestly what isn’t a good idea when you’ve downed more alcohol in the last few hours than you have the whole year, I sent him a Youtube link addressing how cool I thought he was and how we ‘should hang sometime.’

The next morning, realizing the biggest mistake of my 21 years of life, I checked and saw he had seen the message but did not reply. We aren’t even friends on Facebook, he had to accept my message request to see that I, a strange girl he did not know at all, had sent him a random Youtube video with no context whatsoever.

Looking back, it is funny that I consciously decided to humiliate myself this way. And then feel the need to tell as many people as possible about this cringe-worthy event so not to bear the humiliation alone.

It reminds me of an early 2000’s pre-teen television show plot line that I would have cringed so hard at from second hand embarrassment.

The theory of alternate universes that I keep tossing around in my head has been somewhat comforting, because surely there’s a version of me killing it somewhere.

But out of all the different versions of me there could be in the whole multiverse, I just had to be the joke. I suppose though everyone loves a good joke, I certainly do.

And hey, at least I can say that the me in this universe is kinda funny.