“I can’t Right Now”


It was a usual day for me, woke up, went to class, and came home. It was Friday so I decided to just start watching some “How I Met Your Mother” on Netflix, my favorite show. I went to my room and turned on my PlayStation 4. I was enjoying the episode “Hooked” when I suddenly got a text.

It was her, the girl that I had met a semester ago and had a huge crush on. Maybe it was the way that we made each other laugh, maybe it was how she was able to say whatever was on her mind without caring what other people thought, maybe something as simple as the dimples when she smiled.

She was asking if I wanted to hang out with her at the mall for a bit since she didn’t have anything to do. I of course said yes and immediately started to get changed.

We ended up going to the South Bay Galleria Mall on Hawthorne Blvd. and did what we always did. We would walk aimlessly throughout the mall, grab a coffee from the coffee bean on the 1st floor, and just window shop.

It may sound boring to some, but for me, when I was with her, I always had a blast. This day in particular I had finally decided to do what I had always been wanting to, I was going to tell her how I feel.

As we were getting our coffee, I told her that I had something to tell her, and I did. I finally told her that I had liked her for a long time and if she wanted to go out with me.

“I really like you too…but I really can’t right now, just give me some time and then we’ll see.”

At first, I felt a bit crushed from hearing that answer, but there was still some hope. I responded with a nod and smile saying “yea no problem you just let me know”

A few weeks passed, and I got another text message, of course, from the girl I had met a semester ago. However, it wasn’t an invitation, it was a question asking me where she and her boyfriend should go eat.

Being the (what I believe) good friend that I was, recommended a restaurant and didn’t get a reply.

A few weeks passes, a new semester begins, and she breaks up with her boyfriend. As we’re talking, she brings up the day that we went to the mall. Yep, THAT day.

“Maybe she’ll tell me that its finally time,” I thought as I began to ask her about us going out. Man was I wrong. She turned to me with that smile that I loved and said, “I really would Oscar, nothing would make me happier, but I can’t right now.”

Bamboozled once again, I brushed it off saying that I completely understood. I found out two weeks later that she had been seeing someone already.

I couldn’t let this go on anymore. I have to cut this thread that I had been hooked on. Every time I would try however, she would suddenly become even friendlier than usual, saying things like, “C’mon let’s go to our usual date spot,” or “You’re not leaving me for some other girl, right?”

This time, I had to cut the thread. Taking a page from the “How I Met Your Mother” episode ‘Hooked’, I started practicing how I would stop this. Unlike the episode I didn’t buy a teacup pig and started repeating that we would never be together.

As the second semester ended, I was in my living room watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’ when the girl that I had liked for a while texted me if we could go out to eat. I said yes but realized that I wasn’t in as much of a rush as I had been as before. This time it was different.

So she sends me directions to a small ramen shop down the street from El Camino. We get there and are led into this small restaurant with a long table and stools for people to sit in.

When we entered the staff simultaneously shouted welcome when we entered and shouted thank you and goodbye to the people that were leaving. We were sat down, ordered our food, and ate.

As we ate, she began telling me about how she was talking to a new guy but felt as if they weren’t hitting it off as much as she would have liked to. “If only there were more guys like you,” she told me with that smile that I liked for so long.

We finish our ramen and as we’re leaving the staff once again shouted thank you and goodbye to us. I walk this girl that I’ve liked for so long back to her car and I asked one last time if she really liked me and if she would go out with me. “Oscar trust me I like you a lot… but I can’t go out with you right now.”

Does that sound familiar? “I would but…” or “I can’t…right now. Many people have heard these many times from the person that they might like, while being given a small bit of hope that the person likes them back.

This is what is meant by when someone is “on the hook.” Sometimes people end up not moving on by finding someone else because they are caught on another person’s hook by having a bit of hope that they would end up together.

Many times, this is done to have the person as “the backup” or the “plan b” in case it doesn’t work out with the person they he or she is dating. This does happen to both men and women, not just one or the other.

Other times this is done in order to protect the other person’s feeling. However, as they’re trying to protect that person’s feeling they are also hurting them in the process. It would be easier for both parties just to say how they feel instead of being passive and hoping that the other person understood what they meant.

Sometimes it really is easier to tell the other person your true feeling instead of beating around the bush and keeping them around for your personal gains and needs.

After I had heard this girl that I used to like told me that she couldn’t “right now” I just said, “it’s now or never, no more ‘not right now’.”

Writing this now makes me realize how much time I wasted chasing this one girl in hopes of us being together, however I don’t regret it.

The main reason why I don’t regret this experience is because if this never happened to me, this might have happened with a different girl at a different time. Meaning that it would have taken longer to learn this lesson.

While I didn’t take a page from the How I Met Your Mother episode and rent a teacup pig to practice saying no to, I am glad that I was able to learn from this experience and not have this repeat in the future.