Fear of Rejection by Ana Warner

Lying in bed, tired from a long day, I remember grabbing my phone to respond to messages on social media, but who knows how I landed on his page. His smile caught my attention first; as I scrolled through his profile, he looked familiar, as if we knew each other from somewhere important, yet I’d never spoken nor spent time with him in this lifetime. 

A few days passed and I couldn’t get him out of my head, so I decided to do some digging online. I didn’t know whether to be impressed or intimidated by the fruits of my research, but with the little detail I found about him, I’d already placed him on a pedestal. Weeks came and went, but I thought of him every day. 

It reached the point where I was convinced that I needed to see a psychiatrist. I figured that this pull towards him was explained by my wanting a relationship, thus I’d idealized him as “the one.” I tried getting answers from a spiritual perspective, wondering if perhaps my soul recognized his soul somehow. Perhaps God brought him to my attention as a reminder of all the fish in the sea; or perhaps I had heartache still to heal from my past. 

The more I tried not to think of him, the harder it became. Intuitively, I longed to surrender to all that could be and learn whatever I needed to learn from this connection, but my rational mind wouldn’t let me go there. At first, I sensed that he would contact me, but time ticked by and no message came, which only reinforced the explanations floating through my mind. All I wanted was to make sense of my life. 

At times, I thought of contacting him, but what would I say? I knew nothing about his situation and didn’t want to interfere with his life. Besides, we were technically strangers and my pride wouldn’t let me be another random girl messaging him blind. So, I tried to surrender and simply let things be, but I failed miserably. My obsession intensified and caused me much distress and anxiety—all from not getting the outcome I wanted or wishing he’d contact me first. I longed to find out, once and for all, what this connection was all about. 

With time, I came to accept that I might never get any answers from him—but I prayed for signs that hinted at an explanation. I remember watching a movie where a particular line presented me with a light-bulb moment: “If wishes were fulfilled all the time, there would be no difference between real life and dreams.” I thought, could this be a sign? I started seeing angel numbers relentlessly; and again I questioned, could this be a sign? 

Fall ended and winter began, and still I found myself in this obsessive space of trying not to think about a stranger. I didn’t dare tell anyone what was running through my head, for fear of judgment or stigmatic beliefs; instead, I lived my fantasy out in private, assuming that no one could read my thoughts. 

One day, my homeboy sent me a few funny memes (he knows that I love to laugh and especially at inappropriate memes), but one of the four memes was different. By no means was it funny, reading: “According to psychology, when you can’t get someone out of your head, the other person is also thinking of you.” When I read that, I almost fell out of my chair; I hadn’t told him (or anyone) about my thoughts, so why the hell would he randomly send me that meme? Could this be another sign?