The light turns red, and I slow to a stop. In the waiting I hear the growl of a motorcycle. I glance over my right shoulder and investigate.
"You're pretty," he growls at me from astride his bike.
My heart sinks, but I know how this is supposed to go, so I smile politely and say, "thank you," knowing he doesn't understand; hoping thank you is enough.
"Boyfriend?" he asks.
My heart sinks lower because I choose not to lie, even though it would probably shut him up. "No," I say, polite smile frozen on my face.
"We should go out sometime," he says, inching his bike forward, anticipating my reply.
My heart drops. I fight the anger and the violation, polite smile still stuck on my lips as I shake my head and say, "No thank you."
The light turns green, and I am grateful for a way out.
My workout is a welcome distraction. The sweat pours down my face as muscles strain and push and pull as the growl of his motorcycle and the growl of his voice are pushed from my mind.
But it doesn’t change the freefall of my heart.
It doesn’t change the desire to scrub the encounter off my skin as I rinse sweat away in a post-workout shower.
It doesn’t change the ache of wanting something true, someone true, someone who sees more than blond hair and a pretty face.
The truth is, while some dude on a motorcycle might think he’s making my day, asking me out like that, he isn’t. He is instead affirming the lie that says, “you’re only good for this. You are too much in any other context.” It is a violation of who I am, of how I look, and of what it means to be in relationship with one another, to love one another as we would be loved.
So no, I do not have a boyfriend, and no I do not want to go on a date with you, and yes, I may be pretty, but I am much more than that.
I am made to be loved for more than that.