Although Ellowyne had just met Penn, it was clear to Rufus that she was interested. She never looked at him the way she looked at Penn. Blinking back the hot tears welling up in his eyes, Rufus plugged in his smartphone and sat in his car, feeling too numb to drive home. He tortured himself by listening to love songs that reminded him of Ellowyne like Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing to Led Zeppelin’s All of My Love. Breakup songs like Love Hurts, Love Stinks and Lonesome Loser gave voice to his feelings of loss and despair. When he heard a familiar tune by Cee Lo Green, he sang along. “I see you driving ‘round town with the girl I love and I’m like ‘Fu—‘“
The sound of tapping on his car window interrupted Rufus’ private sing-along. It was Lizette. “Hey. What are you doing out here? “ she asked.
Rufus sighed. “Just listening to some tunes. I didn’t want to be in there, not with Ello throwing herself at Penn.”
Lizette nodded. “Yeah, total flirt alert. Hey, are you okay?”
“Not really. It sucks to see Ell throw herself at this douche when I’ve been here for her all along”.
“I dunno.” Lizette said as she climbed into the passenger seat of Rufus’ red Subaru. “Maybe it’s because Penn is a novelty, someone new in her life”.
“Or maybe it’s a matter of familiarity breeds contempt”.
Rufus poured out his heart. He told Lizette how he fell in love with Ello the first time they met back in middle school. He confessed that, over the course of the past several years, he brought her flowers, candy, stuffed animals, and even a vintage snow globe.”
“I remembered that! She obsessed over it, asking herself—and the rest of us—what it meant.” Lizette gently stroked Rufus’ hand. “You know, Ello is not the most observant person. I think she’s a fool for not even noticing the sweet little gestures you’ve made over the years.” Lizette got closer to Rufus, twirled hear hair and looked into Rufus’ eyes. “It’s a shame she friend zoned you all this time. You really have a lot to offer a woman.”
Rufus furrowed his eyebrows. “Are you kidding me?”
“You’re kind, sweet, and funny. You’re a total brainiac. And you have a gentle face and beautiful eyes.”
“Yes! Ellowyne is clueless. One day someone, maybe one of her closest friends will figure out wow amazing you really are.
Rufus smiled weakly. “You really think so?”
“I know so.”
“Hey, thanks, Liz. I’m glad we had this talk. I’m not going to give up on Ellowyne. I have more work to do at her house and maybe I’ll bring her some chocolate truffles.”
Lizette got out of Rufus’ car, shook her head and rolled her eyes. Ellowyne was not the only one who was clueless.