So I stared at my e-mail for a few days and contemplated asking her out directly but settled on expressing a desire to see her again and seeing how that went. Her response—several days later—did not really seem like she'd taken it as a request for a date, but we did go to a show on Saturday night. I bought her a muffin, and she was so surprised and appreciative, it was adorable. I made her laugh a lot. And I almost asked her out but did not get the chance.
On Sunday, I saw her again because she was performing. And I almost asked her out but did not get the chance.
Finally, I decided, screw it, and sent an e-mail that night:
If you hadn't left early tonight, I would have done this in person, but I thought it was time to be direct.
[Name], I would like to take you out on a date. Would you like to go on a date with me?
(I actually used her name. I did not put "[Name]" in the e-mail. Just for the record.)
Then I fell into a deep, dark hole for days as I imagined how terrible and unlovable a person I was. I beat myself up until even I got tired of it.
Finally, this afternoon, while in line for the Cabin in the Woods screening, I got her response:
Well thank you Sunil for being direct! I do enjoy your company but I'm not interested in dating.
To my surprise, since it was the answer I was expecting and had beat myself up over anyway, it didn't actually hurt that much to get confirmation. Was she not interested in dating in general or simply not interested in dating me? Why? What was wrong with me? I found I didn't really care.
Alas! Then let us continue to enjoy each other's company.
So that happened.