If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, the two of you would have met after locking eyes across the room at a party. You both would have grinned and turned away quickly. Cursing yourself for your shyness, you would then look up to see him lounging in the seat right next to you, calmly sipping his beer. “I bought you a drink,” he would say, pushing a gin-and-tonic over to you. “I don’t really like gin-and-tonics,” you’d say, sipping it anyway. “That’s cool,” he would say, grinning at you. “Means I get to buy you another drink.”
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, he’d buy you a new planner every time you needed one – which he would know happens once every other month. How does he know?! you’d constantly wonder. Until one night you’d be freaking out to him about having three assignments due on the same day and being late on all of them, and he would hand you a new planner and say, “I had this on retainer. Get on that to-do list, babe.”
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, you would often be asked, “And where are you guys from?” with that pointed, exacting look, and the two of you would make up a new country and a fake history on the spot, every single time. Last time it was “Cloaca,” a tiny island off the coast of Croatia — so beautiful, but entirely surrounded by sharks.
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, you’d mute commercials while watching TV to comment on the dangers of capitalism they represent. Well, you mostly do this; Rami Malek just likes listening to you. “Oh, look, another woman doing housework, yet another way to reinforce domestic labor as being ‘women’s work,’” you’d say. “Oh great, more business-casual wear to mop floors — the uniform of the middle class and ABC Family,” you’d say, during the next one. “It’s collar shirts under sweaters or bust,” Rami Malek would tell you.
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, he’d know that you actually love when he wears collar shirts under sweaters, and he’d wear them all the time. He’d also have the most fantastic jackets, which you would steal knowing that he was powerless to stop you.
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, neither of you would be shy about going out dancing till you glisten with sweat, your voices hoarse from yelling over the music. He’d never make you feel jealous of the fact that he’s clearly the better dancer.
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, he’d pull your hair sometimes when walking behind you, or curl a lock around his finger while you wait in line for the movies. If you were pulling on it on a particularly stressful day, he’d bat your hands away and smooth the tendrils back. One day you’d give his hair a giant tug during a kiss goodbye. “You know,” you’d say, at his blushing grin, “if you had something other than the side-shave this would be a lot easier.”
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, he’d text you in the middle of the night freaking out because his computer wasn’t working. “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” you would say in tired but soothing tones as you squint at Google’s answers to his problem on your laptop. “Please don’t tell Christian Slater,” he’d plead, and you promise to take the secret to your grave.
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, he’d hear your theory about LA chillness all the time because he grew up in the Valley. “See, people who were brought up here are super chill,” you would say as you picked up your tacos from the truck at 2:00am. “’Cause when you can do stuff like this all the time, year-round, you have a certain relaxed vibe. You know?” “We’re chill because it’s hot!” he would tell you. “Or just because you’re from New Jersey.” “What does that mean?” you would ask, your eyes narrowed, mid-taco bite.
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, sometimes you’d surreptitiously watch him — making tea, or changing the TV channel, or driving. Then one day you’d be texting someone and you’d look up to see him taking a picture of you with a soft smile on his face. “WHAT.” “You make the best faces when you text,” he would say, showing you. You’d flip through his camera. “Oh my God. How many pictures do you have of me texting?”
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, he’d be tidier than you. “Oh, sorry,” you’d say, spraying crumbs on the coffee table as you ate a pastry. He’d look at you and point two fingers at his eyes and then back at you. I’m watching you.
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, one day you’d tell him you heard someone saying his name wrong. “They said Mah-lick, not Mah-leek! Can you believe that?” you would say indignantly. “Um,” he would say, “that’s actually how you say my name.” You’d stare at him. “WHAT? Why didn’t you tell me?!” “I just, I didn’t,” he says. “I…” He’d raise his hands helplessly and smile at you.
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, you’d both have this thing where you spent weeks – multiple seven-day cycles – always listening to, humming, and dancing to the same song. You’d discover this one day while listening to a song in the car — you’d ask him if you could play it again, and then he’d ask you if he could play it again, and somehow the two of you would end up spending a two-hour car ride only listening to “Replay” by Zendaya.
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, he’d totally appreciate the fact that you thought he was amazing as early as Night At the Museum. “See, the thing is, at the time I was all ‘damn, this guy’s amazing, but Middle Eastern guys never get properly sex-symboled.’” “What about Omar Sharif?” he’d ask. “I’m so glad I was wrong,” you would say, mock-glaring at him for interrupting you. “What about Alexander Siddig?” he would add, getting that stupid shit-eating grin you know he knows destroys you. “What about Jesus?” “I’m breaking up with you now.”
If Rami Malek were your boyfriend, you’d wake up in the middle of the night and poke him. “RAMI,” you loudly whisper. “ARE YOU SLEEPING.” “Mmf.” “I’m getting a snack.” “K.” “Can you come with me?” And that’s how you’d end up downstairs at 1:00 in the morning, holding hands with a snoozing zombie and munching on the Nutella sandwich he made just for you.
Sulagna Misra writes about the weird things that pop into her head when she's not paying attention. She's on Twitter so she can not pay attention more effectively.