|She couldn’t stop thinking about him, so there was only one thing to do: go out with someone new, of course.|
|They agreed to meet at 7pm. She knew even before she met him that she wouldn’t like him. It wouldn’t matter how smart or charming or how handsome he was, she just knew. Simply because he wasn’t him.|
|She didn’t want to seem as though she was trying too hard, when in fact she didn’t care at all.
The problem with first dates is that every word you say, what drink you order (Scotch or a martini?), the buttons left unbuttoned on your blouse, even the way you look at him- every single thing takes on a particular, subliminal meaning.
But she was the type of girl who wore perfume and her favorite heels to run out for milk. It didn’t matter where she was going. That’s just who she was. So if she just happened to look a certain way, it had absolutely nothing to do with him.
|She arrived at 6:48 and ordered a glass of Bordeaux. At 7:02 he walked in. She looked up from her phone. He was taller than she’d expected. He was wearing a suit jacket, a crisp white shirt and dark jeans.
He smiled as he walked toward her.
|“Wow. You’re even prettier in person,” he said.|
|She got up from her chair to greet him. “Thank you.”|
|They discussed their children and her recent trip to San Antonio (one of her favorite cities) and his job on Capitol Hill. The conversation and wine flowed easily. He was witty and charming.
He even made her laugh. She found herself smiling.
And even though he wasn’t him, the thought occurred to her that maybe, just maybe, she could enjoy spending time with someone else.
She had warned him she needed to leave early, but somehow 8:37pm turned into 10:49. She needed to be up early the next day.
“I really should go,” she said.
“But you haven’t even finished your drink.”
He smiled at her. His eyes were the perfect shade of blue.
She smiled back.
Finally he walked her to her car.
The moon was full.
“I’d really like to see you again,” he said.
“I’ll text you,” she said.
|As she drove home, she received a message. She looked down at her phone. “I’d like to see you again. Any chance you’re free Friday night?”|
|Suddenly she felt guilty. She hadn’t expected to be interested in anyone else. This wasn’t supposed to happen.
This was only meant to be a distraction from another night spent sitting home alone, thinking about him, with an empty ache in her chest, waiting for him to finally make up his mind.
|As she lay in bed that night, the rain poured down outside her window.
The next morning she checked her phone again. No missed calls.
Just then she received a text: “Looking forward to seeing you.”
It had finally stopped raining. She needed to get dressed. She didn’t want to be late for work.
She looked out her window. The sky was slate blue. And she was indecisive.
As her date droned on, she noticed a group of guys laughing and drinking beer a few feet away. The bar was loud and crowded. She couldn’t make out their faces. Except for one.
Her date asked her a question.
“What?” All she could hear was this handsome stranger laughing a few feet away.
She caught him staring at her. So she smiled back. And no sooner had her date left to make a phone call, she looked up to see his face smiling down at her.
He asked her her name. Before she could answer, he said “You’re beautiful.”
Soon they were walking down the street together, huddled close in the winter wind. They passed a group of loud girls, smoking and an old man walking his dog.
He grabbed her hand and led her across the street and into another bar. His hand felt warm and strong.
“Two vodka tonics” he said to the bartender. Despite the toasty fire crackling in the fireplace, the bar was practically empty.
He said something funny and she laughed. Suddenly his hand was on her waist, gently pulling her closer. She thought he might kiss her. But instead he leaned over and whispered into her ear.
She’d always been attracted to quirky. But only when it was perfectly mixed with intelligence and wit and charm and of course humor.
And he was all of the above.
And the fact that he was tall was the cherry on the all ready delicious cake.
Two hours later, they were in his apartment. He offered to take her coat. She politely declined.
“I really should go,” she said. As she started to leave, he leaned over and kissed her. Soft and slow at first, then deeper and passionately. She wanted to tear off her coat and throw her clothes on the floor. But instead she kissed him one last time and left.
The 18 minute drive home felt like an hour.
Two nights later she was in his apartment again. A bottle of Patron sat on his countertop next to a basket of fresh raspberries. How did he know those were her favorites?
He was wearing dark jeans and a long sleeved tee and a boyish grin. He opened the tequila and she did a shot to take the edge off. They drank and talked and kissed. He told her about his family. She talked about her new job. They kissed and talked and drank some more. His lips were on her neck. Her hands were on his waist.
She knew she wanted to sleep with him but there were so many reasons not to. But maybe even more reasons why she should. His lips tasted like tequila and raspberries and perfection. He pulled her closer and she whispered into his ear “Where’s your room?”
A candle was burning on his nightstand. His room smelled like red velvet cake. His bed sheets were dark gray. She could hear music playing from the apartment next door.
His curtains were slightly drawn and she could see the moon outside his window. He kissed her as she started to unbutton his pants. Their hands were everywhere. She could feel the weight of his body on hers and every doubt she had disappeared from her mind. Every movement felt electric. The candle flickered next to the bed. He felt perfect and delicious and intoxicating.
At 6:15am the alarm went off on her cell phone. He helped her locate her clothes as she hurriedly dressed. He followed her to the door. All he was wearing were a pair of dark blue gym shorts. His chest was smooth and perfect. She kissed him goodbye.
They started meeting 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes it would be at her house and sometimes, his. They’d snuggle on the couch and watch a movie, but mostly they would talk and drink and make out for hours before falling into a heap in bed. And in the morning he would always tell her how beautiful her eyes were.
It was easy and fun and exhilarating and uncomplicated. Weeks and months passed. Sexy texts and flirty conversations. She knew it wouldn’t last – they both knew – but it felt good now. And he was smart and sexy and he was so drawn to her and their bodies fit so perfectly together. The sex was addictive. She knew she couldn’t say no.
Then something happened. It doesn’t matter what. Because something always happens. He started to get too close and he said something that hurt her feelings. And she held back because she knew it could never be anymore than it was. He pushed her away and she pushed him away further. She imagined she would never see his beautiful face ever again so she busied herself with work and meaningless things.
The weather grew colder and she would lie awake at night thinking about him. He imagined her with someone else and it drove him insane. But neither of them contacted each other. They were both too stubborn and practical, and she was so busy. But not too busy to lie awake at night imagining all the nights they had spent together in her bed.
And he stayed busy too. But he could still smell her on his pillows and he imagined her body wrapped around his.
And the days and weeks passed and it started to get easier. She started to forget the little things. Like how his skin smelled and the way he would hold her so close, wrapping his arms around her waist when they were lying in bed.
One night, around 1:24am or something like that, he sent her a text.
“I miss you.”
They saw each other again after that. It turns out, it wasn’t an affair. It lasted over a year and a half. And each time he would walk through her door, without a word, he would immediately grab her and kiss her like he hadn’t seen her in a hundred years. It was sexy and passionate and she never wanted it to end.
He made her feel beautiful.
Then something else happened. Maybe she met someone else. Or maybe he did. It doesn’t really matter. Because something else always happens. And so it ended again and they went their separate ways, as people always do.
And sometimes when she is out with another guy, she gets distracted and finds herself searching for his face in the crowd.
And sometimes when he is out with his friends, he’ll see a girl with long blonde hair and he’ll hear her laugh and he imagines it is her.