“I bet your first time Trinh, you lit candles and were super romantic about it huh?”
Your question caught me off guard as my attention was stuck on my computer, going through the mundane routine of daily closing duties of the store; my mind on cruise control.
I shifted my thoughts, and geared my attention towards you — your uncanny and intruding habit of presenting hard questions at inopportune times.
I smirked at you, and sighed annoyed, “Come again?”
How ironic, the girl at work who kept trying to get into my pants now wanted to unzip my mind. I held great distaste for your type; wanting to understand me without my permission, knowing my honesty would persevere past my stubbornness.
It’s something I’ve come to dislike immensely about people. Forcing me to reveal information I don’t think someone deserves to know.
Oh well, as I described you before: invasive.
“The first time you had sex, it was all fireworks and butterflies right?” You repeated again, a twinge of sarcasm in your voice. You were always antagonizing me for my romantic notion of love. Hell, most of my coworkers did.
I guess I’ll never understand why it’s so wrong of me to want the entanglement of bodies to mean something more than just a primal desire of human nature — thank god I didn’t give in to my physical impulse with you, as I was still reaping the repercussions of my previous impetuous actions.
My face softened recalling my first touch of love – “No, actually. She lit the candles.”
Your voice melted into the hazy background as the memory came flooding back to the forefront of my mind, “You really loved her.”
“More than you could ever imagine,” came out of my mouth, effortlessly.
You wanted to know the story, so I started from the beginning. Well, the beginning for me.
Sometime in early December of my senior year in high school, you confessed your love for me after just a couple months of meeting. I sat in my BCIS class, when I saw your name flash across my phone screen. You put it as the subject of your email, “I love you more.” What I thought was an innocent friendship was turning into something I could no more control than my own raging heart. I stopped talking to you for a month after that — you scared me, not because of what you felt, but for all the things I felt for you.
It was very confusing then, for my 17-year-old heart. I had just been previously “heartbroken” over a boy I had no physical or sexual attraction to, and there you were, 6312 miles away, and all I wanted was to lay your hand against my chest, over my irrational organ.
Two full rotations around the sun later, and I found myself buying plane tickets to finally see you — to finally.. feel you. It had been a little more than 2 years since we met under the Parisian sky. I believed ardently that fate had brought us together.
We talked about it, before I boarded my plane. I was nervous, and you knew. The Christian in me back then wanted to wait for marriage.
“I love you enough to wait, pretty girl.” And that was how the conversation ended.
You didn’t get upset, or berate me. You didn’t make me feel weird for being a virgin. You didn’t argue with me or try and change my mind.
I was surprised by your gentleness. You had explained to me earlier, in the stage of our budding friendship, that in your culture it was actually very looked down upon for a girl our age to still be untouched. And yet, you risked your own reputation to be ridiculed for my sake and comfort.
I knew then that I would forevermore be changed by your kindness.
I could hear the water running, calming and serene. I leaned against the frame of the bathroom door and admired your figure, your back against me, your hand beneath the water, feeling for the right temperature.
The counter by the sink had white candles lit, the soft scent of vanilla wafting through the air between us. You turned around and smiled at me, your devastatingly beautiful smile that struck my heart, “I started it for you, relax okay, I will wait for you to finish.”
You cupped my cheek in your hand affectionately, and I turned my face to kiss your wrist. I loved the veins on this part of your body, the way they protruded from your porcelain skin in fine patterns like lace, the way I could feel your heartbeat pulse against my lips. I stopped you before you could pass me, and closed the door, “Shower with me, please.”
You undressed first, slowly, cautiously — your eyes never leaving mine. I smiled open-mouthed, “Sorry I’m making you bath twice.”
Your whiskey eyes glistened in the dim lit bathroom, the reflection of the candles casting shadows over your naked frame. Your fingers ran through my hair, down my body, and to the hem of my shirt — you lifted it over my head, and I turned around, so you could undo the clasps of my bra.
I felt the impact of your lips against the back of my shoulder — instant vibrations spiraled throughout my body. I removed the rest of my clothes, impatiently — I heard you stifle laughter.
So I grabbed your hand, and dragged you into the small square confines of the bath. The warm water running from our heads, trickling down to the rest of every part of our bodies. And so I mimicked the water, caressing you, not letting any skin go untouched.
You let me explore every inch of your body and I returned the gesture. It was innocent and I had never felt more vulnerable — I blame naivety.
But the more I touched you, the more my heart felt for you. And I know you felt the same. Maybe that’s the most beautiful part: loving someone who loves you just as much back. It’s rare, and it doesn’t come by often, but my god, when it does happen, the heart keeps its own memory and holds you victim to it.
We were two points destined to collide, the universe always finds a way to make the impossible possible, and certain experiences cannot be avoided. Against time and space, and paths, and journeys, against all my rational logic, if something is meant to happen — the universe will find a way.
After our shower, we retired to your room. I wanted you, I didn’t want to wait any longer.
You deserved me in this way, my heart decided. I wanted you as my first, and I wanted to be yours, too. It was the one thing I could only ever give one person in my life ever, and I wanted that person to be you. There can be many after, but there can never be multiple firsts. That’s what really matters in the end, the beginning.
So I kissed you, passionately, with every ounce of energy I could muster. Very consciously thinking that I wanted to convey all my love to you, and so with every physical move I made against your body, I did it with the upmost respect and love towards you. I became a different lover that night. Much more selfless. It stopped being about me, and more so about you — I wanted you to feel loved above all else. That you would simply wait for me, changed everything; myself, included.
We didn’t make love, we made poetry. The story of your hands written all across my body. Touching you was the most religious experience I had ever encountered.
Afterwards, we lay naked in each other’s arms. Exhaustion, overtaking you — but I.. I watched you sleep. Something I had done many times over skype, but now in person, just seemed much more intimate. You felt like home, safe and warm. It was the first time in years, I slept a full night without waking.
You made me realize that I could only sleep with people I love, and maybe that’s why I’m an insomniac now.
“I’ve never been one for romance,” was your conclusion to my story, as you playfully tried to slap my ass.
I swatted your hand away, and laughed myself out of the melancholy now enveloping my body, “Maybe it hurts less that way.”
I don’t trust fate with my heart anymore. And I know I’m not in love with you any longer either, but it doesn’t mean I have forgotten how it felt to be.