Tag Archives: story telling

those two words are bullets to my chest, just friends 

5:00am July 14th, 2017

I let you sit on the inside seat. It always makes you feel safe, and I don’t mind the outside, nor do I mind sitting beside you. 

It’s something another friend commented on once to me in private. How you and I never sit across from each other on the metro, but always beside one another. I didn’t think anyone else was paying attention to us.. I didn’t think anyone else had noticed. The observation makes me wary about how we act in front of others, but only because I don’t know what the hell we are. 

But drunk at 5:00am in the morning, observations nor inhibitions really matter now, do they? 

You leaned your head against my shoulder and directed my attention to the window on your other side. 

It caught my breath, and a comfortable silence ensued between us. 

The sun was beginning to climb between the stairs of clouds – diligent dawn. I had never seen the Berlin sky this shade of blue, snippets of pink and orange piercing through the light. 

Finally our stop came, and I asked if you wanted to watch the sunrise. 

“Absolutely,” you said playfully, mimicking my voice I use to mimic our professor, “wouldn’t have expected not to with you.” 

So we climbed up the stairs to the platform, which overlooks the city. It is perhaps one of the best sunset spots in all of Berlin. Who knew it would also become a favorite view for the sunrise, too. 

I immediately leaned against the railing, both of my arms dangling over the top, after snapping a few quick pics. I wanted to enjoy this moment – a beautiful sky with a beautiful girl – a girl I wasn’t supposed to find beautiful. But that’s the thing about sunsets, right? Doesn’t matter if no one is watching, they’re still beautiful. It’s how I ultimately feel about you, too. 

You stayed a few steps behind me, taking your own pics. I let you do your thing without too much fuss. Nothing could pull my attention away from the one thing I love the most: the sky, in all its wondrous, mysterious forms. 

And then effortlessly you did something that broke my concentration. Your arms wrapped around my body and I felt the heat of your breath against the side of my face. 

Initially, it made me clench up – because it made me feel vulnerable. As physically affectionate as I am, even with friends, I don’t tend to let people hold me. It’s usually me doing the holding. I don’t know why, but I find it such an.. intimate gesture to let someone hold me. To let someone experience me this unguarded. To let someone make me feel safe – in a romantic way. 

I thought you were just going to hug me and let go, but you kept your arms linked around my body. It’s the closest we had physically been since I had tried to unsuccessfully kiss you a few weeks prior. 

Well, it was the closest I had let you get to me since then. In the weeks after our awkward half-kiss, I stopped being affectionate with you. Even as just friends, because I didn’t want to confuse myself with more mixed signals. I didn’t want to trick myself into thinking you liked me the way I liked you. And once I stopped initiating physical contact with you, well, then you started to take lead — and I will never understand women. 

So I let you hold me. I gave in to desire. I think you did, too. I leaned my head against your chest, and we stayed in silence watching the sunrise for a good 15 minutes. 
And in that minuscule window of infinity, nothing else mattered beyond the small magical world of us. Just you, me, and the sky signaling a new day. 

Then you loosened your grip from my body and also leaned against the railing, your arms also dangling over the top. 

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I see why you like it so much.” 

I moved my arm between the two of yours, and the tips of our fingers linked together. I knew I shouldn’t have – I had been resisting for the last few weeks to not touch you. But after being held by you, my mind kind of just said fuck it, you’ve just let this girl hold you, might as well enjoy it to the maximum. 

“I love it, so much. It’s always what I miss about home. The vibrancy of the colors. Do you know what else I love?”

You turned your gaze on me, the blue of your irises bright, while the white of your eyes a light shade of pink. Sunrise, looked like morning in your eyes. 

“What’s that?”

I turned my head to the side, to the opening entrance of the station. 

“Look at all the people who have stopped to see the sunrise, and all of them taking pictures. What I love is watching busy people stop to admire beauty, recognizing it, and acknowledging it.” 

I looked back at you, and saw you smiling at me, the sunrise steadily growing more business blue than passion pink. 

You and that ridiculous smile, with your ridiculously cute dimples that makes me feel like a ridiculous girl with a ridiculous crush. 

“I think the best part of it is over, shall we?” 

I nodded in agreement, and turned around to walk towards our apartment building. But not before feeling your hand slip between mine. 

It surprised me, honestly. I didn’t think we’d hold hands again. I thought our small moment of weakness was over. It felt too intimate for me, for us, for “just friends.” Or whatever the hell we were trying to be. 

But it also felt normal, comfortable, even. We are used to each other, physically and emotionally, as it seems. 

I’ve watched many sunsets with many people. It’s something I love to do with my loved ones. It’s always been so special to me. 

But this morning, I learned to love the sunrise just as much. It’s the first time I’ve deliberately watched it with someone. I’m having so many firsts with you. 

But I don’t know how long this lasts.. how long we last. 


Berlin, Germany 

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raspberries are red

It wasn’t a perfect day for weather — but it was a perfect day for Berlin.

 

Although, the rain did prove to threaten my plans for the day, you still wanted to meet.

 

I waited for you outside of our apartment building. Warschauer Strasse. One of the main hubs of Berlin, always bustling with busy bodies and enthusiastic drug induced tourists. The energy of the day was especially electric due to the kultural festival — an entire weekend filled with foods from all over the world and multiple music stages displaying local bands galore. I had been the previous night with friends, and ended up eating my life worth in Argentinian empanadas and pad thai.

 

My friends told me not to take you there, at least not to start off with. It was too loud for a first date — too chaotic. But I disagreed, I liked the noise, I liked the colors, the distractions from awkward conversation.

 

However, I took their advice. Instead, I suggested we started out with a photography exhibition from one of my favorite photographers, Mario Testino. I had already seen an installation of his in both Madrid and NYC.

 

So around 15:15 you finally met me outside. You were late, and I had counted on it. I was on time, and I’m never on time unless I’m nervous. But I needed the time to calm my nerves. Truthfully, I don’t know why I was wound up about it. I had spent time with you before, but in groups, and our flirtatious conversation and affectionate ambiguity had been taken lightly. I never let myself take romance too seriously. I don’t know if that’s because of my own insecurity or because I’m as laid back as I claim. Maybe, a mixture.

 

You looked nice though. You were in color — green and pink specifically. Mentally, I noted your favorite colors. I liked this about you, the vibrancy.

 

You smiled and we greeted, and then we were on our way.

 

The metro ride was particular. I couldn’t look at you, or else I would have just kept smiling like an idiot. So I never kept eye-contact with you for longer than normal. Plus, my uncomfortable habit of looking at someone in the eyes too long — I didn’t want to make things awkward within the first 10 minutes.

It took us about 30 minutes to get to the other side of Berlin, to the museum that hosted the exhibition. Turns out, the museum had the wrong address on their website and the installation was actually in a sister building about another 20 minutes away. However, by the time we would have gotten there, we wouldn’t have had enough time to see it properly.

 

“We’re going to laugh about this later in the future,” I noted, a bit disappointed.

 

“Why later? It’s funny now,” you answered back, with your dimpled smile.

 

So instead, we decided on having a drink, at a Mexican restaurant called Que Pasa.

 

Was I tempted to have a real drink, and by real, I mean alcoholic? Yes, absolutely. Especially since it was already 5pm. But I didn’t.

 

My desire to want to spend time with you sober superseded it. The times we had hung out together with our group of classmates had always somehow involved ending up drunk, and us walking home together. I’d walk you to courtyard between the both of our buildings just talking and star-gazing. Well, what little star-gazing you can do in a city of clouds — undoubtedly drunk. You even invited me into your apartment once, but I didn’t make a move. I didn’t want to and I also didn’t know what was going on. I just wanted to enjoy whatever was happening without moving too fast.

 

So I chose a Sprite instead.

 

You drank a hot chocolate.

 

And we talked about family and aspirations and school for a few hours over a loaded plate of nachos.

 

You told me you were a vegetarian for a few years of your life. So I found it ironic when you chose chicken to coat the chips. Well, we all have our guilty pleasures, I suppose.

 

Afterwards, I asked if you wanted to go to the festival and check it out. What I meant was — do you want to try all the food stalls with me and dance around and be fools together?

 

You aren’t originally from Berlin, but have lived here for a good four or so years, minus your year abroad in Korea. But you had never been to the festival. It’d be your first time too, and I was happy to experience this with you.

 

We walked around for an hour or so, before you decided on what you wanted to eat. A delicacy from Hungary — I can’t quite remember the name, but it’s their version of a pizza coated with garlic, a white yogurt sauce, and cheese — again, you also added meat: salami, this time. Said it reminded you of your father.

 

“You’re going to have to deal with me eating a lot of garlic… hope you don’t mind.”

 

I found the comment odd, but I didn’t mention it. Just said I wanted to try it how it’s meant to be eaten.

 

So we sat at the picnic tables put out beside the food stand, which was also placed right beside one of the many musical stages of the festival. It was a German group playing songs in many different languages. French, English, German.

 

We stayed watching them for 20 minutes or so, while you ate. We hardly spoke at all. But it wasn’t uncomfortable. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things to find in a person. when you can shut the fuck up with them and still have fun.

 

Once you finished, we got up to leave. I walked ahead of you into the crowd, while the band continued overhead playing a song. I didn’t understand the lyrics, but I figured it must be German since I couldn’t catch any French.

 

Then I felt your hand on my shoulder and I turned around to look at you.

 

“Kiss me now, and I will be in paradise in Heaven.”

 

I am sure the look on my face betrayed me. I’m not that great of a liar. So after a few seconds of looking into each other’s eyes, I blurted out, “What?”

 

“It’s the lyric they just sang,” you said, as you smiled casually and then led me out of the crowd.

 

I closed my eyes and followed you, wondering if that was what the song had really said — wondering if I had missed my chance.

 

But let’s be real. I didn’t know if we were on a date or not, honestly.

 

A few days earlier, we had gone on a picnic with my group of friends. I had invited you, and you accepted. There was lots of food and lots of alcohol — two of my favorite things. So naturally, we got very inebriated.

 

Afterwards, we walked from the park to my friend’s house to continue our day of fun. While we strolled to theirs, you and I somehow ended up side by side. I can’t quite recall what got us onto the topic but we had both mentioned how we wanted to hangout, but not get super drunk. Since the past few times had all ended very drunk, but that’s what happens in large groups of socialization.

 

“We should make a date out of it.”

I was pretty intoxicated at this moment already, but I remember it. The “date” word. It took me by surprise.

 

“Yeah, okay, we should.” Then I asked when and we were trying to figure it out, but got interrupted by our friends and their intruding conversations.

 

So when we finally decided to meet up, just us two, it was never explicitly stated if this was our date or not. I wasn’t even sure you remembered what you said, or if it was just drunken words, so I didn’t bring it up. I just thought I’d go out with you and figure it out during. If nothing else, I wanted to be your friend at least. 

 

That was a dumb idea — but also very brilliant because it took the pressure off of a label.

 

After eating, we decided to check out the parade. So we followed the crowd into the fray. You put your arm on my shoulder to keep hold of me. I was too nervous to grab your hand. I had told you previously in a different hang out how intimate holding hands was to me, possibly more important than kissing.

 

So I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable — even though we had already held hands in the club, but that was different. I was drunk and friendly then.

 

Now, I was sober and interested — and that’s a deadly combination, for me. Once we got to the street the parade was on, the crowd tightened. So we crossed the street to the other side to be on the less busy part, or so we thought. Once there, we realized how packed it was, too. I let you stand in front to see, and I stood behind you.

 

One of the first floats we saw represented Ghana. The truck had a DJ and many dancers in the back. And there was a massive following of Ghanaians dancing around the truck to afro-beats and their own mix of reggae. This excited the energy in the crowd. People were chanting in solidarity and enjoyment, and dancing around with bottles in hand. You turned to look at me, with the biggest smile.

 

“This is awesome, look at all the colors and dress they’re wearing!”

 

I grinned back at you in response, and for the life of me, I cannot remember how it happened. I know for sure I didn’t exclusively go for your hand.

 

But I know it wasn’t just you either.

 

It just happened.

 

And there we were, in the middle of a huge raging crowd, looking at each other, our fingers intertwined.

 

You turned back around, and I expected you to let go. But you didn’t. Instead you gave my hand a small squeeze, and we stayed that way for a long while, watching the rest of the parade. I couldn’t concentrate much anymore though.

 

All I could feel was the heat between our skin, and how nice it was to hold your hand — but also how confusing.

 

We decided to cross and go back to the festival grounds to get more food — as I hadn’t eaten yet and was getting hungry.

 

There was a knot in my stomach, but it wasn’t from hunger. I realized in this beautiful moment that it was the first time I have ever held hands with another girl openly. Without shame, without secrets, without guilt.

 

I’m 25 and before that Sunday, I had never held hands with another girl so freely. Not with my fling I had before I moved to Spain, and not with my almost 4 year relationship. Not with any of the girls I “dated” in between, either. I hadn’t felt comfortable enough with myself yet.

 

And here I was, holding hands with a beautiful girl. A girl who didn’t make me feel like I needed to hide what I felt.

 

And you know, her and I can turn out to be nothing. We could stop talking today and never speak again — and I will always remember this moment, and how she was and always will be part of a very important experience for me.

 

Maybe this is why holding hands is so intimate for me. Because I’ve never done it before with someone and it felt so… normal.

 

No one gave us weird looks, or ridiculed us, or said anything out of the ordinary.

 

But it was you, too. You didn’t pull back, or make it feel awkward. Just comfortable.

 

I can’t describe it properly, how it made me feel. Just that it felt so normal. It’s the first time in my life, I’ve felt like a girl who likes another girl and that’s normal.

 

I’m sure at the end of the night, I could have tried to kiss you.

 

I didn’t want to though. Why ruin the moment? It was enough for me, to have your hand in mine.

 

A little after midnight, we decided to go to a bar. One of my favorites. Madame Claude. I only had one beer — one. That’s it. At a bar, filled with alcohol. Guess I was enjoying you so much. You intoxicated me.

 

We stayed until about 4:30am, when we decided it was time to go home. Time had escaped me. I couldn’t believe we had spent nearly 14 hours together. I had mentioned it to you at the bar. How I had other plans just in case our hangout was awkward, and you told me the same. You had been out until 4/5am the past few nights and were really tired. And had you not been enjoying yourself, you would have used this as a reason to excuse yourself earlier.

 

We both laughed harder than we meant to, I think. It was good to know I wasn’t the only one nervous.

 

As we walked home, some random drunk guy asked you for sex in German. Said you guys could do it really fast. You scoffed and turned him down. But he kept trying to talk to you. I really didn’t understand anything at the moment, with my limited German skills.

 

But then I felt your hand slip through my arm, and you pulled yourself closer to me. I knew that feeling perfectly, without you having to explain. You felt safe around me, and kept your arm looped in mine. You walked close to me, on the way home. Eventually, dropping your arm to hold my hand instead.

 

“You’re comfortable to be around.” You said, before letting go of my hand so I could open the door for us.

 

We stood at the base of the stairs. Normally, I would walk you to the courtyard between our buildings up to your door to your building. I don’t know why, but I didn’t this time.

 

I just hugged you, and you held on to me for longer than a regular hug.

 

“I know you’re tired, so I’ll let you sleep.”

 

You smirked at me, and said breathlessly between us, “I had a really good time.”

 

“Me too.” I held your gaze for a few silent moments. Even in the dark, your blue eyes were crystal clear.

 

And then I watched you walk away — and I couldn’t help but wonder, if it was a date or not.

 

But I knew, even if it wasn’t, I’d always remember it for more important reasons.

Sunrise. 

My eyes glued to my computer screen, struggling to decipher the problems of the previous person – you walked up to my desk, before I even called your name.

 

Rude. I hated customers like that.

 

“Have you been put in line—-“ my question cut short, the vibrancy of your green metallic eyes halting my assault.

 

“Hi,” I forced out through a short breath, and clenched teeth.

 

You cocked your head to the side and half-smiled, I could feel your eyes tracing down my arm to my tattoo. It made me self-conscious. “Hi, how are you?”

 

That was my line, I was supposed to ask that.

 

Instinctively, I answered mentally to myself, “better now.” The awkward pause played across your face and a small nervous laugh escaped between my lips, as I closed my eyes embarrassed while shaking my head, “Sorry I’m fine, and you?”

 

Your ocean green eyes lit up and lingered against mine for a moment — I’ll always remember that 5-second silence of uncertainty. What were you thinking?

 

And so our conversation continued, casually straying away from business and becoming more personal than I was accustomed to in such a short amount of time.

 

At one point, my coworker Lisa walked up to my desk and said to the both of us, “You two must know each other.”

 

I hadn’t realized how comfortable both of us had become amongst strangers. We exchanged laughter and continued with our banter.

 

Your dad worked for the military, so you had lived all over the country. You played multiple instruments, and loved art, and fashion.

 

I found it odd, seeing as you weren’t coated with make-up or wearing anything anyone was strutting down the runway. Simple beauty, it was refreshing.

 

I somehow always find myself inexplicably and relentlessly romantically attracted to artistic people — a finely tuned mind sharpened by creativity.

 

As a writer, I can’t help it. I can’t help breaking my heart over my own art… and letting art break my heart. It is a cycle, and I have yet to decide which one manifested first. And maybe this is why love will never work out for me.

 

But you, my god, make me want to take that chance.

 

After our brief encounter, I handed over my business card to you — formal, of course. I never honestly expected to talk to you again. I just didn’t want to end our transaction knowing I didn’t at least give you a way back to me if you so desired it.

 

I watched you walk out the door, and turned my attention towards Lisa who had been watching me at this point. She smiled and I could tell by the way the wrinkles hit her eyes that she was about to make a smartass remark.

 

“So ukulele girl huh?”

 

I rolled my eyes at her trying to feign off the redness forming on my cheeks and shrugged off her sarcasm, “She’s probably my soulmate, you know.”

 

 

——————————-

 

February 2nd, 2016 17:38

“Hey you.

This is Katie (the ukulele/

Lived all over the country

girl)

Just wanted to say thanks for the help!”

 

I was surprised to see an unknown message on my work phone — I hardly ever check it and don’t pay much mind to it. But this one caught my attention.

 

“Fuck,” I cursed at myself, “this was from four hours ago, is it too late to message back? Well, whatever, it would be rude not to,” I convinced myself.

 

And so we picked up where we left off at work, I was quite amused at the direction of our texts. You were open and out, something I wasn’t used to. I could tell you were trying to pry the information out of me, too. Good, I wanted you to be curious about my romantic interests — because I, too, was eager about yours.

 

Finally, I asked if I could text you from my personal number. You agreed, and we went on for a few days of non-stop communication. It was cute; within those first few days I learned your sleeping habits, stolen by slumber before midnight, and in your car by 7:40am.

 

 

So I did the one thing I hadn’t done in ages — I took initiative and I asked you on date, for coffee. Even though I wasn’t a fan, I wanted to do something you liked. I wanted to know you, to be frank. What was your favourite blend? And how would it be to taste it off your lips? Would it be mine too, after?

 

 

——————————-

 

When Saturday finally came around, I was anxiety fueled, to say the least. I cleaned my apartment like crazy — not because I expected to bring you home, but because that’s what I do when my heart is a mess.

 

What I did do for you though, is a completely different story. I cleaned my car inside and out and bought a new outfit. I wanted to make a good first lasting impression. Because as I’ve said before, in the end, it’s the beginning that counts. I surprised myself. Sure I had been on plenty of first dates within the past year, but this was just.. different. I was acting.. different.

 

And it was ironically different because you ended up ditching our plans, for an unexpected party your mother was hosting that same night. I had never been stood up before.

 

We didn’t talk for the next few days.

 

My confusion for your silence was at a high; especially after you told my best friend you were crushing on me.

 

And so I lamented my feelings, and remembered why I didn’t do these types of things. Because they end in disappointment, generally. And I didn’t have the patience nor the willingness to put forth more effort.

 

Perhaps I am stubborn.

 

At the suggestion of my best friend, I still tried talking to you, texting you here and there. By his definition, I hadn’t tried enough. I felt indifferent. I had just spent a year abroad learning to love myself — and I respected myself more than ever now to know when to walk away from something or someone who didn’t deserve my attention.

 

But he persisted, and a new question lay posed to my heart: but did I heal myself enough to know when to try harder for something I truly wanted? Up until this point, romantically, I had just been going along with the flow. Enjoying and experiencing people, but never getting in too deep. I took it as it came, no more, and no less. Anything outside those boundaries put an end to that encounter.

 

 

——————————–

 

 

My new year’s resolution for 2015 was to be absolutely honest about myself and my feelings. Brutally, I had realized that I needed to open up my heart in order to heal it; in order to change it and become better. And so for a year I did just that.

Looking back now, all the progress I’ve made as a person is phenomenal. I am so proud of myself and want to continue to stay kind and love as hard as I can. But I know that is not the dating culture of my generation — and so to maneuver around the obstacles is tough. I mean, who wants to feel like a fool for love?

 

But I sent the text anyway. Because, if I have learned one thing about myself, it is my heart’s desire to be annoyingly honest with those I care about. And even though I hardly still know you, I already care about you. And I still am yet to understand it. I don’t take the word “soulmate” lightly. But I also don’t mean it as just a romantic term either. I think there are varying levels of soulmates, just as there is love — and no form of it is quite better than the other.

 

All I know is that I felt something instant for you, and that is what is pushing me out of my comfort zone in my pursuit.

 

February 13th, 2016 16:08

 

“Okay just gonna lay it out there

cause I suck at small talk. The

first time we met, I felt a

connection ith you and I

always try and pursue instant

connections I feel, whether

romantically or as friends. And

so I admit, I’m a lot more

straight forward than most.

 

But if you didn’t feel the same,

then I will leave you alone, Im

not trying to be annoying or

blow up your phone. I just

always kinda follow my heart on

stuff like this. And I don’t like

wasting my time or effort, nor

someone else’s.”

 

My finger shakily pressed send. What more could I do but lay my heart out there to someone I had just met a couple of weeks ago. It was either going somewhere or it wasn’t, but I didn’t want to keep guessing in agony.

 

Honesty truly is the best policy.

 

And yet still — I don’t understand my heart. The way it feels and takes no mind to time. It just feels, and I am a slave to it. Obedient, none the less. It’s gotten me this far.

 

——————————-

 

February 14th, 2016 23:02

 

Your number popped up on my screen. I hadn’t saved your number yet. I never save people’s numbers in my phone. I have this weird thing about doing it. You only get saved if you’re staying in my life for a while. Because once you’re saved, I won’t ever erase you. Another form of someone entering my delta; once I love you, I will always love you in some form.

 

So I clicked answer, and saw your face grace my phone screen. Facetime is marvelous; the perks of being an Apple enthusiast.

 

My best friend sat on the couch next to me, typing up his homework for nursing school. I’m so damn proud of him.

 

You, unabashed, didn’t mind his presence though and we all talked together. You laughed and joked and kept the conversation going. My best friend just as surprised as I… man, I really have a thing for people who can talk and talk and talk and still have interesting things left to say.

 

We talked until midnight and I offered to let you go, knowing your routine bedtime. But you stayed up with me for another hour, even though I knew you’d be exhausted the next day.

 

After we hung up, I saved your name in my phone. Realizing your initials looked so familiar, KT. How ironic.

 

The universe has a sense of humour.

 

——————————

 

I don’t know where this is going between us. All I know is that I want to get to know you more and more. I want to know how old your soul is, and how much sugar you put in your coffee. I want the simple and the complicated; why your parents are divorced, and if your glasses are trendy or prescribed.

 

When we first met, it wasn’t love at first sight. But it was definitely something.

 

Something that makes me question the notion of fate: soul mate at first encounter.

 

Whether we work out or not, whether we fizzle or flame; what you’ve made me feel in such a short amount of time has reminded me how much time is irrelevant to my heart.

 

And that my heart is very resilient for love, however it chooses to come my way. 

  

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

“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.