You’ll know when you’ve met “The One.” That’s what they tell you. Who really knows if that myth exists? You hear it as a child and it’s ingrained into you. Society seems to revolve around this idea of perfect monogamous bliss. It’s the cog in the wheel that keeps civilization going. That ever-elusive enigma they call love.
Everyone around you starts to pair up. You see the excitement and love in their eyes and think to yourself, “My time must be coming.” Years pass. Even girlfriends, crushes, and flings pass. I thought there was one for everyone? Was it all a lie? Had I been deceived?
I had resigned myself to a life dedicated to the Clooneys of the world. What do they know? I don’t need anybody. I’m just gonna live my life. That worked for a while. 34 Years, 3 months, and 9 days to be exact.
I don’t know who looked at who first. But there we were. Two souls. Two beings. Just living our lives. Not knowing how much we were about to effect each other. The joy, the pain, the happiness, the sorrow. All merely a possibility at that moment.
I remember the first time I looked at her. She pretended not to be looking back, whipping her beautiful brown hair back in the direction of who she was talking to. “Who is that girl?” I asked. It seemed like we both stood, ten feet from each other, for eternity. The world slowed down. It’s like the universe knew. You could sense it all stopping for a moment to peek in and witness it in person.
I remember what it was like to meet her. To shake her hand for the first time. To have her skin on my skin. It was electric. I don’t know to this day if it was the lack of sleep, the coffee, or something else. But I was shaking too much for a spring morning.
Seeing her for the first time was like being wrapped in a blanket, me being the cotton textile in that moment, her being the unsuspecting recipient. Never had I seen a woman like that. She had these big beautiful brown eyes. I would later have a bad habit of losing my train of thought by looking into them. They looked up from her tiny and petite frame with a gentle gaze. Her hair fell down perfectly at her shoulders, still showing the gentle curl from the night before. And then there was her skin. I had never seen anything so beautiful. It was the glue that held her beauty together, complementing her eyes and hair amazingly. It was a light brown, caramel color. I swear to this day it glowed.
She had this way that she would tilt her head when she smiled. She did it the first time I met her and many times thereafter. I would catch myself just watching her. She was so alive. So full of energy. She was unlike anyone I had ever met. She was, in a word, special.
I can actually pinpoint the moment I fell in love with her. It was on a beach. This wasn’t your ordinary walk on the beach. It seemed like our souls were checking each other out, wondering if what the other was thinking. We talked for hours. Literally hours. The short walk on the beach turned to about 8 hours, just the two of us, walking the beach and the city streets. We talked about everything. I think we solved all the world’s problems along the way. I didn’t notice the outside. I could have cared less about my surroundings. I was in a bubble and I didn’t want out.
I called my Mom. The first thing I told her was “Mom, I either met my wife or my best friend.” This wasn’t normal speak for yours truly. I prided myself in my individuality, my ability to be alone, to live life the way I wanted to live it. I didn’t even know I could talk like that, let alone say it out loud.
The best friend portion of that statement came true. Right away actually. It was easy for us to be friends. We were eerily similar and enjoyed just going with the flow. She had a fling going on with a mutual friend and I, well, I was trying to figure out what this feeling was that I had towards her. It was strange. It was confusing. But whatever it was, I had to explore it.
I tried to be friends. And it worked for a while. We were legitimate friends. We had one hell of a summer. Beach, beers, and not a care in the world. This would have been just fine if it not for my heart. It kept me up at night. It would constantly remind me this girl is more than just a friend.
There was one day in particular where my strains to be just a friend were tested. She walked into my house that day wearing this little blue dress. I can’t even describe what this dress looked like. All that I can muster is that I had never seen a more beautiful woman in my life. Period. This wasn’t going to work. I confessed to a mutual friend, as “she” lay upon my couch with another man, in that room is where my heart lies.
I felt some relief from this admission. It was short lived however. We spent more and more time with each other. I felt the feeling boiling over at points. I wanted to say something. I tried to figure out a way to bring it up. Oh hey, by the way, I’m in love with you. It almost came out once.
It was a weird time in my life. I had just gone through what can only be described as the worst time in my life. I had lost four close family members in the span of about 18 months and I had spiraled down into a pit of depression. I alienated myself from friends and family. I moved cross country and barricaded myself in my house. I went from the most outgoing person with a million friends, to the guy who nobody knew, the quiet guy with no friends. What happened I thought? She helped me out of that. For better or for worse I will always remember that.
My newfound confidence, although still very fragile, had led me to move my life in a crazy new direction. I was going to move out of the country! I was going to start my life anew. I was going to think positive and really live my life again. But what to do about “her?”
There was talk about her moving with me, as friends of course. Those plans were quickly changed as the date moved closer. So it was just me. Me and a dream. Why not? I was happy when I was there before. It is not a fool that would devise that going down there might change things for me. So a date was set. Maybe that’s all it took. A date. A ticking clock. An inevitable moment set into motion many months before on a beach.
It was a Friday night. And that meant for us, the good friends that we were, shots, shots, and more shots! There wasn’t anything different about that night. It started out like so many others we had together. It was just our way. We enjoyed and respected one another. It was effortless. I never felt like I ever had to work at being her friend. We just were. Be it just random chance or magic, we just were.
Then it happened. We were on the dance floor. I am one terrible-ass dancer. No one wants to see me on a dance floor. She, however, she lived to dance. Her energy poured out of her with every beat. It was nice to watch her. The world seemed to slow down when she danced. Laws of physics be damned. She turned around and looked up at me. For a moment, a very brief moment, I saw everything that was about to happen. Fast forward in my brain it could not stop. If this happens it’s all or nothing. Zero to sixty in under five seconds as they say. She did it anyway. Reaching up, straining to reach my lips.
Reality pushed the pause button. The blaring music was quiet. The drunken bar patrons froze in place. Bartenders stopped pouring drinks. As the world remained motionless, my world was playing out before me. It was happening. Was this a dream? Wait? What?
Her lips were unlike anything else. I could feel the sparks leaving her body and entering mine. It was the oddest I’ve probably ever felt in my life. I couldn’t even process what was happening. I was kissing “Her.” “The Girl.” “The One.”
She didn’t leave my house until the weekend was over. When I look back, I don’t think I ever had a weekend like that before. To see her wake up in my bed, next to me, was a feeling I may well never feel again. I felt as if I was looking into my future. It was so right. It made so much sense.
Moving fell by the wayside as you might expect. I acted as if it was this pained decision, but to be honest, the only place I ever wanted to be was next to her. And if she was going to be here then so was I. This was the easiest decision of my entire life.
For about a month, things were like a dream. Could this really be? I was living that fairy tale only good enough for film and television. They say you should marry your best friend but it never actually happens! I was in awe of the situation. Here I was, just minding my own business, and love hit me over the head with a hammer. It hit hard too. I was a mess.
I had other reasons behind the way I acted. For she had some demons of her own. I wanted so much to rid her from that burden she carried around. It was a heavy sack of baggage. I didn’t know how to go about picking it up. I wanted to carry it for her. My only thought was maybe it’s best to just keep all these deep feelings to myself. I think “I love you” might have fit into this category. I just didn’t know how to act with someone with that sort of baggage. So that’s what I did. I thought if I was going to make this work, I had to show no emotion and give her no drama at all. Regret is a big word for me. I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done, but this decision, I’ve wondered what if about. I should have just told her, “I love you,” and just waited for a response.
Not sure if I’ve every fully gathered up all my thoughts together about what happened next. It is best described as a series of “life events.” This made it almost impossible for us to be around each other. I tried. She tried. It was painful for the both of us. Pain I don’t think is the right term. It was a catastrophic pain. The pain you might think of when you’re in your darkest of dark places. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat. I shook at all hours of the day. I found myself just staying in bed for days at a time. I was lost. I was alone. Where had she gone? My person. I was so sure.
I saw her one last time. I could see the pain behind her eyes. Or maybe my pain recognized her pain. It was cordial, it was nice. Her eyes were still big beautiful and brown. Her skin still glistened in the moonlight of that evening. I walked her to her car and we embraced one last time. I didn’t breathe. After a beat I pulled away. She kept me near. That is quickest my heart ever cried.
She left and never came back.
Never thought I could miss someone that badly. I ached. I was sad. I was depressed. I was angry. I was oh so alone.
It was a long hard climb from here. You do have the luxury of seeing everything in front of you since you are the one bringing up the rear. So I made my march. My march without her. To make the most of my circumstances. Things are good now. I am following a lifelong dream in an exciting field. I have friends. I have a good outlook on life. Things have gotten back to “normal,” whatever that means. I still think though, about that girl. Will I ever see her again? What will I feel if I do? How does she feel? God what I wouldn’t give to know how she feels! I think that’s the worst. Someone you love may not feel the same. Maybe they never did. How do they feel now? How did they feel then? Will she forgive me? A million questions in a millisecond.
I may never see her again. But I hope she knows for a moment, she made me feel alive again. I want to thank her for that. Thank you. I love you.