I’d forgotten how intense our relationship had been.
I was half-expecting to see him. So you could imagine the thud of my heartbeat against my chest when we locked eyes that evening, just a few days ago. Immediately my mind went into reminiscent mode…
I remember the night we met. Well, since we’d grown up. I’d heard he was “newly single” but paid that tidbit of information little mind. I figured he was still the soft, quiet, insecure boy he’d been years ago and we all know that’s not my type. Not now anyhow. Maybe at my tender, infatuation-prone self of 14 years of age.
He walked in and immediately I took in the black suit and the newly fit body. His face hadn’t changed, aside from the more mature cuteness that was so apparent, and he was shaved bald. Jesus. I watched him, nonchalantly of course, and waited for our eyes to lock.
I was a tad disappointed and took to the bar.
Eventually so did he.
I felt his presence to the right of me, like a light whisper of breath over my skin. There was some shot-taking and regular hustle and bustle of partyers and then we were shoulder-to-shoulder. He turned to face me.
“I can’t believe how great you look.” My smile was immediate. I hated myself briefly for being the “heart-on-my-sleeve” type and showing emotion. Why couldn’t I be calm and cool? I took the compliment and replied, “I can’t believe you remember me. You look good too Blake.”
“Come with me. I’m going for a smoke.” It wasn’t an invite. It was a damn command. Oooo. He’d come a long way from the way I remembered.
You know that feeling when you see a crush from your past you never even spoke two words to and then you’re face to face with them and you want to pour out your heart? But you don’t because you don’t know what’s going to come out of your mouth and you know you’ll sound like an idiot at whatever it is you’re going to say? That was me. The confident, sassy, outspoken me was a tiny being in the back of my throat. She was stuck.
He pulled out his pack of cigarettes and offered me one. Having nothing to do with my hands, I accepted and he lit my cigarette.
I inhaled, letting the smoke fill my lungs and ease the nervousness I was feeling.
His eyes scanned my body. Numerous times. I high-fived myself in my head for wearing THAT dress, the one that hugged me everywhere. But, at the same damn time, the insecure bitch in me suddenly tugged at the hem, wishing there were more fabric to pull over my knees.
“So,” he said, that damn twinkle in his eye. “Come here. Give me a hug,” and he took my hand and pulled me closer. I resisted slightly. He was sitting on the hood of his car so when he pulled me towards him a second time, I fell neatly in between his legs. Just like that. He wrapped his hands tightly around me and squeezed. I cannot explain how good it felt. He lingered and the hug was a few more seconds longer than normal hugs should be.
“You’re so grown up,” he said when I pulled away. I laughed. “Well, yes, it’s been like, 20 years,” I said, my face still smiling.
“It hasn’t been that long has it?”, he eyed me again. “I’m just glad I ran into you.”
It wasn’t awkward but I was awkward. I had no words. I couldn’t make conversation. I stood there looking at him with a stupid smile on my face. I had to say something. Anything.
“I had the biggest crush on you when we were younger.”
He laughed. “Did you?” He reached for my hand. “Well I think I have a crush on you now.”
My insides went numb. I was that 14-year old girl all over again. Shy. Quiet. This wasn’t getting any better. This is not how I had played the fantasy out in my head all those times.
“I think you should give me your phone number. I’m going to want to see you after tonight.”
“I’ll give it to you inside”, I mumbled, still smiling. “I should get back to my friends.”
“Okay. But not until I get another hug.”
I snuggled back in between his legs and hugged him. I let my fingers glide up and down his back this time, trying to take in as much as I possibly could to keep me satisfied. He let out a small moan. I pulled away immediately, anxious and excited and afraid of what was to come.
He planted a soft, very slow kiss on my cheek before finally letting go of my hand. I smiled again before I went back inside and said, “I’ll leave you my number.”
He didn’t call. Day one, two AND three passed before I started asking myself THOSE questions. Day four, five and six passed. He was no longer a question on day seven. I was sitting out on my balcony when my cell phone rang and right there, in block letters, read: B. MATHESON. I stood up and paced excitedly at his name.
“You didn’t call me back,” he said when I picked up the phone.
“I didn’t get a call,” I said, relief apparent in my voice.
“I figured you would have seen my number on your phone. I thought you weren’t interested in talking to me,” he said.
“There’s no reason why I wouldn’t want to talk to you.” I’m sure he heard my smile.
“Good. I say we go out for drinks tonight. I know this great place just by the lake that serves awesome martinis. You look like you like martinis.”
To be continued…