This is my story. It is a simple story really. It is the story of how I one day met and fell in love with the girl of my dreams. I was 21 at the time, you know…the age when you think that you’re all grown up and invincible. Nothing could touch you. Nothing bad could ever happen. It seems so long ago now.
I was a part of the ever-popular party crowd…the cool kids who smoked, drank and slept around. Okay, I didn’t actually sleep around. I mean we were, and still are, in the midst of the HIV era, after all. So I did the right thing and had a steady boyfriend. He slept around but I didn’t find out about that little detail until later.
I lived in the dorms at that time and was about to start my junior year of college. There were eight of us in our wing and we formed our own dynamic, if not dysfunctional, little family…always bidding someone goodbye and welcoming new members. Such was to be the case this time. We were to have not one but three new people and to say that I wasn’t thrilled would have been an understatement. I have never been the type to make friends easily. Conversation is often hard labor for me and with three chattering freshmen around…well…you see my point. That was, of course, before I met her.
I remember that it was a Sunday, and the new semester was to start the next day. The dorm was filled with the sounds of girls coming and going, greeting the friends they hadn’t seen all summer. I was no different from the rest. I had put off coming back until the very last moment so, by the time I showed up, most of the others had already arrived and settled down. She had gotten there a little earlier than I had and her boxes were piled on the table in our common area. She was on her way out when I came in and she smiled apologetically at me. I don’t think she knew what that smile did.
“I’m sorry about the mess. I can move some of my stuff if you’d like,” she offered.
To this day I cannot remember what I said to her. I must have said something intelligent because she didn’t look at me as if I had lost my mind. I knew that I was staring but if she noticed, she didn’t give any indication. Or maybe she did. All I saw was her smile. All I heard was the thumping of my heart in my chest. By the time I managed to rouse myself out of my stupor, she had already gone out the door and I was left to shake my head and try to figure out what in hell just happened. She was already burned into my mind.
I know that she was a little taller than I am, I guess that would put her somewhere around 5’7”. Her raven black hair was streaked with flecks of bronze and cascaded around her shoulders. Yes, I know this sounds like a line from a cheesy adult novel but that’s what it did…honest. Anyway, her eyes were gorgeous, too. Sometimes they were brown, but then they would change color to match her hair. I found myself wanting to drown in those eyes for as long as she would let me. Did I mention that she had the body of a goddess? Well, she did and still does, as a matter of fact. However, she’s shy and she has to read this, and she’d kill me if I launched into a detailed description, so I won’t.
She spoke to me later that night, although I think she was afraid to at first. I have been told that I have a ‘get out of my way or I’ll make you’ look on my face sometimes. I’m glad she got over that and came to me. I don’t think I would have had the courage to go to her first. I remember her leaning over me, asking questions about exactly where her classes were and what she could expect on her first day. I remember smelling her perfume and wondering at the effect that it was having on me. I remember thinking that I was going crazy.
We became fast friends after that. I found myself confiding in her, which was something completely against my nature. I never confided in anyone. Yet, somehow there was nothing that I could not talk to her about. She never condemned or judged, and that must have been hard, considering some of the asinine things I’ve managed to pull off in my life. She just listened and her approval became the driving force of my life. I quit smoking soon after I met her. She never asked me to but I knew that she disapproved of the kind of person that I had become. I had been trying to for years though, with little success. I guess I just never had a reason that was important enough.
I started making excuses to my ‘friends’ so that I could come home early, and I’d leave my door open so she would know I was there when she came in. I would stay up with her until the wee hours of the morning pretending that I had work to do, when, in fact, I just enjoyed looking at her. I found myself getting very agitated when I didn’t know where she was. I had it bad but, being the densest person in the world, I hadn’t realized it yet. Then, it hit me.
I remember the moment clearly, and I believe I will, no matter how cloudy time makes my memory. It had become a routine of ours that she would join me in my room every Tuesday night for one of my favorite shows. I thought that it was one of her favorites, too. I didn’t find out until later that she hated the show and only came because she enjoyed my company. Well, I guess this time she was really tired, because the next thing I knew, we were on my bed and she was asleep in my arms. I had never had anyone fall asleep in my arms before, and the feeling of holding her close was indescribable. I looked down at her beautiful sleeping face and I was overwhelmed by the desire to kiss those sweet, pouty lips. I didn’t for fear of getting my face slapped, but I knew then that I loved her…and I was horrified.
Perhaps I should sidetrack here, and tell you a little bit about myself. I was a quiet child growing up, always content to be by myself, and this continued into my adolescence. In time my body blossomed, but I never thought that my emotional development caught up with it. By the time I was in high school, I was convinced that real emotions, like love, were fictional.
I dabbled with boys, even though I had no real interest in them. I lost my virginity by the time I was eighteen to a guy who, afterwards, left without a word. I suppose I should have been hurt, but I didn’t really care. After all, I was just doing what was expected. Through everything though, I knew that I was different and maybe that was why I tried to fit in so badly. I was always drawn to the strong female characters in books and movies. I thought that the female body was beautiful, much more beautiful than a man’s. Why did I have a boyfriend, then? I knew that my family and those around me would never accept the life that I wanted. So, I did what was expected of me, and I pushed my real feelings somewhere I thought they would never get out. Only they found a way, and she was the key.
She was so shy and innocent…and involved with an idiotic boy that I wanted to hurt badly. In fact I almost did, but that is another story. I just knew she would never accept my advances, even if I had the courage to make them. Chances were, she would never speak to me again, and that was something I just could not live with. So, I did what any good friend would do. I hid the way I really felt about her and pretended nothing had changed, but my heart hurt. I wanted to be him. I wanted her heart to belong to me, not some juvenile Neanderthal who treated her poorly. I would never toy with her emotions, or take her for granted. I would never make her cry.
I really believe that she never knew anything was going on with me, or perhaps she just attributed my moods to my then boyfriend. I doubt very much that he noticed any changes. Perhaps he would have caught on to the fact that I was slowly pulling away from him had he not been busy elsewhere. I can’t say that, on some level, I did not love him and his betrayal didn’t hurt. I hated him, once I found out. I wondered why I wasn’t good enough to be faithful to. Now, I just pity him. I think he has finally realized what he lost, and can never get back.
My bad moods were becoming more and more frequent. I guess the strain of wanting what I couldn’t have was taking its toll on me. It was bad enough that I could not be near her without wanting to slip my hands around her waist. But, when she came to me wanting a hug or a comforting touch…God, I could feel my resolve crumbling. How could I tell her to stay away from me? I knew I could never bring myself to do that. So, I snapped at her one night. I regretted it the instant the words flew out of my mouth, and I saw the hurt in her eyes…those beautiful brown eyes. I begged her forgiveness and passed it off as my being hurt by and angry with the idiot who was still in my life. She never knew how much I berated myself after she left, or that it was her fingers lying on my arm that caused me to explode.
She told me later that she was feeling something for me too, and it confused her, because she couldn’t put a name to it. She knew that she felt a strong connection to me, but the idea of being gay never entered her mind. I never understood that. We fell asleep in each other’s arms, we called each other endearing nicknames, we spent every moment that we could together, and still she never knew. I knew. There were times that she would be working and I would come up behind her and put my arms around her shoulders. I could smell her perfume and see the soft skin of her neck. I wanted nothing more than to bury my head there. Then, I couldn’t take being so close to her and would pry myself away. Sometimes the pain of being with her and not being ‘with’ her was so strong that it would drive me to tears.
I thought I would never get my chance, but I eventually did. We were on a break from school, and leaving her had been one of the low points of my life. I was amazed when she called, wanting to come over. Her boyfriend had been an ass again, only this time he had really hurt her, emotionally that is. Anything else and I would have ripped his arms from their sockets. Did I mention that I have a nasty temper? We talked all evening, and she decided to stay the night. She didn’t want to be alone. I was in awe at having this incredible creature in my bed, even if it was just to sleep. Somehow we ended up lying very, very close and I don’t know what came over me. Maybe I was just tired of hiding my feelings all the time. Before I knew what I was doing, I had blurted out that I loved her. I honestly didn’t mean anything by it, although now I don’t see how I could have not meant anything by it. I thought that she would take it to mean that I loved her as a friend and move on. She didn’t.
I thought I had been imagining that her heart was racing, and her breathing was shallow but I know now that she was feeling some of the same things that I was. Somewhere deep inside I knew, at that moment at least, she wanted me as much as I wanted her, and I summoned enough courage to not let my one chance pass by. We kissed that night. Her lips were sweeter than anything I had ever imagined …and so very soft. I swear I forgot my name at that instant. I wanted to make love to her so badly, but this was new to both of us and I did not want to scare her away. So, I contented myself with exploring the naked flash of her upper body as she did to me. There were so many times I thought I would pass out from the sheer intensity of our explorations. And, my little vixen turned out to be a tiger, ravaging me with a passion that exceeded my own.
We got very little sleep that night, and in the morning I was so afraid that I would see regret in her eyes, but our eyes met and all I could see was love. The regret came later. I spoke to her the day after what became known as ‘that night’ and I can still remember the feeling of my heart breaking as she said those nine words…“I think that what we did was a mistake.” I knew nothing else at that moment, except that I had lost my best friend, because I could not keep my hormones in check. I wanted to die. Only that could erase the pain and the disappointment that I felt. I had given in to the one thing I had tried to keep locked away, and now I had paid for it dearly. I didn’t know how I was going to face her when I saw her again. I didn’t even know if she was going to acknowledge my presence. I cried myself to sleep that night.
Then she called me, again, and when I heard her voice, I was scared out of my mind. I knew that I could not take hearing those words again, and I was afraid I would lose all my pride, and beg her to forgive me. She didn’t want to hurt me this time. This time she wanted me. She wanted to take a chance that what we had was real, or at least could be. I was on top of the world again. I know I had this goofy grin on my face for days, and it wouldn’t go away. I didn’t want it to. I wanted to always have that goofy grin on my face, and know that it was because of her. She made me smile, she made me laugh, and she made me cry. She was made for me.
I couldn’t wait to see her again. All my thoughts were of her on my way to her dorm room. I knew that her roommate was not going to be there, which meant that we had the whole night to ourselves. I was sick with nervous excitement, but when I knocked on her door, she pulled me in, and I felt her lips on mine, I knew that I was where I needed to be. We didn’t make love that night, or the next night. It was too perfect just to hold each other. Eventually, we took that tentative step and I could have cried knowing that she chose me to be her first. My only regret is that I could not give that gift to her.
So where are we now? It’s been four years since I met her, three since we’ve been together, and we are very much in love. A lot has happened since the day that I first set eyes on her. I dropped my boyfriend and give thanks for that decision every day. I like to think that it was my love that eventually gave her the courage to drop hers. We live together now, although no one, except a very select few, knows about our ‘special’ relationship. I don’t think our families would take it well, although sometimes I am not so sure that her sister doesn’t suspect. She has never said anything though. Maybe she sees how happy we are. To tell you the truth, I really don’t care. All that matters is having her by my side.
I have asked my fair lady to marry me someday, and she has said yes. I don’t know why she wants to put up with my possessiveness, and my moods but I thank God every day that she does. She has made me a better person. I am happier than I have ever been. So this is where my story ends. Will we make it? Only time will tell. We have had our ups and downs, but through it all she has stuck by me. Maybe one day I’ll write and tell you that we have ended. Maybe one day I’ll write and tell you all about our honeymoon and what we plan on naming our first child. I never thought that I would want children. She has made me want so much more from life than to just exist.
She is behind me now, and her arms are wrapped around my neck the way mine used to be around hers, so many years ago. She is reading as I type, and breathing little kisses on my neck every time she sees how much I used to hurt. She hates to think of it. A part of her dies, knowing that it was because of her. I know that she is looking, and just so that I can see that radiant smile I type the words that she never tires of hearing.
I love you, baby. I always will.