You will go out on a first date with him and you will do every thing that "they" say you should:
Let him open the door for you.
Cross your ankles.
Don't order the spaghetti.
Leave your fork and knife on your plate when you're finished.
Enjoy a cocktail.
(But not too many cocktails.)
Laugh at all of his jokes.
(But not too loudly.)
Talk about yourself openly.
(But not too much.)
Stay away from religion, money, and politics.
Stay away from garlic.
Stay away from his bed.
He will take you home and kiss you sweetly on your front stoop and you will think to yourself that perhaps you like talking to him over a white tablecloth and maybe - just maybe - you'll let him call you for another date.
And he does.
And so you go.
You tell him all of the good. You talk about making the honor roll, you share all of those compliments your momma gives you, you wear your best heels again, and you tell all of your favorite jokes. Somewhere, in between bites of grilled chicken, you think to yourself that you might invite him in for a drink.
And so you do.
And then another.
Weeks and months pass and your lives somehow begin to intertwine. You're not a hundred percent sure how, but suddenly, you know his momma's birthday and that he only drinks coffee in the winter. You buy each other birthday gifts that you actually like, and you dance this fragile, burgeoning sort of dance that you're both terrified of ... but damn if it doesn't fill you with hope.
And so you do.
You start talking about religion, politics, and money. Tentatively. You meet his family, you water his plants for him, and you do dishes together on Wednesday nights. Often, it feels like two steps forward and three steps back, but the two steps forward always feel so good that you don't mind backtracking. You talk about debt - both the monetary kind and the emotional kind, and you talk about hurts.
The big ones. The ones that still have names and still take up too much space in your heart.
The whispered, late night conversations start happening, when your pillow is cool and he's laying next to you. Again and again, they reaffirm your devotion to him. You're on the same page. Even if it's only page two. Even if you're in new territory. Even if the last time you felt any measure of anything like this, you were burned so bad that your scars are still healing.
He sees you drunk on New Year's Eve and he holds back your hair. And in the morning, he brings you water and the fragmented pieces of your dignity.
He sees your fuzzy socks, no make-up, unwashed hair days, he sees your worst days at work, and he listens to every single story about your friend's drama.
He does things for you that he doesn't really want to do, but he still shows up. He shows up. Over and over again and it startles you every single time. Without either of you even realizing it - he will become your biggest fan.
He sees you cry for the first time and like The Man He Is, he'll try to fix the problem in a thousand different ways. He'll be your white knight in the middle of the kitchen in March and then you'll start to suspect.
You love him.
You'll look deep inside your soul cupboard and pull out a perfect little piece of you ... a piece that has been unmarred by any other. And you will give it to him to hold.
Oh but it's scary, isn't it?
Because maybe you love too boldly.
Because maybe you gave him too big of a piece of yourself.
Because maybe you give it to him before he's even ready.
You will feel like he's the Road Runner, his feet treading in the dirt. He won't even be able to control it. He won't even be able to stop himself. And that's when you realize that he's just as scared as you are.
Just as scarred as you are.
Two steps forward.
Three steps back.
The constant vulnerability that you feel exhausts you and often overwhelms you, but you can't shake the feeling for goodness. Of rightness.
It's too early to tell if he is your forever and ever, or if he's just a lesson, but you will love him just the same. The effort that you expound will be just the same. The pieces of your heart that you will give him will be just the same.
Around you, life continues to happen. Christmas passes. And then summer comes again. You're planning things together now. I has now become we. And the change is so subtle that neither of you even realize it happening, but you're linked now.
Even if it doesn't even work out in the end. You are linked. For the rest of your life, this time - right now - this space - will be forever colored with his name. And even if it doesn't work out in the end, you will be glad that you invited him in for a drink on that second date.
Because he made you better. Even if it was just for a second.
PS - Let me help you start your first novel. <3
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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