Originally published in March 2015
The real life love is under the mirror of the surface
So cut my cord I want to know how deep we can take it
See the thing you’ve been chasing honey,
You’ll never find it wearin’ a life vest
You gotta risk your neck, know in your heart it will be worth it
So here we go
Head first, no regrets
And no rules, we can stay as long as we want
Slow dancing in the darkness
And all I know is I wanna be here with you from now on
– Walk the Moon
I didn’t want to fall asleep or wake up without him, so I decided to just never sleep, so that it would never have to happen.
We broke up after what seemed like both 5 days and 5 years of dating, when in reality it was 2 months. 5 days because I was still so excited about everything, and 5 years because I stopped being able to easily picture my life from before without him in it.
We met at work, but got to know each other because I had a brief moment of spontaneity and extroversion and invited him to my New Year’s party. I never thought that someone like him (read: older and cute) would like someone like me (no explanation necessary), but he did and he stayed all night, even though we ended up going somewhere else, even though he had somewhere else to be (not that he told me that until the end), and even when I disappeared into the bathroom because my roommate got sick.
And given that the last time he saw me that night I was sitting on the bathroom floor holding Melissa’s hair back, I didn’t think I’d hear from him again. But he messaged me at like 3 in the morning when he got home to say that he had a good time and that I was “pretty great”. We chatted online for a few days and he asked me out.
I didn’t know what to wear, and Melissa told me to dress as if I was going to the mall with some friends and I could potentially run into anyone. That was weird advice but oddly helpful. I was so nervous before I left that I took a shot, as per another of Melissa’s suggestions. It didn’t help.
We went to see Night at the Museum 3, which I initially thought was an odd choice on his part, but I quickly realized that it was actually the perfect date movie because there was no risk of anything weird happening on-screen.
He was funny and charming and smart and I was…well, less awkward than usual. And he was cute. So, so cute. Really, objectively, he’s pretty average, but there was something about his eyes that sparkled, and he had this coat and scarf combination that made me die a little (and that feeling never went away; seeing that outfit even months later can bring me back to that day). It sounds cheesy and it is, but I don’t usually feel this way about anyone, no matter how cute they are.
I usually feel scared around new guys but he put me at ease as much as is possible for me and didn’t try anything, not even anything innocent like holding hands, and I loved that because even that can make me uncomfortable.
He asked if he could walk me home like it was the 1950s or something, which I think was my favourite part. When other guys offer to walk me home I think it’s stupid and feel even more unsafe, but I am pretty sure that I blushed all the way home.
When we got there I had no idea whether to kiss him or not, or if he was going to kiss me, and I still wasn’t sure if I even wanted to (I mean I did in the moment, but I like to think long-term), so I just hugged him. But I wanted to make sure that he knew that I liked him, even if he didn’t feel the same way, so I said that I would really like to see him again.
Later that same night he texted me thanking me for going out with him and said that he’d really like to see me again too. ASAP, he clarified. Well, with that one little acronym he got me, because I’m pretty sure that literally no one has ever wanted to see me as soon as possible. At least no one I liked. But I still wanted to play it cool, so we made plans for Saturday.
Two days later, on Thursday, he asked me what I was doing after work. I said nothing, because that was the truth. He asked if I wanted to come over, because he really didn’t want to have to wait until Saturday to see me. I felt unprepared but I couldn’t deny that I wanted to see him too, so I said yes, but stipulated that he had to come to me. I was trying to be safe because like, he could be a serial killer. WHO KNOWS.
We sat on my bed and talked about a myriad of different things, most of which I can’t remember now. In the middle of this conversation, I randomly leaned over and kissed him, because I wanted to and also because I thought that was why he was there; things were clearly moving in that direction and the anticipation was making me anxious. So we did that for a bit, interspersed with more talking.
At some point he told me he liked me. And I said, “I know. At this point it would be really awkward if you didn’t.” He laughed and said that he just felt he should say it. I was happy that he did. I wish we’d both said more things like that to each other.
He said that the night turned out differently than he expected.
“Better or worse?” I asked.
“Better,” he said.
I was surprised and asked him what he was originally planning. He said that he thought we’d just talk and hang out for a while, and when I walked him out he would ask if he could kiss me. But as it was, it got really late so he asked if he could stay, and I said yes. I was surprised that I wanted him to, so quickly.
I already knew that he felt like home, already completely immersed and blended in with my usual surroundings in my mind, and that my bed would always feel incomplete without him in it from then on.
I changed into PJs and when I got into bed he said that my pants were fuzzy. I said thank you, and he said that it was more of a detached observation, but you’re welcome.
That was our first week.
I wish more than anything right now that I could relive that first week, when I was the cutest, prettiest, most interesting and smartest girl in his eyes. When he looked at me like I was all that mattered. And I wish I could have known then how strongly I was going to feel about him now, so I could stop second-guessing myself and playing it cool. I wish that I had told him how I feel.
And I hope that I never forget what it was like to kiss him and fall asleep and wake up together, but I know that one day I will, whether I like it or not.
I didn’t want to speed up that process, so I tried to stay up all night that first night without him.
But I passed out at 6 AM, because there are some things you can’t fight, and you can’t hold on to someone who has already left you.