I see him half a block away from the backseat of the yellow taxicab. His broad shoulders in that navy blue suit; his thick wave of curls – JFK hair, I used to call it – pushed off to the side as he stands patiently on the corner of 3rd and Market, smoking a cigarette because he’s been drinking. Drinking, yes, and waiting for me.
My heart skips a beat.
I get out and walk toward him; his eyes flash to life as he soaks the vision of me up after two long months apart. When he touches me, I feel warm all over. I am drunk off of him. I feel like a vacuum just sucked the world away and all the anger I have mustered up and pretended to believe I felt toward him during his unexpected absence – it all just melts away. On this warm June evening in Old City, while Steph Curry and Lebron James battle it out in the NBA finals – fans drunkenly roaring inside the corner sports bar -all I see is him. His eyes. His smile. That one tooth of his that is slightly spaced from the rest in the most charming way possible.
And then..those hands. Those big, manly hands. I missed them so much. I love them. Sometimes I wonder if it’s possible that I love him, too.
I can’t look him in the eye as I confess how unbelievable it is to even comprehend what drove me to show up here . I can’t find the words to explain why tonight was different than the other nights; why I gave up and gave in after having grown so good at giving up on us. My hair blows across my face in the summer wind and he ever so gently continues each time to softly tuck the loose strands behind my ear as he stares silently, listening to me finally get the chance to spill my guts out to his face; to finally tell him without all of the emotional cloudiness and dramatic scenes that he broke my heart in half and it took me almost until now to stop thinking of him every day. To long for the way he would spoon me all night, and let me hold his hand while we slept, even when it meant waking him up to weave my fingers between his. To finally let go of how there was nothing more soothing to me than the way he would kiss my temple once, twice, three times before we went to sleep. How gentle his hands were as they rubbed my back in the morning while we both came to with the sunrise.
Now – right now – when he is looking at me like that, and touching me like that, and I wonder how he couldn’t be anything more than genuine as he leans in to brush my lips mid conversation with the gentlest hint of a kiss – this is when I feel a flurry of confusion. My heart is blooming like a spring flower, and all I want to do is open the cabinet doors of my chest and hand him my beating heart to safely keep as his own.
It’s been a long time – it’s been since Mike – that I have felt this type of throbbing feeling deep in my guts that makes me feel so alive and so paralyzed at the same time. How can I feel so at home standing here with him after two months of being merely miles away from one another and never crossing paths? Never knowing just where he was and with whom? How do I now just look at him and laugh like we are sharing this special type of inside joke – one where we both kind of know we love each other in some type of sick twisted way – him in a way that makes him confused because he doesn’t even love himself – and me..well, me feeling eerily similar to just that, though he could never possibly understand.
And how the sparks of chemistry shot out like a 4th of July rocket as we just stood beside one another and just..stared at eachother..and both wore those matching little smiles, with lips pressed together to keep from cracking open a full throttle, full-tooth grin…and this world just, makes sense somehow tonight in the midst of knowing nothing happening makes any sense. None of these decisions we are making to come back together – for whether it is just the night or for an ambigous length of time longer – are necessarily good decisions.
“This is a bad idea..” I mumble to him as he presses my body against his and kisses me soft and hard at the same time through both of our silly smiles, our backs pushed against the stairwell railing of the bar..paying no attention to the last minutes of the NBA playoffs as we immerse ourselves into this cloud of lust.
“I miss you..I miss you every day..” my knees feel like they will buckle as he whispers this into my hair and gently slides his firm hand into the back pocket of my jeans.
I wake up in the middle of the night tangled up in a heap of blankets on his bed. His arm is slung behind me and I am curled up against him with my head on his chest. I love that he lets me snuggle against him all night without ever rolling away. He’s snoring loudly and I can’t go back to sleep, and he’s the only being in this world who I could ever find endearing in a moment like this. I stare up at him as the street lights outside cast his face under their soft yellow light; the peaceful rise and fall of his chest and a mind that’s miles away, all a-swirl with dreams.
I can’t remember the last time I wanted to just watch someone sleep. I could watch him sleep for hours.
I leave quietly in the morning, although he pulls me back in to kiss him goodbye right before I make my way out. He’s still in bed with a drowsy smile on his face as I playfully push the blankets up over his head before my departure.
“I hope we talk soon,” I say quietly before I click the door shut.
“I hope that, too,” he says from under the blankets.
As I walk home, I dissect the cryptic exit we just underwent. What does it mean, him and me? Is something that left me so broken able to be repaired? Does he mean what he says? Does he think of me while he falls to sleep or when he sees something funny that reminds him of a joke we have or in the moments that Drake comes on the radio?
It’s both painful and freeing to accept the fact that we don’t choose who we fall in love with; they choose us..even if they have no intentions of returning the love we give in return.
I will try not to overthink this (HA! Yeah, right..). I will choose to hold onto that soft little glimmer of relaxation he fed my soul last night. And if I never see him again, I choose to acknowledge that, for whatever reason, I needed him to hold me last night. And he did. And sometimes, we just let life happen and choose to feel the feelings we want to feel; the feelings we need to feel. We can worry about the withdrawal from our euphoric bliss at some later date that doesn’t seem to matter in this precious moment.
I smile as I walk home, alone beneath the rising sun.
I missed him, too. I missed him every day.