I belted my black dress, threw on my red jacket, sat on the crushed velvet couch in my front room, rubbing my thumbs in hasty circles around each other. Your headlights pierced through my curtains of hair as I watched your car roll into my driveway. Before you could make your way up the snowy walk, I was out the door coming toward you. My heart pumped too fast, my face flushed, I prayed I wouldn’t slip as you grabbed my hand and opened the door for me. While you walked back to the driver’s side, I exhaled sharply, trying to calm down. You made me so nervous. I’d never been nervous around a boy. You made me nervous, thrills running through my fingertips.
The talk was light and colored by trepidation, the night we met slapped around in jest. The oddity of us actually going out after the strangest meeting possible.
You look nice in real lighting.
I like your voice when it’s not shouting over the bass dropping speakers.
Your halloween costume was clever.
I’m glad we’re really doing this.
Sorry for that night.
What a great memory.
I can’t believe that was real.
I like your tattoos.
I love your dress.
Want to see my apartment?
(Bet you say that to all the girls.)
Suddenly, the girls next to us caught us mid conversation. “We’re studying interpersonal relationships in school. Are you two on a first date? Cause so far he’s really into you, and she’s still unsure. But oh my god you guys are so cute, and so are your tights, girl. Give him a chance.” Your face grew brighter than the candle in front of us and I laughed loudly as I darted my gaze to your nervous smile. They’d given your cool away. James Dean sunk back deeper on your chest as you hugged your shoulders up to your ears and hung your head. We stood to leave, I thanked the girls for the best dessert I could have hoped for, and we ran all the way to your car laughing and blushing.
You stayed quiet until we reached your apartment. Suddenly you seemed unsure and vulnerable. I gripped your hand, suddenly the strong one in the car. They are wrong, I whispered, I’m not unsure at all. Show me your apartment. You smiled in relief and James Dean sighed on your chest.
We watched The Walking Dead.
You held my hand as my heart disintegrated in your palm.
We drove along the nighttime streets toward my house.
Slow down, I thought, this can’t be all. I’m not done tonight.
We had to traverse through the unplowed narrows to my back gate and up to my back door. You left me at the door, no kiss on my lips, and started to walk away. I grabbed your forearm, right where your compass inked out, pointing north to my chest. I’ll walk you to the gate, I offered. I’ll be the gentleman, I joked.
Goodbye was hard and then you met my eye line.
“You’ll be around, right? You’re not going anywhere?”
No, love. I’m always here.
Finally your lips met mine, hungry and soft. We kissed against the gate, then against the door. You walked away and I shut the door softly behind me, falling against it, eyes closed, breath hot and alive.
I ran to my front door, threw it open and stood on the porch, on the tips of my toes, a bird waiting to fall out of the nest. Your car was on. You flipped on the overhead light, tilted your head with a coy smile and beckoned me with your finger. My heart exploded. My eyes blurred. I loved you then. I knew right then, and I let myself go. (I blush even now, months later. I can’t type that memory with open eyes.)
Your headlights, the frosty air, your arms. They held me captive against the garage door, squeaking and staring as we kissed again and again. The stars spun as we finally let go, as you finally drove away.
I fell asleep still smelling you on my skin and tasting you on my lips.