One day in August.
You met me after work and we sat outside my other place of employment. My smile probably beamed brighter than the sun that you blocked for me. I thought you were golden, and you thought I was precious. We walked all over trying to decide where to eat. Where we finally decided on that night is beyond me because all I recall are the click of your dress shoes, how I felt introducing you to a guy who also liked me and your smile when I made you hang on the utility pole. "Take a risk," I said. And you did. More way than one.
No more than a week later I’d hang from a tree limb and would kick my feet in attempts to fend off your tickling. That was the only way we touched then before that night playing mini golf. When we finished, you said you felt like climbing trees. I said that sounded ambitious, and you said I made you feel young again.
A night out in September.
I was wearing a navy blue skirt and a grey v-neck – very simple, but you loved it more than outfits I’ve put thought into. “I can see that mark above your collar bone,” you said as you bought us two cans of Pabst. I pretended not to hear you over the band just so you’d whisper in my ear. Direct shockwave to where it counts – heart and well, yes, there, too. I stood up and kissed you in front of everyone. Our first public display of affection.
Getting out of town in October.
We were the victors of that cliché college party game. We bumped fists like the Obamas even though both of us were uncertain whether or not it was him we’d cast our vote for. You stayed by my side all night as I got wrecked. I tried staying awake for the drive back up 81, but failed. I only awoke when you reached for my hand. I shifted my tired, drunk head in your direction and hoped you saw my peaceful smile in the glow of the dashboard lights. I didn’t let go until you parked at your house and ushered me inside so I could collapse into your warmth.
Tensions in November.
I fucked up and you told me to grow up. When you said not to steal your thunder, I pushed you off of me and told you that it didn’t mean mine were any less significant. You grabbed my arm apologetically and asked me not to cry and pulled me into you. When I buried my tear-stained face into your chest, you took out my ponytail, stroked my hair and said that big girls don’t cry. You said sorry and just continued to calm me down with your gentle touch. We fell asleep like that. You, the tall and lanky grown man stretched out on the lamp side of your makeshift queen-sized bed. You held on to me by my scarf and rested your other arm on the one I had across your stomach. I was the little girl in knee socks and a jumper curled up by your side, sore with tears and unable to dream sweetly because of a cluttered head. It was one of those really tender moments I’ve grown so fond of about you. You’re good at being tender when you’re ready to dream. And me? Well, I'm good at always drowning in my own shallow puddles of confusion.