A smile that radiated warmth. It warmed hearts, and hands, and souls. That was the first thing I noticed.
Crickets were chirping; It was a foggy, moonlit night. I walked out blindly, relying on the golden beams from his idling car to navigate. I took a small breath before opening the passenger door. As my face flustered, and my chest raced, I mustered a quick hello as I slid into the seat. I’d known him for so long, but we hadn’t met in person yet. He was beautiful. His voice was higher than I expected it to be, but it was still firm, still masculine. “What’s up?“, he asked with a nervous tremor. I guess we both felt awkward - how do you act around someone you know but haven’t met?
We talked on and off until we reached our destination: the town’s movie theater. The red glow of its sign beckoned us forward as we stood up and out of the car. But, before we got far, he turned to me, smiled softly, and exclaimed “Wow, you are TALL”, something I’m used to hearing; I’m over six feet. I responded, “And you’re short”, which was true. We kept walking, gravel crunching under our shoes, and then waited in the short ticket line.
The blue light from the screen illuminated the room, and it carved the gentle hills and valleys of his face. I couldn’t help but notice. “I think I know her from somewhere” - “Look behind him!” He kept talking during the movie, which I thought was a little weird, but cute. He kept tapping on my shoulder, saying something else to distract from the movie, but I tolerated it. I enjoyed it, actually. He was adorable: his voice, mannerisms, smile.. I was always a fool for a cute guy.
The movie was hilarious - I laughed openly every now and then, enjoying my recently-found confidence to do so. His laughter was much more reserved. I began wondering if he was shy in general, beyond awkward first meetings. I wondered what he looked like without his glasses on. Was he always so talkative yet tentative?
The movie ended, and I had zoned out for the last few minutes. I was lost in my thoughts about him, I guess. I looked over to see him looking at me too, and we got up to leave. There wasn’t much conversation on the way back to his car.
“So.. Do you have to go home now, or-”
“No! I don’t have a curfew or anything!” I countered eagerly.
I wanted to spend more time with him, even though I was tired. I was really tired. “What kind of music do you like?” , he asked, looking at me again. His dark brown eyes warmed my face as they traveled across it. My response was delayed - I found myself so distracted from his easy gaze, the soft curvatures of his skin about his cheekbones, around the cartilage of his nose. And that smile - I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to make him smile. “Uh- I like anything, really. Mostly pop, but anything’s chill”, I finally answered. He didn’t seem to notice my staring. Maybe he was staring, too.
He turned on Billie’s newest album, and with the quiet purr of the engine, we drove into the night.
Anxiety on the first day
A chest tight with pain by May
I didn’t know what was to come
He didn’t either