The one.

Everyone has that “one” person, right? Some refer to them as “the one that got away.” I’m not sure that I really like that term, as that implies that I somehow could have made him stay. There was nothing I could have done, so I’ll just forever remember him as “The One.”

~~~

I leaned against him as we sat in the back of a stretch limousine. The hilarity of it all was not lost on me. I hadn’t meant to pick him up from the airport in a fancy car, with champagne in the cooler and a driver that looked like he just stepped off the set of The Sopranos. It just sort of happened.

I thought I would have been flustered, uncomfortable, nervous. I was each one of those things the second before I spotted him. And in the instant he walked around the bend and I raised my hand to wave to him, those feelings vanished and were replaced by serenity and excitement. I knew that this was the time I’d been waiting all of these months for. And I had to make it count.

As we sat in that limo, talking about how good it was to see each other after such a long time apart, I turned around to face him. It was now or never. We looked into each others eyes and there was a knowing that in the next minute, everything would change. It would be more real than we could have ever imagined.

We leaned in to each other as we passed over the George Washington Bridge. Our lips touched and every thought rushed out of my head. This was it. And it was perfect.

~~~

We stood on the ferry, the bitter January wind whipping around us. He held me tightly and I shivered as my head fit neatly under his arm. “This is our Titanic moment, gorgeous,” he smiled down at me as his kissed my forehead.

We both gazed up at the Statue of Liberty standing before us. I’d seen it dozens of times, but this was his first and I wanted him to be impressed. I’m not sure why, as I obviously had not built it and had no rights to it, but we were on my home turf and I wanted him to love everything about it. He grabbed my hand and led me to the railing as he took out his camera and snapped a photo of us together in front of the statue. I kissed his cheek right before the camera flashed.

I’ve never seen that picture. I wonder if he ever developed it.

~~~

“What’s wrong?” he asked me as I lay sprawled out on top of him. My finger toyed with the button of his shirt. I was trying desperately to hide my emotions, but he saw through me like a transparency. I squirmed uncomfortably and let out a long sigh.

“Nothing, I swear. I just…” my voice trailed off as I tried to formulate in my head what I wanted to say. What I needed to say. What I didn’t even know I had to say. Why was I suddenly so confused? How come the peace and certainty I’d felt a week ago, a day ago, an hour ago, vanished and was replaced by sheer and utter terror?

“You just…what? Tell me.”

I couldn’t answer because I had no idea what I was attempting to say. I was being such a girl, and I hated it. He brushed a hair out of my face as he turned me over. He propped his head up on his hand and looked down at me, putting his other hand by my waist. “Do you remember,” he began “when I first said goodbye to you?”

I nodded. Of course I remembered. How could I ever forget?

“I hugged you and kissed you, and grabbed you right here,” he squeezed my waist. “In that moment I thought to myself…uh-oh.”

I exhaled loudly. There was never a doubt in my mind that he had felt it, but to hear him say it…this had to mean something. To know that it wasn’t just in my head was relieving. Amazing. There was an electricity between us that could not be ignored. If two people felt such a thing, I thought, they should grab it and hold on. And never let go. We’d never let it go. That was the way it worked in the movies, right?

I grabbed him and brought his lips down to mine. “Yes,” I murmured. “I felt it too. Of course I felt it too.”

And in that instant, I was calm again.

~~~

It was the most amazing guitar shop I’d ever seen. Not that I’d seen hundreds of guitar shops before this one, but my breath was taken away. Beautiful instruments were all around me and I didn’t know where to look first. His eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store and I let go of his hand. He needed to play.

He went from room to room and I trailed behind, unsure of my place, but honored to be there with him. We finally settled in a room full of gorgeous acoustic guitars with prices on them that made me thankful that I didn’t know how to play. He strummed one lightly and closed his eyes, a soft smile playing on his face as he began to move his fingers over the strings. I’d never heard anything so beautiful in all of my life.

He played songs he knew I loved. This was something we shared, our love of music. I sang along with no hesitation as the owner of the shop walked in. He waited until we were finished and clapped lightly.

“That was brilliant,” the owner said to him. “I’d love to play with you sometime.”

My eyes twinkled. This was the most amazingly talented man I’d ever met.

For that moment in time, he was mine.

~~~

“So,” I shifted from foot to foot. “I guess this is it.”

He put down his luggage and hugged me tightly. “Look at me,” he pulled my chin up. “We’ll see each other again soon.”

He kissed me three times as I prayed that he’d change his mind. That he’d tell me he couldn’t go back home without me. He’d made me promises, but something inside me told me different. Something told me that this was the end of our road. He’d changed.

“I’ll call you when I get home,” he picked up his suitcase and I bit my lip, holding back tears that I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop once he walked out of view.

I nodded as he kissed me one last time. Our clasped hands drew apart and my heart sank. He turned around and walked to the escalator, looking down at me and blowing a kiss as he faded out of view. Tears streamed down my eyes and I didn’t have the strength to brush them away.

Or, maybe, I just wasn’t ready for it to end yet.

And then I finally knew. This is what it felt like to be a girl.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: You can’t always get what you want | Wild oats.
  2. Trackback: The truth about getting hurt | Wild oats.

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