You met her by the sea.
She wasn’t what you had expected, even after a few days of talking to her. You hadn’t expected her to be quite that tall, for her voice to sound like the flipping of pages on a brand-new book, like a windchime on a mildly breezy night, like your favorite part of your current favorite song, or for her hair to flow over her forehead, reach into your chest and gently make its way into your heart.
You hadn’t expected to like it that much, either.
You don’t think it’ll ever happen to you. It’s been two years since you fell in love for the first time, in an all-consuming way that threatened to break your knees and slam you into the ground when it finally ended, but here is this girl who didn’t look anywhere close to the kind of girl you have always been attracted to. And yet, you found yourself sneaking glances at her through your glasses, mesmerized by the way her hands moved as she was telling a story. You didn’t want her to stop digressing. You never wanted her to stop digressing. This is the second girl in your life of 22 years that’s made you want to stay up talking to her all night, through red eyes, and aching hands. You know this isn’t love, but it could very well be. Maybe after date number 7, maybe date number 20, but it will happen.
And you don’t know what to say around her. You fumble and drop sentences, your leg trembles and beats a staccato rhythm on the pavement while she patiently hears out your half-complete, constantly backtracking stories, nods and keeps brushing her hair back. You kind of want to do it for her, but you don’t. Keep your hands tied and your gaze stuck to the waves, like looking at her too much will burn you up. You think it probably will.
The next day, it will end. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. The sea has listened to you talk, and it has taken the last remnants of your quiet conversations away with the tide, and now there is nothing left. It takes you two days to stop obsessively checking to see if she’s online, to stop opening your old conversations to see where it all fell apart. You still hope. That’s the problem with being such a lesbian. You are the U-Haul cliché, the will-fall-passionately-in-love-over-coffee dumbass. When it happens, it feels like forever when it’s probably just a small tick, a fleeting moment of “Ah, there it is again, I thought I had lost you”.
First dates are such ridiculous bullshit, you think. There is just so much nervousness, and anxiety and pressure, and your head threatens to explode when you think of all the women you will probably have to be brave enough to approach again. All the stupid puns you will have to come up with, the cheesy pick-up lines, all that effort. And for what? Just so you can go through the sleep-deprivation, and the lack of hunger and the dark circles over and over again? Just so you can get way too invested in the idea of someone too quick, and lose your mind in the process?
But you haven’t lost the starry eyes and the butterflies yet, and for this, you will always remember her. It’s taken you two years to remember what cloud nine feels like, taken you this girl to remind you of how amazing the possibility of romance be, and even though you know she is just another contact on your phone, you won’t forget the beautiful girl you saw by the sea on a moonlit night.