Time stands still on this beautiful summer night. The birds are singing a sunset melody, the thunder is gently rolling in the distance, the air smells fresh from the gentle rain. I feel the most myself out here in the evening light. I can just be.
In these moments, I miss you. I close my eyes and see you. Clear blue eyes, dark hair, five o’clock shadow, contagious grin. Two weeks later, I feel an ache for you yet to subside.
This feeling is unexpected. You are fun to talk to and a way for me to forget the jerk that recently shattered my heart. You are just passing through. You are in my city for less than twenty-four hours. I know all this yet allow myself to be drawn under your spell. I never do this, I tell you. I usually walk away from boys like you.
But I’ve never met a boy like you. A man like you. Maybe because you are a gorgeous foreigner or because you look at me like I’ve never been looked at by anyone, even the men who said they loved me. You make me feel that what I have to say is important, that I matter. I do not have to persuade you to like me, to be attracted to me, to want me. You just do.
You make that clear by going home with me. I never do this, I never do this, I repeat over and over. You just smile and kiss away my worries in a way that makes my body melt into yours. You never do this either, you say. I believe you, despite the cynical side of me stubbornly thinking that you are probably telling a lie. I am so tired of being cynical about the men in my life and I want to take you at face value. So I do.
I’m glad I do. You call me beautiful, look into my eyes and see me. To my core. Every part of me, the good and the bad, the parts I’m proud of and the parts I’m ashamed of. I feel connected to you in a way I’ve never been connected to another.
Our clothes fall into a tangled mess on the floor as we fall into a tangled mess on my bed. Time stops as it flies by. To connect physically with a complete stranger like this is an unknown experience. You make me feel things I’ve never felt before and may never feel again.
When it is over, you hold me and we talk for hours. About what it is like to grow up on opposite sides of the world, our passions, our hobbies, our goals and our dreams. Our conversation flows effortlessly. I am completely at ease with you. You are quick to make me laugh. Every moment, every precious moment of the night is a gift I can feel slipping away as dawn creeps closer.
Dawn comes too soon and I wake before you. You fell asleep with me cradled in your arms, something surprisingly natural and comfortable and right. Surprising because you are a stranger. The thing is, you are not a stranger. In the morning light, I am at home in your arms. I’ve known you my whole life and have simply been waiting for this night.
Time comes for you to leave. You keep kissing me, so sweetly, calling me beautiful and saying that you’ll miss me. I don’t want you to leave. Your email address left behind, I walk you outside and give you one last kiss goodbye. I am losing something that isn’t really mine but I feel the enormity of losing you all the same.
I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to figure out what the universe is teaching me by allowing our paths to cross. I never take random strangers home and sleep with them. I live cautiously. There are lines I do not cross with potential lovers until I know their intentions. Until I know they are safe, they care for me, they aren’t using me only to leave me with a broken heart. My caution has not protected me or made me feel safe. One heartbreak after another, I have lost hope.
You gave me hope. How can a one-night stand give someone hope? You live on the other side of the world. We have no chance at making a relationship work. You may very well be my soul mate but that’s highly unlikely. I’m not moving to Australia, you’re not moving to America. I haven’t contacted you since you left. There is no point to staying in touch. I’d be teasing myself with something meant to be one perfect night.
You gave me hope because I know now there are men out there who I can connect with as easily and instantly as I did with you. Men who are willing to look into my eyes and see me. Know me. Listen to me. Men who think I am beautiful and want me, who don’t belittle me, who don’t make me feel bad about myself for having goals and dreams.
You’ve inspired me to see outside my own little world, to take in as much of life as I can while I still can. Our time together is now a most cherished memory and a stepping-off point reorienting how I look at men as my potential lovers. This changes everything because I can be myself with men. I can trust that the right man for me will make me feel even more than I did with you. I can just be.
My hair swings against my face in the breeze, a cool summer’s eve kiss, refreshing and sweet. I again close my eyes and remember your kiss, and smile with a full heart. I know I never do this, but thank you for coming home with me.