To The Stranger Who Stole My Heart

open letter, to the guy at the bar, bar, relationships, love at first sight
Jacob Ufkes

I remember the exact moment we met- when you reached out to pass me my drink and sent it flying across the bar, and you looked up at me with those sparkling green eyes, and smiled. It was just a split second, just a moment hidden between a hundred, billion other moments, and yet it’s the one I keep replaying, the one I hold on to late at night when the bed is cold and the darkness is full of regret.

It was addictive, that look you seemed to reserve for only me. Because I watched you, I wanted to make sure, I wanted to know for certain that I hadn’t just made it up. That my desire for you hadn’t created a story which wasn’t real.

But it was real. I felt it. In that moment, I felt it all; fireworks and butterflies and that way your breath catches in your throat and all of the words you want to say, gather there. 

And over the next few days, the days which never seemed long enough, the days which would end in goodbyes and long flights back to rainy London, away from the heat and the glistening ocean, and the sight of your incredible green eyes against your olive skin, we exchanged smiles and small talk, and looks so longing, I felt them throughout my entire body. Even your colleagues began to grin whenever I found excuses to walk past the bar, exchanging looks as if they too knew the spark which was burning between us, as if you were sixteen again telling them excitedly about me, about us.

It made me feel giddy, alive, electric.

I wanted to bottle up that feeling, save it, open it up on the days when I felt small and unappreciated and aching for you. 

Because I can still taste the drink you sent over to my table and see that shy, exhilarated look on your face when I mouthed a “thank you.” Because I can still hear the way you called me beautiful in that accent which made me feel so completely and ridiculously weak. Because whenever I close my eyes, I see yours, like the Mediterranean on a cloudless day, looking at me like you were just as entranced as I.

Because when you said you didn’t want me to go and pulled me into the warmth of your chest and pressed your cheek to mine, I knew I could live there, make a home there. Because when you let me go, I felt a piece of me stay there, with you.

Because I’m afraid I will never feel the way I did when I was with you. I’m afraid I will never feel as beautiful as I did with your eyes upon me. I’m afraid someone else’s presence won’t make me catch my breath. Because I’m terrified of the absence of butterflies in my stomach, because I finally understand what it feels like to be addicted to person, a feeling, a moment.

And so here I am, curled into an armchair in my favourite coffee shop, watching red buses stop and start outside the window, and crowds of people pulling their jackets closed around their bodies, battling the autumn air, writing about you- terrified that if I don’t, I’ll forget it all. Terrified I’ll forget how you made me feel. Here I am imagining your lips pressed to mine and how it would feel to wake beside you, tangled in your bed sheets, my arm lazily thrown across your chest, your nose in my hair.

And you’re probably there, not thinking about me at all. But I hope you are, I hope you lose time, I hope you imagine a future where there isn’t a bar between us and hotel guests stealing our attention. I hope you see me in your dreams.

I hope you remember it all, just like I do.
Just like I always will. TC mark

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