You should date a girl that writes. Find her outside a roadside cafe on a clear spring day, her eyes roaming hungrily across the faces that walk by. Sit next to her, brushing away the loose sheets of paper that she set there just to keep people like you from talking to her. Point at her headphones and ask what she’s listening to, and when she answers you immediately realize that she’s lying. Try to hide your smile, because you know she’s not listening to anything at all, but she needs to keep up the pretense of being extremely busy and completely unavailable for discussions with strangers such as yourself, sorry.
Start a conversation with her, ignoring the faint irritation in her voice at being interrupted from her thoughts. Make her laugh, and when the evening grows long and the sun begins to set, ask her to stay a while longer. Know she’ll refuse. So bid her goodnight, this girl, and after she leaves, realize you don’t even know her name.
Come back the next morning, and sit outside to wait for her. Leave the seat next to you conspicuously empty and order two of whatever you like to drink. Take out a blank notebook. And wait.
When she shows up, savor the astonishment in her eyes. Watch her blush as she takes a seat, notice her eyes flicker to your notebook. When she asks you why you haven’t written anything, say it’s because you haven’t found anything worth writing about. Ask her what she writes about. Does she write about the impossible, of angels and demons and the horror and beauty of them?
She will reply that those aren’t impossible, that we are both of those and so much more.
She writes about everything, she tells you, because everything is worth writing about. And when the day turns to night, ask her to keep you company for a bit longer. Smile sadly when she refuses again, and offer to walk her home. Reach for her hand as the two of you walk, because she’s unconsciously started to linger back, taking in how the fading light has rewritten her whole world in shadow and darkness, and also because she looks so alone. Smile because she doesn’t pull away, and when you reach her house, bid her goodnight, and say that you’ll see her tomorrow.
Show up at the same time the next morning, and choose something new to try, something you’ve never tasted because you feel like taking a risk. When she arrives, notice that the conversation is smooth and easy, and ask her about her plans for tomorrow. Offer to take her somewhere. Notice a flash of excitement before she covers it up with a cool acceptance. Let the conversation continue seamlessly and pretend not to see the faint smile dancing across her lips.
When it grows late, let her leave this time, because you know she should. Walk her home and before she enters her house, pull her in for a hug. Take in the smell of her, of something so familiar and yet unknown, and think about how you would be content to hold her forever. Feel a twinge of sadness when you know that she doesn’t feel the same way.
Let the days pass, and see summer turn to fall. Watch her grow wiser but sadder, and watch as she begins to trust you. See the world with her. Go on long road trips to nowhere, and point out small things that you think she’ll like.
One day, take her to a forest, an abandoned corner of nature, and ask her to dance, because you’ve read about it in books and you want it to be in hers. Kiss her for the first time. And when it grows dark, ask her to stay a bit longer and hold your breath, because it feels like a pivotal moment in your life that has begun to revolve around this beautiful, broken girl. Feel an immense surge of relief when she agrees. Stay in the forest and talk to her.
Tell her about the velvet of the leaves and how her eyes shine even in the dark, of the silver of the moon and the lonely stars and tell her of myths you’ve heard about them. Tell her about all the things you see and have ever seen, because you know she’ll appreciate it. And when she begins to yawn, let her fall asleep on you, because you know you won’t be able to sleep with her so close.
Visit her often over the course of the next few years. When she calls you up late at night, crying, ask her what’s wrong. Listen to her talk, this writer weaving words into a tapestry, and tell her that she’s beautiful. Eventually, meet her parents, and speak of their daughter as if she put all the stars in the sky, because that’s how she makes you feel. As if she’s opened a whole new world for you. See the pity in their eyes, because they know their child, and they’ve seen her grow up and realized that she would rather write a story than live one.
Vow to prove them wrong.
When you see her room, stark-white and empty but for the desk covered in notebooks and maps and pictures, pick up one of her stories and read them for the first time. Hear the echoes of her voice, and find yourself in the pages. Realize that you’ve become a character in her story too, one of those angels and demons that she loves so very much. Try to figure out how you feel about that. Realize you should probably leave her to her words, to the stories she writes and the way she only opens up in her writing.
But because of her eyes, which are years older than the rest of her, because of the way her hands punctuate her words and how she watches the world with all the wonder as if she were seeing it for the first time, you know that you can’t give up. And when she finally looks you in the eye and sees not just a story to write, a character to bring to life, but a man to love, realize that she’s fallen for you too.
So you finally take out that notebook from so long ago, that notebook you never wrote in because you never found anything worth writing. Take it out and write your story and hers. Write about a girl who saw the world but didn’t live in it, and write about the boy who fell in love with her.
And finally, give her the notebook and with it, your heart.