I wasn’t prepared for the first time you saw me.
My breath caught in my throat when I looked up at you from the couch and you were standing just slightly to the right of me – your eyes widened with an appreciation, admiration, with such a curiosity that I’d never seen before, but they held me there softly, tenderly.
I realized then how vulnerable of a position we were putting ourselves in. Instead of fleeing, I wanted to freeze that moment, to drown within it. I longed to forever be lost in that gaze that you held me in. If my face reflected anything back to you in that moment, it probably read as hunger for more, but not of your body – of whatever it was inside of you that was causing you to look at me that way. I didn’t blink, didn’t move to breathe because I needed to capture that moment, imprint with my favorite memories of you next to our first kiss and the way we laughed together at a terrible movie you insisted we watch.
Have you ever seen that quote on Facebook or on someone’s AIM profile as an away message a long time ago when you actually paid attention to social media that reads something about how Eskimos have a hundred words for snow and how he, the author of this little nugget of wisdom, wishes that he has a thousand words for love, but all that came to mind was how his lover slept beside him and there were no words for that? That sprang to mind. Except it was not your sleeping frame, cradling me throughout the night that brought it to mind, but the way that your eyes drank me in in that moment.
And it was so simple, our eyes fixating on each other. Something that had happened and carried various amounts of weight and depth to them each time a million times before, but this exchange almost knocked me to the floor with the power of the light in your eyes.
Your eyes captured me in a way that I had never experienced before. Our eyes, of course, were no strangers to each other. They snuck glances at each other at work, they’ve been glued to an intense movie on the screen together, they even shared laughter as coy smiles flitted from our faces.
But this time, I found myself in awe, seeing you see me and somehow, seeing myself and you simultaneously for the first time as well.
I didn’t want to let the moment go. You stood there in front of me, taking me all in for the first time. Though it was new territory, it certainly wasn’t the first time we’d found ourselves in this position. But there was something that was ever-so-softly being divulged to me in the way that you gazed at me this night.
Maybe it was because we’d had a few cocktails, maybe it was the playful teasing and flirting that we’d engaged in when we were out over the course of the night, maybe it was all of that, maybe it had nothing to do with anything that had happened earlier.
Maybe you were holding me in this way with your eyes because for the first time, your eyes opened up to see past just that night with me, realized that there was real potential here between you and I. You were able to see past the difficulties in our complicated new relationship status and sift through the doubts in order to see me, fully, and appreciate me as I was and as I am.
And maybe in that moment as all of the bullshit crumbled and fell away, we met each other on the same plane at the same time.