I wanted to. More than anything in the world, I wanted to kiss you that night.
And perhaps I should have.
In today’s dating world, with Tinder and other dating apps on the rise, a hopeless romantic is becoming increasingly unheard of. But that’s what I am – a hopeless romantic. And I’m not even embarrassed about it. I’ve always envisioned myself meeting that perfect girl in that perfect moment.
I’ve fantasized about that moment in my head over and over again for more times than I can count. The moment when I look across the room and see her. The moment when the world stands still. When I look right across a crowded room into her eyes and suddenly all other girls in the room don’t matter anymore. The moment when everything goes silent and the only sound is the pounding of my heart.
I met you four years ago when we were both 17. Oh, how tender an age 17 is. And when I did, it wasn’t a magical moment where the stars aligned and the world stood still. No.
When I met you, I didn’t know that my life was going to change.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t pay quite as much attention as I should have to you. But that took a turn. We started hanging out and we got close and I was afraid; not of the possibility nor the vulnerability. I was afraid of losing that friendship that was so precarious yet precious. I wasn’t ready to put that on the line and so, I suppressed. I suppressed the emotions and I didn’t allow myself to go remotely close to the thought of you.
But I never stopped looking out for you. I watched you through a couple heart breaks and I watched you through some amazing moments. Through the years I stood by you, supported you, and witnessed you grow. I saw how you treated others with compassion, empathy, and love. I was there to be a part of your milestones and I was there to lend you a shoulder when you needed one. I came to terms that perhaps, my role in your life was simply to be a pillar and I was genuinely fine with that.
Soon, we both graduated and we moved on with our lives. We don’t see each other as often as we did and we don’t talk as much as we used to. I was overseas and when I got back, it was your turn to take flight. Funny how the universe works. But when we do catch up, it’s as though we have never really parted. I used to be so envious of the guys that had a chance with you and I could never quite fathom how they could let you slip through their grasp when I couldn’t even stay mad at you for more than five minutes.
From the day I met you, we’ve had our fair share of failed relationships, but through it all, I’ve never given up on being a fool for love. My feelings for you were still suppressed and I never got around to fully acknowledging them. It felt as though the feelings I had for you were too good to be true. I mean, I couldn’t have been so fortunate to feel this way. How could anyone be this lucky, let alone – me?
I never saw you as someone who would ever grow up. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think of you as a kid or anything. It’s just that I met you when we were both 17, and young, and we had no idea what was coming our way. My favorite memories of you lingered at 18 and I wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible. Call me naive but hey, aren’t memories the only thing we’ve got to hold on to once the moment passes?
We grew up and we embarked on our own paths. We focused on building our lives and just like that, another year went by. We met one evening and when I saw you again my heart melted. This time, it was different. I didn’t have a reason to suppress myself any longer. Instead, I allowed every fibre in my body to feel that night. The way you talked about understanding a person, the way you held the glass of wine to your face while you gave me your undivided attention and the way you carried yourself with such elegance and sophistication. You were no longer the girl I met at 17. No.
That night, when I saw you, the world stood still.
When I looked into your eyes, suddenly all other girls didn’t matter anymore; everything went silent and the only thing louder than your voice that evening was the pounding of my heart. I was so taken and so impressed and so charmed and smitten just by the way you talked about things close to your heart – with passion, reverence, empathy and compassion. I was in Love. It had to be. There was no other explanation for what I felt. I wanted to grab your face and kiss it that night. But I didn’t. I wasn’t ready to put what we have on the line. I wasn’t ready to go all in. Perhaps I lacked the courage or perhaps I knew deep down that we both weren’t ready. I wanted to. More than anything in the world, I wanted to kiss you that night. I didn’t. But perhaps, I should have.