I’m never at a loss for words. It’s one of those things that I’ve always been sure of, the same way my eyes have always been blue and so has the sky. I’ve never had this “writer’s block” thing I hear about. In fact, I have always had the opposite problem; I have too much to write. I have so many words bubbling over in my head that I often can’t write fast enough to catch them all. Maybe this explains why I have such cramped, scrawly writing instead of the round bubble kind I see other girls use.
So yeah. Words are usually my friend. Except for right now.
I have never ever felt like this. I keep trying to describe it and I just can’t without using awful clichés like “It feels like a dream.” I kind of make myself want to vomit. Except that I’m also too happy to be upset with myself.
This is the short form of what happened. There were more events leading up to it, and I will probably fill them in at some point, but basically I spent last weekend at Nob’s university at a debate tournament. I actually have a lot of friends who go there; Lyd, Drew and Andy go there too, but I instead stayed with people I knew from debate. I hadn’t planned to visit any of my friends from home; I didn’t even tell them I was coming. Schedules for debate tournaments are usually packed, between the debating itself and the after parties, so I figured there was no point, especially since I had seen everyone over Christmas holidays. I would just have a fun weekend with my debate friends, I figured.
Except the thought of Nob was constantly at the back of my mind. This new tension had developed between us over the holidays and I couldn’t quite figure out why it had happened or what it meant. In Grade 12 we had always clearly defined ourselves as friends, and he was dating someone else for a large amount of it. I think that’s when we became so comfortable together; we became closer and closer over the course of the year. The best part of our friendship was the fact that we could speak so honestly and frankly with each other. We talked about our families and our futures and we always called each other on our bullshit. In August he asked me if he should try to make long distance work with his girlfriend when he went away for school, and I told him I thought it was a really bad idea. I swear I didn’t have any ulterior motives for that advice; I just had his best interests in mind. I knew that Nob is the type to pour everything into a relationship, and it would take away from his first year and he would end up being miserable.
In December there were no deep life talks though. We talked about safe things, our friends and politics and parties. I could feel us avoiding anything that might force into honesty. We sat in his house on opposite sides of the couch, always leaving a few feet between each other. I was scared to look him in the eye and instead found myself staring at my hands in my lap as we talked. When I left we hugged, which was normal enough, but we both held on a second too long. That was it though, a second. Then there were some jokes and see you laters, even though later meant months and we both knew it. As I drove away I was shaking a little.
Which brings me to Saturday night. It was 3am and I was sitting in an all night restaurant sharing a poutine with my friend as we discussed the party we had just left. I was trying to listen to her, but I just kept thinking about where Nob was, wondering if he might walk past the restaurant window at any moment. Occasionally a tall guy in an engineering jacket would walk by and for a second I would think it was him and my hands would start to shake again. Finally I decided that I was being stupid. Of course I should see my friend. I was in his city; it just made sense.
I texted him and told him I was in town and that we should hang out Sunday. He agreed. We tried to pretend it was no big deal, just friends hanging out.
And it was, at first. We went out for burgers. I told him some funny anecdotes about debate and he told me about crazy things his floor mates had done the night before. There were signals that this lunch was different than others though. For one, he was supposed to meet up with friends to go looking at houses to rent for next year and he cancelled on them. I told him that I understood if he had to go, but he said it was fine so I didn’t push it. I tried not to over think why he might do that.
Then we went back to his dorm room. When I say it like that it sounds like he had a plan to hook up with me all along, but I don’t think he did. It didn’t feel weird at the time, anyway. In residence your dorm room is your bedroom, yes, but it’s also your living room and your kitchen. It seemed like a natural place to go.
We talked some more. We looked up stuff on the internet, political things and memes and whatever. Then I spotted a Lego set on top of his dresser. It was the same set we had built together over the holidays when he had a bunch of people over. We’re playing with this, I told him. At first he scoffed at the idea, but I know Nob and I knew he wanted to play. Sure enough, he picked up the space ship and I launched catapults at it and we both made explosion sounds and narrated a dramatic battle which ended with total destruction and a single survivor.
I remember thinking that I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to be with anyone else. I remember wondering how I had gotten so lucky as to meet a boy who would sit in his bedroom and play Lego with me.
We kissed. I’m not sure who started it to be honest and I like that. He had this brazen look in his eyes and he looked so certain that when our lips touched, I was certain. I was certain that I wanted to be with this boy, and that changed everything.
I don’t really need to explain what happened next, but I will say it was amazing. I found myself wondering why I had ever even bothered kissing other guys before this. All of those other kisses, all of those other guys, they didn’t even compare to this. You can’t even plot it on the same spectrum.
All of that built up tension evaporated instantly. I don’t know how long we just laid nose to nose, breathing in the moment.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” I finally said.
“I didn’t think it was ever going to happen,” he replied. “I had pretty much given up hope.”
“Classic us,” I said, laughing. “We finally figure our shit out once we live in different cities.”
I eventually had to go; I had a bus to catch back to school. We didn’t exchange any promises or make any attempt to make sense of what had happened. There was this unspoken feeling that it wasn’t over though. Before I left he kissed my smile one more time with that brazen look on his face. On the elevator and down the street and packing my things and in the taxi and at the Greyhound station I smiled and smiled. My lips were still tingling to remind me that it really happened.
I feel like all the clichés, even now. I’m walking on air and the whole world looks beautiful and different. I always thought those clichés could never apply to me, and yet here I am. I must have been smiling as I daydreamed while I waited for my omelet at the cafeteria this morning, because the omelet guy just grinned at me like he knew exactly what I was thinking about. I found myself wondering if I look as different as I feel.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop smiling.