We kissed for the first time at a floating bar at midnight in a busy city neither of us lived in. She put her hand on the top part of my thigh, where my leg met my hip as I leaned in to press my lips against hers. I remember exactly what that hand felt like on my hip and how sweet and soft her mouth was. That gentle pressure; a confident possessive touch; that warm, enveloping kiss. I loved it.
There were 100s of people around but in that moment, I honestly understood what people meant when they said the object of their affection was the only person in the room. These people around us were furniture to me. She was radiant against the flickering lights on the water behind her. I drank in how she looked at that moment, tried to commit it to memory, attempted not to rush things even though I wanted to fall into her immediately, as completely as I could.
I wanted to stay there for hours even though it was freezing and I clearly had not dressed for the weather. I had hoped that she would be content spending the entire night with that hand on my hip and her face close to mine like I had dreamt about for months.
Instead we walked through the city, keeping warm with her arm around my shoulders and my hot breath on her neck. We kissed in the line at the cinema and I caressed her knee as she jumped during the scary part of the movie. We sat on the curb outside a bar after we decided it wasn’t worth the cover charge. I followed behind her, hand in hand through the casino trying to find somewhere to eat so late at night. Catching the early morning train home, we dozed on each other’s laps and held each other so fiercely you’d think it was the last chance we’d have to be together.
It turned out it was the last chance we’d have to be together.
In the morning, I attempted to show her just what she meant to me. I wanted my touch to show her just how beautiful I found her, inside and out. I hoped that my kisses would let her see how important she’d become to me. Maybe I succeeded in making her see how I felt about her — I’ll never know. I guess it doesn’t matter.
When I asked “are you ok?” she said no. Of course at that moment, I stopped what I was doing. When I asked “what’s going on?” she said I wasn’t her ex. Of course, in that moment, that broke my heart.
She left after kissing me hard on the cheek. No hand on hip, no warm, soft mouth on mine. I spent the next two days in that bed before flying home, crying the entire way.
I remember the rain came down hard on the windscreen on the drive from the airport to my house. I remember thinking of course. Of course she could not love me. Of course I was foolish to think she could. Of course the rain welcomes me now.
It may have been just 24 hours that we spent together but it was the loveliest 24 hours. It may have been the most heartbreak I’ve ever felt, but it was the most joy I’ve felt before a fall.
I am still grateful.