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The Night We Met


It was the quick peck at the CD store when I knew. Our first kiss. This is not an ordinary summer fling. Anyone would believe that it was the forbidden what made it a rush, but it was simply us. 


The summer night we met, cozy inside my grey hoodie while he stood proudly in his navy-blue shirt, it was oddly chilly for a mid-December evening. With just a glance at a group photo, he knew the girl he wanted. Through a late-night game of beer pong, I knew I wanted to be on his team, forever. The way his ripped body quivered with each scored point, his knuckles clenching in celebration, his triceps flexing, got me mesmerized. Who would have guessed that eyes could get up to such mischievous wanderings? I struggled to resist biting my lips. 


When it was time to choose between him and his best friend relentlessly flirting with me, there was no doubt. I chose him. But it wasn't just the physical; there was something magnetic drawing me to him. 


Sitting side by side on a wooden bench, he held my hand tight and, with the confidence of a lover rather than that of a complete stranger, placed his large hand on my goosebump-covered thigh. With the warmth of his touch, I wasn’t alone anymore. My fingers traced the path of a purple birthmark entwined around his. “Do you want to see a magic trick?”, he whispered. He shuffled his cards and pulled out the King of Hearts from my silver hoop earrings. His friends around us were getting high, and so I was. So, this is Cloud 9. Whatever that means. This is what they write songs about. “Pick a card,” he said, and I did. 


We barely spoke. While everyone was coughing, we were laughing. Both our breathings sprinted just to reach a shared new calm. "Do you have a coin?" he asked, and I pretended to search my baby blue denim shorts' pockets. My bones had forgotten love could feel this way. They had forgotten anything could feel this good. With his left hand, he played with a nickel until it vanished and reappeared in his right palm. “How did you do that!” I giggled; my legs intertwining with his beneath the wooden table as if our world was standing still, and we were moving in slow motion, gently but swiftly fa lling in lo ve. Nothing could burst our bubble, not even when the party came to an end. 


We hugged all the way to his black Volkswagen, as if we had been best friends (or lovers) for a lifetime. My head rested on his broad shoulder, oblivious to the curious onlookers. Everyone was watching when no one could. All I can recall is the cool breeze, his arm wrapped around my waist, and the moonlight casting a gentle glow on the granite street tiles, guiding our steps. I hopped into the backseat, encircled by his male friends. For the first time, I wished I were the last stop on a car ride, but fate had placed me closest to my destination. "This is your place, right?" he asked as he pulled up to my block. His disappointment was palpable through the rearview mirror. "Yeah," I shared in his dismay. I had never yearned for a kiss more.


"Thanks for the ride," I said, leaning in to give him an awkward peck on the cheek. "Anytime," he replied, averting his gaze, a blush of embarrassment coloring his cheeks. Yet, his eyes remained locked on me as I stepped out of the car and entered the building. I pressed the doorbell; it was 6 am. "You met a boy." Moms always have an uncanny way of knowing.

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