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Sunday, February 05, 2023

She was working at a computer next to me the first time I saw her, and the glowing monitor made her face shine a little bit. She stood up, ignored me and I took the time to get a good look at her. She wasn’t tall, but her hair was long and wispy. She had a smile and laugh that carried through the room. I shook her hand when I introduced myself hoping she wouldn’t notice I couldn’t catch my breath. That was a crush.

We would stroll and talk through scenic paths, drinking coffee and harboring a growing sense of, “I want your body-ism.” We took a trip in the sun for work and at some point had developed an easy rapport that was fun to fall back on. It was a careful rhythm barred only by the fact I was in a tumultuously fragile relationship. She got drunk and confessed herself to me in casual tears. I held her close for the first time, and for the first time I felt a possibility of sex. My blood boiled. That was lust.

The two of us raged, fought and slept for days. She had to leave town. I had to make a decision.

I decided to try and make it work. We were making a late-night dinner in the dim glow of her mother’s granite kitchen, and I realized that no one had ever made me laugh so much. Living without this woman would not be living at all. Her shape and presence were so strong and her eyes so soft. I had to stop and take stock of what I had found. I was following her up the stairs admiring her, and I realized for the first time in my life I had something to lose. That was when I fell in love with her.

We meet people. We like them, and sometimes we think we love them. But it can be difficult to differentiate the difference. It can only help if you try.

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