I Can't Help Falling For You

By , Sterling Heights, MI
When we got to the arcade, we played a game of air hockey first. Then we headed over to the pool table. Michael was showing me different ways to hit each ball, and certain rules; like to avoid the 8 ball, and try not to scratch, which meant when you did hit a ball in, you didn’t want the white ball to fall in too.

“Are you going to be okay if I go buy myself a beer?”

“Sure,” I smiled.

“Do you want anything to drink?”

“No thanks.”

When he came back, we finished our game of pool. He then pulled out two tickets, “These are for the go karts,” he said, “want to go check them out before they close down?”

“Sure,” I said, smiling. We walked past the bar area, and through a hallway which took us outside. We past an area of mini golf where no one was golfing, maybe because it was around 11 or so at night, and golfing probably isn’t the easiest sport when it’s dark out.

There was small line for the go karts, but we didn’t mind. We got in line, and started talking. It was a nice talk, because this is when I learned a lot about Michael and his life. He told me he started working at the restaurant as a bus boy when he was a little bit younger than I was, and worked up to dishwashing, and then started cooking. He said he didn’t mind cooking, but there were other jobs he liked better. When he was 13, he used to skip school and go work on fixing roofs. He also got involved in plumbing for a few years, and was starting to pick that up again too. Plumbing was his favorite.

There were a lot of things about him I could not believe. He didn’t meet his dad until he was 15 or so, and after that, didn’t see his dad again until he was 24 or so. If I remember correctly, he lived down south now, and has other kids with other women, and was never really there for Michael. Michael emphasized that he didn’t want to be like his father; that he wanted to be there for his son no matter what. I admired that about him because most men leave their kids when they leave their wife or girlfriend. But Michael, he tried to work things out with her. But sometimes, it’s better to be apart then together. He said she didn’t really do anything wrong, necessarily, but neither did he. They just disagreed a lot, and when you yell all the time like that, it isn’t really good for kids to hear. However, his baby momma must think that just because you have a kid with someone, you are tied down to them forever. She pinned Michael down recently and said, “If I can’t have you, no one can. I’ll make your life a living Hell.”

I didn’t really know how many brothers, sisters, and half-siblings Michael had. I knew his mom had at least two other boys, and I knew his dad had kids with other women, but I think Michael didn’t even know how many siblings he had. Basically, he had a rough life. He was born and raised in Detroit, and his Mom beat him a lot. Hell, she even tried to kill him a couple times. She beat him until he knew how to fight back. But even then, when he did fight back, his mom often called the cops and had him thrown in jail for the night. But Michael loved his mom. I was at awe at how much love he had for her after the way she treated him.

“Why aren’t you scared of me?” Michael asked, when we got off the go karts as he lit a cigarette.

“Why would I be?” I asked. Michael was in no way harming my well being. Yeah, he was considered a “bad boy” but he was nice to me. We got a long good, understood each other, and nothing he did scared me, or made me uncomfortable around him. We just smiled at each other.

We played another game or two of air hockey, and then we walked out to our cars in the parking lot. It was around midnight, and Michael didn’t want me to get in trouble. I was kind of surprised my mom hadn’t texted me by then asking me where I was; but regardless, I was happy she didn’t. I was having so much fun with Michael. It was the most fun I’d had in a long time.

He was standing by the driver’s side of his car, back against his car door with a cigarette in his hand. I stood against the front passenger door of my white Le Sabre. We stood their talking for awhile. I thought this was funny because we had planned on leaving, and here we’ve been talking for at least twenty minutes.

And I could not stop thinking about what it would be like to kiss him. I wondered if he was a good kisser, and if he thought I would be a good kisser. I wondered if his lips would taste bad from his cigarettes. If I tried to kiss him, would he let me, or would he stop me? He did say he wanted to wait until I was 18, and I didn’t want anyone to find out we kissed if we did. If his baby momma found out, I was dead sure he’d never be allowed to see his son again. And with our huge age gap of 11 years, Michael and I dating wasn't exactly socially acceptable. Yeah, I was going to be 18 in roughly a month, but that didn't mean my family and friends would be suddenly okay with me dating a 28 year old man.

It was time to say good-bye. I hugged him, and I loved the way my head fit nicely into his shoulders. Michael wasn’t very tall or anything, he might be the same height as I am, and I’m only 5’6”. But his height didn’t bother me at all, I kind of liked it.

We sat there for a minute, just hugging. We started to let go, and when I went to back away my cheek rubbed up against his cheek. Our noses almost touched, and I had the biggest urge to just kiss him right there. However, I got scared, and just went and hugged him again, hoping the urge to kiss him would pass.

I didn’t. Our cheeks touched and our noses were touching, and his lips were just centimeters from mine. My lips trembled, I knew we were so close to kissing, but at the same time, I didn’t know if he wanted me to kiss him or not. I never made the first move before. Rob, my ex, was the first and only guy I ever kissed, and he kissed me first. I just broke up with Rob yesterday, and here I was, seconds away from kissing Michael. Yesterday seemed like it was forever ago. I could not help it for the life of me. Our lips met, very softly, and unsure at first. Then they relaxed, and Michael ran his hands through my hair, and we were kissing.

Thoughts were racing through my mind throughout our kiss. Should I try to use my tongue? I didn’t want to, but Rob kissed me like that so much, it seemed weird kissing someone without using my tongue. I kept my tongue in my own mouth, and decided just to use my lips. Michael was a good kisser.

I paused, and drew back from him. My hands remained around his neck, and his arms rested at my hips. He was smiling. He laughed a little and said, “We shouldn’t have done that.”

I smiled, because I agreed with him, “I’m sorry,” I said. I couldn't help how I felt for him, and he couldn't help how he felt for me. You don't get to pick who you fall for; you don't get to pick what they look like or what their name is or how old they are. Age is just a number, to me. There are many couples with age gaps like Michael's and mine. Some couples had even larger ones, like fifteen or sixteen years.

“Don’t be sorry,” he smiled, “it was a good kiss. When you’re 18, you can kiss me whenever you want.”

I laughed, “I was trying really hard not to, but I couldn’t help it.”

“Well I take that as you wanted to kiss me?” he asked.

I smiled and he pulled me closer, and we were kissing again.

After a couple minutes, he stopped again, and we both kind of pulled away.

“Katie,” he said slowly, “If I could make you all mine right now, I would. I would love to make you all mine and keep it that way until you don't want to be mine anymore. You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. I’ve liked you for a long time, but I can’t promise you anything right now.” I remembered just a week ago, Michael had said, "I want us to be best friends. If something becomes more than that, I would love for us to be together, but it's okay if nothing does. I just want us to be best friends, no matter what."

“Michael, you don’t have to promise me anything.” I didn’t expect him to promise me a relationship, or promise that we’d be together forever. I also understood that he had a son, and his son was his first priority.

“My son always comes first, even before me,” he said, “I don’t care about a whole lot right now, but there is two things I will always care about. And that is my son, I will always be there for him. But the other thing is, I never want to hurt you, Katie. Just please, don’t get too attached to me, I have a lot of f***** up problems. It’ll take awhile for me to get all of my s*** straight.”

I understood what he was saying. I couldn’t promise him anything either. I was leaving for college in two and a half months. Of course, he was convinced I’d find a “good guy” at college and want to be with him, and forget all about Michael. But I knew I wouldn’t. The feelings I had for Michael are not feelings you see a whole lot in life.

He walked me around to the driver’s side of my car. He held me, and we kissed more. It was addicting. I didn’t want to leave. I just wanted to keep kissing him. He kept kissing me as he was saying bye, and I kept smiling and kissing him.

I’m not really sure how, but I ended up in my car, driving home. And I keep thinking over what just happened. All my windows were down, because I was pretty sure I smelt at least faintly of cigarette smoke, and my family doesn’t smoke. I didn't want them to think I was smoking, because I wasn't. I kept thinking about going back and kissing Michael again. I wanted to hug him more, and cuddle. It was so nice to kiss someone without using my tongue. Rob was always shoving his tongue down my throat, and I hated it. He would get mad when I didn't want to kiss him, and accuse me of not loving him or being attracted to him. I just didn't want to use my tongue all the time, and when I just kissed him nicely on the lips, he told me that wasn't a real kiss. I wanted to just stay with him and kiss him until we both just fell asleep.I didn't care what people thought of us being together, it wasn't going to change the way we felt. We were best friends.





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